If you're wondering "Will a Verizon phone work on Cricket?" – the answer is typically yes. Like other carriers offering BYOPs (bring your own phone plans), Cricket mobile allows users to use their own phone with the service. Cricket also offers its own pre-programmed phones that are compatible with a variety of other networks. They typically require six months of their service before their phones can unlock and transfer to another carrier. Using a phone you already own or acquired at a reduced price on the Cricket network saves on costs.
Test the Phone
Before you make an effort to unlock the phone, run a test to see if it's already unlocked. Borrow a SIM card from an active phone on a different network and insert the card into your phone. If the phone functions properly, it's already unlocked and ready for a Cricket plan. Most people are uncomfortable handing over their SIM card, so ask a trusted friend or relative to run this test.
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Some online software programs are also available for this, but any program charging a fee is a potential scam. You can also visit a Cricket mobile store and ask them to test the phone.
Unlock Verizon Phone for Cricket
The caveat to unlocking a Verizon phone for Cricket is that the Verizon contract obligations must first be fulfilled. If you're canceling Verizon service before your contract ends, they may require a penalty fee before allowing you to unlock the phone. If your contract obligations are fulfilled, unlocking the phone should be relatively easy.
To unlock a Verizon phone for Cricket, or for any other network, you simply call Verizon at 800-711-8300. You can also opt for an in-person visit to a Verizon store to unlock the phone. Using the phone system is frustrating at times.
Activate the Phone
After unlocking the phone, you can choose a Cricket plan and activate your old Verizon phone on the Cricket network. Cricket offers a variety of plans ranging from basic talk-and-text at a low cost with no data to high-use data plans for a higher fee. Cricket plans are prepaid and easy to refill as needed. The company promotes no annual plans, includes taxes in the pricing and doesn't charge overages.
The Cricket network has coverage similar to AT&T, which is extensive in metropolitan areas and less so in rural areas. Check their coverage map to ensure the plan is a good fit for your location.