While I've been a T-Mobile customer for almost 15 years, I recently moved my wife to Cricket Wireless because she was experiencing several dropped calls a day in the areas that she works. Cricket Wireless offers a reasonably priced prepaid service option and is powered by AT&T's network. Today though, it failed miserably and customers are irate.
Friday nights are busy for many folks as the work week ends and weekend plans are put into motion. I tried calling and texting my wife on my way home to coordinate dinner plans and ask if she needed me to do anything to help her get out the door for her monthly bunco night. She also attempted to text and receive calls from some participants that couldn't make it.
None of these communications took place since Cricket Wireless service went down for her at about 1 pm Pacific. Almost ten hours later, she still has no service.
I understand that there could be local outages due to emergency situations or some technical issue, however this current Cricket Wireless outage is reportedly affecting customers across the US. Even more frustrating though is that there was a single Tweet six hours ago from Cricket Nation on Twitter that read, "We are aware of a service issue affecting some customers & are working quickly to resolve it. We apologize for this inconvenience."
Visiting the Downdetector.com website showed that others across the country were experiencinc the outage with nearly 21,000 comments left on this site alone. I Tweeted a couple of things and Cricket replied that "some customers" were experiencing issues. There were more than some. A couple of people informed me on Twitter that visiting a Cricket store revealed some kind of planned outage for an update. If that was indeed the case, then Cricket should have forewarned all its customers so plans could have been made in advance.
One thing that this outage has shown my wife is that text messaging is not the best messaging solution to rely upon. She communicated with her friends via Facebook Messenger and a WiFi connection. It's a good idea to have an alternate messaging solution that doesn't rely on the cellular network, especially if you have some critical communications need.
My wife loves the coverage she gets from Cricket Wireless and is unlikely to move to another network, unless of course her service never returns when she will be forced to find another solution. Outages, and even more so the lack of communication from the provider, will definitely cause people to reevaluate their choice of carrier.
Cricket Wireless needs to get out there and explain the issue, let customers know when to expect service back, and then offer up some kind of credit for the outage. We reached out to Cricket Wireless to request some answers to these questions.