Like most college students working a part-time job in retail, I’m poor. I have rent to pay, an Internet bill to pay, books for school, and of course, a cell phone. For the most part, everyone needs a cell phone. If work needs to get a hold of you, if your family needs you, or if something happens, like say an emergency, it’s good to have a cell phone handy. Since I’m poor, I try to find the cheapest plan for most everything. For the Internet, I have Clear, which is only forty dollars a month for 4G, unlimited Internet, and I’ve never had any problems with them. For my cell phone, at first, I had a prepaid cell phone with Virgin Mobile. It was nice and cheap, but with being a writer and doing a lot of social networking on the go, interviews, and reviews, I needed something more, but I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg to do so.
I saw a lot of commercials about Cricket and their unlimited talk, text, and web plan. It was only forty dollars a month, which seemed pretty reasonable and fair. I went in to the Orland Park store, and the people seemed nice enough and helpful, so I went with them. I got one of their Blackberry phones. It was pretty cool at first and it offered me fast texting, but the phone itself turned out to be a piece of junk. Within a month of using it, the keys were chipping away as was the print on the keys. I understand that I text a lot, but compared to your average sixteen-year-old, I’m pretty tame. So, the cheapness of the phones was instantly a turn off. I tried to keep a positive state of mind, though, and keep rolling with them.
Before long, I had people tell me that they would receive my text messages up to three or four times, the same message. I would get dropped calls all the time, or one to no bars. Again, sometimes I’ll buy something and even though I know it might have been the wrong decision, I try to talk myself into seeing the bright side of things, even when the writing is on the wall that I made a horrible, horrible mistake.
Their online customer support also left a lot to be desired. First of all, and I’m not trying to be mean here, I had an incredibly difficult time trying to understand them. This causes frustration and confusion when trying to figure things out. When I have a problem, I want to have a civil and reasonable conversation with someone about it. I don’t want to have to figure out what in the blue hell they are saying. Like I mentioned previously, they seemed nice at first at the store in Orland, but when I went back in a few months later, it was an all-new staff that was in a word: dreadful.
To make a long story short, I had someone texting me non-stop that I did not want texting me. It was bothering me and annoying the crap out of me. I called up Cricket to see about blocking them and they said they are not able to block numbers. I could, however, get a new number, for fifteen dollars. So basically, I am being harassed, but I have to pay fifteen dollars to stop the harassment. Does that make sense, on any planet, to you? That’s Cricket Customer Service for you!
Stupid me, I stayed with them, and back in November 2010, I was naïve and insane enough to buy one of their Android phones for 150 dollars. It took only a week for the back off the phone to fall off, without me dropping it. I went back to the store in Orland Park, and they were about as helpful as a man with two hands tied behind his back and a blindfold over his eyes. They simply shrugged their shoulders and said that there was nothing they could do about it, completely insensitive to the fact that I just dropped 150 dollars on their phone at their store a few days ago. The employees looked, to be frank, like drug dealers. They had slicked back hair, exposed chest hair, and pagers for God’s sake. I felt like I was going to the seedy side of town for a drug pick up. They told me I had to go all the way out to Bedford Park to get my phone fixed. Once there, I was rudely met by a large security guard and had to wait over an hour for them to look at my phone and fix it. Seedy, dirty, and underhanded is exactly the vibe I got from their employees and their way of doing business.
Let’s talk about my phone and how it literally had to be charged every two hours, or if not, the battery would be drained and perished. I tried everything they told me to do. I turned off the Wi-Fi, I used Task Killer, Juice Defender, you name it. Nothing worked. Isn’t the point of a cell phone that you can carry it with you? It’s not supposed to be a landline phone that is plugged into the wall. I had to carry my charger with me EVERYWHERE: work, girlfriend’s house, school, you name it and find the nearest outlet or I would be screwed.
How about text messaging, you ask me? Like I mentioned earlier, people would either get my messages 3 or 4 times or they would not get them at all. Oh, and phone calls? Many times people would call me and it would go straight to voice mail or I would get the call/voicemail three hours later. As far as the Internet on the phone, it was constantly freezing, lagging, and moving slower than an 86-year-old grandma in a mile race.
Well, my phone battery died last Thursday after only 7 months of use, and I finally had enough. I went to the Cricket store, and I should have learned my lesson from my previous visits as my problems were met with indifference and complete and utter ignorance. The employees are sitting on the Internet looking bored and not helpful at all. I guess Customer Service means nothing to them, as they are just content to run out the clock and go home. I decided to say goodbye to Cricket, once and for all, after a year and a half. It felt good. It was like ending a bad relationship that you knew you should have gotten out of a long, long time ago.
My grade for Cricket is a big fat F. I’m now a happy customer with Sprint. With my next blog post, I’ll tell you about my experience with Sprint and why I ended up going with them. I’ll tell you about my search for a new cell phone provider and the different stores I went to.
In the meantime, I will leave you with this: stay far, far away from Cricket and their shady business tactics. Their phones are cheaply made, horribly overpriced, and their Customer Service is by far the worst I have ever experienced. Do not be sucked in by their low monthly prices. As they say, you get what you pay for. Cricket lost a loyal customer that always paid his bill on time. Bye, Bye, Cricket.