Author Topic: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)  (Read 2099 times)

notactiveanymore

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Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« on: March 02, 2017, 12:02:18 PM »
I've got my husband on board with switching our cell phone plan finally. We currently pay $120/month with ATT for 3GB shared data. My husband has an iPhone 5 which is off-contract. I have a Moto X which goes off contract at the end of March. I think the bill will go down to $105 after that, but we'd still like more freedom and to see if we can cut costs.

SO, husband is also on board with keeping our phones for awhile longer even though they are (gasp!) two years old. Still, we've both started having some glitches and issues, so in my 2-year cost comparisons I've included $1000 for outright phone replacements. We're debt free and have a high savings rate, so we're fine spending a bit of money on phones.

I've determined two things 1) Cricket doesn't have a ton of smartphone options if you purchase through them, and 2) We really want to keep our phone numbers. My question: If we switch to Cricket with our current phones and then decide later on that we want/need to upgrade a phone, could we then buy an unlocked phone from BestBuy (etc) and still keep our phone numbers?

If I'm missing anything else here, I'd love to hear it or other advice. My husband is inherently suspicious and requires a local storefront for every service we use, we also don't give our dollars to Walmart, so the Cricket component is pretty fixed in our plan here.

Cassie

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 12:10:52 PM »
Here is my experience with Cricket. We were paying AT & T 97/month for 2 lines. WE switched to Cricket which should have cost us 70/month. Then my DH needed mobile hot spot for work and we got that free from AT & T. Cricket charges us 10/month.  Plus they only allow hot spots if you have a Cricket phone so after paying for new sim cards he had to buy a Cricket phone. AT&T has a ton of service all over our state. Not so for Cricket. The difference is because although they use the same lines once you are in roaming range AT&T pays other companies for service but Cricket does not even though they own Cricket.  We were only an hour away from home and my DH had no service so he missed an important phone meeting for work.  So now we have to switch back to AT&T and have wasted ore $ then we saved. This is the 2nd time we went with a lesser company and had to go back. AT&T has some new plans in our area that are cheaper then what you are paying.

therethere

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 12:16:16 PM »
I love my Cricket plans. I have had no issues with service even in the mountains of Colorado. Pretty much the same exact service I had with ATT.

I paid for the SIM cards online. They come with a mailer and you can put the SIM card in your phone and setup is really easy. Word of warning, you will only get the offer for the Cricket phone promos when you first roll your number over. And if you take advantage of it you need to keep that phone active for 30 days. So if you want a discount phone do it now, use it for a month, and then switch back to your old phone.

I just bought a Huawei unlocked phone on Amazon and had no issue activating it on my current line. You just need to look at the chart to ensure the phone supports the bands for ATT or cricket before buying. Just needs to be "unlocked" and preferably from a reliable source.

Herder of cats

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 12:17:52 PM »
About a year ago, I did pretty much exactly what you are thinking about doing - I switched from AT&T to Cricket and just brought my old iphone with me, keeping my number.  With setting up automatic payment, my phone bill dropped from $110 to $35. 

In December, I purchased a new phone from BestBuy because, as you point out, Cricket has a rather limited selection of smartphones you can purchase through them.  To answer your specific question in bold, I can confirm that I did, in fact, get to keep my number - I just switched my sim card over to the new phone.

So, I guess I am pretty confident that the answer to your specific question is yes.  Of course, Cricket has its issues.  At least in my(obviously anecdotal) experience, Cricket's customer service is just terrible. 

notactiveanymore

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 12:32:17 PM »
Thanks so much everyone!

I generally think that every telecom company is pretty crap when it comes to customer service, but I will have to look more into the coverage issue. We are pretty basic users, just need some talk and text and a smidge of data, so it might still be a good option for us.

My big issue with ATT is how much they obscure the pricing and contracts. I'm not even sure if they still do the 2-year contracts like we currently have, but we spent over 2 hours at the store back in 2015 trying to figure out what the costs and fees would be on a 2-year contract vs. the ATT Next or whatever the leasing thing is. They were pushing it so hard it seemed like it must not be a great deal for the consumer. We finally got the associate to pull up a chart that showed how much you would pay for our chosen phones and service after two years and it was less to do the contract. He kept protesting that with ATT Next we wouldn't have to pay the $100 or whatever that day for the new phone as if that $100 upfront was going to move the needle for us.

neo von retorch

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 12:35:55 PM »
We are pretty basic users, just need some talk and text and a smidge of data, so it might still be a good option for us.

You have GSM phones (AT&T iPhone & Moto X) which gives you flexibility. If the above is true, consider Consumer Cellular - best customer service I've experienced with a cellular carrier.

notactiveanymore

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 12:53:06 PM »
We are pretty basic users, just need some talk and text and a smidge of data, so it might still be a good option for us.

You have GSM phones (AT&T iPhone & Moto X) which gives you flexibility. If the above is true, consider Consumer Cellular - best customer service I've experienced with a cellular carrier.

This is totally my speed. I use about 800MB of data a month and my husband uses about 1.2GB. The problem is that I cannot get him to accept anything that doesn't have a local storefront. I got all the way through the process of changing our car insurance from state farm to a broker (with a plan from an OH company) and then he backed out because it wasn't local or big. He has absolutely refused to open an ally savings account for our downpayment fund because it's online only. We are on the same page about everything else financially, so it really is small potatoes, but it isn't likely to change.

Cassie

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2017, 01:02:26 PM »
In NV you have service within 30 miles of Reno and Vegas and that is it for the whole state although with AT&T you have it everywhere. I would try to find out what the service is in your state before switching.

NorthernBlitz

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 03:25:35 PM »
I posted this about our experience with H20 (me) and Ting (my wife). It's contingent on not using much data. So, if you're (1) on wifi, (2) don't use Pandora when driving (I download podcasts) and (3) download local maps on Google Maps instead of navigating with data I think it's a good alternative.

If you've you don't use data, I think that you could be fine with a lower cost option than Republic Wireless.

I'm currently on H2O wireless. It's a pay as you go service that charges $0.05/min, $0.05/text, $0.10/MMS, and $0.10/MB data. You can get better rates elsewhere, but these are for loading $10/(90 days) or $3.33/month.

That being said, I have very low usage: I almost never use data or call anyone and I'm usually on WiFi so I can send texts through hangouts for free. During my commute, I listen things I download before hand (podcasts or free audio books from the library with Overdrive). I acutally don't use up the $10 in 90 days, so my balance is accumulating. It's a bit unfortunate that they won't let you autorenew at $10 / 90 days, so I have to use a Google calendar reminder. But, I think it's worth it to save ~ $15 / month on Ting. I won't be too dissapointed if I lose my accumulated balance because I won't ever go through it (although it's handy to have the surplus for data usage when travelling for work).
https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/mainControl.php?page=planMin

My wife uses Ting because she texts more than I do. I think her bill is usually $12-18/month (again little data).
https://ting.com/rates

Ting has some benefits to having multiple people on the same account. Check out how their billing works and see if it works for you.

Note 1: On my Moto X (2nd gen), I had to actually go into the settings and disable mobile data to prevent Android from using data. I could individually restrict apps from using data, but I couldn't figure out how to do that with the OS.

Note 2: we also set up a free Google Voice landline which we use when we want to call people when we're at home.


NorthernBlitz

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 03:27:52 PM »
We are pretty basic users, just need some talk and text and a smidge of data, so it might still be a good option for us.

You have GSM phones (AT&T iPhone & Moto X) which gives you flexibility. If the above is true, consider Consumer Cellular - best customer service I've experienced with a cellular carrier.

This is totally my speed. I use about 800MB of data a month and my husband uses about 1.2GB. The problem is that I cannot get him to accept anything that doesn't have a local storefront. I got all the way through the process of changing our car insurance from state farm to a broker (with a plan from an OH company) and then he backed out because it wasn't local or big. He has absolutely refused to open an ally savings account for our downpayment fund because it's online only. We are on the same page about everything else financially, so it really is small potatoes, but it isn't likely to change.

Do you know what you use the data for?

We went from using 1.5-2.0 GB data by having our phones (1) back up data when on wifi, (2) downloading local maps for navigation and (3) shutting off the data when not in use because the OS was always using data otherwise.

neo von retorch

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 04:37:51 PM »
I have Android 7.1 so this might not apply to your Moto X (yet?) but I was able to enable Data Saver. Updates only install on Wifi when plugged in. Even with some Pandora listening, I'm at 110 MB in 25 days. (Not sure what data saving the iPhone might have.)

notactiveanymore

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 05:15:42 PM »
I have some data saving measures in place such as not updating unless on wifi and charging. But I don't really use much data and it looks like most of it is used on twitter, instagram, and chrome when not connected to wifi. I work in the basement and sometimes I don't realize I've lost that connection. Also do a fair bit of reading while waiting in lines!

My husband's data usage is probably more from iMessage and forgetting to download podcasts before going to the gym/driving. Neither of us uses maps much and we only really watch videos when on wifi. I'm not too worried about trying to get our data down to less than 1GB each, which is super doable. I definitely prefer one of the $10/GB models to per MB and per text payments.

I'm going to offer some alternatives to the husband and see if he's reassessed his only local storefronts mandate. I'd love to look into Consumer Cellular or Google Fi.

neo von retorch

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2017, 05:25:00 PM »
I'd love to look into Consumer Cellular or Google Fi.

There is a major caveat with Google Fi (I'm actually on Fi; I've moved on from CC) - you have to have a Nexus 5/6/5x/6p or Pixel/XL to use it. So you'd have to sell the phones on eBay, and hopefully get used Nexus/Pixels on ebay for a half decent price. But that's because I bought a Nexus 6 two years ago while I was still on Cricket. (I've tried a few networks!)

Mr. Green

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2017, 09:34:58 PM »
Cricket offers phenomenal discounts for added lines too. We have 5 smartphones on a family plan with autopay and it $100 a month. So$20 a line for unlimited talk and text and 3gb of data. That's insane.  We use their service everywhere between lower Pennsylvania and southern North Carolina and no one has service problems.

ozbeach

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2017, 10:44:33 PM »
haha - I opened this thread thinking that, as an aussie, I might be able to explain a bit about how cricket is played...

Herder of cats

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2017, 08:23:10 AM »
Regarding coverage, I am also in the Midwest and since switching to Cricket have traveled throughout Missouri a fair amount.

I have never had any coverage issues for cell/data anywhere in Northern Missouri (north of I70), or Southwest Missouri.  If you're in that nebulous area known as Southeast Missouri (what I consider to be South of I70 and East of about Jeff City) I'm not any help, as its been far too long since I've been there. 

More generally, I've also never noticed any coverage issues in either Oklahoma or Texas, although the few times I've in been in either of those places since switching to Cricket I've been driving, and just might not of noticed if I lost coverage. 

notactiveanymore

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Re: Help with Switch to Cricket (Explain it to me like I'm 5)
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2017, 09:25:21 AM »
Regarding coverage, I am also in the Midwest and since switching to Cricket have traveled throughout Missouri a fair amount.

I have never had any coverage issues for cell/data anywhere in Northern Missouri (north of I70), or Southwest Missouri.  If you're in that nebulous area known as Southeast Missouri (what I consider to be South of I70 and East of about Jeff City) I'm not any help, as its been far too long since I've been there. 

Thanks! I'm in Columbia, so I expect it would be just fine for where we live. I'll put some feelers out on FB to see if anyone I know has experience with the coverage locally.

Quote from: ozbeach
haha - I opened this thread thinking that, as an aussie, I might be able to explain a bit about how cricket is played..

I really enjoy rugby (go Ireland!), but I don't think I have room for any more international sports!