appears to have a pretty good deal: $35 (when using auto-pay) for unlimited voice, text, and data, of which 1GB is high-speed.
They even appear to have good coverage in most areas. Actually, Cricket was bought by AT&T
earlier this year, and I think that means they have the same coverage area now as AT&T.
However, Cricket's coverage map isn't very clear. The colors in the map don't match the colors in the key. The key has 2 shades of green, while the map has several shades of green, none of which look exactly like the colors in the key(*). (AT&T's coverage map is easier to understand, by the way - their orange map colors match up to their key colors much better.)
And by the way, what are those little circles on the national map? (When I suggested to my mom that she switch to Cricket as she's planning to get a new phone anyway, she told me those circles are towers, and that Cricket's coverage is no good, as they've only got 8 towers in SC. I argued with her assumption, but I'm not sure I was able to convince her otherwise.)
So I took advantage of their online chat feature to ask. (Their "Contact Us" page says that they are only available to chat between 7am and 7pm EST, but they were actually still available after 9pm when I tried.)
L***: Thank you for contacting Cricket were we go the extra mile to make you smile :) how can I help you today?
[me]: I'd like you to explain the colors on your Coverage Map. The colors on the map don't match the colors in the key.
L***: Hello !! ^^__^^ How are you today ? Hope your doing great :)
L***: yes sure :)
L***: provide me your zip code please !!
L***: Allow me a moment to work on this please :)
L***: Thank you for you patience and understanding, waiting for me
L***: Okay , the Deep Green Mean's : LTE Coverage .
L***: The light Green Mean's 4G
L***: The Yellow mean's 3G
L***: and the blue means 2G
[me]: But in the key they show a deep green and a bright green and a bright yellow, while the map shows greyish green and greyish yellow and only a few small areas of bright yellow. So it seems the greyish areas must be an overlap of 2 colors, but of which ones?
L***: well right now I was checking your area ,and on your area you have LTE Coverage
L***: that mean's that you will receive perfect signal.
[me]: That is good. But looking at the map, if you look to the right of Columbia, there is a large greyish yellow area which includes Sumter. Is that color supposed to be 3G?
L***: That's correct,meaning that in Columbia your going to receive LTE Coverage and in Sumter you will receive 3G
L***: well basically it would be like mix, between 4G and 3G at the time.
L***: basing on Sumter .
[me]: ok, so that greyish yellow is a mix of 3G and 4G. does that mean that a mix of 2G (blue) and 3G (yellow) is also shown as a shade of green?
[me]: I don't see any areas on the map that are plain blue.
L***: dont worry ,you will receive good coverage.
[me]: Well, thank you for your assistance, L***. I think it would be good if Cricket were to make their map colors easier to understand in the future.
L***: Thank you for contacting cricket wireless support, have a great day and remember you can always visit us at www.cricketwireless.com
[me]: Thank you. Have a good day!
S***: Welcome to Cricket Wireless! How can I serve you today?
[me]: Hello. I have a question about the Coverage map of the United States. What do the little circles represent?
S***: Can you please provide me more details about it?
S***: Can you please tell me the color of the circles?
[me]: when I open this page: https://www.cricketwireless.com/map.html
[me]: it shows little circles. They are yellow in the center, surrounded by white, and black around them. For instance, in South Carolina there are about 10 of these circles.
[me]: Are they towers? Surely there are more than 10 towers in South Carolina, right?
[me]: or are they stores?
S***: I will check it right now! :)
S***: Please provide me more minutes.
S***: The little circle are the towers.
S***: The white circles, the areas in which we do not have coverage.
[me]: If they are towers, how can it be that most of South Carolina has coverage, when there are only 10 towers?
[me]: and why do the circles disappear when I zoom into the map?
S***: I will double check this for you
S***: Please allow me more minutes.
[several minutes passed]
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(*) - Coincidentally, a radio show mentioned yesterday that women are on average better at perceiving differences in color, especially for greens and yellows, than men. I wonder if the person who made that map can't even tell that the map colors don't match the key.