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My husband was with Verizon when it was Alltel. I believe he has been a customer for about 10 years. We recently made the switch from Verizon to Cricket, and I’m happy to share the reasons for this decision. Customer loyalty went out the window this year after Verizon, along with AT&T, decided to do away with subsidized contracts.
Simply stated, customers now have to pay full price for phones, but they aren’t locked in a contract with a carrier. They are free to leave at any point. This gets complicated when a customer has a device payment plan with their wireless company as they have to pay off the phone in order to part ways and move on to another carrier.
Why We Switched from Verizon to Cricket
For three lines on Verizon’s More Everything plan, we were paying $180 per month. We shared 10gb of data and had unlimited talk and text.
One line was out of contract and receiving a $25 line credit since it was on a month to month agreement. One line was part of Verizon Edge program (Verizon’s lease option), with about $175 left to pay off the device.
The third line was eligible for an upgrade in April, so we were excited to call Verizon to request our $25 month to month credit. However, when I called Verizon and spoke to three different representatives about this credit, they informed me that they “no longer offer it as of last month” but that they’d “love to share the new Verizon Plan” with me.
Gee…thanks but no thanks! I had already compared the new Verizon Plan, and it was even worse/more expensive than the More Everything Plan. So we decided to switch from Verizon to Cricket.
Why Cricket vs Verizon
We researched for months and months all of the different carriers, and we knew that T-Mobile’s service and Sprint’s service just weren’t going to cut it in our area.
We didn’t want to go to AT&T and experience the same expensive plans that we were able to break free from. So we started looking at MVNO’s or Mobile Virtual Network Operators, such as Straight Talk, Cricket, Net10, and Tracfone.
All of the above offered great products/packages, but Cricket offered a $50 credit for bringing your own line (current number) as a new customer.
Cricket runs off AT&T towers, so we figured the service HAD to be pretty great. And for the 3 lines, it’s only going to cost us $90 per month! Our bill is being cut in HALF! If you bring multiple lines, they offer a discount per extra line.
Bring Your Own Phone or Buy a New Used Phone?
The first thing we did was pay off the $175 owed on the device payment plan for my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Unfortunately, not all phones are eligible for the Bring Your Own Phone promotion at MVNO’s, so be sure to check the website with your IMEI number (this can be found in Settings, About Phone).
My Note 4 and both of the Galaxy S5’s we own were not eligible for BYOP. So we sold my Note 4 for $240 and my husband’s Galaxy S5 for $150. We bought me a refurbished AT&T phone, and we bought my husband a used AT&T phone from a local seller.
All unlocked AT&T phones are eligible for use when switching from Verizon to Cricket. Verizon phones and Sprint phones are more difficult to make the switch, hence having to buy new phones and sell our old phones.
How’s the Service, Though?
Ok…so the service definitely isn’t as good as Verizon’s service was. There are times that I’m in a dead zone in my house, and I have to hang up and call the person right back. It can be very frustrating, but it doesn’t happen very often.
I’d say it’s worth saving $90 per month and cutting our bill in half. Since we don’t have a shareable plan, it’s a bit difficult getting used to keeping up with individual data. I worry that I’m going to go over my 2.5gb of 4g LTE, but so far so good! (Updated Below)
Why Business Owners Should NOT Switch from Verizon to Cricket
As a Realtor, my business depends on being available. If a potential buyer or seller tries to contact me and I don’t answer, or worse, they’re sent straight to voicemail, they will hang up and call the next Realtor they can find.
Business owners need reliable service and unfortunately, Cricket was dropping the ball for me personally. I still believe it’s a great product to help save hundreds on phone bills, but in my case, I had to go back to Verizon.
I believe in full transparency, and I will always be honest about my experiences with different companies. We are now Verizon customers again, and although we pay more, it’s worth it for reliability. Here’s a tip, though! Sign up for a free ebates account to save up to $75 off your Verizon order.
Some Tips to Save on Data Usage
If you have an Android phone, pay the $10/month for Google Play Music. I listen to music in the gym, where wifi is spotty, and with Google Play Music, I’m able to download my favorite tracks and playlists to listen offline.
A major bonus when you purchase Google Play Music is that you get a FREE subscription to YouTube Red. I had no idea the value of YouTube Red until I started playing with it, but you can download YouTube videos to watch offline as well!
So when your kids are throwing a fit in public and you want to give them an electronic device to calm them down (I won’t judge you…I do it, too), you can have their favorite Octonauts episode already downloaded so that they can watch it without eating away at your data.
I can also download motivational/inspirational videos to watch on the treadmill during those hour long Cardio sessions. It really helps keep my mind off of how long I’m spending on the treadmill, and I don’t have to watch The View. 😛
You can also save data by turning off Mobile Networks when connected to spotty wifi service. You want to be sure that your phone is utilizing wifi and not counting against your data usage due to poor reception.
The only way to truly be sure of that (from what I’ve seen) is to turn off the mobile network while I’m on wifi. Today at the gym, I watched a Blindspot episode on Hulu, but I made sure to turn off my mobile network FIRST to ensure no usage of data. As soon as I left, I turned mobile networks right back on. Easy peasy!
(Again, this was published 3 years ago, and we have since moved back to Verizon ONLY because I needed more reliable service for my business).
Life is a collection of memories and experiences. There are ups and downs. I am so grateful for God’s grace and am on the journey to a renewed spirit, free of perfectionism. Perfection Hangover offers the sober truth – no filter.