Complaint about Ting policies

Please tell me if I'm off base here as I like the Ting concept... It just seems that the implementation is a little off. Here is my response to a servey I was emailed after I cancelled my service...

==

No complaints about [service rep's name]...

It's Ting that is "Bad, I'm unsatisfied". Basically, my family of five is staying with US Cellular rather than moving to Ting, and I'm letting everyone I talk to and communicate with on-line know that...

o A $70 credit/promo on the account will take a year to use, rather than simply being applied to the account as one would expect. [added later, see ting.com/HAK5, it says 'Get $75 toward monthly service' - my failure to read and understand prior to accepting]

o you open your equipment, you've bought it, even though it's unused... unlike other companies that will charge a 20% restocking fee, and resell the "refurbished" phone to another customer at a discount.

o Ting *LIES* when it claims "Pay for what you use. No penalties. No waste."... If you use 501 [later edited to 526] minutes, you pay for 1000... that's a waste of 499 [later edited to 474] minutes that I did not use, but for which I must pay.

Troy.

#

==

Troy.

#

0

Comments

76 comments
  • I think you guys might need to cut me a bit of slack here. Most of the country is still on unlimited or fixed plans. "Pay for what you use" is a the simplest, most accurate way to explain how Ting is different in just a few words. Once people dive in deeper, are absolutely as clear as we can possibly be about the buckets and everything else.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I think you guys might need to cut me a bit of slack here. Most of the country is still on unlimited or fixed plans. "Pay for what you use" is a the simplest, most accurate way to explain how Ting is different in just a few words. Once people dive in deeper, are absolutely as clear as we can possibly be about the buckets and everything else.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Support for Michael here.  The only ways to fully accurately describe their billing system are fairly long and cumbersome, so it does not fit in a catchy phrase.  Ting does not hide the exact nature of it; it's clearly described in the video on the Plans page, and is stated clearly in a few sentences on the Why Ting page.  I think this is about as good as the balance can be: "Pay for what you use" states the concept, and they ALSO give all of the details in multiple, easy to find places.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I resurrected this thread because John Lafitte mentioned the confusion & inconsistency here.  https://help.ting.com/entries/21183666-Why-even-tiers-

     Although the phrase is catchy, it is still confusing to some people.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • It's kind of like the Southwest Airlines slogan "Bags Fly Free".  Would someone latch onto that phrase and think they could just start shipping things around the country just by putting them in suitcases and dropping them off to Southwest?  Would they then get mad if they hadn't read any of the other details that it means a bag that is also going with you as a passenger, and it's only a certain number of bags?  If someone latches onto a catchy phrase as if it's a completely self-contained policy and refuses to read any of the other detail around it that explains what the phrase means, and signs up for a service without reading how it works...I find it really hard to work up any sympathy for people like that.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Good point Rocky. Maybe just an astrick to the small print for the people you can never satisfy.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Maybe Ting should consider a real "Pay for what you use, no lies, no waste" plan like this company has...

    http://www.lycamobile.us/en/national-plans

    "$0.02 / min, $0.04 / text, $0.06 / MB 4G data"

    Troy.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Troy, let us know how they work out.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Troy, remember that Ting did change the wording from "No waste" to "Less waste", because they do have a commitment to being honest and actually responded to their customers' complaints about that wording, so there is no lying going on.  Ting has always said that they're not necessarily for everyone.  In particular, with a single phone, it's not too hard to find some other MVNOs that are a little better deal.  Ting is one of the few that shares pooled usage, though, so that's usually where their strength is.  Did you notice, by the way, that Lyca's SMS rates are harsh?  At 4 cents per text, 1000 texts will cost you $40, not counting any minutes or data.  Anyway, there's also the factor that I heard from someone else.  He said, "More and more I feel like Ting is a customer service company who happens to provide cell phone service."  If it's a fairly small difference, I would rather pay a little more to deal with a company who has good customer service and is a good company that does the right thing.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'd like to see a 1500min bucket. The jump between 1000 and 2000 minutes is simply too large, with a $17 "penalty". As it, it means that if I talk 51 minutes over the 1000min bucket, I get charged an extra $17 which is 33cents/minute... that is a ridiculous overage rate.

     

    A true "waste free" scheme would be to eliminate buckets all together, and simply make those usage bins a "minimum usage for rate". In the example above, all minutes above 1000min would be charged $18/1000 or 1.8cents/minute, until one hits 2000 mins, which then would be $35/2000 or 1.75cents/min.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I love how people are unable to exercise any restraint with their devices, then blame a carrier even as fair as Ting for their high bill.  I haven't even reached $20 yet.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • "I love how people are unable to exercise any restraint with their devices, then blame a carrier even as fair as Ting for their high bill."

    the phone in question is a "house" phone, replacing a landline, with 4 people in the house...

    I don't suppose you live in a similar household and monitor the water bill (i.e. "exercise restraint" ) so that the household doesn't exceed 100gal/mo, lest your water bill rates get bumped up to the next usage tier, doubling the amount of your water bill...

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • daniel,

    First, Ting no longer advertises "no waste". They finally changed their marketing to "less waste" when their customers pointed out that their marketing did not match their product offering.This discussion actually happened earlier in this thread.

    I feel your pain on the lack of a 1500 minute bucket. I just recently moved my home phone to Ting, estimating that, worst case, my bil would be half if we hit the 1000 minute bucket.

    Due to a family crisis, I am now sitting at 1036 minutes with 3 days left on the bill. I do not blame Ting because I researched the alternative and *I* made the choice to move to Ting, based on their plan offerings. They never promised to adjust their rates so it would be ideal for me.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • "Pay for what you use. More flexibility. Less waste."

    Seems I paid for a lot more than I used, wasted a lot with Ting, and don't have the real flexibility to be a good backup phone. :(

    Cost was ultimately $1.50/minute and $0.33/text. Compare that to LycaMobile.com at $0.02/minute and $0.04/text (and NO $6/mo for just having the service). Ting is only my backup phone. LycaMobile has been awesome for my use around Des Moines. I don't text all day long, and I'm to the point on the phone. My bill is $15-$20/month.  As I said, I only use Ting for backup. That is because Lycamobile uses T-mobile home service, which only covers me 99.9% of the time. When traveling I revert to Ting. There was some talk in the past about a 25 minute/message grace... which I've not seen... so, after this last bill, I'm considering just grabbing an AT&T MVNO SIM ( https://www.airvoicewireless.com/PlansB.aspx). Then, no need to carry a second phone, and only $1.00/mo for non-use compared to $6.00... but $0.10/minute rather than the $1.50.

    For reference, here's my last invoice...

    ==

    Hi xxxx xxxxxxxx,

    Good news!

    We have successfully collected $14.45 for billing period Aug 03 - Sep 02, 2013

    $14.45 has been billed to your credit card ending in XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX.

    Here is a summary of charges for this period:

    Plan SMS Usage XS->S           9 messages                     $3.00

    Plan Minutes Usage XS->S       2 minutes                      $3.00

    Line Fee                       xxxxxxxxxx                     $6.00 Aug 03 - Sep 02

    Taxes:

    Sales Tax                                                     $0.76

    Fed USF Cellular                                              $0.67

    E911 Tax (Wireless)                                           $1.00

    FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless)                                 $0.02

    ==========================================================

    Having trouble?

    If you have any trouble at all, we're here to help! You

    can reply to this email with any questions, visit us at

    https://help.ting.com, or for urgent inquiries call us by

    phone at  1.855.846.4389.

    Best,

    The Ting Team


    Ting Inc. - 800D Louisville St, Starkville, MS 39759

    ==

    Troy.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Troy Frericks, I'm interested in LycaMobile as well.

    The website says 2 cents talk 4 cents text and 6 cents data, but I read other reviews that it's really 2 cents talk per min. and 2 cents surcharge fee per min., making it really 4 cents per min?

    Do they round up on data?

    I heard when using data it connects you to the internet for Europe and NOT the USA?

    Does MMS  work?

    Does it work ok with Google Voice?

    Is there monthly local sales tax for the service?

    Is there monthly maintenance fee's?

    Do they have AT&T voice roaming INCLUDED in the service for the USA?

    Thanks.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • "Cost was ultimately $1.50/minute and $0.33/text. Compare that to LycaMobile.com at $0.02/minute and $0.04/text (and NO $6/mo for just having the service)."

     

    yeah, those minimums are a real b*tch... Someone mistakenly send us a text msg to our phone... that ONE textmsg cost us $3... I was going to call Ting, but I didn't want to waste my time. A similar thing happens at every bucket's edge... from 500 to 501 (or actually from 525 to 526mins, that next minute costs $9!!!).

    these for most people are the rare outliers though, and averaged over the year, probably  at most dings you for an add'nl $10, not much in the greater scheme of wireless. But the buckets being too coarse is a greater problem. If someone consistently uses 700min/mo, there is a lot of "waste".

    1) I think Ting should just remove the word "waste" from their website, it just leads to false expectations. The issue really isn't waste at all. Ting can't offer incremental usage rates that are the same as the bucket rates because they actually COUNT on "waste" to bring the rates down.

    2) Ting has already made it clear that they aren't really open to adjusting their rate/bucket system, despite its flaws, because they believe the pros outweigh the cons. We all just need to decide individually if their system works for us. I do think it works for many and clearly won't work for everyone. Whether it will work for enough customers to keep Ting going, we'll see, its a VERY competitive market out their.

     

    There's a lot I like about Ting, but some things I don't, and some things are not in their control either...For me/us, to be honest, Ting is sorta working ok/good for one line for us, and for several other lines, I believe PagePlus is better. But each line has different decision criteria...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • daniel,

    1) You have less waste than the traditional carrier plans. On their plans, in your example, you would pay for 1000 minutes every month even id you normally used only 300 minutes with occasional spikes over 500. Tin'g market research indicated that the "bucket" system was less jarring for people coming from the traditional plan system.

    2) Apparently, Ting's research indicates that 98% of cellular customers would save with Ting. They are clearly targeting the majority of customers, They will not please everybody.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • "1) You have less waste than the traditional carrier plans. On their plans, in your example, you would pay for 1000 minutes every month even id you normally used only 300 minutes with occasional spikes over 500."

     

    Well, no... First, I'm on (as one of my lines), a 500min plan, with UNW, FIMF, etc. So, no, I would not be buying 1000mins, using only an average of 300mins with spikes above 500. I would instead be paying for some overages when above 500.

     

    Again, I think the whole "less waste" idea just doesn't play well. Yes, if you could say, as Ting once did, "NO waste", then it makes sense. But "less waste", vs "more waste", its just too fuzzy to be meaningful. Sprint has had buckets of 50, 100, 300, 350, 450, 500, 700, 1000, 1200, 1400, 1500, 1600, 2500, 3000, 5000, etc minutes. Its hard to argue that Ting's buckets are "less wasteful". Sprint's best postpaid "low waste" plan was Fair and Flexible, which would scale with usage and had buckets of 100 increments for only $5. That is, IMO, BETTER than Ting's "less waste" system.

    But the concept of "waste" really isn't accurate, because if it were a true goal of Ting's, the plans would be restructured to be pay-as-you-go, per minute -- NO waste there, or at least like F&F with 100min buckets (never waste more than 99mins, unlike Ting you can "waste" hundreds of minutes or more). Prepaid plans that are 3-5cents/min are much lower waste than Ting, by any reasonable definition.

    Ting is better sold as a lower cost alternative, not less waste.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • For me, it was less waste & saving money. Your situation may be different.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • here's another example of why "less waste" is not accurate... Ting *really* want's less waste, but doesn't want to do pay-as-you-go? Fine, do Rollover, like AT&T's Rollover. No "waste" because every minute you buy is still yours, you never lose them... But Ting has also nixed that idea as well. It is very clear that Ting's true business model is not "no waste" or "less waste", and it is wrong and misleading to characterize Ting's rate structure as such.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Daniel: You sound like you are not happy, it is too bad they don't work for you.  You should leave Ting.  

    For my family with 6 phones, Ting does work for me. It is SOOOOOO much better then what I had with Sprint.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • As I stated in my post above.... I am "happy" with Ting for one of my lines. However, Ting is suboptimal for several of my other lines for which PagePlus is a better match. As I also stated, each of these wireless providers has a certain set of pros and cons and neither Ting nor any other will be the best for everyone.

    But there was a piece of the discussion above about changing "no waste" to "less waste", and I'm suggesting not to use the word waste at all, because it creates false expectations that Ting ipso facto does not meet. Also that 98% customers statistic is similarly meaningless as stated. Ting has a seemingly great spirit of an upfront and no nonsense alternative -- I like that about Ting. But a few elements about it do tarnish that spirit somewhat, which is what I am responding to...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • The "less waste" and 98% are not meaningless.  You are comparing Ting to the particular thing you're thinking of, like prepaid plans or rollover, or PagePlus.  Do you know what percentage of U.S. cell phone users actually know about or use prepaid or MVNO cell plans?  The majority of cell phones are with the big postpaid expensive plans.  That's the norm, so that's what these comparisons are about, and they are right for most comparisons.

    Also, on a side note, you mentioned rollover as being an actual "no waste" solution.  I was with AT&T before, and the problem with rollover is that their family plan didn't go low enough, so the minimum plan was more than we needed.  We accumulated many thousands of rollover minutes that were eventually wasted.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • "The majority of cell phones are with the big postpaid expensive plans.  That's the norm, so that's what these comparisons are about, and they are right for most comparisons."

    Well, yes and no... the majority is postpaid... now... bur prepaid is growing very rapidly. About 35% of new signups are prepaid, and 32% of new smartphone buyers are going on prepaid. Postpaid customer growth in the US is now rather stagnant whereas prepaid is the growth area. In Europe, prepaid is 70%.

    So, while postpaid is one important point of reference and comparison, other prepaid vendors are also important in the comparison. Ting would be stupid (and I don't think they are...) to ignore the competitive positioning of other prepaid services, or to think that prospective new customers aren't aware of them. Indeed several notable prepaid providers advertise far, far more than Ting.

    Re: AT&T rollover

    I know folks that use rollover minutes extensively, but that is not the point. Ting *could* be truly interested in a "no waste" or "low waste" rate structure for its customers, but its really not and its not truly its business model. That's okay, but 1) anyone doing their homework will easily see that Ting is not all that "low waste" compared to the competition, 2) it doesn't really matter... people want low BILLS, not necessarily "low waste".

    Again, I am glad Ting is doing what they're doing. I am "happy" with it for *some* of our needs. It doesn't fit all our needs, but that is ok and expected. I think there is room for improvement, but if Ting thinks its doing ok now, fine... its not like there aren't other choices... I do hope (truly) that Ting succeeds, the marketplace will be better for it...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I think this is one of those situations where people are just going to have to agree to disagree. No matter what the wording or plan somebody is going to have an issue or argue that there is a better way ... and it's probably true. In all honesty I wasn't 100% sure what Ting meant by "pay only for what you use" and I did a lot of research before joining.

    In the end the real question should be is Ting good value for what you are paying if not then you should leave, that's one of the reasons for using a "no contract" provider".

    As for me I can argue for better wording or superior bucket systems and what not BUT I'm paying less than 1/3 rd of what Sprint and AT&T would charge so I'm ok with ambiguous wording and inferior bucketing. Besides Ting is actively improving so they may yet get to those points ... so I'm for more slack cutting.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • There's certainly an aspect where Ting isn't always the most cost effective choice, and sometimes that's within the same family.  We have three phones in our family.  My wife uses her phone a crazy ton on all three kinds of usage mainly because of work stuff.  She consistently uses about 2GB or a little more, and I don't even know how much on minutes and texts.  For a single phone case with that much usage, one of the other low cost, unlimited providers is better for a single phone.  But then my daughter and I are pretty light phone users, and don't need mobile data at all.  We share 500 minutes and 1,000 texts on Ting for $26.  I've looked at it a time or two, but merging my wife's really high usage into our family plan would cost us more.  So it's finding the right tool for the job when everybody's situation is different.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I would really like to see Ting create a true XS bucket. They could offer 25 min, 25 texts and 50 MB for $1.00 to help the micro users who seldom text or talk. If one wants a good example of graduated buckets, one should take a look at Zact. They have way more buckets than Ting and also offer a cheaper service fee. Their downside is that you have to buy their phone(s) in order to use their service. If they ever get BYOD, Ting could be in a bit of trouble.

    One thing that they do is to credit a user back the amount that they didn't use. they go up or down to the closest bucket. if you paid for 500 min and only used 230 min, then they only charge you for their 250 min bucket since it is closer to 230 min. If you paid for 1000 texts and used 970, you would pay for the 1000 bucket as it is the closet bucket. 900 would be their next lowest. This is similar to Tings unofficial free 5% overage. I am not sure how good this would be for Ting since they have a much smaller amount of buckets. One solution might be to simply add a 5% free overage % to the XS bucket and base it on 5% of 100. the minutes and data would be virtually meaningless, but the 5 texts might provide just enough cushion to prevent those who seldom ever text from having to pay for the $3 single text.

    Sorry for the wall of text. I will eagerly be watching Ting to see what future developments bring. Hopefully I will join Ting down the road.

    -Gary

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Gary, just curious... If you found another cell provider that you feel has a better plan, why wouldn't you just go with them? Just curious.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Mike,

    Don't get me wrong, I like what Ting is trying to do. I just think that there is always room for improvement. It's the engineer in me that refuses to just accept things the way they are. 

    I am currently with Virgin Mobile with the $25/mo. plan and exploring ways to reduce my phone bill. As I said above, Zact is nice except for the lack of BYOD. I would prefer to use a company that supports BYOD (like Ting) since there are so many different phones to look at. Zact has only 3 phones which is very limiting. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Mike I think Lycramobile or even Ptel would be better for you if your OK with T-Mobile network. My wife and I share 100 min and 100 meg so it works out good for us.  But when it's time to buy a new phone, I'm going to keep my option open for sure.  We are a perfect candidate of pay per minute type of plans and Ting does not want to offer pay per min, text, and data.  Also check back the beginning of next year, Ting said there are going to be some exciting changes.  Oh and don't forget to check out Republic Wireless, they announced new pricing plans and a Moto X phone.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.