According to YouTube vlogger John at MagicTechReviews, a negative change is coming to ATT’s Cricket prepaid brand. Starting April 27, Cricket will limit users to purchasung only one phone every 90 days at the subsidised new user price. Currently Cricket users can get new phones at the new user price plus a $ 25 upgrade fee as often as they want, so unless phone prices come down or the upgrade fee goes away, this is a step backwards.
John’s been a reliable source of Cricket leaks in the past so I trust him on this one. In addition he shared a screenshot from Cricket’s intranet for dealers announcing the change. The screenshot says that dealers will be able to check if a user is eligible for an upgrade using their dealer web portal. John asked me not to publish the screenshot to protect him and his source.
The screenshot also says that Cricket is going to be listing three different prices for all its phones; a port-in price, an upgrade/new user price and a full retail price. If you want to upgrade before the 90 days are up you will have to pay the full retail price. Currently Cricket doesn’t list full retail prices on their site, only a port-in price and a new customer/upgrade price as shown in the image above.
This change brings Cricket into line with T-Mobile’s MetroPCS which also has a 90 day upgrade policy. Sprint’s Boost Mobile is even more restrictive, only allowing an upgrade every 120 days. I’m hoping that this change will allow Cricket to cut upgrade phone prices or maybe even get rid of the upgrade fee. After all, the 90 day rule and the upgrade fee both seem to be designed to discourage people from getting phones for resale at a discount. Does Cricket need to do both to discourage phone flippers? Hopefully not.