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Cricket Wireless Adds, Increases Fees

Prepaid fees can be a little confusing sometimes; mostly because not every carrier charges the same ones. In fact, a few carriers add fees to the advertised price. AT&T’s Cricket Wireless is one of the MVNOs which doesn’t actually include fees in its advertised price and, unfortunately, it looks like some of those fees will soon be increasing.

According to the company, it will be adding on a new fee for transactions carried out in Cricket Wireless stores, and will be increasing a couple other fees. Here are the changes:

  • In-Store Customer Assistance Fee – $3 (new) – This fee will be charged when customers pay their monthly bills at a Cricket Wireless store or authorized dealer.
  • Phone Bill Pay Fee – $3 (lowered from $5) – This fee is charged if you call customer service to pay your monthly bill over the phone.
  • Multi-line Bridge Pay Fee – $10 (previously $5) – This fee is charged if you have to split up your payment into two smaller payments. The single-line bridge pay fee is still $5. When you do a bridge pay option, you pay half plus the fee, then pay the remainder within 7 days.
  • Multi-line Reactivation Fee – $10 (previously $5) – Previously called a late fee, this will be charged when you are between 2 and 29 days late on your monthly payment. For multi-line accounts only.

The following fees are also charged by Cricket Wireless. These fees have undergone no changes:

  • In-Store Activation Fee – $25 – This fee is charged when you activate a device in store; does not include SIM card. Online activations are free.
  • In-store Device Upgrade Fee – $25 – This fee is charged when you purchase and upgrade to a new device. Online upgrades have no fee.
  • Reactivation Fee – $15 – Previously called a late fee, this will be charged when you are between 30 and 59 days late on your monthly payment. After 60 days, the account is cancelled and the number is lost.
  • Non-Compliant Return Fee – $25 – This fee is charged with device returns are damaged or missing packaging
  • Phone Number Change – $15 – This fee is charged when current customers change their number.

Many of these fees are only charged in stores, and I think the idea is that it costs money to have associates there handling your money. However, personally I find it a little insulting to have to pay extra to give a company my money.

It should be noted that Cricket is definitely not the only company to charge fees for doing things in-store and its parent company AT&T already does the same. I’m not sure if the goal of changing these fees was to get people to stop going into Cricket Wireless stores, but I suspect that’s what is going to happen.

So, in the future, if you’re interested in Cricket Wireless, I recommend that you skip the store entirely and simply use the Cricket Wireless website.