Ting now charging me "Multijurisdiction installment collection" taxes last 2 months

Anyone else receive a new line item in their Ting bill titled "Multijurisdiction installment collection"?  I have been charged this new tax for the last two months ($2.46 for my most recent bill) and Ting will not elaborate on who the tax is for or why.  Here is the Ting response when I asked for details on why I'm being charged this new and unknown tax:

 

Michael S. (Ting Help Center)

May 19, 21:09 EDT

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your email.

I guess the best way to say it is it's the tax system syncing itself up.  We get this information directly from tax authorities and it codes in the taxes.  We don't have any say in it.  Essentially their system omitted some small taxes last year and this is their way of rectifying it.
 
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Comments

64 comments
  • Look at this sir, and read carefully, we have to be LOGGED into our Ting accounts to post here.   At least I have to.  So, I don't understand the point of where you're getting at.

    Michael B
    BART/201823

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  • Michael, 

    I promise, as soon as you email me via our secure ticketing system, we can work out a solution that I'm sure you'll be pleased with. I just can't start the interaction from a forums post. It really does take just a minute to send that email, and I'll follow up with a solution. 

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  • Ting cares about account security, but they don't give a rat's ass about your complaints regarding "Multijurisdiction installment collection" taxes.    4 months later and they still can't provide any details on these taxes they're collecting from all you suckers who still have Ting service.  

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  • Jason, 

    I invite to also send the email with that subject line, and I'll follow up with a solution that works for everyone. There are some account-specific details I cannot go into in a public forums post that have to be handled by our secure ticketing system. As soon as you send that email, I'll follow up with all the detail you should need about this charge appearing on your Ting bill.

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  • Jason,

    Well, it bothers me that we never had any advanced notice of this to begin with.  That's what still eats the crap out of me.  We had to find out on the monthly invoices. 

    You'd think a mistake to this degree should have some sort of special notice.

    Michael B
    BART/201841
    *EM*

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  • Michael, 

    I've yet to receive an email from you at help@ting.com to disclose account-level details and work out a solution with you-- have you sent it yet?

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  • Mitch,

    I'd email you, but I already moved all four phones to Sprint months ago over this issue when Ting couldn't provide any details.  Too late.  Others should ditch Ting immediately as well.

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  • Just to give a follow-up: you can check the timestamps on my earlier posts. I did e-mail Mitch, and he explained things that were specific to my account, and I have a much better understanding of the situation now. Is it an ideal scenario? No. But I feel much better about things now having talked to Mitch. Take time to send an e-mail, it's a few minutes of your day and you can get the answers you need.

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  • Hey Jason, 

    I understand. It's hard for support agents to shed light on the issue when not all the details are available both to our support team and the public. That's why I've been asking customers to reach out to me directly on this and look for unique solutions to this really complicated tax problem. There's not some super secret cache of information on the multijurisdictional installment that we're keeping from our customers -- far from it. What we've made available public is more or less what we know internally, aside from one or two accountants and probably a product support manager. 

    Believe me, if we could have hand-waived this whole thing, we absolutely would have. But not paying taxes is not how we'd like to run a successful business. It's one of the quickest ways to get shut down.

    Should you ever reconsider Ting in the future, you are free to reach out to me directly either here or at help@ting.com with my name in the subject line to answer any questions. We know we let you down on this front, and we're working to make sure (1) it won't happen again in this or any form and (2) that we learn from this experience to provide a better feedback loop when stuff does go awry.

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  • Hey Mitch. I just emailed as you suggested and am interested in resolving this.

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  • Well, I don't have any problem with Ting's service at all.  I'm just annoyed that fees, taxes, etc., mysteriously show up unannounced without as much as a simple courtesy message or e-mail announcing the mistake made.

    And now, I'm being treated as a dolphin being coaxed into jumping through a hoop to get a reward.  That annoys me even more.

    Thanks Carl, glad you rang the bell and ended up with no kibbles.

    Michael B
    BART/201908
    *EM/LAST*

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  • Mitch,

    But you just don't get it.  You say you don't have much information on the issue.  Crazy idea here, but why don't you try to OBTAIN THE INFORMATION for your customers?  You act like getting a few tax details is some impossible hurdle when it's not.  If you can't provide tax details, then don't collect the tax.

    I did have issues with Ting service.  Couldn't access my phone in most of Alaska and was told after my trip I should have reset it.  Couldn't use the same credit card number for both of my accounts.  Crappy service in locations where Sprint and other phones had no issues. Etc, etc, etc.

    I'm the kind of guy who will pay more elsewhere if you screw me over.  And Ting screwed me over by failing, and continuing to fail, to provide details on this tax.  No, I will not return to Ting.....ever.  Please don't offer me anything else.

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  • Matthew, 

    I've followed up via email. Once I hear back from you, I'll set that action plan into motion to get this resolved as quickly as possible.

     

    Michael, 

    It really is just an account security thing. I'm not trying to make this difficult. I'm trying very hard to make it very simple. I've already helped several people in this thread with regards to the installment line item on their bill, and the email they sent to help@ting.com made it possible with very little effort. I understand you're frustrated and want me to fix it. All I'm asking of you is to start the process -- send an email from the email address on your Ting account to help@ting.com with the subject line "Multijurisdictional Installment for Mitch Surprenant", and I'll pick up the entire process from there. It's simple!

    If you'd rather continue to ask me why I can't help you from our forums, I'm not sure I can help you out on that front, because I don't have an answer you find suitable. I want badly to help you, but I need you to take this one step.

     

    Jason, 

    I'll stop offering. I'd just like to clarify that "multijurisdictional installment" breaks down what it is -- several jurisdictions you're a part of (local, state, federal) require that we collect taxes. We're collecting on those to catch up with taxes to these entities that weren't paid at the time. Referring back to your original post, Michael S. called it "the tax system syncing itself up", and that's pretty apt. 

    I hope you found a carrier that suits your needs.

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  • Just re-read these posts as all of a sudden there was a flurry of comments that showed up in my email.

    The one thing that stuck out was that every Ting agent that responded said they had no idea how to answer the biggest query of all the posters, that being "How much do I owe and how long will this go on?"

    Yet, here was one agent's answer "Rather than ask for a lump-sum from each account holder for past-due taxes, we split them up into small amounts..."

    Uh, if you don't know how much an account holder owes, how then do you split up that unknown $ into smaller amounts???

    I really don't like being flat out lied to!

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  • Hey Tana, 

    Our support agents weren't lying -- they don't know how much it is or how long it'll go on. That information isn't currently available to our support agents. We've been working on getting that exposure to our agents, but this thread aside, the installment collection line-item affects so few Ting accounts (it's just a handful of all our accounts), resources have been directed at more-pressing issues and features we're launching this year and early next. 

    We've been handing the multijurisdictional installment concerns on a case-by-case basis, as it's just easier and a better use of resources than to code an entire system that by design will fall off after about a year. Contrary to popular belief, we're not a big company and we only have so many people behind the scenes working on the website or any billing system. It makes way more business sense to handle the small number of customers this charge affects on a one-by-one basis. 

    Judging by the number of comments you see here, and how angry a lot of affected customers are about it, you'd think this was a huge issue we're trying to sweep under the rug -- I assure you, we're not. There wasn't and isn't a ton of information available to support agents when it started, and that hasn't changed. It's still a bone of contention I intend to gnaw at until we get a more-solid answer, but some things move slow in the taxes world. So, instead I've taken it upon myself to handle as many of these as possible instead via a follow-up email from help@ting.com with my name in the subject line. 

    If you're still being affected by this, please reach out to me via my instructions above -- an email to help@ting.com explaining the situation in brief, and a subject line of "Multijurisdictional installment for Mitch Surprenant". I'll reply there, perform an account security verification and get a solution that works.

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  • Which just goes to show that Ting isn't any more interested in "the few", than any other big business.

    If your company cared at all what even a small number of customers were angry about, someone 'higher-up' would have done something about this controversy when the first one of us complained.

    Instead, Ting like any other corporation just does nothing at all to answer the simplest of questions.

    Whether one agent "takes it upon himself" or not, the big picture is that this company simple doesn't care!

    Ting has shown themselves to be no different from Verizon or AT&T.

    That's not something to be proud of.

     

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  • Rather than continue to berate the support folks...

    This has become enough of a snafu that it deserves a full response from top management (Noss, Goldstein), including candic answers to the common questions.  Not a tutorial on the meaning of multi-jurisdictional taxes.  Examples:

    1) Since Ting had the obligation to collect these taxes all along but failed to, why back bill the customers?  Is the magnitude so great that Ting cannot possibly absorb the total?
    1a) If Ting contracted with a third-party for this service, can't that entity be forced to absorb it?

    2) Since customers are told that it's not possible to tell each one of them what their lump sump amount is, how can the billing system know when to stop adding the extra amount each month?
    2a) And why isn't the partial amount the same each month for a given customer.

    3) Why was proactive communication missing?  And still is.

    4) Does management appreciate how this has damaged Ting's reputation and caused comparison to the majors who are famous for inventing sneaky garbage fees?

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  • To all of you with this issue, please contact Mitch as described. He was able to rectify my situation in a classic (positive) ting-like fashion.
    There are simply details of this issue that are beyond their control, but his personal response is something you want to hear.

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  • Mitch, I have sent an email to ting help email as directed. I have now paid this back tax for five months. Again, I repeat the sentiments of those above, if this was a fault of ting for not collecting adequate taxes, Ting should be eating that cost, not retroactively charging the customers for Ting's accounting errors. Please track down my email and follow up.
    Amy Franz

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  • Amy, 

    Email found and response sent. Thank you!

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  • So the people that have left Ting don't have to pay the uncollected back taxes, since they were never hit with this charge?

    Only those "select few" of us that are with Ting still getting billed every month get to pay? Are we being forced to make up for those that didn't pay theirs?

    I've been billed close to $20 over the last 6 months. Definitely time to move on. Sorry to those of you left that have to pay my portion, whatever it is.

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  • I hadn't noticed this until just now, and found this thread when investigating. Although I'm obviously not a fan of paying more for anything, it completely blows my mind people seriously left over being charged a negligible amount of missed back taxes. The added fee started, for me, in June 2018 and ended Nov 2018, with whopping grand total of $8.96.

    I AM ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGED AT THIS $9!!!!  - lol

    I also noticed about 2 months into receiving the charge, a new tax line was added "Federal Telecommunications Relay Services Fund", averaging about $0.12/mo, which I presume is the missed back tax (for me anyway), and given the time I've been with Ting, probably works out. Anyway, this stuff happens, and is not worth getting worked up over. I've lost more $ this year to the washing machine. ...come to think of it, maybe I aught to quit doing laundry. It would definitely cut down on my money-getting-lost-in-the-wash tax.

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  • Aaron, 

    In my experience with this issue, the people who purport to be leaving either don't leave (a quick chat with ting.com/support tends to convince them to stay once they see what we can do), or they're using this tax situation as an excuse to leave when they had already been shopping around at other providers. In only a few limited instances did this issue actually cause people to leave. That said, to those who did leave, please know you're welcome back at any time.

    As for the Federal Relay tax, I gave the Reddit community a heads-up on this a few months ago. It wasn't a big-enough issue to demand a blog post or even a post to the forums here, but Reddit is where the real bill-sticklers go to get the gritty details, so I felt that was probably the best place to give the heads up and have an honest discussion about it. This was not a missed tax and is unrelated to multi-jurisdiction installment collection.

    I know your $9 outrage was in jest, but I'm still willing to take a look and come up with some solutions as I have with others in this thread. Just send an email to help@ting.com and let me know here when you have. Couldn't be simpler.

    I absolutely agree that you should probably stop doing laundry. Just buy new clothes from the Salvation Army every few weeks and wear them till they're noticeably stinky or torn, then just toss them into the trash. Think of the quarters you'll save! \s

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  • It really is sad how hostile people get.  There's such an outrage culture now.

    The variable rate of the tax, though really small, does mess up my budget a bit, so I jumped on the bandwagon and sent an email to Mitch.  Considering the amount of crap flung at the dude here, I'm truly amazed he managed to stay civil under the heap of abuse and even kept bending over backwards to try to explain and help those who were upset. (ProTip: The accountants are the folks who set up the billing, not the CS reps!) 

    I only keep a phone for emergencies where I can have a phone if I have to make a call, but not have to pay hundreds a year for the privilege. Ting's really still the best for me because of that and because of the stellar customer support. 

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  • Thanks, Seth! I've replied to your email. 

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  • Seth Stalhman,

    Outrage culture?  If it weren't for people like me who don't allow companies like Ting to charge random unsubstantiated fees, your cell phone bill would be a lot higher.  Perhaps you need to understand that everyone is different and learn to respect those differences.  No one is outraged.....we simply decided to take our business elsewhere when we didn't like what is being offered.  Ting was never able to provide even the smallest bit of information about this new tax, which means they don't have their act together. 

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  • Mitch, or other Ting support crew:

    Why are non- or especially ex-Tingers allowed to spam these support forums/fora (& subsequently, my inbox)? Is there a reason to allow them to keep their forum logins? (The rest of the ticket, account, &c, systems are private, so I can understand that use.) They seem to add nothing but awful noise.

    If you wish to keep their capacity to do this, how about a spam/block user function?

    Thanks for everything! 🙇

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  • Ted Samuel,

    Not sure you actually know what spam is.  We're here to discuss Ting's unsubstantiated collection of back taxes.  I started this thread, so perhaps you should figure out how to exit politely if you don't like the conversation.

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  • Ted, 

    The way ZenDesk works, once you've posted to a thread, you're automatically following it and will receive all updates. You can opt out at the top of the thread by clicking the blue "Unfollow" button. You won't receive emails about that topic any further. 

    If you head back one level, you can see if there are any other topics you're subscribed to. 

     

    Jason, 

    I find the discussion of this issue actually very enlightening. I've taken all the feedback from this thread up the chain, and nobody has been ignored. The initial response is still something we're sticking by for now, and anyone who reached out to me via email can get an account-specific follow-up from me on a resolution, if that's what they're looking for.

    Rest assured we discussed this with a few accountants and lawyers before acting, and we're currently comfortable with our decision, as it allows us to keep doing what we're doing within the law.

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  • Ting still charging me close to year now, can you check my account, I just sent an email to help@ting

    Ron Rack

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