Saturday, December 13, 2014

Buying A Phone From Cricket wireless (AIO) - Stop and Read This First

I can't even remember how many times I talked about how much better it is to leave behind phone contracts and switching to a prepaid plan.
To recap, here's why:

1. You can switch carriers anytime without having to pay ETF or being stuck with a locked phone.
2. Prepaid packages run cheaper than any contract plan you are on.
3. If you are with a CDMA network that would make it impossible to use your phone with a GSM carrier even if you get the phone unlocked.
4. You have the ability to sell your phone at any point without waiting for your contract to end or pay more for any early upgrade program your carrier might offer.
After my Samsung Galaxy Note I N700 died on me I was stuck trying to find a budget phone to buy and that's when I decided to buy the Motorola Moto G (2013) from Cricket wireless because it was offered for $150 at that time, they also had a rebate program which offers you $50 mail in rebate.

The phone was advertised as the 4G/LTE version which sounded weird because the Moto G 4G was not yet released at this point but I made sure to call Cricket wireless a few times before buying the phone to make sure and all of the agents I spoke to assured me it is the 4G/LTE Moto G.

Motorola then was selling the Moto G unlocked for $180 but I decided to go with the one from Cricket Wireless for 2 reasons: 1- it was cheaper at $100 2- it was 4G/LTE.

When I went to buy the phone from the store I was told that there is a $25 upgrade fee because i'm an existing Cricket customer and after tax and everything the phone cost me around $180, I was still happy with the deal because I still had the 4G/LTE and they promised the phone can be unlocked 4 months after activation.

When I went home I discovered that the Moto G I had was the XT-1032 which is the normal 3G variant, I was so disappointed and called many times to complain but no one in Cricket did anything about it.

Since I had already gave up my backup phone I was stuck with the Moto G I bought because if I had returned it and bought the unlocked one from Motorola it would have taken sometime until I receive it, so I decided to wait and see what Cricket would do about miss-selling the phone as the 4G/LTE but in the end no one cared or even apologized.

After getting the phone unlocked I just realized that the Moto G I bought from Cricket has a locked bootloader which means you can't change the software (i.e upgrade to lollipop unofficially).

I tried to call twice yesterday to ask whether Cricket will push Android Lollipop or not and was informed that the updates will come from Motorola so I contacted Motorola and they assured me that the OTA update is the responsibility of the carrier which is Cricket which clearly means that neither Motorola nor Cricket wireless is working on an update for my XT-1032.

Now I'm stuck with an overpriced phone running Kitkat 4.4.2 with no hopes of an update to Lollipop or even unofficial Lollipop because of the bootloader lock.

To summarize I will never buy a phone from a carrier ever again, it's always better to buy the unlocked phone from the manufacturer because then I can always get support and updates.