Cintex Wireless is a phone carrier that gives free monthly service to low-income consumers. Once eligible, the service provider will also send you a free smartphone or flip phone to use with your monthly plan. However, is the phone you get any good? And in case not, can I get a Cintex Wireless replacement phone for free?
Technically, YES, you could get a free Cintex Wireless replacement phone. However, the freebie isn’t available to everyone. For some, you’ll have to pay a minimum replacement fee or the full price of the device.
What’s a Cintex Wireless Replacement Phone?
First, Cintex Wireless is an eligible telecommunication carrier (ETC). As an ETC, it has the license to operate as a lifeline phone provider with free service. Then, the government will reimburse $9.25 ($34.25 on Tribal lands) for each subscriber.
While this government subsidy only covers the monthly service, Cintex Wireless still sends a free phone to eligible consumers. If the free phone you receive has a defect, you can “replace” or exchange it for a similar model.
The defect can be physical damage like a broken screen, damaged battery, or charging problems. It can also be technical issues to do with firmware, such as freezing on startup, not being able to read SIM cards, or being unable to call.
Besides a malfunction/ defect, other situations you may want to get a Cintex Wireless replacement phone include:
- Network incompatibility
Network incompatibility occurs when your current phone doesn’t work on the Cintex Wireless service. The incompatibility can be the phone doesn’t have the network bands to tap into its Carrier Network.
For instance, the Carrier Network of Cintex is T-Mobile. Thus, the phone you get should have primary network bands 12 and 71, plus 2/ 4 / 5/ 66 for 4G LTE. Then bands N71/ N41/ N258/ N260/ N261 for 5G connectivity.
Furthermore, you can only use Cintex Wireless with its branded phones or fully-unlocked ones. Some T-Mobile (locked) phones can also work on Cintex.
- Lost/ Stolen Phone
Another time you can apply for a Cintex Wireless replacement phone is when the previous device got lost. It could be either lost after misplacing or someone snatched it from your hand or purse.
- Old/ Outdated Phone
Lastly, you can replace your Cintex Wireless phone if the previous one doesn’t meet your needs performance-wise.
Similar to most Lifeline providers, Cintex offers devices that are a few years old on their free offer. The device you get could be a high-end brand like that on the AirTalk Wireless free government phone program.
However, Cintex Wireless no longer has a wide catalog of phones to choose from, like its stepsister AirTalk. The company now lets you choose either a Nokia C200 or a Generic smartphone/ flip phone. So, you may need to replace it with something more powerful to make the most of your free monthly service.
Also, the free phones that Cintex is sending are all 4G LTE options. To take advantage of the new 5G connectivity, you’ll need to replace the LTE phone with a 5G-capable one.
Is the Cintex Wireless Replacement Phone Same as the Upgrade Phone
In many cases, we tend to use the terms upgrade phone and replacement phone interchangeably. However, “upgrade phone” is where you get a phone with more features and capabilities than your old device.
The upgrade phone necessarily doesn’t have to be brand-new to be an “upgrade phone”. A preowned or refurbished/ reconditioned phone still qualifies as an upgrade if it has more features than your old one.
Another thing, we can consider an “upgrade phone” a replacement since you’re replacing an old device without your desired features or performance. But not every replacement phone is an upgrade.
A Guide on How to Get a Cintex Wireless Replacement Phone
Like most Lifeline providers of the free government phone, there are multiple ways to get a Cintex Wireless replacement phone. The best method for you depends on the reason you’re replacing your device:
Method 1:Get Cintex Wireless Replacement Phone for FREE
The first method you can get a Cintex Wireless replacement phone is for free. However, you can only qualify for a free replacement if the previous phone has a manufacturer defect.
The manufacturer defect is where the problem came with your phone, and not that occurred from your abuse. If the defect is from your abuse or tampering (tried re-flashing, jailbreaking, or unauthorized repairs), that usually voids the warranty. And voiding the warranty will automatically disqualify you from the free replacement.
Cintex Wireless offers its phones with a 15-day warranty policy. Although a short return window, fifteen days is quite enough to test your phone and inspect for any damage.
Also, the 15-day warranty window for a FREE replacement starts from the day you receive the phone. If you apply for a replacement outside this window, you’ll have to pay a minimum fee.
How to Apply Cintex Wireless Replacement Phone for FREE
If your Cintex Wireless phone shows/ develops defects within the 15-day warranty period, you can easily apply for a FREE replacement as follows:
- Contact the Cintex Wireless Support team at +1 (855) 655-3097. You can also email the support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do know Cintex customer support team is usually available 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. CST on Monday through Friday. Then, on Saturday you can contact them between 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. CST.
- When you get hold of a representative, provide the details of your Cintex account to prove the ownership
- Once the Cintex customer rep verifies your details, she will ask about the issue with your phone. She will try to take you through various troubleshooting steps to solve the issue. But you can tell her you’ve tried all that to jump to the next step
- The next step, after all troubleshooting fails, the Cintex agent will start processing your phone replacement request. She will send a Return Authorization email with an RMA (return merchandise authorization) number.
- Print a hard copy of the RMA number received in Step 4. You’ll need the number to send your defective phone back to Cintex.
- Start preparing the defective Cintex Wireless phone for return. To prepare, disable all activation locks (like “Find My iPhone”) and factory reset to erase all data.
- After a successful reset, pack the defective phone in the original box it came in. Also, remember to include all the other accessories that came with the device.
- Put the packaged phone (and accessories) in a shipping box. Then, secure the box nicely with tape.
- Now, stick the RMA copy you printed in Step 5 on the top of the shipping box.
- Finally, mail the box of your defective phone to the Cintex Wireless return address. The return address usually comes in the email with the RMA label.
Once Cintex Wireless receives your returned phone, they will inspect it to make sure everything is as supposed to be. If the device meets the requirements, they’ll start processing a replacement.
The free Cintex Wireless phone replacement you receive will be a similar model to your return. But those returning the free phone given with Lifeline service may receive a different model if the original isn’t available.
Method 2: Get a Cintex Wireless Replacement Phone at a Standard FEE
The second way you can get a Cintex Wireless replacement phone is at a fixed standard fee. It’s applicable where:
- You report your defective phone outside the return window
- The defects/ damage to your old phone occurred from your hands
- You have lost the old phone by either misplacing/ someone stole
In case of a lost/ stolen phone, Cintex requires you to report to customer care at +1 (855) 655-3097. The customer care representative will suspend your account to make sure no one will use your monthly service allowance.
As for the proceeding, you can get a Cintex Wireless replacement phone by paying a minimum standard fee of $25. The company insists the device is still free, as this minimum fee is for the shipping and handling costs.
Method 3: Get a Cintex Wireless Replacement Phone on Upgrade Catalog
Another way you can get a replacement phone from Cintex Wireless is to shop from their Upgrade catalog. Of course, the Cintex Wireless upgrade phone catalog is no longer as extensive as it was earlier before. But it does have a few iPhones and Samsung phones.
All the upgrade phones available at the moment are certified-refurbished brands, albeit super cheap to own (cost $29 – $79).
Method 4: Get a Cintex Wireless Replacement Phone with BYOP
Lastly, you can replace your Cintex Wireless phone through its BYOP (bring your own phone) program. It’s the best option if you’d like to make the most of your service with the phone brand you love.
For example, you can choose to bring the latest phone with 5G connectivity, a faster processor, wider screen, more storage, or all.
It may also be handy to have a device with eSIM support. Just keep in mind Lifeline providers (not just Cintex Wireless) don’t support eSIM activation yet.
Speaking of activation, the Cintex Wireless compatibility checker is very friendly, as they even accept international devices. You’ll only have to make sure the BYOP device is fully unlocked since the online checker doesn’t check that.
Whichever situation may be, that’s how you can get a Cintex Wireless replacement phone. If you’d like to redeem the free replacement, the policy is to pass a request to Cintex customer support within fifteen days.
In case you miss the 15-day return window, you’ll have to pay the standard $25 fee to replace the phone. The fee applies to all situations of a phone defect/ damage, network incompatibility, lost/ stolen, or old/ outdated.
That said, a Cintex Wireless replacement phone through the BYOP is still the best option. It allows you to choose the phone to use. Then, you’ll not have to wait the 7 – 10 days that Cintex takes to process your return.