Cricket receives mediocre marks for plans, performance and customer service in reviews. Prepaid cell phone users in J.D. Power and Associates' survey place Cricket in second-to-last place with a ranking below the industry average, and users at PrepaidReviews.com give the carrier only 2 out of 5 stars.
Inexpensive but limited. Subscribers report that Cricket Wireless is cheaper than average, and TopTenReviews.com gives the carrier top marks for the flexibility of its monthly plan options.
Cricket's cheapest plan is $25 per month and gives 300 talk minutes (including domestic long distance), unlimited text, picture, mobile web and voice mail, and caller ID, call waiting and three-way calling. Cricket's closest plan to an unlimited monthly plan is $35 a month for 1,000 talk minutes, and unlimited text and mobile web use. At $45 a month, the Muve Music plan gives you the features of the $35 monthly plan plus unlimited song downloads, ringtones and ringback tones. Roaming charges can be of concern, given that Cricket Wireless has only partial coverage in certain states.
Limited regional coverage. Reviewers rate Cricket highly for features and praise its domestic coverage. However, Cricket is a regional carrier and some reviewers detract points for its limited coverage.
Different ratings from users and experts. In J.D. Power and Associates' survey of prepaid wireless users, Cricket Wireless receives low ratings for overall customer satisfaction, just above the last-place AT&T GoPhone (*$50 per month and up). User contributors to PrepaidReviews.com more often than not cite poor customer service as their top complaint. In contrast, editors at TopTenReviews.com give full marks for customer service at Cricket, but it's unclear how extensively they tested the carrier.
Not much. Cricket has a very limited selection of phones. Right now, you can choose from one flip phone, two bar phones and three smartphones, or one other non-smartphone just for the Muve Music service.
1. J.D. Power & Associates
Review Credibility: Excellent In this survey of about 6,400 prepaid wireless cell phone users, Cricket Wireless does not receive good reviews, finishing in eighth place out of nine carriers in the survey. Cricket Wireless receives a ranking below the industry average.
Review: 2011 Wireless Non-Contract Customer Satisfaction Index Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, March 31, 2011
Review Credibility: Good Cricket Wireless is a favorite of the editors at TopTenReviews.com, receiving the Silver award behind first-place Boost Mobile. It receives full marks for the flexibility of its monthly plan options and its customer support, and scores highly for features, phone selection and fees. Stating that Cricket "wrote the book on flat rate cellular phone service," the editors praise its domestic coverage area. However, unlike some other carriers, Cricket Wireless does have an activation fee and a roaming charge. Note that TopTenReviews.com's evaluation of prepaid cell phone providers is based only on features and doesn't look at how each phone service performs.
Review: 2013 Prepaid Cell Phones Comparisons, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Fair Cricket Wireless receives a 3-star rating (out of 5) by editors and 2 stars from users at PrepaidReviews.com. The editors note that Cricket's plans are inexpensive, but the trade-off is limited coverage. Users, on the other hand, more often than not cite poor customer service as their top complaint.
Review: Cricket Wireless Prepaid Service Plans, Editors of and Contributors to PrepaidReviews.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Fair In this older review, Marguerite Reardon says that Cricket offers flat-rate prepaid wireless plans with unlimited monthly minutes -- good for people who want to replace their contract plan with a prepaid one. However, Cricket has some drawbacks, including a limited coverage area.
Review: Prepaid Wireless: In Search of the Perfect Bargain, Marguerite Reardon, May 15, 2009