So far I haven't heard of Cricket taken any action against customers who use hotspot feature with non-Cricket phones or with the third party tethering apps on Cricket phones.
It looks like Cricket's hotspot policy might be about to change. Yesterday a page appeared on the Cricket site that offered users on $50 or higher plans the ability to enable hotspot for an extra $10 per month. The links for enabling hotspot on the page where non-functional and the the page itself quickly disappeared. Lucky for us, prepaidmobilephonereviews.com grabbed a screenshot (reproduced above).
One user who called Cricket was told that the $10 hotspot option would be available in August. Perhaps AT&T is waiting to see if the FCC's new Net Neutrality rules are neutered by Republicans in Congress. The new rules, which were adopted last month, require Internet service providers, including mobile operators, to treat all types of data traffic equally without blocking or charging extra to pass packets for certain services. When the Net Neutrality rules went into effect on June 12, T-Mobile immediately removed its extra charges and limits on hotspot use. Sprint still charges extra for hotspot on Boost and Virgin Mobile but they give you extra data when you purchase hotspot access, which might make the practice more acceptable under net neutrality rules. If Net Neutrality does manage to survive, it will be interesting to see if the Cricket hotspot charge resurfaces and what, if any action, the FCC takes against it.
T-Mobile to Allow Hotspot on All Prepaid Plans With Data
Update: MetroPCS Now Including Free Hotspot With All Plans
Boost and Virgin Mobile Launch New, More Affordable Hotspot Add-Ons
Prepaid Operator Profile: Cricket Wireless (GSM)