Make note of referral status immediately when someone signs up for an account.

Cam Medlin

Perhaps this is not a widespread issue but it seems to have happened to people I have referred, where we both do not get the referral credit as expected.  Don't worry, Ting has always made it right for both parties for the ones I am aware of... but maybe there is a simpler solution?

I believe the problem is with keeping the referral in a browser cookie until purchase/activation... I think what happens is that someone uses the referral link, creates an account, but then either clears their browsing data or uses a different browser, computer, or device when they actually buy a Ting phone or activate a BYOD phone. 

Obviously the referral should not be fully credited until the person buys or activates a phone, but it seems like it would be pretty easy to note that the person has been referred once they create an account on the server side rather than leave it in a cookie on a single browser. Most people use multiple devices these days and especially with BYOD they may not realize that the referral credit they thought had been applied to their account isn't there anymore until after activating their first device.

Basically what I am suggesting is the way most referral programs work: a person uses a referral link → they sign up → the credit is attached to both accounts (but not yet applied) → then once the person who was referred does x (in this case buys/activates a phone) the credit is applied to both accounts.

Comments

37 comments

  • Comment author
    Rocky Hinten

    I have also thought this for quite a while.  I'm glad you got around to saying so.

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  • Comment author
    Permanently deleted user

    Thanks for the suggestion Cam, we'll take it into consideration.

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  • Comment author
    David Peart

    I'd suggest to look closely as well.  I just spoke with Ting about this and was told, sorry your out of luck.  They have to use the link correctly.  Not sure how you click on a link incorrectly, but that was the story no credit.

    The person I referred received no credit either and he had also referred some one else, got no credit and she didn't either.  So the three times I know of no one got any credit.

    Be very wary about referral credits, seems clicking the referral link is more complicated that you would expect.

     

    dave

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  • Comment author
    Cam Medlin

    Just to explain why it is a problem a little more. Basically what happens when someone clicks your referral link is that a Ting browser cookie is generated. One of the values in that cookie is your referral code (the part before "ting.com" in the link). It is not until the person buys a phone directly from Ting or activates a BYOD phone that the referral code stored in the cookie is recognized by the Ting system or servers.

    So, as you can imagine, there are a few of ways that referral might not go through:

    • The person uses your referral link, then clears their browser history prior to buying/activating a phone.
    • The person uses your referral link, then uses a different computer or device to buy/activate a phone.  I suspect this is why most referrals don't go through since most people use multiple devices.
    • The person uses your referral link but doesn't allow cookies in their browser or is browsing in "private/incognito" mode.

    Hopefully this will get changed, but in the mean time, if you are referring someone, tell them to make sure to use the link immediately prior to buying or activating a phone and that they must use a browser that allows cookies.

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  • Comment author
    Cesar Tolentino

    Or is it possible to put a "referral code" box similar to coupon code when buying stuff from internet.

    So 3 ways.

    When you buy a new device, at the end of the transaction before you hit the final sale or something there should be a "referral box"

    When you buy used, it should be the same thing?

    And when you bring your own, the first time you sign up. There should be a "referral box" and you only sign up once anyways so this box will go away after the sign up.

    In my case, i click a referral link, did not know how it works, finished the sign up, added two devices. And there is no credit. And that because I am in incognito mode.  Too bad, its a good program, but easily missed.

    Just my two cents.

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  • Comment author
    Cesar Tolentino

    If I may add one more, would it be possible that the referral code can be the phone number of the person who referred? It is easier to remember because it is their number. Easily track on the server side, since its a TING number. Work wonderful when you are doing a word of mouth referral, which in my case, Im so happy with TING that I sounds like a salesman in our 50 people firm.

    Thats all.

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  • Comment author
    Bruce Osborne

    Cesar,

    There are 4 phone numbers on my account. Which one would ting use for the referral credit? 

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  • Comment author
    Meda Saber

    I agree something definitely needs to be done and really it should be whatever link you used to create a TING account should create a pending credit, once you buy a phone you get the credit, who's going to buy a phone and not use the service just so they can get a credit that's only useful for Ting? A referral box would also be a huge help. Bruce it wouldn't need to matter in with the phone number as referral idea, Ting could make it so any number that's associated with your account would credit your account. There are so many ways to make this work right, I just refereed a co-worker and I'm hoping it all went right cause I want him to get the 25 bucks off. 

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  • Comment author
    Brennan V

    Thanks for your feedback Meda, we really appreciate it.

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  • Comment author
    Ted Samuel

    +1 to all of the above, but, also, could you all EXPLAIN this all better on the public side of the website?  I had to call twice to get my referral credit from the link I clicked (the 1st rep gave me wrong info ): & the person I got the referral from won't get credit at all!  Apparently, it has to do with the fact I made a Ting login several weeks before I brought over my cell service, & something (!) happened.  Though I was able to provide the original link to the rep, she still wasn't able to credit them for their great job of convincing me to check it out!

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  • Comment author
    Bruce Osborne

    Ted,

    P.S. Ting does not allow referral links on this forum.

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  • Comment author
    Ted Samuel

    Sorry about the Netiquette snafu.... where's the edit button?!

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  • Comment author
    Bruce Osborne

    Either call/email Ting support or wait for a Ting staff member to find it.

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  • Comment author
    Rob Lake

    Don't worry about calling.

    I got it for you :)

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  • Comment author
    Rob Lake

    I removed all of the other text where you were speaking about the link since it didn't really make sense without it.

    Cheers

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  • Comment author
    Ted Samuel

    Thanks!

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  • Comment author
    Rocky Hinten

    Yeah, this is the only bad thing I have still found about Ting is the referral link process relying on a browser cookie is ridiculous and failure-prone.  I just had a friend mention that he had gotten his first Ting bill.  I said, "What? Why didn't you use the referral link I sent you?"  He said he had used it, but apparently it didn't take for some reason.  He was going to call up Ting to try to get that fixed.

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  • Comment author
    David Peart

    Rocky,

    I agree 100% the entire referral thing appears on the surface to be a nice bait-n-switch scam. I've had several people join using my referral link and it hasn't worked once.  Calling after the fact you just get told your SOL.  Currently I don't even give it out anymore as the whole thing just frustrates me.  I've explained all the caveats that go along with it to people and they can't believe it either.  So maybe mission accomplished?  I'd like to think not . . .

    How to make it easier?  Allow the new user to just enter my email when they sign up.  Done, simple, easy to understand.  You could even verify that the email address matches an account on file, though that could be exploited to figure out people's account names if you're not careful.

     

    dave

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  • Comment author
    Cam Medlin

    As I started this thread, I want to say that I don't believe Ting is trying to scam anyone - it definitely works if the person uses your link immediately prior to signing up and buying/activating a phone on a computer that allows cookies.  It just could be better implemented.

    In the mean time, I tell people is to use the link immediately prior to opening an account and buying a new phone, or if they are going the BYOD route to use the link immediately prior to activating their BYOD phone because those 2 things (buying a new phone or activating a BYOD phone) are what make the referral go through and get posted.  I also tell them to make sure they are not in "private" or "incognito" mode.

    I hope that helps.  

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  • Comment author
    Rocky Hinten

    Cam, this is to you in serious mode: "Those are really good ideas for getting it to work."

    Now switching to sarcasm mode to make a point for Ting: "Yes, let's provide people a list of complicated directions and workarounds that we have to give our friends as part of the referral so that it has a chance of working."

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  • Comment author
    David Peart

    and make sure there is no feedback at all as to whether the referral worked. . .

    I love Ting, and recommend it to everyone.  I save > $100 every month on my five lines I have with Ting vs Sprint.

    If this one thing got fixed, I'd be 100% happy.  After talking about the virtues of Ting I feel it majorly detracts from the message to say, "Hey if you use my personal referral link we can both get a discount", followed by 3 minutes of legalize fast talk explaining all the caveats of actually getting the referral link to work. 

    I don't tell them about the promotion as I feel it makes Ting look amateurish and this is what I'm trying to avoid as I explain Ting's virtues beyond cost savings.  Great customer service, no contracts, no limits on what you want to do with your phone, etc.  A lot of people are risk averse and will not switch to a cell phone company that is not "one of the big ones".

    dave

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  • Comment author
    Rocky Hinten

    That's a good point about "amateurish".  It looks pretty bad as a first impression, and first impressions in business are huge.

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  • Comment author
    Rocky Hinten

    I feel kind of bad being so negative about this issue, but like you said, it is really the only thing about Ting that is not excellent.  I guess that's a compliment.

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  • Comment author
    Samantha C

    Hey all, Thanks to everyone who took the time to add feedback here, we are looking into ways of making this process easier and more reliable. 

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  • Comment author
    Gary Chace

    Is there any update on the status of this issue.  I'd like to refer a friend but don't want to have to explain the details of getting the referral to work.  I'm afraid that would just scare them away from Ting as they are totally clueless when it comes to computers. 

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  • Comment author
    Bruce Osborne

    I agree. I just referred a friend last week. Neither one of us know whether it actually applied.

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  • Comment author
    Felipe S

    No update yet, but we're exploring different ways to improve the RAF program. We'll make an announcement as soon as we have news to share  :)

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  • Comment author
    Stephen Trottier

    I've been taking up Ting like crazy to a friend. They decided to go for it. I gave my referral link to them in an email. They have since created an account and activated a phone. I assume they used the link correctly, but I don't know. Expecting someone to use the same computer for both account creation and activation, to have cookies both enabled AND set to not be cleared at the end of a session...all this is a little much. What if they used the link to sign up but then saw there was an iOS or Android app and used that for the device activation? So far I have zero notification from Ting that my friend signed up or activated a device and no communication from Ting about the referral. I'm afraid my friend will have a poor first impression of Ting if the referral doesn't work.

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  • Comment author
    Bruce Osborne

    Stephen,

    Get your friend's Ting phone number ot the email address used on their account. Call Ting support and they can be sure the credit gets applied.

    I just did this on my recent referral when I did not see my referral credit when my card was billed.

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  • Comment author
    Jason Berman

    Has this thread been addressed? Seems like an opportunity to improve the reward system is languishing in the comments.

    If Ting really wants to leverage 'word of mouth' marketing, it needs to have a rock solid tracking program in place so that those singing its praises the loudest get communicated with & rewarded for their support. If it makes sense to have a referral program in the first place, Ting should make sure it works well.

    I'll add (and the original reason I got on here) I'd like to see hit counters on referral links. I'd like to know how many times my unique identifier gets clicked. If I post a link that gets shared, clicked, spread around... I'd like to see results from clicks. Improvement in the referral process would generate positive ROI.

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