Looking to save money on phone plans? Cricket gives consumers a free try-before-you-buy option.

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Two weeks of unlimited talk and text and 3gb of data for those who want to try it out

At a time when mobile phone plans can be a concern for consumers who are trying to save money, Cricket Wireless is giving consumers an opportunity to try its network for free with the launch of the tryCricket app in the Apple App store.

Being a low-cost carrier, Cricket doesn’t always get the same ink that the wireless big boys like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile do, but it has 13 million subscribers who apparently like the service. As an example of that, earlier this year Cricket ranked number one in Customer Service and Purchase Experience for the second consecutive time in a J.D. Power study.

Another question that might be asked is about coverage areas. Riding on the backbone of AT&T, Cricket users have access to the same coverage area, a fact not lost on ConsumerAffairs reviewer Francisco, of Berber, Calif.

“I've used Cricket Wireless for over a year now. Before this, I actually used Metro By T-Mobile, he wrote in his review of the company. "When I compare both cellular companies I actually get better coverage almost wherever I go. Although where I live it's kind of slow sometimes but most of the time I'm able to do most of my things. Usually, I need to have the internet when I go to work in which Cricket does the job.”

Comparing prices, the Cricket plans that ConsumerAffairs reviewed were far more straightforward than the larger carriers, with four-person plans going for $100 a month. 

The only thing that might be a barrier for some is that Cricket is all about simple and essential vs. bells and whistles. If you or someone in your family is a data hog and constantly streaming videos, you need to know that if Cricket’s network gets busy, it “may” temporarily slow speeds.

How this try-before-you-buy offer works

On the surface, it may sound confusing that someone who’s on a T-Mobile plan can actually try another carrier service without changing phones or SIM cards. But in the digital age, someone came up with the bright idea of “eSIM,” which allows mobile customers to switch services without having to physically switch out a SIM card.

Jeff Moore, principal of Wave7 Research, thinks highly of eSIM.

“There are several benefits of eSIM for simplifying consumer experiences, including the ability to switch carriers more easily, the ability to have more than one number associated with a device, and the ability to easily choose a carrier when traveling abroad," he said.

The tryCricket offer is only available for iPhones at the moment, but an Android version could come later. When someone signs up for the tryout, they’ll get a temporary phone number with 3GB of data with unlimited talk and text during the trial period. If they like what they see, then they can port over their current phone number. The tryCricket app is available here.

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