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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

Value

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Quality

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Service

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esjobes Parkersburg, WV

I have been a customer of Cricket for 8 years now. A satisfied customer until recently. Always spoken high of and recommended to family/friends/colleagues. Never had an issue with a signal between stays in Columbus, OH and Parkersburg, WV. The reason for 3 stars is that those on Family Plans should be aware of what just happened to me last week. My ex and I separated two years ago but have remained on a Family Plan consisting of her, myself, and our 3 children. Last week she got upset with our oldest child and called me demanding that I remove him from the Family Plan since the account has always been in my name. I told her that I didn’t agree with that decision and a couple of hours later I noticed that I didn’t have service any longer. Turns out that she spoke with someone at Cricket and reported both mine and our sons phones as missing/stolen. I contacted Cricket several times through phone and chat and all I got was “you’ll have to pay a reactivation fee and then choose a plan for you and your son” and “this is why we don’t recommend that people stay on family plans when separated” - I’m not exactly sure if that is recommended anywhere in writing by the company but I have my doubts. I tell them that I’ll receive my cellular service elsewhere. I get my new SIM card in the mail yesterday and find out that my phone needs to be unlocked in order to use my new service provider. I call and chat all evening yesterday with no help on Crickets end. I purchased this iPhone 8+ in their store the day I opened the account. Since I don’t know what the new PIN is they cannot assist me. So today I take one last shot by going into a Cricket store. They inform me that since my ex is the owner of the account that I can’t even get my phone unlocked because she isn’t here to show her ID. Even though just five days ago they had no problem letting her take over ownership of the account without the owner, myself, present to do so. Something doesn’t add up, right? Then he tops that with “well, technically the phone that needs to be unlocked has to be in service for 6 months before it can be unlocked”. I say “so you’re insinuating that I need to pay a reactivation fee, and pay for service again for 6 months in order to have my phone unlocked when I’ve been a loyal customer for the past 100 months until this situation occurred just five days ago?” He responded with a stare after realizing how ridiculous all of this was. So bottom line: service was good, no issues there, but apparently if you are in a Family Plan be aware that if one of them goes rogue they will pick and choose how they want to handle the fall out of said situation.

8 months ago

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Jose Carcamo Orlando, FL

Data signal is the worse. Even the service for calls is good, look like they have tweaked the signal for data. Have complained many times, they check and supposedly make adjustments. But never improved… only app (with interruptions) i can use is Amazon music. Still with them because is cheap.

5 months ago

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Colby Oklahoma City, OK

We used cricket phones for awhile. The phone comes loaded with a certain number of minutes. I would recommend for anyone who wants to purchase a phone and pay as they go, with no bills! Personally, I think you end up paying more in the long run.

6 months ago Edited August 8, 2023

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Shay Mathiesson TX

While the company seems to offer good services and I really like how they have a budget plan avaliable if you say have troubles paying entire bill. That's a very nice feature that few if any of the other carriers have. Yet I HATE how every damn month it FORCES you to update! You HAVE to allow device to update and so for a good ten minutes there you have ZERO control over your own phone! What that means is you wouldn't be allowed to call 911 while it was updating for example. Also and I have researched and researched but there apparently doesn't seem to be a way to stop these updates! I've tried going to settings, looking up the app that houses it and tried doing a force stop but it will not allow me to do squat. In other words I am forced to deal with unwanted updates to where I have zero control over a phone that I BOUGHT!!! So yeah that's my biggest and really only complaint against Cricket because aside from the forced updates, they're a nice company that have competitive plans and deals. Also their customer service is excellent I think. They've always been able to resolve any issues that came up plus they're very nice as well.

1 year ago

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Wayne Koch Sacramento, CA

They offer you 15 GB of hotspot per month, while this isn't a huge amount, it is one of the most from a carrier and the fact you can add another 15 GB for $10.00 when you run out isn't a bad price at all. The only thing I don't like about it is if you have unlimited data, you should get unlimited hotspot but all carriers are shady when it comes to hotspot or also called tethering. They coverage is one of the best and I never had problems with data throttling ever. If I were to rank them on just overage and how much I got throttled after going over 22gb,I would give them 6 out of 5 stars, it was always excellent. My problem is with their billing. I bought a Nokia C5 endi from cricket and although the phone is ok, the my cricket app never worked and I could never access the online app with my phone since buying it which not only made it inconveniant to pay my bill it made it almost impossible to pay it on time and even though cricket new of the Nokia problem, they would still charge me the $15 dollar late fee and suspend my service. So I had to pay an extra $15 every month and it's impossible to get ahold of a real person in customer service. I finally gave up and switched carriers because of this

1 year ago Edited June 20, 2022

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Norma J Roberts Warren, MA

Been a Cricket customer for couple years. Brought my sister in to local store and told agent I was bringing in a referral. Agent assisted me in applying for the referral using the app on my phone. The referral code was sent to my sisters phone and the agent proceeded to set up her service. He directed her to enter the referral code when she went online to set up auto . Upon doing so a message said "not eligible". When calling customer support I'm told it was an error and they would fix it. When they didn't I called again and was told the referral is denied because it was entered after the service began. That is so not correct and there is no changing their mind. I will not be referring anyone else.

4 years ago

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Anonymous Spring, TX

THEIR AUTOMATIC PAYMENT WORKS PERFECTLY. THE TECHNICIANS IN THEIR LOCATIONS ARE YOUNG AND VERY UNDERTRAINED; THEREFORE, I HAVE TO ASSUME VERY UNDERPAID AS WELL. THEY ARE ONLY SALES PEOPLE AND NOT GREAT AT THAT. TOOK OVER 45 MINUTES TO BUY ONE PHONE AND GET IT SET UP. WHEN YOU GO TO THEM WITH A PROBLEM WITH YOUR PHONE THEY ARE USUALLY CLUELESS, AND I'VE BEEN TO SEVERAL OF THEIR PHYSICAL STORES. IT IS JUST AS BAD AT EACH ONE.

5 years ago

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Amanda George IL

I used cricket back in 2007 until about 2012 until their coverage went down hill. They don't seem to be able to keep up with other phone services. Customer service is decent.

7 months ago

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Manuel L Houston, TX

I'm a customer of cricket for more than 10 years. After I've buying a new cellphone just 4 months ago, they say I have to buy a New one because the 5G, but if I go to other cellphone company, they will give me a free phone. It's crazy, maybe better take care about your loyalty customers and don't let they go. They don't care about it.

2 years ago

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__ Burleson, TX

Great prices and the AT&T network but terrible customer service assuming you can find customer service. Poor selection of phones but there are options to bring your own phone. It seems like the kind of company where there is extremely bad upper management that is uninterested in business at the customer level.

2 years ago

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J.W. Greeley, CO

I like the phones but the coverage is total crap. I can't even talk on my phone in my own house. I have to go outside across the street to get a signal. The monthly service charge is alright, could be cheaper for the crap coverage. Switching to a different company next month. Hopefully it is the "boost" I need.

4 years ago

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Stephanie Love Herriman, UT

I used cricket for a few years and they were just okay to me. The price, at first, was the biggest reason to me switching over. Over time I hated that I couldn’t make out of state calls and the service wasn’t very good. I dropped a lot of calls. After some time, other cell phone providers were dropping prices. I switched back to T-mobile when I realized I wasn’t going to be paying much more than what I was paying for cricket, so I made the switch back to t-mobile.

4 years ago

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Paula Pili Provo, UT

There really isn’t much to say. It’s pretty much a company that hasn’t evolved. No new ways of purchasing phones, the service hasn’t changed much. It’s kinda just there. I’ve since moved to T-Mobile

2 years ago

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David Cape Coral, FL

I was with cricket a long time ago and it was a good service but was very limited across the country in its use. At that time if you had good service with them locally, the price was right and the service good. If you traveled find another service.

2 years ago

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jesus cruz ,

I did maintain service with Cricket for about 6 month back in 2014, and since then I changed to Boost , T Mobil, My worst experience have been with Cricket, their connection cover is very weak, if you ever are driving away from the center of the city you are out of service, and if you need to use the GPS, forget about it.

3 years ago Edited September 14, 2021

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Hunter Kasprzyk Gilbert, AZ

Very affordable but you get what you pay for. No surprises, exactly what you would expect and I would recommend this if you don't use your data very frequently.

5 years ago

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David T Draper, UT

To me, they represent the low cost option for cell providers. Their service matches their prices though. Stay clear if you have the money to get a slightly more expensive plan.

4 years ago

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Gail Mann Charlotte, NC

I was not to happy with Cricket because the phone did not work and while waiting for a replacement I lost my number at no fault of my own

1 year ago

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mike DeLand, FL

terrible customer service They do not back up their rewards program as they say they will and drop quality of phone is terrible

5 years ago

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Joe Keunen Bullhead City, AZ

AVERAGE. THERE ROAMING CAPABILITY OFTEN HAS DIFFICULTY. THE AGREEMENTS THEY HAVE FOR ROAMING ALSO DROPS YOU TO 2 OR 3 G

5 years ago

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Reckholdt Magna, UT

My first cell phone carrier! I thought it was pretty good at the time, although now being with other carriers, I realized it wasn’t the best coverage.

4 years ago

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Jeff Hogans Seattle, WA

service is cheap, but you pay later when you find out you are out of service and support is taking hours to answer the phone

2 years ago

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chad c Boise, ID

the ppl where nice and the coverage was good but now in my area it has went poor and they show no sign of fixing it at this time

2 years ago

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Queendom Ally Miami, FL

Cricket has really good customer service and their associates are very knowledgeable they can do better with service quality

3 years ago

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CAHomeOwner Clovis, CA

This was the most cost friendly cell phone I ever had. But the signal was not great when I traveled. Had to upgrade to a bigger carrier.

3 years ago

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Luther Tilghman Panama City, FL

Company is okay as far as internet data it's a little slow even for the unlimited high-speed customer service is not good

3 years ago

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Melissa Carreno Mesa, AZ

Cricket is good for people on a low budget that are looking for good service on the border. Works in Mexico and in the United States.

5 years ago

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Eric San Diego, CA

I used Cricket for a bit and was less than impressed. In my opinion there are alternatives with better service for around the same price.

5 years ago

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puddintame

it works, its reasonable . . .customer support is good. Store . . .not so good

4 years ago

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Marjorie

Prices are the best! However service not so much my phone doesn't work anywhere at my job

5 years ago

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Naya Tallahassee, FL

Cricket is a nice service, but sometimes the quality of the data you're receiving does not coincide well for the price.

4 years ago

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Idonia Childress Tulsa, OK

If you are looking for a no contract service it pretty good service for the money

3 years ago

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Jon Robinson Riverton, UT

Inexpensive, but you will want to be in a metro area. Service is spotty so you will drop calls.

4 years ago

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Makayla Manus Gulfport, MS

Crickets prices are really good, but the service was very faint in lots of areas.

4 years ago

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Kent Lehi, UT

I used Cricket for me kids because it was cheap. I liked the price but the coverage was poor.

5 years ago

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Tony's Babygirl Staton St Louis, MO

Not very popular with service or up to fashion phones.

1 year ago

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Angela Lee Manley Tulsa, OK

good customer service and needs product improvement

5 years ago

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Dennis Wick

Average signal strength and customer service

5 years ago