rate schedule.

I just got my first bill and for the most part I'm quite happy with Ting, with the exception of my data usage. I'm sure most of us are unsure of the rate of data use and things like Siri and gps make it even more quizzical. But with the example of my data usage 147 KB for the billing period, I received the first 100 KB for $3, the second 47 KB however, cost me $7. That doesn't make sense to me. I'll be more careful in the future, but the reason I looked this company out was to be charged for what I used, I will keep this anomaly in mind for when I come back to the states in the fall. Sincerely, John Boyer. Mesa Az.

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  • Hi John,

     Thanks for the feedback on how the first month went on Ting. We appreciate posts like this since they do give us insight on how our customers are doing. It's good to hear that you are for the most part you were happy with the experience.

     For data, you're right that it is hard to quantify it. An app like GPS can be feeding information to your phone at a different rate then let's say a website that's just sitting there. We realized this and we came up with some ways to help our customers combat what we like to call "Bill Shock". 

     The first suggestion is using our usage alerts. Usage alerts can be used in a variety ways to help manage your account so that you don't end up with a bill larger than you want. They can be set up to notify at different levels or to cut off a particular service at a specific point altogether. When you're back in the states this coming fall take a look at setting some up on your account and if you need any hand we can always help you get them in place for you. 

     The next suggestion I have for keeping your usage rate low is our eBook. We created a Cut Your Data eBook with settings tricks and tips to help limit usage that your phone does over the mobile network. It's worth a look and spending time setting up your phone can really help in the long term. 

     We're always trying to find ways to cut down on usage for our customers so keep an eye out on our blog and website. I hope you have a great rest of the day and that these suggestions help!

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  • "I received the first 100 KB for $3, the second 47 KB however, cost me $7. That doesn't make sense to me."

    This is exactly what I've tried to express off and on over the course of years.  I've been told that a flat usage fee per min/txt/MB wouldn't make sense to potential customers since they're used to looking at plans to comparison shop.  Here's someone else who is surprised at how billing is done and expected Ting to be pay for what you use.  Wait and see how confused you'll be when you see the jump from 1GB to 2GB is only $4!?  Why where you charged $7 for 400MB?

    Teaching people how to reduce data usage is great and all, but the effort to conform to the buckets is sometimes so stressful that in the end I just set up alerts to just disable my service for the rest of the month if I get close to going over a bucket.  If instead I could just pay the extra few pennies for a few more MB, I wouldn't care, you'd make a little more money, and life would be wonderful.  How about an alternate and real per usage rate scale for us that would prefer it?

    Now, I have been a customer for almost six years.  As frustrating as the bucket management is, in the end Ting is still the most economical for me.  So I stick around.  But it could be so much better.

    Mike

     

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  • Hey Mike, 

    I understand the frustration. And we've discussed it at length. Lots of people want us to make more, smaller buckets. We've shied away from that because more buckets makes Ting just a little harder to explain, and we value simplicity. 

    We're absolutely looking at rates all the time, and this proposed merger may sway our network partners one way or another, but that's a big-picture item with no resolution right now. 

    If at all possible, though, I'd look at the buckets like bags of potato chips. Stick with me, because the analogy is going somewhere, I promise. 

    Let's say you buy a 8oz bag of chips for $3.28. Each ounce is $0.41. But at the last minute, you realize you needed 15oz of chips for $3.98, instead. You didn't pay $3.28 for the first 8oz and $0.70 for the last 7oz. You needed more, and bought the bigger bag, instead.

    Similarly, the last 500MB in our 1GB bucket didn't cost $6 and the previous 500MB cost the remaining $10. You just bought a bigger bucket, because you needed more. That's why we have tools to help keep your data down, warn you when you're getting closer than you'd like to a cap you set, and why we have credit giveaways on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit all the time!

    Feedback like yours is valuable when we go to reconsider our bucket sizes, and I'll be sure to pass it along to the relevant people the next time that conversation comes up. Thanks for being a long-time Ting customer, and we're going to work even harder to keep Ting the economical choice for you for years to come.

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  • Granted, I see your point you where making about buying just one level.  But I think there's a flaw in your potato chip analogy that doesn't quite match up to Ting.

    When the end of the month comes, my leftover potato chips don't just disappear.  Instead, they roll over into the next month and I don't have to buy another bag until I consume all the ones I have.  That was the point I was making about the bucket anxiety.  I don't have to worry if I bought too big a bag.  It sucks to move into a higher level bucket, only to lose most of it when the new month starts.  If you're not going to entertain flat usage rates, at the very least, rollover would help alleviate the anxiety.  Or maybe even better because it doesn't involve any changes to your buckets, do like Project Fi does and credit us for the unused portions at the end of the month.

    I appreciate that people from Ting read these comments and it gives me hope that they might have some effect.  So a big thank you for that.  It's the customer service that really shines with Ting.

     

     

     

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  • The problem with rollover is you'd always have some left over at the end of the month, and you're stuck with the problem AT&T had with their rollover problem: You end up with this huge bucket of rollover minutes you'd never possibly be able to use, and we'd lose the ability to effectively give people quotes for their months of service or collect/refund on minutes should our rates ever change. 

    As to refunds for unused minutes messages and megabytes, that's actually how Ting started. When we launched, we asked for money up front for what you thought you'd use (just like Fi does now), then we'd settle up at the end of the month either refunding your money to you (while we held on to it, interest-free) or collecting the difference when you paid for your next month. Now, we just collect at the end of the month, giving you service before we've gotten any money from you for it. It's riskier on our end, but is SO much easier to explain.

    When we did away with it a few years ago, it was more or less an accounting difference. We did it because it was easier to explain than "pick a plan, but it doesn't matter what you pick" and explaining that your carrier would give you back your own money that you didn't need to pay them in the first place. A startup competitor with a shockingly similar name to ours currently does it this way right now, but they borrow pretty heavily from everything on our website, right down to copying some things word-for-word. 

    We'll get closer to being "perfect fits" as our buckets change, but we really want to shy away from having a dozen buckets, or charging per-unit. More buckets means more credits back and forth, which we sincerely want to avoid. Per-unit pricing makes the most sense in terms of simplicity, but it takes away heavily from your enjoyment of the service. You're not gonna feel comfortable catching that Pokemon if you know each one you catch is $0.15, for example. You can watch Ting CEO Elliot Noss expand on this topic a little bit here. 

    Where we landed (large-ish buckets for most things, and a flat rate of $10/GB above 1GB) seems to work out pretty well for most of our customers right now. The data pricing there is identical to Fi when it comes to data, but we're working on that part, too. While we do that, we're pretty heavily focused on getting Ting customers to be mindful of their usage, and to curtail or offload it when possible.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence on our customer service team. There's a reason we put so much pride into it, and why lots of people think we get it right.

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  • Ting used to refund WHOLE buckets that weren't used.  I know, I was here.

    What I am suggesting is if I buy an additional 1GB for $10 and I only use a part of it, say 500MB, then I still pay the $10 but there would be a credit for $5 for the next month.  Doesn't matter how many total GB I used before that.  It's just the last incremental jump in levels I'm talking about.  There will never be more leftover that would pile up.  This is what Project Fi does and what I am considering.

    Per-unit pricing makes the most sense in terms of simplicity, but it takes away heavily from your enjoyment of the service. You're not gonna feel comfortable catching that Pokemon if you know each one you catch is $0.15, for example. 

    We're just going to have to disagree here.  It would be much more enjoyable to me to not have to monitor where I am in a bucket to see if that next Pokemon is going to cost be $10 more.  

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