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3.3

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: January 28th, 2024

Founded in 1999, Cricket Wireless is one of the largest prepaid phone service providers in the United States. Cricket reviews describe a mix of both positive and negative experiences with the company's customer service, network coverage, and overall quality of service. 

Cricket Wireless provides some type of 4G LTE network coverage over most of the United States and offers international texting, data, and calls in select countries. The company claims to have upwards of 98 percent nationwide connectivity (which was bolstered by its acquisition by AT&T), allegedly covering more of the U.S. than several competitors. 

Another important aspect that drives Cricket’s corporate DNA is data throttling. Every client gets a certain amount of high-speed data that comes with their plan each billing cycle, even if the plan is marketed as "unlimited." If a customer exceeds their allotted high-speed data usage amount, they notice a significant slowing of their Internet and data services. As a user approaches their monthly allowance, they may notice a slower data speed. 

Jennifer Van Buskirk is the current company president. Recently, the FCC approved AT&T’s $1.2 billion merger with Leap, Cricket’s parent company. 

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The Good

  • Large Selection
  • Cell Phone Plans
  • Add-On Features
  • No Contract
  • Customer Service
  • Discounts
  • Plan Changes

Large Selection

With a large selection of smartphone and other device options, customers are able to find a phone that fits their needs, including the new Samsung Galaxy S20. Although some pre-pay cellular services do not include Apple products, Cricket has the iPhone. In the past, users of prepaid services had a hard time finding the latest iPhone and users of prepaid phone services often had to settle for an older generation model. That is no longer the case.

Current customers appreciate the number of Android models that are available. While there are not that many Windows phones to choose from, Cricket does offer two nice Nokia models. Overall, the best variety of phones comes through Android-driven phones. All of Cricket's phones come with the standard operating systems that are on the market, including Android, iOS, and Windows.

To use your current phone with a new Cricket prepaid plan, you can purchase a $10 SIM card or bring an unlocked LTE-compatible device.

Cell Phone Plans

Cricket's basic monthly plan options include:

  • Talk and Text: unlimited calls and texts, but no data or picture/video messages ($25 per line)
  • 2 GB: Unlimited talk and texts and 2 GB data access ($30 per line)
  • 5 GB: Unlimited calls and texts and 5 GB data access ($40 per line)

The Unlimited plan, which costs $55 per month or $50 after the Auto Pay credit, includes:

  • Unlimited data access with upload speeds up to 3 Mbps
  • Video streaming at SD quality, about 480p
  • Unlimited calling, texts, and picture messages in the U.S.
  • Unlimited texts from the U.S. to 37 countries
  • Data access plus unlimited calls, texts, and picture messages to and from Canada and Mexico
  • HD voice and WiFi calling with compatible phone

The Unlimited Extra plan includes all the features of the Unlimited plan, plus unlimited high-speed data access with faster 4G LTE speeds, and 15 GB of mobile hotspot on compatible devices.

Cricket's unlimited data plan works well for family plans: You get four lines with unlimited data for $100 per month. Keep in mind that unlimited data refers to both high-speed data and lower-speed data. After 22 GB of high-speed data usage, Cricket may slow speeds.

Also, the Auto Pay credit is not available with multiline discounts or on promotional offers.

Add-On Features

Cricket offers these features as monthly add-ons at a reasonable price:

  • Cricket Protect, which covers you from device loss, theft, or malfunction ($7 per month)
  • Cricket International, which adds international communication coverage ($5-15 per month)
    Individual Country Add-Ons, which include calling minutes and unlimited text, picture, and video messaging to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Philippines, and Vietnam ($10-15 per month)
  • 1 GB High Speed, which can be used when the high-speed access included in your base rate plan is gone ($10 per month)
  • Mobile Hotspot, which makes your cell phone a Wi-Fi hotspot to which you can connect your laptop or tablet to the Internet on the go (also called tethering). This add-on is only available with current
  • Unlimited plans and select grandfathered plans ($10 per month)

Cricket offers 30 GB, 10 GB, and 3 GB data-only plans for hotspot data usage.

No Contract

Cricket has all the bells and whistles of a contract provider but doesn't require the contract.

Customer Service

There are plenty of storefront locations to get help with your Cricket wireless plan. For the most part, Cricket Wireless reviews report that Cricket does a good job of providing quality customer service. Prospective customers can speak to Cricket customer service using the live chat feature on the website.

Discounts

The 5 GB, Unlimited, and Unlimited Extra plans are eligible for savings with Auto Pay credit and group save discounts. Families can save up to $100 per month in discounts for up to five lines. Cricket does also offer a discount for each plan if you set up an automatic payment every month.

Plan Changes

Because the company does not require a contract, you can change your Cricket phone plan anytime you'd like for no charge. Once you switch plans, your plan will take effect immediately, unless you decide to wait until your next billing cycle. However, note that you can only change your plan twice per billing cycle, and any change may affect your current discounts.

Cricket Wireless also mandates that no more than one plan change per phone number can be scheduled to start on the next billing cycle.

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The Bad

  • Data Throttling
  • High-Speed Unused Data Expires Monthly
  • Limited International Coverage
  • Claims Limits
  • Mixed Reviews

Data Throttling

While the data throttling option makes it easier for Cricket to "spread" data around and avoid charging overage fees, data throttling does kick in when a user is still within their allotted high-speed data amount for the month. This may make it difficult for users to check their email, surf the net, or access optimal download speeds for other purposes.

High-Speed Unused Data Expires Monthly

When purchasing the 1 GB high-speed data add-on, any high-speed unused data you have at the end of the month expires each cycle. So if you don't use up all of your additional data, you pay for it anyway.

Limited International Coverage

With the Cricket Unlimited plan, customers can call, text, and use data in Mexico and Canada. However, in the additional 37 countries with coverage, calls are not covered — only text message communication including picture/video messages. To access coverage in additional countries, you need to purchase an individual country monthly add-on.

Claims Limits

The Cricket Protect add-on covers a maximum replacement value of $1500 per claim of loss, theft, accidental physical damage or liquid damage, in-warranty exchanges, and out-of-warranty malfunction, which is really good coverage. However, each customer is limited to two claims per 12 months. For the accident-prone customer, two claims may not be enough.

Mixed Reviews

Cricket Wireless reviews are mixed, which makes it difficult to decide if the cell phone provider is a trustworthy company. Many reviews highlight poor customer service and slow data, while also appreciating Cricket's low price and affordable plans. If you want to learn more, you can find Cricket Wireless reviews below.

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The Bottom Line

There are pros and cons to the Cricket Wireless prepaid plans. The service provider features the latest Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems and the latest phones.

Cricket offers flexible plans and includes optional add-ons that let users customize their phone plans as needed, with variable data plans and lines needed per account. Cricket does a good job with multi-line discounts with a four-member family plan costing only $100 per month.

However, one of Cricket's major downfalls — like any major carrier — is its data throttling. When you reach your data limit, your Internet usage will dramatically slow and will not pick back up again until the start of your next billing cycle.

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Star Rating

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2.4

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355 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

31%

4 grade

13%

3 grade

11%

2 grade

6%

1 grade

39%

Sentiment Criteria

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BBQ Boy! LA

If it wasn't for being the cheapest provider I would not have Cricket. Wished it worked better over sea! I've been a Cricket customer for over 15+ year. When you call customer service they always have someone you can't understand so communication is hard. They need to upgrade some of their terms. They should have better deals for loyal customers. Cricket should get better Samsung phones. When trying to upgrade I have to go through a third party. I can't buy the phone at a cricket store always have to buy an unlocked phone.

10 months ago

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Lisa E Leominster, MA

They are usually fine and allow automatic monthly payments. However, I recently lost my phone. I had it disabled. It was returned to lost and found the next day and I requested that it be enabled again. No problem according to the rep I spoke to. Turns out it was a BIG problem. Their policy is to blacklist the phone for up to three days running during which time, requests to enable the phone restart the clock. If I need to continue using my phone, I have to call EVERY day. I was told to use a spare phone. No kidding. Why on earth would I have two phones?? Now I have to wait for a three day stretch before it falls off the blacklist. That is, according to the THIRD person I spoke to on the THIRD daily request to enable the phone again which apparently lasts until midnight when it turns back into a pumpkin until I call to get a fairy godmother to make it a real phone for the day.

1 year ago

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Paul Lytle Reading, PA

I've had cricket for over 10 years now. My explanation of cricket is its like having many thorns in your side. Initially when I switched from Verizon I was told I could only bring 2 phones over at a time after I had already placed my order for 4 lines to be transferred. After speaking to the customer rep, about a day later all sim cards showed up which indicated their customer service did not know what they were speaking about. Over the years I experienced slow service-throttling. I do not use an extreme amount of date so there is no reason to have slow service. Over the years I have spoken to customer service and most of the time it appears they don't know their product. The cricket voice mail app is somewhat horrible. At 1 time when I received VM messages the app showed it was one person who called and when you listened to the voice mail it was actually someone else that called. Another time I had created an out of office voice mail and saved it. Had someone else call my phone to verify it saved. After 2 days it reverted back to my old voicemail. For the last month service has seemed to really slow down and even though I show 3-4 bars I still cant even get on the internet while at work. I receive a lot of scam calls at least 3-4 times a day and cricket does nothing to block them on their end. My thought is they are possibly selling my information to these scam call centers. If I had to explain my dealings and phone service on cricket to someone I would say its like living in a 3rd world country.

1 year ago

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Valerie snyder Weirsdale, FL

Yes the prices are very reasonable but let’s remember the old saying “you get what you for”. How true and I get there are rules for a reason and o have not once disputed that but could have done something in my situation yes I believe so but unfortunately this girl Marium who claimed to be the manager at the Mt. Dora store in Florida was about a joke. She had friends there and talk talk talking up a storm being all loud and shouting Spanish from one side of the store to the other. She asked me after 15 min what I needed and I simply stated that I had a brand new never taken even out of the box phone and I wanted to pay the $200 difference and purchase the one I actually wanted. I didn’t purchase it my soon to be ex husband did. Well she was not happy about that for some reason she said well I’m with a customer so sorry your gonna have to wait. I had no problem with that so I waited patiently all the while I guess they didn’t really just because I am not Spanish has absolutely nothing to do with any language I speak. She just assumed I didn’t I’m sure everyone knows what happens when you assume. Well that was her first mistake then when I explained what had happened and what I was hoping to do she was oh no you cannot do that with this look on her face so unprofessional then proceeds to count on her fingers like in kindgarden with her 2 inch nails that looked ridiculous like I was a child and did not understand🤨. Best part I asked who was the manager and if I may speak with thrashed was like oh no no no I am the only manager you can’t talk to nobody else. I left that store and will never return if that is the type they allow to represent them then I need to take my 12 lines and sign with another carrier. Not to mention I have only been a customer for about 15 years. But she said so what that doesn’t matter. Great way to handle yourself I am now done and be so happy to get a new carrier.

1 year ago

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A R Fort Worth, TX

Ive had Cricket since 2016 or 2017. I had no problems until recently. During that time I did purchase a brand new Note 8. I currently have the same phone and I prefer to keep my phone. "If it aint broke" why try to replace it? The company has been switching to upgrades from 3g to 5 g. They tried to tell me my phone was not compatible. Thats false. It was a ploy to a promotion to switch to a crappy new phone they had to offer. The committment was to use a free phone for a minimal of 6 months. I was disitasfied that they couldnt see that my phone was compatible with LTE. I continued my service and now a few of my family and friends have done the same. Maybe one day we shall yse services but we all switched to T mobile with no contract.

1 year ago

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haeschliman Howell, MI

I have loved Cricket for 3 years, but had a very ridiculous customer service experience with them recently. My phone was suspended after changing my autopay because our prior card had to be cancelled due to suspicious activity. When I called to get it worked out I had to speak to several customer service representatives, just to be "disconnected" after 30+ minutes of waiting to be directed to the correct person. The second time I called, the customer service rep claimed that I was blinking out, and made me retell my story 3 times, because he couldn't hear me. He sounded crystal clear, and I was calling from my office where I use this phone to call clients all day. Then he said he would call me back, and never did. I paid the unwarranted $15 late fee, because I couldn't take more time out of my work day. Unfortunately, this seemed systematic, a phone company that has poor service or drops calls during a customer complaint... suspicious. I have loved the service for myself and my 4 adult children who live in Utah, Idaho, Ohio, and Michigan. We have used cricket for over 4 years. I would just say, do not have your autopay mess up because they are going to nickel and dime you for no reason.

2 years ago

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michelle kidd Lima, OH

I have had the worst time since switching to Cricket I have a note 10 and was told I needed to upgrade to their phones because mine wasn't compatible with their network REALLY? 🤣. I get the runaround between the store and when you have to call on phone to speak to tech. They both pass me back and forth like a tennis ball. I had verizon before them and just wanted cheaper phone bill and let's be frank I got a bigger headache with my phone dropping calls and not being able to hear on phone and lousy reception and showing only 3g network. Had hopes for cricket and I wish I could have had better experience with them. Back to Verizon I go I guess.

2 years ago

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MindyV Lubbock, TX

I was really happy when I switched to Cricket Wireless. I was able to get me and my son better quality of phones than we'd previously had. And the employee was great. The problem with Cricket Wireless is that they have NO CLUE how to process auto payments. You get a discount for having your account set up on auto pay but they don't know how to process them. One time they took money from another customer's auto pay and applied it to my account. I chatted with them about my auto pay and they said that everything went through and that I was fine, even though money hadn't been taken out of my account. Once they realized the mistake, several days after I talked to them about it, they decided that they were going to double charge me for their mistake. Auto pay shouldn't be tricky at all!!!! It should automatically take money out of the debit card that is on the account at the time the payment is due. That should be simple. But apparently it's not.

2 years ago

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Kent D Rager Fort Wayne, IN

Service is okay and the advertised price is what you'll actually pay since it includes taxes/fees. However, don't expect to get a bonus from their so-called referral bonus program. I referred my parents to switch to Cricket Wireless. I got the referral URL link and emailed it to them. They received the email and we clicked on the link. The link brought up a web page that said the referral code was emailed to them. We were in a hurry, so we didn't wait to actually receive the code and went to the store and activated new SIM cards with their existing phones. They never did receive a referral code - we looked in the spam folders and everything and it was never received. So we logged into their new Cricket account and tried to get it to resend the code, but it said the email address we entered wasn't the same one (even though it was). After clicking the referral link and entering the email address, I was finally able to get a code, but now the system won't accept the code. I called customer service and they said that because their lines were already activated, we were no longer eligible for the bonus. That is just plain wrong!

4 years ago

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Lauryn Pelch West Jordan, UT

It's a good price but it definitely is not good quality. My phone would not work anywhere and was constantly losing service. I think that overall you get what you pay for.

2 years ago

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Jody Demarco Lexington, SC

My new cricket phone has been glitching and freezing since day 1. Why pay 60$ when straight talk is 35$ and Samsung phones knock cricket out of the water

2 years ago

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mgillings

Okay inexpensive cell service, talk and text are okay, but data is SO SLOW! They warned me that it would be slow during peak hours, but I never had decent speed data. It was always slow.

5 years ago

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Pazzo Miami Plant City, FL

I had Cricket a few years ago. The signal was really bad. Very good price but you get what you pay for. I guess if one day I’m in need this would be an alternative.

2 years ago

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Landon Robison Layton, UT

Had Cricket for a brief amount of time and did not like it. Cheap prices but you get what you pay for. Their phones are awful quality and they have bad service.

5 years ago

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Jhamella Davis Cerritos, CA

Frequently dropped calls. Frequently missed calls. The price is good compared to Other's cell phone companies but the service just doesn't cut it.

3 years ago

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Damaged Alone Edwardsville, IL

its too high of their monthly charges for unlimited except their data aint what they said as advertised

3 years ago

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Justin Alpine, UT

Cricket has a confusing website. I didn't want to use them because I didn't end up finding a plan that worked for me.

5 years ago

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Lily South Jordan, UT

Cricket was very bad. They didn’t help when my phone broke. They aren’t very good.

4 years ago

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Shawn Strahan Beaverton, OR

Poor service - only benefit is low cost and no deals

1 year ago

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Shanna South Jordan, UT

I used cricket one time and hated every minute of it. Crappy coverage

5 years ago