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Thread: Sell me on Cricket!

  1. #1
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    Sell me on Cricket!

    Hello, I am a potential refugee from Tracfone. The switch to Verizon has made my family's phones all but unusable where we live (we all had AT&T-based SIMs before).
    My neighbors recommend Cricket. But I'm used to not paying a ton of $$ and wanted to check something: With 3 lines, all the plans cost $30+, whether you sign up for 5, 10 or unlimited gigs of data? (There's a $37 plan that includes a hot spot) ... and with 4 lines, it's $25 a month for unlimited.
    So why would you sign up for less than unlimited?

    Experience with the company, service, etc, would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I’ve had Cricket for at least 4 years on a plan that went from 2GB per month at the start and was eventually raised to 10GB per month. And the speeds were also went from being capped to 5G. The original plan was 5 lines for $100 but they just raised it to $130 per month for 5 lines. I dropped one line and am now in the 4 lines for $100 for “unlimited” data. The catch with this plan is that they can deprioritize you if there is a lot of congestion in your area. I haven’t really been out to any packed area to stress test this, but I’ve asked in other threads and no one has ever responded that it has been a problem. Not exactly a scientific study so take it for what it’s worth.

    I’ve also not had big any issues with Cricket coverage, availability and customer service. But again I’m not exactly a power user.

  3. #3
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    My experience matches the what hooked said. If you go single-line, the 5GB or 10GB plan may be a better deal if you don't need more data. The two flavors of unlimited only matter if you are in an area where AT&T is congested (in that case, go with the More plan over the Core plan) or if you need hotspot.

    I had moved myself over from AT&T postpaid a few years ago, moved various family members soon after and didn't hear a peep about differences in service (this was in the 8Mbps days, I think we were on the $40/month plan, but with Group Save made it 5/$100). As there were only 4 of us, I switched us to the 4/$100 unlimited plan (at that point, capped at 3Mbps) and although downloads were slow, the latency was low enough that it felt snappy enough...again, no complaints so I left it. Now that plan has evolved to have no caps and it's been great. On my phone, I get 5G and it's typically slow (due to AT&T's narrow slice of low-band 5G at the moment), but when I get C-Band (n77) or mmWave (n260) which is branded as "5G+," I hit anywhere between 200Mbps-1Gbps. LTE can often hit 50-150Mbps.

    No issues with customer service or coverage...typically mirrors what I had seen previously with AT&T. In some ways I like how Cricket has its own account management site/app, rather than the very outdated AT&T Prepaid account management site or the clunky, buggy AT&T postpaid management site (myAT&T).

    When signing up, make sure you get a referral code from someone (plenty of us here or you can search on Reddit), which gives you a $25 account credit after 60 days of service. You can also buy refill cards when on sale at Target (or Target.com) and that can make your monthly charge even cheaper.

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    Thanks! Y'all's talk of upload and download speeds makes me laugh - on Tracfone, we keep our data off and turn it on briefly to check email or whatever. I have no idea how to handle having, like, multiple gigs of data every month.
    The big thing will be paying more on a regular basis. I think we have to make the switch, though.

  5. #5
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    Once you use Datt-ah, nothing else will Matt-ah. Lol

    I work from home and when I’m out, I’m still avoiding large congregations of people so I haven’t stress tested the new data reception. My main uses are streaming music, GPS, emails and light browsing. When I’m out, I’m not going to be watching videos and sending and receiving massive amounts of data.

  6. #6
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    If the price point works, go for it. Or red pocket. No major issues here. Been with 'em since 2017. Did have to contact to have CCF properly enabled and configured. I use gv as my primary #.

  7. #7
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    Generally great experience with Cricket, probably pushing 7-8 years now.

    My biggest gripe is the extremely limited BYOD now that 3G has been shut down - mostly because of AT&T, but Cricket seems to have an even shorter list...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kren Ster View Post
    Thanks! Y'all's talk of upload and download speeds makes me laugh - on Tracfone, we keep our data off and turn it on briefly to check email or whatever. I have no idea how to handle having, like, multiple gigs of data every month.
    The big thing will be paying more on a regular basis. I think we have to make the switch, though.
    Yeah, in my last job, I ran the company's network so I was on Wi-Fi almost all the time, but being on a Cricket group (family) plan, my line was the last one at $10/month - didn't really make sense to seek out alternatives to maybe save a few dollars, but then have limited data. If it were just me, I think I'd probably go with one of the capped Cricket plans, the T-Mobile Connect plans, or something similar with a bit of data. There are a lot of options at https://prepaidcompare.net/ if you ever want to see what else is out there.

    I like Cricket since things are somewhat predictable and AT&T is less likely to pull the rug out from under like they would like an independent actual MVNO, but there is a bit less choice for amounts of data on plans and such. H2O could be an option for something a bit more like Tracfone, but runs on AT&T.

    Finally, there are a lot of people that get hung up on data speeds and priority...I've done some tests for curiosity and such (also part of the reason why I'm on these boards), but in general I don't think about it. Things are generally sufficient enough to work, so I'm not going to leave carrier X for carrier Y if one gets 20Mbps more in a spot I'm at if both work fine enough.

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    When Cricket stopped the 5 for $100 plan (although, they actually stopped selling that plan years ago), they really lost the point that separated themselves from most other AT&T MVNOs.

    I suppose if you really need unlimited data (and no other perks) and data priority isn't a huge issue for you, then the Cricket unlimited plan makes sense.

    3 lines of unlimited data with hotspot (I think there's a data limit on the hotspot, but don't remember what it is) with priority data can be had for $130 with AT&T Prepaid.

    Otherwise, if you're not using a ton of data then you can get 3 lines of 5GB priority data per month each for $70 through AT&T Prepaid. This includes hotspot.

    If two lines use more data, under 15GB, then you can make two of those lines 15GB and 1 5GB for $90/mo with AT&T Prepaid. Again, priority data and hotspot.

    Red Pocket offers 3 lines of 10GB each non-priority data for $70/mo. I'm not sure if hotspot is officially supported with Red Pocket, but reports are that it works.

    H20 Wireless has annual plans:

    Unlimited Talk/Text no data - $5/mo (paid as $60/year)
    Unlimited Talk/Text 1GB of data - $8.33/mo ($100/year)
    Unlimited Talk/Text 3GB of data - $12.50/mo ($150/year)

    These plans don't include hotspot or priority data.

    I guess if you just consume a ton of data on your phone and have no need for hotspot, then Cricket's unlimited plan still has value.

    But if you know what your data usage is and it fits under the above limits, you can save a lot of money from Cricket's plans and get more features.


    Quote Originally Posted by ecs0013 View Post
    Finally, there are a lot of people that get hung up on data speeds and priority...I've done some tests for curiosity and such (also part of the reason why I'm on these boards), but in general I don't think about it. Things are generally sufficient enough to work, so I'm not going to leave carrier X for carrier Y if one gets 20Mbps more in a spot I'm at if both work fine enough.
    I agree on this point as well. I guess maybe if you live in a large population area priority data might make more sense, I guess you might be using more data as well if you're watching a show on your phone while riding the subway or bus. But in rural America - where I live - I have to drive every where, I can't exactly watch a TV show on my phone while driving. So data usage is not as extreme and there's fewer people sharing off a tower so deprioritization doesn't have near the effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    I agree on this point as well. I guess maybe if you live in a large population area priority data might make more sense, I guess you might be using more data as well if you're watching a show on your phone while riding the subway or bus. But in rural America - where I live - I have to drive every where, I can't exactly watch a TV show on my phone while driving. So data usage is not as extreme and there's fewer people sharing off a tower so deprioritization doesn't have near the effect.
    Yep, and even then, AT&T has generally been good about its lower priority traffic not getting penalized as severely as Verizon when there's congestion. In some cases, rural can run into issues due to towers not getting upgraded with all the various technologies (not all the same radios installed and/or spectrum deployed) or limited backhaul, but there may not be as many fluctuations since the same people are generally going to be in the same area (as opposed to events in a downtown area or the mass commute to/from offices). I've used Cricket in some larger cities and it's been fine and my family lives in somewhat rural areas and they have, too.

    I'm guessing in the case of OP, Tracfone on AT&T is probably similar priority, so the experience should be similar.

  11. #11
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    I switched to Aio (now Cricket) back in March 2014 and haven't found a better combination of price (including taxes) and service for the needs of our 6 lines. Was with Sprint, TMO and net10 prior to that. If you had good coverage on the ATT sims, then you'll be happy on cricket. If not, then just switch to someone else.

  12. #12
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    Thanks again.
    We do not have such huge data needs - 5 gigs, 10 gigs, unlimited - it's all wayyyy more than we've been trained to use over the last 10-15 years on Tracfone. We are genetically wired now to briefly turn on data, do what we need to do, then turn it off again. The concept of using data for, like, an hour to stream music or a video - wow. Such luxury. lololol.

    Deprioritization has never mattered to us because we don't use data - but I assume there's little to none of it going on where we live, because there is such a low population.

    We are in a rural area - NE PA - with a lot of hills and ravines and spotty service in areas, no matter what provider people have. But AT&T worked at our house, marginally, but it worked. I could get a phone call and talk to people. Verizon - fuggeddaboudit.

    All of this is to say that maybe Cricket's minimums are overkill for us, even though the rest of it seems like exactly what we want.
    So maybe H20 is more what we need.

    I think I'd like to test drive it first, though, before I commit to a year's plan.

    Ohhh, nevermind, I just read some stuff on Reddit & here. I do not need another provider with customer service as bad or worse than TF. My pain tolerance has gone down with age. I think paying more for Cricket (there is an actual store in town) is worth it, even if we don't need that much data.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kren Ster View Post
    Ohhh, nevermind, I just read some stuff on Reddit & here. I do not need another provider with customer service as bad or worse than TF. My pain tolerance has gone down with age. I think paying more for Cricket (there is an actual store in town) is worth it, even if we don't need that much data.
    In general, most providers are okay to downright terrible when it comes to customer service, just due to the nature of cost-cutting and the volume of customers. Cricket's call-in support (611) isn't bad and neither is their chat. As most stores are independent dealers (again, like most of the industry), the can be wonderful or terrible. Keep in mind that also like much of the postpaid side of things, some things incur extra charges if they require a person (such as paying a bill or activating at a store), but in general, Cricket is pretty up-front about charges.

    While you may not immediately start streaming video, having the extra data available may at least lead you to leave it on and/or not worry about "managing" it as much. If you're doing 3 lines, the unlimited "Core" (3/$90) may make the most sense.

    Alternatively, another option is AT&T Prepaid - you can get support at an AT&T store, and there's some different plans (discounts if you add lines to your group, too), but taxes and E911 fees are not included: https://www.att.com/prepaid/plans/

  14. #14
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    You are used to being miserly with your data, but having that much available will allow you to not worry about turning it off and on to check your emails etc. it also comes in handy to run GPS or listening to music or audio books when you’re driving. Just set and forget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooked View Post
    You are used to being miserly with your data, but having that much available will allow you to not worry about turning it off and on to check your emails etc. it also comes in handy to run GPS or listening to music or audio books when you’re driving. Just set and forget.
    This. It was a breath of fresh air when we got unlimited data. It’s great to be able to watch YouTube anytime you want without worrying about data limits.

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