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Cricket Celebrates 20 Years in Wireless



    On March 17, 1999, Cricket Wireless opened its very first store in Chattanooga, TN.  Humble beginnings for a brand that now has more than 10 million customers and nearly 5000 store locations across the nation.


    As we approach the 20th birthday of Cricket I wanted to get back to our roots and talk to the people in that area who have been with us from the very beginning.  It is important to me to hear from them why they stuck with us for two decades and how they feel about us today.  So earlier this month, I hit the road and headed to Chattanooga for a visit with our first employees and a handful of our first customers to find out what has kept them loyal to our brand for the past 20 years.

    When I pulled up to the store, I was immediately greeted by two true Cricket originals—store manager Yvonne Crutcher and assistant manager Steve Moser.  We walked into the store, which was bustling with customers early on a Wednesday morning and observed our Chattanooga team in action as they provided an extraordinary experience to our customers who were asking questions about everything from availability of our wide range of devices and accessories to our affordable rate plans, and coverage that includes all 50 states, plus Mexico and Canada on eligible plans.

    During my time at the store I observed the team serving customers who were new to Cricket as well as customers who were there to pay a bill, upgrade their phone, purchase accessories, change rate plans and ask questions.  Whatever the case, it was clear that Yvonne, Steve and the Chattanooga team are pros at their job, which included providing these customers a memorable experience.

    I left them to their work and joined five of Cricket’s first customers for a conversation to get their insights on “Why Cricket?”  And more importantly, “How has Cricket earned their loyalty for two straight decades”?

    During my conversations with our 5 original customers, two comments really stood out for me.  

    The first was from Theresa Dedmon.  When I asked her how we earned her loyalty over the past 20 years, she said, “Yvonne, she is my girl, Yvonne is Cricket and Cricket is Yvonne.”  She continued, “I feel like Yvonne is more than just the contact for Cricket, I feel like we’ve made a connection and I know that I can always count on her. She’s got my back every time.”

    It was amazing to hear directly from a customer about the relationship that she has formed with Yvonne over the past 20 years and how that—combined with the quality of service and the value of our rate plans—is how Cricket continues to earn her loyalty.  


    The second comment that really stood out to me came from Otis Rumph, Jr. who said, “When I come in to the Cricket store, I’m treated with respect.  That means a lot to me.”  Otis then commented on how he could go to a competitor and get a phone and at times maybe even a better price, but like he said, “it’s more than money.” It’s the respect he gets from the employees at Cricket that has earned his loyalty for the past 20 years.


    In the end I was extremely proud to hear that while our customers know they can find a cell phone and a rate plan from a different carrier, they choose Cricket because of our people, the way they are treated and the value that Cricket provides them.  Thank you to all the people in Cricket nation that serve our customers and thank you to our more than 10 million customers for your loyalty. While we may count our customers in the millions, we serve them one at a time.  Thank you for being a part of our Cricket family!