Cricket's Broadband Internet Service - Personal Product Testimony
Disclaimer: No endorsement or compensation was given for reviewing this product.
Drawn to Cricket’s no-contract, no-credit-check sales pitch; I went ahead and purchased their broadband internet service in the fall of 2009. I had visited one of their kiosks as operated by an authorized dealer. I signed up with a sales woman, who curiously, asked for my Social Security number, to which I kindly declined. After all, no-contract and no-credit-check means that there’s no reason for me to provide such a piece of sensitive information. The omission didn’t hinder the transaction and I was able to leave with a Cal-Comp A600 Model modem, which retailed for $150.00 plus tax at the time for $40.00 of internet service per month.
Cricket was fairly fresh in the communications market in my area, so they had a rebate offer with the purchase of such modem. Sending in the rebate form would mean that the modem would’ve been free. However, I didn’t know that for the rebate to be honored and the $150.00 refunded, I had to keep my broadband service without disconnection due to nonpayment. So, I learned this the hard way when calling in to check on my rebate status a month or so into the length of my service. That and I had to pay $15.00 as a reconnection fee every time that I didn’t pay for my bill on time. So, there’s no grace period with them. If your bill’s on the 15th of the month and it’s not paid on such date, then the next day, on the 16th, your services are shut off until you pay the overdue amount. Luckily, you don’t pay retroactively for any months you didn’t use their service.
Due to affordability, I stopped using Cricket’s broadband service and began using my smartphone through Verizon Wireless instead, which mandated a data plan to function properly. Therefore, there was no point in having and paying for internet on two different devices. However, recently in the spring of 2011, I wanted to resume using their services after purchasing a Windows 7 laptop. I was glad to have kept the originally-purchased modem as purchasing another one wasn’t within my financial intent.
With my old A600 modem at hand, I stepped into the nearest Cricket store; not the original authorized dealer originally visited. After explaining to the representative my wish to reactivate broadband services via means of the same modem, he told me about compatibility issues. The Cal-Comp A600 modem model was programmed for Windows XP systems, which I was using at the time. Of course, my new system being Windows 7, the devices wouldn’t be able to communicate with one another. He recommended I purchase a late-model modem; the EC1705 for $90.00 plus applicable sales tax. Having already paid $40.00 to activate the broadband service anew, buying another modem wasn’t my intention at all.
Not being pleased with the thought of shelling out any more money, a manager approaches me to see what’s causing my hesitation with the salesman. After explaining to him my dilemma, he offered to actually sell me the new device driver software that’d make my old modem compatible for just $20.00 to cover the cost of the Micro SD memory storage chip. Of course, he didn’t have to do that, but he was kind enough to get me up and running with what I already had instead of pushing a bigger sale in the purchase of different equipment. The manager went into his office and downloaded the Windows 7 device drivers and slid the tiny card into the slot on the side of my A600. I was very pleased and satisfied with such a deal.
I went home, plugged in the modem into my laptop’s USB and it was a breeze from there on. The only advantage of upgrading to a new modem would’ve been the 3G network capability that the A600 doesn’t have. Well, hey, sometimes you have to manage with what you have or are able to afford at the moment. Needless to say, the internet connection is always on 3 out of its 4 capable antenna bars, with it sometimes being 2 bars, but it gets the job done connecting me to the World Wide Web and enabling me to write on Hub Pages. [Wink]