Crunching the numbers...

With 5 lines on the line (pun, haha), I want to be careful about what I do.  I don't know about you, but I'm really tired of being ripped off!

I compared what Sprint is offering versus what Ting is oferring...

SPRINT

(4) Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch

(1) Samsung M370 for grandma

                                                                   TOTAL for 5 phones  $326.23 

1500 minutes with unlimited text & data                               $5,519.04     (24/mos. @ 229.96) not including tax and surcharges

                                                                                                      $5,845.27

TING

(4) Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch

(1) Samsung M370 for grandma

                                                               TOTAL for 5 phones  $1940.00

L / XXL / XXL / 5 devices                                                           $2928.00   (24/mos. @ 122.00) + surcharges

                                                                                                      $4945.00

The difference between the two for the same phones and a little less that comparable service levels amount to $900- or a difference of $37.50 per month over a two year period. Ting won't be saving the world with $37.50/mo.

To really make a difference, the phones need to be priced more realistically to what they really are.  

I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab2 for $249- and it even makes phone calls (WiFi only of course).

What do these phones have, in terms of making phone calls, that a free cell phone doesn't have? Not a thing, you can make the same phone calls on a free phone. However, the smartphone has all of the capabilities of a Samsung Galaxy Tab2.  So from my perspective, a cellular phone that runs ice cream sandwich isn't worth more than $249. 

Who profits from what and how much isn't really my problem. As long as the money remains in my pocket, I'm the one with all the options. If more Americans would think the way that I do, it would be harder to rip us off.   But, sheep are as sheep do. beeeeeh. beeeeeh.                

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Comments

15 comments
  • Ting is not for everyone. Ting is a service for people who don't need data EVERYWHERE they go. Ting is awesome service, and you DONT need the Samsung II, you just want it. You can get a cheaper for and save even MORE money. If you would cut back your DATA usage, you would save money. Who needs unlimited voice? Not me, who needs unlimited texts?? Not me. On Verizon, you automatically get unlimited texts, and voice.. which I DO NOT NEED. So with TING, we are in the mindset of SAVING money, which means CUTTING your usage down, and that in turn saves money. My family saves $110 a month, which guess what? Pays for my new motorcycle! Thanks TING!! 

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  • While I agree cell phones are a rip-off it's not Ting doing the ripping.  They lose a few dollars with every phone they sell.  They lose more if they run a sale.

    When I was with Tmo, I had 5 phones on my service (3 were free with kid promo).  Two of the phones had unlimited data and the reset had none.  We all had unlimited texting and shared 750 minutes across all five.  My bill was $140ish per month.  Since I switched to Ting I now have 4 phone (10yo didn't really need one) and we all have data.  I now go through about 1200 minutes a month and 500mb data.  My highest bill has been $110ish.  Lowest bill has been $75.  So I have saved EVERY month so far AND have talked more.  The one phone was free anyway so it don't count.  It would be $6/mo anyway if you want to factor it in.

    Here's the part that hurt us.  One month on Tmo I let my minutes get away from me.  Simple mistake of not logging into the site and monitoring it every day.  Guess what.  I got a bill for $450 in one month because I was charged $0.45/min for overages.  Won't happen with Ting.

    I may be sounding like a fanboy...cause I am, but I think Ting really shines when you have more phones becasue shared data.  Ting's data isn't the cheapest but I don't use much but any of my phones can use it for simple email checking without costing me $25+/mo EACH.

    If you are worried about the phone cost itself you can always look in the hacker area of the forums for ideas on saving money there.  My whole family is using Samsung Epic 4G phones at a cost of $150 each after a little hacking.

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  • I have nothing against Ting, and it's wonderful to have a choices. 

    Please don't shoot the messenger Kristen, and ride safe.  I only did a little research and provided the comparison in cost with as close to comparable as I could get.  To say that I don't need the Samsung II is quite bold of you since you don't really know what I need. In fact, what I need is not to have data over a cellular network at all. 

    What I need is about 1000+ minutes of talk, unlimited text, and WIFI for everything else.  If the phone makes phones calls, the rest is just fluff that's going to cost over $2000 a year.

     The only unfortunate thing is that none of these companies will activate a smartphone without a data plan.  If you already have a bundle at home, chances are you already have free WIFI access to their network.  Use it. 

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  • I can't say how harsh Sprint is about the data thing but if you ask a Tmo rep if you HAVE to have data if you own a smart phone they will say "yes" but the truth is if you buy just the sim from Tmo and put it in a phone you buy used elsewhere then you do not HAVE to activat the data.

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  • @Cool Hand Luke:

    I am not sure if you are a Ting customer now but in the account area you can certainly control all the features of the phone.  If you want to turn off data for 2 or all of the phones it's a simple checkbox.  You can control inbound and out bound texts seperately as well as calls.  Way more conrol than I have seen from other companies.  It's my understanding that they are looking into per phone limits.  I have one child with a texting addiction that I would love to control better than loggin in and shutting it off but that is what I do now.  I'd rather tell her "you have XXXX texts per month and if you hit the limit you are without until next billing period".

    It is true that Ting is not for everyone.  It takes a close look to see if it's right for you.  One thing to not miss is that if you make TONS of calls between the phones in your plan it's free for most other services but 2 minutes per minute (one for each phone) with Ting.  Ting takes the stance that there are no games and a minute is a minute no matter what.

    Over simplified math:

    Company X:  $50/mo base + ($0.00 x 1000) minutes to family member = $50

    Ting:              $6*2/mo + ($0.0175 x 1000 x 2) minutes to family member = $47

    I love my wife dearly but do not talk to her by phone for 1000  minutes a month :)

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  • When I first looked at thing i looked at how much the data was and then I stopped looking. I was a few months later when I called to activate used palm pre on one of my sprint lines. It was going to be $10 more a month because of new 4g surcharges . I live in San Diego and there is no 4g here plus the phone is not even 3g nor is it new. So I looked at all other services and the I looked at ting. Yes data is expensive but at lest for me I have wifi almost everywhere I am. So from paying $250 with sprint I am slowly moving all my lines to ting. For me by blocking data I will be paying from 130-150 on ting for 5 lines. If I am going to travel all I have to do is enable data and pay for the 1gb or what ever I used that one month. Also if I am broke one month I can simply block all calls,txt,data and pay only $30 to keep my lines active.

    So for me bottom line about $2400 savings on 24 months with ting phones.

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  • Well CHL, when you pick as a comparison purchasing one of the most expensive phones that Ting offers (unsubsidized, and excluding the S3) to what the others offer (highly subsidized) - and 4 of them to boot -  the numbers are not going to work as well since the payback period has to be longer in order to make up for the cost of the phones.  You ARE still paying that price for the phones with Sprint - it's just part of it is buried in the contract term pricing.  So if you really think that you all need to have the S2 then yeah it probably won't make the numbers work very well.  But it's your insistence on the S2's for almost everyone that is skewing the numbers for you.  Switch those S2's for LG Optimus Elites and it changes it from $37/mo savings to $86/mo.  As you yourself said - as long as they make calls all the rest is fluff, so with the S2's you are paying for the fluff - as is your choice to do so.

    For me at my company (a construction company), I have 15 phones that I'm gradually moving over (still have 5 under contract at AT&T that will have to wait about a year before it makes financial sense to break the contracts and move).  I've calculated that, after the 6-7 months needed for the savings to pay for the purchasing of the phones, I'm going to be cutting my monthly phone bill from about $1,100-1,200 to about $550-$600.  A large portion of that savings is due to the data plans - AT&T required one on all of the smart phones, so $30x14 = $420 (one phone was just a flip - didn't need data on that one) of which we were only using about 2gb a month total on all phones COMBINED.  That 2gb at Ting is $42.  And text messages are extra on a business account (not part of the plans) so 5 phones x $15 is $75 for 5,000 (1,000 texts per phone - non shared/bundled).  But those 5 phones were actually only sending about 2,000 texts total per month, so that ends up at $8/mo at Ting.  Cell minutes will go up for us because of the straight minutes charge - no free minutes for night/weekend or "between AT&T phones", but the savings on the data/texts more than make up for that.

    So it's all in how you use the services and what phones you pick - the $6,000/year in savings after the payoff of the purchase of the phones did the trick for me ;-)

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  • For me personally, Ting's appeal isn't only about price. It's that Ting isn't deceptive and doesn't put up artificial limits and rules:

    • Your Sprint numbers do not include tethering. Maybe you don't use it, but I use tethering very frequently when I travel to avoid hotel charges of $10+/day for crappy wifi. Every other carrier -- even T-Mobile now -- charges a premium for tethering and in the case of Sprint, it's $30/mo -- on top of most carrier's requirement that to even purchase tethering, you need a top-tier data plan. What's absurd about this charge is that tethered data is absolutely no different than cellular data. A meg is a meg regardless of what browser ends up requesting it.

    So for example with Sprint, to enable tethering on all 4 smartphones, you're looking at $2880 over 24 months. With Ting, you're looking at $0.
    - Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon all force you to pick a plan and stick to it. Often it's difficult to even change a plan without renewing your contract, so if you have some months where you use 200 minutes and other when you use 2000 minutes, you have to pick the 2000 minute plan. Can you imagine if electric companies did this? If you lived in Alaska, you'd have to pay the same energy bill in the summer as in the winter. In Texas, your A/C bill would force you into a higher tiered plan during the winter! Most of the savings I enjoy with Ting is from the fact that I don't have to defensively buy the highest usage plan to avoid $0.25/minute overages.

    And frankly, Ting isn't pulling a fast one with cell phone prices. Think about this: an $800 laptop has about 4 gigs of RAM, a dual core processor, and a ~90ppi display. Your Samsung Galaxy S3, at less than $600, has 2 gigs of RAM, a dual core processor, and a ~300ppi display all miniaturized into the size of a slice of bread! Your expectation of prices is warped by the "retail" price of subsidized phones the big 4 charge you. Ting just has the honesty to tell you what your phone will cost upfront, instead of making your cell phone plan into a form of quasi-credit.

    And if you can't justify that kind of expense and/or don't need the phone features, you can get a cheaper Android phone from Ting, like an Optimus.

    Having said all that, yes, there are certain people for whom Ting is not cheaper. Probably the most compelling price advantage of Ting is that you don't have to commit to a plan, but if your usage does not vary from month to month, that's not much of an incentive.

    For me, I sent from paying almost $100/mo to T-Mobile to $30/mo on Ting. And I didn't generally buy T-Mobile's subsidized phones; I brought my own. That's a savings of $70/mo, which adds up fast. Ting would be the perfect carrier if only I could bring my own GSM device. Ting's only fault is its reliance on CDMA, a US-centric technology designed to lock users in.

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  • @Cool Hand Luke 

    If what you say in your 2nd post is true and you only want to use wifi for data, then take your XXL data plan away and use wifi only (which Ting doesn't charge for) and save yourself an addtional $1440.

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  • We have 6 phones on our plan. We came from a plan on Sprint with 5 phones.

    Adding some software to the phones that restricts certain apps to wifi only, we have been able to get away with <500MB/month.   

    It is surprising how many places have free wi-fi.

    Maybe you won't need such a huge data plan every month?

    Also, with Sprint, I felt locked-in on the phone. I think I would of upgraded my phone earlier, if I didn't always have to sign a new agreement with Sprint for a new phone at a discounted price. 

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  • Honestly, I think a savings of $37.50 a month is well worth it! That's $450 a year. Perhaps you are far more wealthy than me, but I consider $450 to be a good chuck of change :) . Either way, it was good of you to crunch the numbers! More people should do that, it can be very eye opening.

    Personally, I crunched the numbers and switched to Ting since I was able to save $50 a month and was able to upgrade to a smart phone without having to pay for lots of data that I'll never use!

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  • We have only been with Ting for 2 month with 6 phones, but we have saved on average about $130 each month over Sprint with a 5 phone plan.

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  • Unlike most others here I've upgraded from a T-Mobile Pay-As-You Go plan paying an average of $120 a year for a $100 minute refill card every 9-10 months. Since my usage is really low it IS a higher cost for me per month even with 300 minutes when you include the taxes but I'm willing to pay that for use of a smartphone at a MUCH more reasonable price. I do practically ALL my data over wifi so I have my 3G/4G data turned off and do no texting since I have Apps that replace that function. The phone was expensive up front but it was well worth it in my opinion to be able to do so much more. And should I ever need any texting, mobile data or more minutes in a month I'll just be charged for the tiered usage. No overages. :D

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  • Marvin, how do you have apps replace texting if you have data disabled? If you disable data, texting would only go through over wifi or using the native app.

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  • Well, it's not SMS for sure.. I just have anyone that needs to text me just use LINE or Whatsapp and I see their 'text' the next time I'm near a wifi spot I have registered on my phone. Near a spot most times so it's not a problem.

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