Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

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RollTide31457
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Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by RollTide31457 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:21 pm

Any current Cricket Wireless users care to comment on your experiences versus AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.? What are the gotchas? How can they offer pricing so much lower than the big name carriers?

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samsoes
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by samsoes » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:31 pm

I've been a Cricket customer for about a year. My only regret is that I didn't switch to them sooner. I would have saved big bucks. In the year since I switched, they reduced the monthly price (I'm now paying $35 total monthly) and they increased the high-speed data allowance at least twice (started at 3.5 GB, is now 5.0 GB). If you happen to go over the allowance, there's no additional charge, your speed is just throttled. I've never come close to the data limit.

They use the AT&T network. Not sure how AT&T is compensated by Cricket for use of their network, but I don't really care. It works great and has been rock-solid.
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Silk McCue
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Silk McCue » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:34 pm

Cricket Wireless is a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Inc. that offers mobile voice, text, and data. Cricket Wireless was founded in 1999 by Leap Wireless International, Inc. On July 12, 2013, AT&T Inc. agreed to acquire Cricket's parent company Leap Wireless International for $1.2 billion.

nura
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by nura » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:35 pm

Does Cricket Wireless support wifi hotspot/tethering to share your mobile broadband data?

Silk McCue
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Silk McCue » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:37 pm

nura wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:35 pm
Does Cricket Wireless support wifi hotspot/tethering to share your mobile broadband data?
Only on specific plans. Your best source of information is their website. Their terms are good but not as good as they were a few months ago.

bloom2708
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:39 pm

We have been on the 5 for $100 family plan for 3 years. Great coverage, good customer service.

One gotcha is the 5 for plan is now $130. The 4 for $100 with unlimited data is capped at a slower speed. Still very usable for most. If we didn't have 5 lines we would switch to the unlimited plan.

We have saved thousands being on this plan. As long as we don't change anything we stay at 5 for $100.

Redpocket has a very interesting concept going. Pick any of the 4 carriers. Buy a year in advance and save. Slickdeals had a link for a good discount on the 2gb plan for 1 year. $185.
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palaheel
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by palaheel » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:44 pm

Cricket works well for DW and me. The hotspot situation is a bit of a pain. We are on the 2GB for $30, and have never come close to the limit.
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Angelus359 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:52 pm

samsoes wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:31 pm
I've been a Cricket customer for about a year. My only regret is that I didn't switch to them sooner. I would have saved big bucks. In the year since I switched, they reduced the monthly price (I'm now paying $35 total monthly) and they increased the high-speed data allowance at least twice (started at 3.5 GB, is now 5.0 GB). If you happen to go over the allowance, there's no additional charge, your speed is just throttled. I've never come close to the data limit.

They use the AT&T network. Not sure how AT&T is compensated by Cricket for use of their network, but I don't really care. It works great and has been rock-solid.
Cricket is a subsidiary of att
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mikep
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by mikep » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:00 pm

On the 5 lines for $100 here also. Still a good value, however in the last few months they have cut back on the following:

5 lines for $100 - now $130 as in another comment. Any change to any line triggers the new pricing

Plan changes now take effect the next billing cycle - probably ok. Some were using this to double their data for the month as data is reset upon changing and changes were prorated

$25 bill credits for referrals are ending 1/2/18

Cricket rewards program is also ending 1/2/18.. this app had games/checkin opportuntities to earn points redeemable for refill cards/other gift cards. This was an easy $5-10 each month toward the bill.

Also they have started pushing the "Unlimited 2" plan 4 lines for $100 (5 for $125). It is capped at 3mbps. Someone on my group had it and said the speed was awful and changed it back to the 8mbps unlimited.

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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:18 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:21 pm
Any current Cricket Wireless users care to comment on your experiences versus AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.? What are the gotchas? How can they offer pricing so much lower than the big name carriers?
1) Need to buy your phone at full price upfront or BYOD
2) Speed throttled to 8mbps unless you’re on a certain plan and then its throttled to 3mbps
3) Priority behind AT&T branded customers in times of congestion
4) No international roaming outside of Canada and Mexico.
5) Can be tricky getting a number port to or from AT&T.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:37 pm

Very few gotchas for me.

The good
- Low cost! We missed out on the 5/100 deal but we now pay 90 for 3 users. Will go up to 110/month when we add a 4th.
- Good network. It's better than T-mobile, for example. May not be as good as Verizon but it's certainly good enough for us.
- Fast data speed. I don't stream netflix, I just text, surf the web and use google maps. It's more than adquate, I don't think I've ever exhausted my high speed quota.
- Easy payment, although it's "pre-paid." I just have it going my credit card just like any other phone plan
- Taxes & fees are included
- Our unlocked GSM phones all work well, no problems with porting or compatibility.

Room for improvement
- No tethering unless you upgrade to a more expensive plan and also add the feature. I get around this by using a separate (old) phone with a Truphone SIM card. I only need this feature once in a blue moon (eg. when we go camping and I must check my work emails or call into meetings)

Highly recommended! :beer

lawman3966
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by lawman3966 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:45 pm

I switched from AT&T to Cricket about a year and a half ago and have had no problems. Once you get used to it, their online interface is good enough that I don't feel the need to call customer service.

I recently traveled to Canada, and had no trouble adjusting my plan upwards in order to have unlimited calling and texting during my trip, and then adjusting the plan downward upon my return to the cheapest plan which is $30 a month. I also used my 4g connection for internet during my trip with no problems as there was no WIFI in the condo building I was staying in.

One downside from my standpoint is customer service. On the few occasions I tried using it, it was terrible, in stark contrast to the service provided by the parent company, AT&T.

I've read that hackers try to get your cell phone # and then call customer service to get additional information about the hack target. One saving grace of Cricket's system is that the poor hacker is going to spend hours trying to get a live person on the line.

doneat53
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by doneat53 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:50 pm

I've been a cricket wireless customer (5 lines for $100.00) and I couldn't be happier. We've had no service glitches (we had AT&T before) and the data is more than we ever use. Can't believe I paid 270 and more to AT&T for years before discovering this.

sksbog
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by sksbog » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:54 pm

Cricket wireless customer for three years. I love their service.

You can do tethering as long as your phone offers.
WiFi calling if you buy their phone.

I always buy my phone with full price and outside of their store.

RollTide31457
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by RollTide31457 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:03 am

Thanks everyone for the helpful feedback!

BogleMelon
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by BogleMelon » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:09 am

I have been a customer for Cricket for less than a month. The big gotcha for us was the very bad network! I returned back to Verizon prepaid before even the month end.
I also tried Pageplus, Republic Wireless, Ting. Ting was the best in terms of coverage and customer service, but expensive to those who use a lot of minutes like us.
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Da5id
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Da5id » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:21 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:09 am
I have been a customer for Cricket for less than a month. The big gotcha for us was the very bad network! I returned back to Verizon prepaid before even the month end.
Cricket/AT&T generally have a pretty good network, just apparently not at your location (or with your phone???). I'd note that for anyone considering any carrier switch, a good first step is to ask friends on that carrier how signal is at your house/work/other critical spots. Because the online coverage maps may not be fully accurate. I guess if your plan has wifi calling (Cricket says they do for certain plans), you may also be fine if you use that feature at locations where the network coverage is spotty.

I have had the Cricket 5/$100 deal for a few years, and have been satisfied with coverage and speed for the most part.

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jriding
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by jriding » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:47 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:39 pm
We have been on the 5 for $100 family plan for 3 years. Great coverage, good customer service.

One gotcha is the 5 for plan is now $130. The 4 for $100 with unlimited data is capped at a slower speed. Still very usable for most. If we didn't have 5 lines we would switch to the unlimited plan.

We have saved thousands being on this plan. As long as we don't change anything we stay at 5 for $100.

Redpocket has a very interesting concept going. Pick any of the 4 carriers. Buy a year in advance and save. Slickdeals had a link for a good discount on the 2gb plan for 1 year. $185.
The Redpocket gotcha that I discovered the hard way is that they don't support group texting. This is the case for many AT&T MVNOs. If you have an iPhone I'd recommend trying Redpocket for a month before committing to a longer term plan.

michaeljc70
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:15 am

I used Cricket for several years and now use MintSim due to it being cheaper. The main differences between Cricket and the major post paids are you have to prepay, you cannot get international bells and whistles (except Canada/Mexico), and the customer service is arguably worse on Cricket. In 3 years I never had to contact customer service so not really a big issue for me. Cricket also has a bunch of stores where I live so you can always go there for customer service. When I travel internationally, I buy a sim card for data only. Prepaying is no big deal either to me.

One thing to note is Cricket includes taxes/fees. Where I live (Chicago), my bill on post paid carriers had around $18 in taxes/fees.

RollTide31457
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by RollTide31457 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:23 pm

Has anyone had any luck selling their existing phone and buying a new one at a Cricket Wireless store?

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sunny_socal
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:44 pm

My MIL bought a new phone at Cricket.

If I had to go that route I'd get the moto g5 at costco and put it on Cricket.

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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by dwickenh » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:54 pm

changed from AT&T to Cricket and was glad to see it is the same network. No problems with service, but we don't tether a hot spot either. Went from 95.00 per month to 60.00 per month with more data. Best thing I did last year to save 420.00.
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grettman
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by grettman » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:09 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:21 pm
Any current Cricket Wireless users care to comment on your experiences versus AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.? What are the gotchas? How can they offer pricing so much lower than the big name carriers?
I have had them for 3 years. About every 6 months or so they surprise me by increasing my data plan without increasing my costs. I love cricket. I love cricket..... Did I mention I LOVE CRICKET?

UALflyer
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by UALflyer » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:12 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:18 pm
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:21 pm
Any current Cricket Wireless users care to comment on your experiences versus AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.? What are the gotchas? How can they offer pricing so much lower than the big name carriers?
1) Need to buy your phone at full price upfront or BYOD
2) Speed throttled to 8mbps unless you’re on a certain plan and then its throttled to 3mbps
3) Priority behind AT&T branded customers in times of congestion
4) No international roaming outside of Canada and Mexico.
5) Can be tricky getting a number port to or from AT&T.
In addition, Cricket's service has much higher latency. Also, if you have AT&T's Unlimited Plus or Choice, you get an additional $15/month off Directv or Directv Now (it is $25/month off for current users).

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Leesbro63
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:26 pm

Can I use my AT&T iPhoneX on Cricket?

bloom2708
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:27 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:26 pm
Can I use my AT&T iPhoneX on Cricket?
You can. It doesn't need to be unlocked. Are you out of contract or paying monthly on your X?
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Leesbro63
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:32 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:27 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:26 pm
Can I use my AT&T iPhoneX on Cricket?
You can. It doesn't need to be unlocked. Are you out of contract or paying monthly on your X?
Out of contract. I paid cash for the phone. Although I use more than 5GB so I need to consider this carefully.

spoco79
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by spoco79 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:33 pm

The only negative of a smaller wireless company that uses a big network (Cricket, Boost, StraightTalk etc.) is that your texts and calls are second priority to mainline customers. So in the event of an emergency, its likely you will not be able to use your phone.

Doesnt matter one bit to me, but thought I'd share.

michaeljc70
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:40 pm

spoco79 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:33 pm
The only negative of a smaller wireless company that uses a big network (Cricket, Boost, StraightTalk etc.) is that your texts and calls are second priority to mainline customers. So in the event of an emergency, its likely you will not be able to use your phone.

Doesnt matter one bit to me, but thought I'd share.
I've heard this, but is it really true? I'd believe it more on the data side than on the call side.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:44 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:12 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:18 pm
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:21 pm
Any current Cricket Wireless users care to comment on your experiences versus AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.? What are the gotchas? How can they offer pricing so much lower than the big name carriers?
1) Need to buy your phone at full price upfront or BYOD
2) Speed throttled to 8mbps unless you’re on a certain plan and then its throttled to 3mbps
3) Priority behind AT&T branded customers in times of congestion
4) No international roaming outside of Canada and Mexico.
5) Can be tricky getting a number port to or from AT&T.
In addition, Cricket's service has much higher latency. Also, if you have AT&T's Unlimited Plus or Choice, you get an additional $15/month off Directv or Directv Now (it is $25/month off for current users).
My experience doesn't match any of those claims. It may be throttled or deprioritized for all I know but Cricket has worked very well for me.

It's easy enough to try it, the only 'risk' is the $25 signup fee. Dump it if you don't like it.

whanaumark
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by whanaumark » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:47 pm

Since you have a GSM phone it may be worth checking out mintsim.com
I've recently switched from T-mobile and have been very happy with the unlimited plan.

Da5id
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Da5id » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:52 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:44 pm
My experience doesn't match any of those claims. It may be throttled or deprioritized for all I know but Cricket has worked very well for me.

It's easy enough to try it, the only 'risk' is the $25 signup fee. Dump it if you don't like it.
FYI, The throttling to 8 MBPS is per Cricket. https://www.cricketwireless.com/support ... -data.html says:
Our network provides data download speeds of up to 8Mbps for compatible 4G LTE devices.


Hasn't bothered me. But if you are downloading big things to your phone and not in wifi you might notice... 8 MBPS is fine for most purposes.

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Tamarind
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Tamarind » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:31 pm

I've had some issues with MMS receipt and delivery on Cricket. It's worse now on my Pixel 2. My dad had some trouble getting their voicemail settings to play nice with Google Voice.

Otherwise like Cricket and find it a good value for the money. There are better deals depending on local reception quality of a particular cell network or wifi availability.

ClemsonBogle
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by ClemsonBogle » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:02 pm

What an international bell and whistle?

Cricket gives free txt messaging in 38 countries and for $5 a month includes land lines.
In my travels txt messaging has often been enough.

I guess i dont know what i am missing because i thought that what cricket offered was pretty good?

squirm
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by squirm » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:09 pm

spoco79 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:33 pm
The only negative of a smaller wireless company that uses a big network (Cricket, Boost, StraightTalk etc.) is that your texts and calls are second priority to mainline customers. So in the event of an emergency, its likely you will not be able to use your phone.

Doesnt matter one bit to me, but thought I'd share.
There's no guarantee that mainline customers will get through either in an emergency.

bandoba
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by bandoba » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:53 pm

ClemsonBogle wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:02 pm
What an international bell and whistle?

Cricket gives free txt messaging in 38 countries and for $5 a month includes land lines.
In my travels txt messaging has often been enough.

I guess i dont know what i am missing because i thought that what cricket offered was pretty good?
I wasn't aware of international messaging. So just checked and looks like it is available only on specific plans and not part of regular $35/line or $100 for 5 lines grandfathered plans.

More details at
https://www.cricketwireless.com/support ... tures.html
https://www.cricketwireless.com/support ... tries.html

UALflyer
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by UALflyer » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:05 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:44 pm
UALflyer wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:12 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:18 pm
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:21 pm
Any current Cricket Wireless users care to comment on your experiences versus AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.? What are the gotchas? How can they offer pricing so much lower than the big name carriers?
1) Need to buy your phone at full price upfront or BYOD
2) Speed throttled to 8mbps unless you’re on a certain plan and then its throttled to 3mbps
3) Priority behind AT&T branded customers in times of congestion
4) No international roaming outside of Canada and Mexico.
5) Can be tricky getting a number port to or from AT&T.
In addition, Cricket's service has much higher latency. Also, if you have AT&T's Unlimited Plus or Choice, you get an additional $15/month off Directv or Directv Now (it is $25/month off for current users).
My experience doesn't match any of those claims. It may be throttled or deprioritized for all I know but Cricket has worked very well for me.
Cricket clearly discloses on its website that the download speeds are capped at either 8mbps or 3mbps depending on the plan.

If you want to see some latency figures:
http://www.howardforums.com/showthread. ... ency-Tests
http://www.howardforums.com/showthread. ... gh-Latency
http://www.howardforums.com/showthread. ... ter-at-all

I am in no way suggesting that people should be avoiding Cricket or other MVNO's. The OP simply asked for the gotchas, and we are answering his question. In many cases, all these downsides can absolutely be perfectly acceptable to people, while in other cases they won't be. In general, Cricket and other MVNO's can represent a good value for people with relatively few lines who only require fairly light casual usage.

On the other hand, if you have a lot of lines, have substantial corporate discounts, need higher speeds with low latency, mobile hotspot, heavy overall usage and discounted flagship phones, or have some combination of these factors, you'll generally be better off with a postpaid legacy carrier. In some cases, these plans can actually end up being cheaper than the MVNO plans, while providing more benefits.
Last edited by UALflyer on Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

Jags4186
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:16 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:44 pm
UALflyer wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:12 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:18 pm
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:21 pm
Any current Cricket Wireless users care to comment on your experiences versus AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.? What are the gotchas? How can they offer pricing so much lower than the big name carriers?
1) Need to buy your phone at full price upfront or BYOD
2) Speed throttled to 8mbps unless you’re on a certain plan and then its throttled to 3mbps
3) Priority behind AT&T branded customers in times of congestion
4) No international roaming outside of Canada and Mexico.
5) Can be tricky getting a number port to or from AT&T.
In addition, Cricket's service has much higher latency. Also, if you have AT&T's Unlimited Plus or Choice, you get an additional $15/month off Directv or Directv Now (it is $25/month off for current users).
My experience doesn't match any of those claims. It may be throttled or deprioritized for all I know but Cricket has worked very well for me.

It's easy enough to try it, the only 'risk' is the $25 signup fee. Dump it if you don't like it.
Yea I'm not bashing Cricket I'm just letting the OP know what he does/doesn't get for his money. My wife is on Cricket and I just put my mother on Cricket. She now pays $30 a month--she was paying $90 a month to Verizon postpaid beforehand.

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wander
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Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

Post by wander » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:29 pm

We have one line with cricketwireless and I consider to move it to totalwireless which is using Verizon network for better coverage, price and plan options.

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