Separately billed data roaming

Hi Ting!

My wife and I are loving Ting so far.  I have been spreading the word to family and friends, and most seem interested in Ting's model.  However, several people were uncomfortable/unhappy with the absolute lack of roaming data.  I realize that providing roaming data is very expensive, but wonder if some people would be willing to pay substantially more for it under certain conditions.  If your arrangement with Sprint doesn't preclude data roaming, perhaps you could add a separate billing category for it, and charge whatever is required to recoup what it costs Ting when people roam.  You could even make it a separately-enabled feature on the account management page.  Then if someone ABSOLUTELY needed it, they would have it, but would know ahead of time that 50MB would cost them $10 or whatever.

Just a thought...




  • Right now would not be a good time for this but Ting did have a world phone and hopefully they will get another. These phones are GSM capable and for roaming abroad it is cheaper to get a local GSM carrier or get a pre-paid carrier from the states like At&t go. I personally hacked an HTC Evo Desing and use At&t go when I am roaming in mexico for voice and Telcel for data. So I don't miss calls I have google voice as my main number and I just enable the number for my at&t gsm card when I travel. This makes it easy to txt using wifi for free. Rates are 25cents compare to $1 a minute for data I end up paying $40 for unlimited using telcel or I can use At&t go but it will cost more.

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  • Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the input.

    We probably won't do this. It not only adds complexity in the pricing model, it also adds ambiguity in what you're being billed for. Right now we don't have to get into arguments with customers about when and where they used their phone (within the US) because we treat all times of day and all locations the same.

    When carriers start charging differently based on where you are or when you are using your phone it adds room for debate around what should be billed at what rate ("I was in an area with great coverage, why are you charging for roaming?", Your coverage map says I have coverage here why did you charge extra", etc.).

    The other issue is that off-network usage takes longer to show up in your Dashboard and therefore affects how Alerts work and once again, that causes confusion for customers.

    I would never say never, but it's unlikely we'll add data roaming as an extra charge. That might mean Ting isn't right for some people and we're okay with that.

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  • I've been patiently waiting for my 2 year contract with Sprint to end at the end of this month so I could switch to Ting. I have a compatible device and the service would save me about $25 a month on my bill.

    But the one thing that may turn out to be a deal breaker is NO DATA ROAMING. I travel and process credit cards with my smartphone. Some of that time I notice I am roaming when I process the payment. I mean, it's only 5MB of roaming data a month on my Sprint bill (which is a very tiny amount in my view). Example: If Ting also had a 100MB roaming tier for $3 a month I would totally want it because I would still save money without any loss of service. Perhaps it would default to NO data roaming ($0 fee but no roaming data) but you could go into your dashboard and enable it when you needed it (and thus pay for it). Ting, can't you let those who want it pay for it?

    I checked with my credit card provider and they said I *must* have Internet access in order to accept a credit card. (I can't swipe the card with no data access then drive back into Sprint coverage to process the card). I don't think it would be good business to say "I can't accept your card because I have no signal on my phone." "Who do you have?" "Ting."

    If Ting would someday add data roaming then I could switch to Ting, because chances are I'd only be using the lowest tier of data roaming.

    As for people complaining, I for one realize that I actively use roaming data on Sprint. I know exactly how much I use and I accept that it is correct when I see it on my bill. I think most Ting users are the people who know what's going on with their plans and, if given the option, would pay for data roaming if it gave them data in areas where they otherwise would have none. No data means you can't even text with Google Voice. So your device would essentially be extremely restricted to only voice and simple texting (no MMS either) whenever roaming.

    It would also put my mind at ease when traveling to new places that I could at least get SOME kind of data. I would be pretty much dead in the water with NO Internet access at all. Who makes phone calls in 2013? I need data!

    The whole "roaming" thing is a farce anyway because if the providers had enough coverage we wouldn't need to roam in the first place. All of these providers putting caps on roaming is absurd because people do not WANT to roam they only roam because there is no coverage where they are at. I realize this is NOT Ting's fault and they can't fix where Sprint's towers are.

    I'm disappointed that these are the facts but will continue watching Ting for improvements.

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