How is Ting's pricing working for you so far?

(Disclosure ... I do not work for Ting, but I am an early beta tester, and look forward to being a reseller).

I was wondering how others were faring with Ting's pricing?

So far it has been very good to me. It has turned a $105/month phone bill into $35!  (both with taxes, etc.)

However, there are a few caveats about that number. Looking at what Sprint sells a Photon for, with a two year plan, I see that I've paid $450 more for the phone to buy it outright instead of having it subsidized. So the first 7 months of my $70/month savings will go towards offsetting that cost. Still, after that, $70/month is a nice savings! 

Ting Two Year Total: $550(phone) + ($35 x 24) = $1390.

Verizon Two Year Total  $100(phone) + ($105 x 24) = $2620.

Another consideration is the loss of my "unlimited" mobile data plan. I have had to actually think about how much data I use and I've made changes to my phone's settings accordingly, to save on Mobile data. My situation and needs will not match everyone's. I am at home, or in an office with WiFi, 95% of the time, so that takes a huge bite out of my mobile data usage (make sure to set Advanced WiFi settings to Never Sleep), so that it doesn't switch back to mobile data unless WiFi is unavaiable). Next, I set several "data-hog" apps, such as Facebook, so that they do not automatically update. Only apps like Google Voice are allowed to use data without me opening the program. For me, Email also has automatic synching off, because most of the time, I'm at my home office, on my computer, seeing emails instantly almost all day. I manually check email on my phone only once or twice a day, if I'm out of the office for more than half an hour, to see if there is a reason to rush back to the office. That may not work for others.

The bottom line of all this is that I seem to be able to fit in the "S" data plan (100MB) most months, with an occasional bump into "M" (500MB). I know a lot of people, especially sales reps who live on the road, who will NOT be able to live within such small data use limits.

Similarly, and for similar reasons, my call minutes are also very low, and I fit the S plan for that most months. 

Another caveat about the $70/month savings is that when I go on vacation, my mobile data usage will likely be MUCH higher. Still, even if I I bump into XXL (3000MB), and have to pay an extra $57 that month, that's a small price to pay for saving $70 every other month of the year!

So how has it worked for you? Is Ting saving you money? Have you had to adjust the way you use your phone, or your phone's settings?

0

Comments

37 comments
  • Not with it long enough to say. Never had a data plan, don't text, and most of my phone calls are utilitarian - plus have a land line and VOIP, so cell's not my prime talk vehicle. But there are times where it's important to go online, seeing as I do computer work remotely. Wifi is increasingly available, except where it's not. Where it would be hard to rationalize the $100 a month that a phone with a data plan would run (as compared to the $40 I was formerly paying for just voice), what sold me on Ting is the prospect that for about what I was paying for voice I can have data in more places. Plus the price of the phone, of course. But it fills the gap in my computer collection that where my Zaurus clamshell used to be, so that's partly a separate budget.

    I do have one question though: Cell service for the self-employed contractor can't be written off on taxes as a business expense. But can a smartphone be written off as business equipmement? Not that I'd take advice here as authoritative, but if anyone's found a writeup elsewhere that is, I'd appreciate the link.3

    Anyway, in preliminary use of 3G/4G on the road, it looks like it doesn't burn the bytes too fast for the sort of business uses I have. If I were streaming videos I'm sure it could get spendy fast. But neither my phone nor my laptop is the form factor I want to watch movies on, so that's not a factor.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • My wife an I signed up because we had never had smart phones or data plans and to have 2 phones would have put is in the $180 range per month with Sprint.  ICK.  We rarely would have needed data, but having to pay $50 each for data seemed ridiculous especially when we are out of the country from time to time.

    All the other prepaid (discount MVNO) plans do not have cdma roaming and that is what made Ting an option over staying with Sprint.

    Virgin mobile, does not have roaming ability.

    Republic wireless seemed like a possibility, but you cant buy a phone because they are in a very limited beta.

    We went with the LG optimus, a great phone for new data users and much smaller than the plasma screen sized photon. (exaggeration)

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Found out about TING by accident watching a HAK5 video and the ad ran during it - just as I am searching for something better too! LUCKY ME! For me, the plan is truly a dream come true. I am pretty much going to try it out for 2 or 3 months and if it works, my family members are going to follow. My only beef is the lack of phone selection. I do not mind buying the phone though.

    I am a self employed IT guy.

    I do NOT need a dedicated expen$ive texting plan since I do not text - but would like the option and TINGs plans are perfect for me.

    I do NOT need a dedicated expen$ive data plan -  but it would be nice to check email or search web or use GPS on the rare occasions when it would be needed.

    I DO need flexible talk minutes. I currently pay Verizon for 450 min. per month. I can honestly says most of the time over 50% of my minutes are never used, then I have months where things get crazy and I need more minutes and Verizon always screws me. I pay roughly $50 a month and never get any rollover or extras. SUX!

    The TING business model is too good to be true. Almost scary. You guys need to advertise more and get the word out because, as I said, I found out by accident. PLEASE GET THE WORD OUT AND BECOME SUCCESSFUL and stay in biz for a long time! lol

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks for the kind words Brian! And for the record, it wasn't an accident. We've been looking for you. :)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • My fault; I didn't realize what not having free nights and weekends would do to my minutes.

    It would be nice if Ting would make it clear what happens when I go over my minutes. I had to wait for my first bill (second after activation) to find that the cost jumped to the next level [from M to L]. Thought it was pro-rated. I was (am) also confused about what switching to WiFi does for me. I see calls made over WiFi on my call history and included in the bill. Am I saving on data usage or texts?

    As I get more comfy with Android I'll definitely be trying Google Voice and WiFi.

    Overall, I love Ting.                 $90 with Sprint to less than $40 using lots more minutes - thumbs up.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Paul, regular calls don't go over wi-fi. Data does though. So if you use VOIP you can send calls over wi-fi, but normal calls, outgoing and incoming, wi-fi doesn't help with.

    Similarly with texts, wi-fi doesn't help with the standard ones. But there are ways of sending texts as data through various apps and websites, which will use wi-fi when available. Since I average less than one text a year, I can't give any advice there.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I <3 Ting. Before Ting, I was basically selecting a plan defensively.

    I travel once or twice a year, and on the months when I travel, my usage is several times greater than usual. T-Mobile charges an extortionary $0.45/minute overage fee on every plan and it isn't like changing plans in advance of a trip is an easy task. Changing plans on T-Mobile's website is an infuriating process on par in complexity with doing your taxes, but with awful software to help you. Trying to figure out whether it's worth changing you data plan but losing your grandfathered free tethering is at least as complicated as figuring out whether you should take the standard deduction or itemize. Select Option A on Screen B, and it tells you that it's incompatible with your prior choice on Screen A, forcing you to start over again. I write software for a living, and I sympathize deeply with whatever programmers are tasked with managing the complexity of a typical carrier's billing system. No wonder the website is bad.

    With Ting, I don't need to evaluate a plan defensively. It's just straight up mind-bogglingly simple. The only math I did was to figure out how many months it would take for Ting's savings to offset the cost of my ETF (2 months) and how long it would take Ting to offset the cost of the phone I had to buy (4 months). In 6 months, Ting will have paid for my upfront costs and from there on out, I'll be saving around $50/mo. Even on months I travel, Ting will be in the same ballpark as what I had to pay every month at T-Mobile.

    Best of all, Ting's user experience is good. The website is highly usable. If a fancy new phone comes out, whether I buy it is basically up to me -- my contract and upsetting my rate plan don't factor into it. Ting's just refreshingly honest, user-friendly, and straight-forward. Even the ticketing system is great. So far, Ting's a love story for me. My only wish is that someday you'll be able to bring your own device to Ting with an LTE SIM card.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Just activated my phone yesterday. Hoping for a long and happy partnership with Ting. I've been a Verizon customer for more than a dozen years. I do have a concern. I only make occasional phone calls. The price of my Sanyo Vero has increased from $65 to $100 in the past week. Such a large price jump worries me that the same thing will happen to you with other pricing. If it does I might be better off sticking with Verizon. What's up with the pricing?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Anna,

    Ting formerly had a $35 activation fee, which they've now included in the price of the phone. So by the time the phone's activated, it costs the same as before. They've discussed this in the blog here.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks for chiming in Whit!

    Anna: Whit is correct. When we launched we took $35 from the price of the devices and moved it to an activation fee instead. Here's the full explanation on the Ting blog: https://ting.com/blog/we-eliminated-the-35-activation-fee/

    Thanks!

    -Ben 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Whew! Thanks.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'm spending more on minutes than I am accustomed to. My old carrier had unlimited mobile to mobile and unlimited nights and weekends. But I'm getting good bang for the buck on data and text.. All in all, I'm coming out ahead.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • You might want to put a "now includes activation fee" on that devices page, for people who have come by shopping before and didn't see the blog post....

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks for the feedback Patrick... that's great to hear. It's our experience that a lot of people sold on the benefits of free calls to family are surprised when they learn that most of the time they're overpaying for the feature. Of course, some wives might argue their husbands should call them more often. :)

    B: That's not a bad idea, but I bet the collective memory of potential customers will forget soon enough, and then we'll have a new set of visitors wondering what the heck the fuss is all about. I'll pass your suggestion along so we can ping pong it back and forth and decide if it's appropriate to say something.

    Thanks all!

    -B 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • well so far im happy. i also found ting by accident, while i was waiting and waiting to get into the republic wireless beta i saw someone mention ting, well i looked and liked that i wouldn't have to wait an eternity for replublic, and had better phone choices and that if i were to flash a rom i wouldn't lose wifi calling. For me i use mostly wifi, google voice for voice/texts and voip tied into my gvoice to cut down  on my usage. honestly  im supper glad i switched from straight talk who had no problem with me setting up the  automatic renewal on the website but i had to call and  "verify i am who i say i am:... which really some guy from india(no offence to any indians here, just tired of call centers being outsourced and me being called zosh) just asked for my phone number... kinda scary actually... also like how ting people actually respond to these forms and try to help out (for most if not all cases that "try" could be swapped for "do")

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I was waiting for Republic Wireless as well, but the inability to swap roms and lack of device selection (plus not actually being in the beta) had me looking for alternatives. Ting is almost exactly what I was looking for. Once I can move my wife to Ting, we'll be saving around $60/month. She's still under contract and I'm hoping for new device options while we wait for her contract to be up.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • For me, Republic was out once I read their TOS. No tethering.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Brian, have you been entering our sweepstakes? We're calling May "Dump Your Contract Month" and it might be a good option for your wife... a new winner every day and we'll buy out her existing carrier's contract. You can enter every day too (although you can only win once) :)

    Here's the link:  https://ting.com/dyc

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Didn't realize I needed to enter every day :(...

    Now I will be though :D.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Ting's pricing is working out very well for me as I am a fairly light user.  My worst case Ting situation will be for 1 smart phone and 1 dumb phone to cost me no more than my previous 2 dumb phone plan on Sprint and most months should be less.  My two years savings vs a new Sprint plan for 1 smart and 1 dumb phone could be more than $1600 and that includes phone purchases, activation fees, etc. 

    Ting Ka-Ching!

    DC

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Well, I can't speak to "so far" aspect, as I just ordered my phone a few minutes ago. I'm one of those people who've been waiting since last Fall for Republic Wireless to actually do something, but today I read about Ting on one of the RW forms, and came over here to check it out.

    I originally thought RW was a great idea. I'm retired, and home most of the day, with WiFi and a land line. But would be nice to have cell service for when I'm driving around, in case I have car trouble, or need to call home to find out what was on the shopping list I forgot to put in my pocket. Also, we have a XOOM tablet (WiFi only) that we take on trips, but sometimes the hotel doesn't have WiFi, and it's useless on the road. Verizon wants an arm and a leg to add that to my other half's phone plan, and with Republic Wireless, it's stricktly VERBOTEN. With Ting, it's just built in, no extra charges, except the data you use (IF it jumps you up to the next tier.) 

    I looked around your site, Googled reviews on your phones, read the forums, and when I realized I could still use WiFi at home with this plan, and automate the switch to cell when I'm out via the AutoAir app, it was a no-brainer. Realizing I would probably end up paying half as much with as Republic Wireless, was a delight. Knowing I wouldn't be stuck in limbo for another year waiting for Republic Wireless, is a relief.

    Thanks, Ting!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'm on a family plan with Sprint and paying $50 for unlimited minutes, messages, and data. I don't need the data because its garbage and super slow. I only need a few hundred minutes and messages a month.
    I love what you guys are doing, it looks like I can save a lot of money. I'm just wondering how pricing works. I want a smartphone so I can use it on wi-if when I need it, but basically, I just want voice and messages.
    On your plans page here https://ting.com/plans it says "Your plans would total $50 + surcharges." Ten says get started. How do would I be charged? Is this saying there's a $50 base fee, or would I just be paying for my base device fee $6+ minutes level $9+ messages level+ $5= $20?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'm on a family plan with Sprint and paying $50 for unlimited minutes, messages, and data. I don't need the data because its garbage and super slow. I only need a few hundred minutes and messages a month.
    I love what you guys are doing, it looks like I can save a lot of money. I'm just wondering how pricing works. I want a smartphone so I can use it on wi-if when I need it, but basically, I just want voice and messages.
    On your plans page here https://ting.com/plans it says "Your plans would total $50 + surcharges." Ten says get started. How do would I be charged? Is this saying there's a $50 base fee, or would I just be paying for my base device fee $6+ minutes level $9+ messages level+ $5= $20?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Jon,  there's a fee of $6 per month per device. So that plus your minutes and messages (and data if you were using that).

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Jon,

    Click on the box in each category to reflect your projected usage. Then it will give you the cost of your plan. You observed the default values.

    Jim

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Like mentioned pick what you think you would use per month.  Select number of devices.  It will show total bill before taxes.    I came form Sprint byod both of my phones so I had $0.00 startup cost.  $40 savings now go toward moving onto smart phones.  Keep my plan at M S S this will cover 99% of the time.  If not ting will adjust up or down as needed.  You can turn off data or cap it at lower level just in case you want data on the go if no wifi around.  You will only be billed if used.

    BTW Taxes for my plan come out to $2.81 just makes you sick how much the big boys rape you on bogus fees.

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Got it, thanks.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Jon -- also be aware that if you get a smart phone, it will use data, unless you specifically turn off all mobile data, or you're on WiFi 100% of the time ... There are many "background" functions on a smart phone that use data even when you're not actively browsing the web, checking email, checking Facebook, etc.

    In the newer version of Android, you can set most of these background functions to only happen when on WiFi, but some features are useless if they are not syncing once in a while.

    With very careful use of our settings, and being in my house or office on WiFi 90% of the time, my wife and I manage to stay within either 100MB tier most months, occasionally bumping into the 500MB tier. Unless you never leave your house, or actually turn off mobile data, you will not use zero MB of mobile data.

    There is a setting you should be aware of under the WiFi settings on your phone... Exact menu location is different depending on your phone and version of Android, but on mine ... Menu -> Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> WiFi Settings ... then click the menu button and choose Advanced... then WiFi Sleep Policy.

    If your intention is to be on WiFi most of the time, to save mobile data cost, be sure that WiFi Sleep Policy is set to  "Never"... The WiFi Sleep is intended to save battery, BUT, if your WiFi goes to sleep every time you put your phone in your pocket, then it will use mobile data for all background syncing functions and cost you money.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thomas McCullock,

     

    Hey I was also going to get RW since I have been following them from last year but like you I herd about Ting on RW's blog (funny how that works). And thought well I can just make my own poor mans RW phone. I use GV, Groove IP, and Automateit. Get ready for some tinkering with your VIOP app.  This month I stopped using VIOP because it has issues at times on wifi (causing my wife to verbally reprimand me) and I want to see how high my Ting bill will go if I use all the talk and data I want and compare that cost to the other up and coming MVNO . I'm waiting to see RW BYOD and a smaller service plan, but it seems wishful thinking as RW has a hard time with the basics. I recommend everyone that wifi VIOP's on Ting to follow RW's website for a better understanding on the relationship between VIOP, router, and wifi. 

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Jon, I'm in the same situation as you are going for.  We had just feature phones before with AT&T.  I kind of wanted to move up to a smartphone, but I couldn't find a carrier that would let me use one without forcing me to buy a data plan that I didn't want.  With Ting, if I don't use their mobile data, I don't have to pay for it.  (What a novel idea!)  I did try out using a little mobile data for a couple of months, but I hardly ever found times that there was something I wanted to use it for versus just waiting until I got back to wi-fi, so I used maybe 20 or 30 mb or so for $3.  It was kind of pointless, so I just disabled mobile data in the Ting dashboard, so it won't come up accidentally, and I've been doing fine without it.  We have my phone and my daughter's, and our bill has been around mid $30-ish range.  We always fit within 500 minutes, and the texts in the 1000 or 2000 bucket.  I still use my phone on wi-fi a lot at home, work, other places, so I don't feel I'm missing anything by not buying any mobile data.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.