Starting on June 3rd, Cricket Wireless had a system wide outage that lasted until the wee hours of June 4th.
Look, I hate post paid carriers because they usually cost so much. I jumped ship to a pre paid carrier, Straight Talk, for roughly half the price of my previous carrier but using the same old GSM towers. The problem I ran into was their customer service, it was non existent.
For the 4th or 5th time we were trying to get mobile data to work on my wife’s phone, the phone’s seller finally directed us to a kiosk in the mall for assistance. The gentleman had her internet up and running within minutes. He then told us about the cell company he sold service for – Cricket Wireless.
Cricket Wireless is a subsidiary of AT&T but is a pre paid arm of the company. As such customers enjoy the benefits of the cell towers and better customer service while paying a straight fee. See as part of the payment, all taxes and fees are included so there’s no surprises when a customer goes in to pay. For my wife and I, we pay a simple and easy $90. That nets us unlimited talk, text, and 5GB, each, of 4G LTE data. Worth it in my very humble opinion.
The problem with cell service is that sometimes they go out without a lick of warning. That happened to Cricket on the 3rd of June. My wife noticed first, she had a big “X” on her network bars. We tried making calls to no avail. I went to the official website and there was no mention of anything being wrong. The first inkling I got of a problem was when I tried to used the chat function and was told there was a higher than usual chat volume.
The only notice customer’s received about an outage was a short notice on the official Cricket Facebook page late in the evening. There was also a tweet that many didn’t see right away. The amount of hate on the Facebook page was to be expected as most folks had been without service and no communication for hours. I was even furious and I know these things happen.
We are aware of a service issue affecting some customers & are working quickly to resolve it. We apologize for this inconvenience.
— Cricket Wireless (@Cricketnation) June 3, 2016
Cricket Wireless finally restored services to customers early on June 4 but the damage had already been done. A hefty amount of angry people were threatening to leave (many won’t) the carrier for a post paid carrier like AT&T or T-mobile or find themselves another GSM pre paid service. Some customers have been barking about a credit for their inconvenience, a few have said they were offered an “insulting $5”.
Personally I didn’t notice the loss of phone service. I rely mostly on internet and since I was in a wifi zone, it was no big deal to me. My wife though? That’s a different story. She needs her phone on for her employees to reach her 24/7. I think more than anything Cricket should have been better at relaying information about what was going on and why.
Anyone of my geeks a Cricket customer? Know of one? What do you think of this latest in a long line of snafus where companies fail at communication? Sound off, if you have service, below.