Founded in 1999, Cricket Wireless (AKA: Cricket Communications, Inc) provides prepaid Cricket Wireless Internet and cell phone service to more than 5 million customers in the US. The low flat rate and no-contract cell phone plans are among the main reasons consumers choose Cricket as their cell phone service provider. If you are considering Cricket for your wireless internet and cell phone needs, it is important to consider the pros and cons before making a selection.
Pros of Cricket Wireless Internet and Cell Phone Service
My husband uses his cell phone extensively for work. He had service with a major cell phone company. Although the service was reliable and we could access a customer service rep any time we had questions, we got tired of the added fees and charges. We chose not want to deal with the frequent bill increases anymore.
In contrast, with Cricket Wireless we do not have to worry about monthly increases. My husband selected the ADR Smartphone Plan for $55 per month. He also got handset protection for an additional $5. The total monthly bill equals $63.75, including taxes. The monthly bill has been consistent since he signed up with Cricket Wireless seven months ago. The plan includes the following features:
- VMail, Call ID, Call Waiting, 3 Way Bundle
- Unlimited Anytime Minutes
- Unlimited Long Distance
- Call Forwarding
- Picture/Video/Text Messaging (Unlimited)
- Unlimited International Text
- Data Backup Free
- Nationwide Coverage
- Android Data Access
- Unlimited Internet Access
Cons of Cricket Wireless Internet and Cell Phone Service
Despite the advantages listed above, there are also numerous negatives when it comes to Cricket Wireless Internet and cell phone services. Here are some examples:
- Problems receiving emails
- GPS does not work frequently, particularly in some areas
- Dropped calls in some areas/have to go outside for better reception
- Bad customer service
- Unreliable Internet access
Cricket Wireless Billing Inquiries
If you have questions about your Cricket Wireless service, you have two options. You can call the company’s 800 customer service number, or you can visit one of their corporate-owned stores. If you call the 800 number, you will likely have a hard time accessing a live person. You get a lot of recorded messages and voicemail mailboxes for you to leave a message.
The number of corporate-owned stores is limited. In Houston, Texas, there are only two - one on 290 and the other in the south side, on Westheimer. The phone numbers and addresses to such locations are not listed anywhere. If you have questions, you have to drive to the store. While you can pay your phone bill at any Cricket Wireless location, only the corporate-owned stores can access your account and answer billing questions.
How to Pay Your Cricket Wireless Internet and Cell Phone Bill
- Since this is a prepaid service, you can access your invoice on the Internet on the first of the month. You can pay it any time between the first and the last day of the current month. You may use a debit or credit card. There is no fee to pay online.
- Sign up for automatic bill payment. You can have the amount debited automatically from your debit card, bank account, or credit card each month. There is no fee for using this option.
- Use the automated system by calling the 800 number. You can pay by check or credit card. There is a $2 fee for this service.
- Pay at any Cricket authorized payment location. Most locations accept cash only and charge a $3 fee to take your payment. Keep in mind that payment locations do not have access to your account and cannot answer any questions related to your bill. If you choose this option, you need to know the exact due amount before driving to the store.
- Your last option is to mail your payment. However, it can take about 10 business days for the payment to post to your account. A late payment could result in the suspension of your account, in which case you would need to pay a $10 fee to have it reinstated.
We choose to make the payment online. This way, we avoid extra fees and the payment posts within 24 hours. We receive payment verification via a text message.
In conclusion, we are not sure how long we are going to keep this service. Since my husband uses the phone mainly for work, he worries about missing important calls and emails. He also uses the GPS quite a bit but often receives a “connection failed” message. While we have enjoyed the low monthly bill, there are other frustrations that we have had to deal with.
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