How to Switch a Cricket Number to a New Phone

By Cassandra Tribe

When it is time to switch a Cricket number to a new phone there are two options. One, purchase a Cricket-branded phone, or two, purchase a CDMA cell phone and have it flashed to Cricket. Flashing a phone is a technical process that "unlocks" the phone and allows it to be used on a designated network. A non-Cricket phone must be flashed first before the existing Cricket number can be assigned to it.

Step 1

Follow the instructions from the manual to remove the back cover and battery from the phone.

Step 2

Write down the ESN number of the phone printed on the silver label affixed to the inside of the battery compartment. The ESN number is an 11-digit number that will be labeled: ESN, D or DEC (depending on the brand). Note, if the label says IMEI or the number is 15 to 17 digits long the phone cannot be used on the Cricket network as it is not a CDMA-type phone.

Step 3

Write down the alphanumeric code also printed on the label next to the word "Model."

Step 4

Replace the battery and back cover on the phone. Charge the phone completely and then turn off the phone.

Step 5

Bring the phone to a location within the Cricket coverage area, not within an area where Cricket can be accessed via another service provider's network. Consult the Cricket coverage map for the best location.

Step 6

Call Cricket customer service (1-800-CRICKET 800-274-2538). Give the representative the active account information, ask to switch the account service to the new phone and provide the ESN and model numbers.

Step 7

Turn on the phone when representative says to do so. Dial *228 and wait for the message on the screen to say that programming was successful before hanging up the call.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before purchasing a new phone, make sure that Cricket supports the feature capabilities of the phone.
  • Flashing a phone can damage the internal electronics if not done by someone trained in the process.