Guarantee that device alerts that suspend data won't be exceeded by more than 100 MB

Right now it's a guessing game when setting up device alerts that suspend data. Ting doesn't cut off data until a session is over, so should I set my device alert to 50 MB less than the next pricing tier or 500 MB less than the next pricing tier?

This bit me when my kid managed to blow through her device data cap by 422 MB before her account was disabled. This is despite everything being setup correctly in Ting with device alerts.

What I think Ting should do is not count data that exceeds a cap by more than 100 MB. This would give customers a way to set things up reliably. After all, it's not like Ting pricing tiers are squishy, so why should Ting have squishy data caps?

 
 
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  • Right now, the data Ting uses for the alerts may be delayed, many times until after the usage session has ended.

    If the network partners do not provide the information, I do not see how Ting could make that guarantee.

    You could hit the alert threshold 1MB into a large > 100mb) download. If the data is delayed until the session id finished, and the partner charges for this data usage, Ting cannot make that guarantee and still maintain their fee transparency.

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  • re: Bruce Osborne's comment. The way Ting would make that guarantee is to not charge if data use goes more than 100 MB over a data cap the customer sets. In other words, when the alert kicks in, it would:

    - disable cell data on the phone

    - once disabled, check to see if data use on the device was over 100MB more than where the cap was set at

    - If so, report to the user and billing system that data usage on the device was exactly 100MB more than charge

    Consider how other cell companies work when you buy a plan- they say "you get 1 GB per month of data". They don't say "you get 1 GB of data per month plus we'll charge you for whatever you use over 1 GB up until we can figure out how to cut off your phone". That's what Ting is doing.

    So long as Ting is setting hard limits on data tiers they need to give customers a way to set hard limits on data use. The current setup means customers and customer service have to suffer with uncertainty due to a quirk in the system. The burden of system quirks should be assumed by Ting, not customers.

     

     

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  • Ting would not be able to disabe until they get the information from their provider. If you used 200MB extra, then Ting would need to raise their rates to hide the extra 100MB they need to pay their provider.

    One main Ting philosophy is transparency & no hidden charges. That is why Ting does not offer "unlimited". If they did so, lower usage users would need to pay higher rates to cover the extra provider costs.

    It will be interesting to see what Ting's staff says on this.

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  • Their help currently says to set your data cap 25 or 50 MB below the next data tier, but that isn't reliable and leads to user and support team frustration. The reason I posted this suggestion is that Ting product support asked me to- they said they get complaints about this issue all the time and they very much liked the predictability of a 100 MB cutoff cap. I understand this change would cost Ting a little bit, but I'm guessing it would be well worth it in terms of their support costs and increased user satisfaction. I don't think the cost would be significant given that I'm still suggesting a full 100 MB buffer. Frankly, I'd rather the buffer was 0 MB, but concern about costs to Ting is why I suggested 100 MB. At least at 100 MB they could offer prescriptive guidance to users as to where to set their cutoffs.

    I'm also eager to hear what Ting program management says. Hopefully they take the underlying issue seriously and address it, even if they prefer a different mechanism than I suggested.

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  • Also know that Usage Alerts (turning data back on at the start of the billing period when data limit set had maxed) takes precedence over "Device Settings - Data Disabled"!

    I had Disabled my son's Data, but today was a new billing period and data was turned on (makes no sense to me!) he blew through 380 MB of data today (and 80 MB over his data cap).

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  • Hey guys, sorry for the late reply here. You both make a ton of great points and I'd like to start off by saying this idea has been brought to our development team several times and we are absolutely concerned with making usage alerts serve our users better. The last meeting I attended I brought it up personally and a lot of the factors restricting us from real-time alerts are exactly what Bruce stated. Network recording takes some time to relay back to us so we can't limit things immediately. Also, In a scenario where you are receiving a software update, it could corrupt your device.

    In regards to a buffer, we actually already have one that covers 5% before you enter a new usage level. The best way to ensure your usage alerts aren't being hurdled by a long session is to limit the kind of data consumption you are doing. If you are watching videos, looking at gifs, or streaming music it's very likely that you will surpass your alert without knowing. I know this isn't ideal and you should very well be able to browse as you wish without worrying but if you want to stay within your data bracket I'd recommend limiting data-heavy operations to Wifi.

    Most importantly we are working to find a solution that will serve users more effectively. Usage alerts are important and we want them to work flawlessly and without any legwork or oversight on your end. We don't have any specifics as of yet but going forward we will be sure to let you know when we have a solid replacement. 

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