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What is the difference between a charge and an authorization?

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Last updated by Christian Robinette

What is a charge?

A charge is when Ting collects payment from your debit card or credit card for services rendered or goods supplied. The two types of charges you will encounter with Ting are monthly bill payments for cellphone service and device purchases from our shop page.

What is an authorization hold?

An authorization hold (also referred to as a card authorization, preauthorization, or pre-auth) is our way of verifying electronic transactions initiated with your debit card or credit card and holding this balance as unavailable until the merchant clears the transaction (or the hold falls off).

How much are authorizations?

For Monthly billing

When you add or update the method of payment on your account, you will see a $1 pre-authorization hold on your statement. Ting is not charging you $1 for updating your card, but rather verifying that the card is valid for monthly billing. If you attempt to update your account with multiple cards, you will see multiple $1 preauths on your statement, all of which will be reversed by your bank.

For Device Purchases

Device purchases will generate a pre-authorization for the full amount of the purchase plus taxes, i.e., if a device costs $198.22, we will pre-authorize your card for the amount of $198.22. If the card passes these checks, the issuing bank will place a hold on funds for the amount of the purchase.

When do we perform an authorization?

Monthly Billing 

As soon as you add or update the card on file we perform an authorization. Ting will only charge your card 3-5 days after your billing cycle closes for regular usage accrued during your billing month. We will send you an email as soon as your card is charged for usage. 

Device Purchases/Shipments 

As soon as you complete a purchase on ting.com we will perform an authorization. Your card will not be charged for the cost of the purchase until the order leaves our warehouse. You will receive an email as soon as this happens.

You will see this reflected in the billing history section of the customer's account.

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You can click on the hyperlinked Device purchase for more information:

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When the order is charged to your card, it might appear as if you were charged twice but one of the transactions showing on your statement is simply a pre-authorization, which the bank will reverse.

Replacement Phones

Should we need to replace a Ting phone for you within your warranty period we would place an authorization for the value of the replacement phone shipped out. The reason for this is that we prefer to send the replacement out to you before we get back the original phone. Pre-authorizing allows us to do so and this way you receive your replacement before you send back the original. This authorization is placed for 24 hours on our end and is visible in the Billing history section of your account in 3 stages:

1. It will show as pending

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2. It will then show the dollar value of the replacement phone

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3. It will then show as $0.00 when the hold is removed

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When does the pre-authorization drop off?

In the case of debit cards, authorization holds fall off the account in as many as 30 days after the transaction date depending on the bank's policy. The funds would be unavailable during this period. In the case of credit cards, holds generally take 3-5 days, depending on the issuing bank. Ting cannot accelerate this process.

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