Incentive Program: Free Ting to Ting

First of all, as of today I am a proud Ting member, having left my old service, and bringing both my mom and dad over to Ting as well. Eventually, I will be bringing my wife over to Ting as well once our 4th phone comes. I love everything about Ting, it's offerings, it's employees, and the savings I'll get being on Ting.

I've been an unofficial word of mouth sales rep for Ting ever since I learned about Ting myself, and one thing that many of the people point out to me over and over again is that; while it's great to bring your whole family onto the same plan; there's a inherent drawback in that family members talking to one another will in essence be using twice the minutes, and texts than if you just called a friend. This is a turn off for families who enjoy keeping in touch with one another as much as their friends, and relatives because they feel it's a double edged sword for the whole family to be on Ting at the same time.

Many of the major providers offer free mobile to mobile if the users of part of the same service as an incentive. So, my suggestion is, why not provide the same? It would be a great incentive for loyal Ting members, and provide families even more incentive to all move to Ting together. I know at least three families who I've spoken to over the past month who have stated that one of the reasons that they'd rather stay on one of the larger providers over moving to Ting is because they can talk to each other for free to lower the amount of minutes they use each month. They don't like the hassle of having to monitor their minutes so much talking to family which is important.

If not free mobile to mobile for all Ting members, maybe even limit it to everyone in the same plan that can call and text one another for free; or just voice as a bare minimum. I see this as a huge opportunity for Ting to bring in way more customers, as it's a sentiment echoed by many, and I already know three families who I'm sure would switch in a heartbeat if that incentive was in place like what the major carriers are offering.

What does everyone think?

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Comments

22 comments
  • Trust me, I'm moving my whole family to Ting, and even going from in plan family free, to paying double minutes, Ting is much cheaper. Just use the plans page to calculate the cost.

     

    That said, Ting to Ting would surely grow their customer base significantly. Of course, they would then have to raise their rates. How's that for a double edged sword?

    I live in NH, and a lot of MA families get sick of all the taxes, so they move to tax free NH. Then they complain that we don't have all the services they have in MA... *sigh

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  • "Why not provide the same?"

    Because this is Ting, we pay for what we use, no freebies, no bullshit. I am really not in favor of any type of gimmicks such as free mobile-to-mobile because in reality it is not free. It is paid for one way or another (or else the provider would not be profitable). I like Ting just the way it is. I vote no on adding this particular complication to the billing structure.

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  • @Curtis:  Very well said!

    Thanks...

    That is what I love about Ting.  Straight forward, transparent, no BS.

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  • I also, somewhat reluctantly, vote "no".  As to your "three families who would switch in a heartbeat", I think Ting's rates are something of an IQ test.  Unless people routinely spend HOURS AND HOURS daily (someone would have to calculate the break-even point) on mobile-to-mobile, Ting is almost always going to come out SO much lower that you'd have to be stupid not to appreciate it.

     

    Really, even the cheap all-you-can-eat guys charge at least $40-$50 PER PHONE.  Ting just adds 6 bucks!

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  • I think people are being a little harsh here.  Ting's plans are not the best deal for everyone.  Some people really DO talk for hours and hours on the phone every day or use 5gb/month of data.  It's actually not that uncommon.  And for them, Ting is not a good deal.  

    For the large majority of mobile customers, Ting is a fantastic deal, but some people really are better off with an unlimited plan, or at least will be as long as there doesn't become an adverse selection problem.  That would require a substantial shift towards models like Ting and away from the buffet models of almost every other carrier though.

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  • Curtis said it well. :) In a nutshell, we'd have to charge a lot more to provide free Ting-to-Ting calls or family plans.

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  • But Peter, is that really true?  As you probably know, there's never such a thing as "unlimited" -- at the very least, the carriers throttle high volume users.

     

    http://gigaom.com/mobile/there-are-limits-to-sprints-unlimited-plan-after-all/

     

    I would be interested if someone less lazy than I were to run the numbers and see what the break-even point would be versus a few "unlimited" plans.  :)

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  • I was mostly thinking of unlimited voice actually, since it's what kept my mom off Ting.  She's a lawyer and spends 2hrs+ on the phone every day and would by herself be past the XXL bucket.  

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  • I have a family member on an "unlimited" prepaid. When I run the numbers on it, Ting comes out as a better deal if I combine said family member with a couple of others and creatively pool the money. But on his own, with actual usage numbers, Ting would be slightly more expensive than he's currently paying most months. Much of the extra cost is actually due to the various taxes being extra, instead of the prepaid provider eating them in favor of a flat rate.

    It really is nuts how much some people use the phone.

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  • Thanks for the response, Peter.   Seems that Ting's rate would cost her $70 at 2 hours/day (30 days), or $112 for 3 hours/day (30 days).  High, but not crazy-high.  What carrier/plan did she end up with?

     

    Yeah, Trevor, the easy ad hoc "family plan" / everything is shared nature of Ting makes it hugely attractive over most of the other MVNOs, where you're paying the fixed "unlimited" $40 or $50 fee PER PHONE.

     

    We still have a home (VoIP) phone line, so Ting still saves us money even with one phone.  I mean, Verizon's overages alone were in the triple digits for us most months.

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  • She's currently on Verizon with an iphone 4s that's under contract. Also on the plan are a few other people including my brother who uses 3gb+ a month (grandfathered unltd plan). They pay a total of about $225 a month.

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  • Interesting.  On the Ting calculator I set 5 phones, 7200 minutes (4 hours voice/day), and 4 GB, and I get $251.50.  3 hours voice/day and 3.5 GB brings it down to $204.  So even here it sounds as if you're pretty close.  :)

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  • I think Ting is avoiding the slippery slope that is involved with free family and anything else "free".  Keep in mind Ting takes the stance of cheap as we can be for everything and no gimmicks.  Ting pays Sprint for ALL minutes.  In order to give free family they would have to raise the per minute rate for EVERYONE to cover the cost.  Now we are getting into gimmics that cost everyone to please  a portion of the customer base.  If you give everyone your lowest rate then nobody is subsidising someone else's usage. I've talked to people that say they use 10GB data per month.  I would have them do the number before choosing Ting in that case.  An unlimited plan might be the cheapest for them.  In my case I have 4 phones on my plan and we use a total of 500MB data combined.  We only use it for email and GPS.  With Ting I save a TON on data.  Unlimited sms might be better for me because my 2 teenagers (16 years old today) go through thousands, but it all evens out to my advantage using Ting.

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  • Keith, I would love to hear about someone using 10 GB per month consistently (on the phone itself no less) and not getting "kicked".  Even Sprint "unlimited" severely reduces the bandwidth for top users (or maybe that's only when roaming), and has a hard limit (5 GB) for both hotspots and "Phone as Modem" tethering...

     

    Honestly, I love "unlimited" as much as the next person, but it's so rare to actually get it.  At least Ting is mostly honest about what you're getting, WITHOUT raping you when you go "over".

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  • It was a Verizon employee if I remember correctly.  They recently came up with a shared data plan and I was curous about it.  They tried to sell me their new plan for $260/mo.  I am currently paying $100/mo.  When I said no thank you they said "is it only about money".  I said no.  Ting is cheaper AND has better customer service.  Then he responds "so why wont you change today".  I rolled my eyes and left.

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  • Hah!  I too was curious about the new (finally) VZ shared data plans, but had already decided on Ting by that point.  Your story is pretty much what I was expecting in terms of continued customer rapage.  Verizon's got serious Cadillac pricing mentality -- even FiOS has become way overpriced.  Thanks.

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  • I just ran my numbers (Verizon family plan, grandfathered in at 1400 minutes, unlimited text/messaging, NO DATA), and the bulk of our minutes is from 'freebies' of Verizon to Verizon and nights/weekend while we are 40% under in billable minutes. Basically, for our particular use pattern, Ting is more expensive.  Love the idea of Ting, but we'll have to figure out a way to NOT use unlimited M2M minutes before signing up.  Given that the bulk of our monthly minutes is talking to family (and family outside the state also on Veirzon), that may be sort of difficult to curtail.  So I would vote yes on the family talk free idea within the same account (not Ting2Ting). I think a monthly surcharge would be reasonable.

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  • Hi Steve,

    While Ting will save most people money, we acknowledge that there are cases such as your own where that isn't the case. Right now I don't see free Ting-to-Ting calls happening for the reasons stated above, but we will keep cases such as yours in mind for future consideration.

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  • I switched from Verizon with 4 smart Phones and a home phone connect with unlimited talk text and 4GB of Data which ran me $240/m switching to Ting We're averaging far less. We have two phones still on contract with Verizon but the two smart phones and the home phone connect is only running us $54/m once we move over the last two phones based on their usage we will only be at around $89/m.

    The only thing that can be a pain is we seem to get double texts a lot which eats away our texts.

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  • This feature request has already been answered in this thread, but I think those who are still curious may benefit by hearing Ting's thoughts from Scott Allan, Director of Ting.

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  • For those who may be unable to see Brennan's link, please find the video on YouTube.

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  • Iphones solve the concern of doubling up minutes! 

    Just chiming in here to say that Facetime audio is a great way to have free talk over wifi between iphones, without any hassle of setting up google talk or any other voip.  As is imessage.  The data usage on imessage is minimal for text-only messages.  I have to keep photo messages in check as they can easily come in at 2 MB or more per message. 

    Caveat though, using facetime over data would get costly...

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