About two years ago, I was straight up angry at my phone provider. While Verizon Wireless may be the largest mobile network in the nation, I was also paying an arm and a leg to make my calls with them.
I always loved my basic phones (I kind of prided myself on being backwards), but Verizon was phasing out the number of available “dumb” phones, and the ones that were left were of sub-par quality- to say the least. So not only was I paying a lot, I was paying a lot for a phone that was a piece of junk without any real features to speak of.
How much was I paying? My husband and I were part of a family plan (along with a couple other members), and we were paying about $100/month for two phones with texting plans. That was IT. No data, no fancy bells and whistles. All those little extra fees and taxes really added up.
I checked out AT&T (not much cheaper), T-Mobile (no coverage), and Sprint (limited coverage). I checked out a couple of small alternative companies like Republic Wireless, but none of them covered my area either. We’re not entirely in the boonies, but even the all-powerful Verizon couldn’t completely cover our patchy spots out in the rural hills near our home. I was trapped paying a ridiculous bill to the only company that gave me any real cell coverage to speak of.
That why I was all ears when a friend told me about Ting– a new mobile provider that she had recently switched to and fallen in love with. I did a lot of research, bravely made the switch (even opting to pay a fee to cancel my contract with Verizon), and haven’t looked back since.
The result? I’ve gone from paying $100/month for two basic phones to paying $54/month on average for two smart phones. And I’m not shy about my usage. What’s more, Ting is currently offering $100 to new users to try their service, which means that you can roll that money right into your potential savings.
(BTW, this post includes referral links, like that one above. But I would recommend Ting even if they didn’t have a stellar referral program, because they’re just that great.)
It’s not just the cost that’s convincing- it’s also the company’s ideals. I pulled this quote from Ting’s website to share:
“What people are forced to put up with from mobile service providers just doesn’t make sense. It’s too complicated, too opaque, too adversarial, too expensive and frankly too inhuman. We’re changing that.” – Elliot Noss, CEO
1) The payment system is different- and fair. Instead of paying for a contracted amount of minutes/message/data, you pay only for what you use each month. (How novel!) You pay $6/month per phone line, then simply pay for whatever minute/data/message usage you happen to make. Usage costs are bracketed off into different sized “buckets.” E.g., the small minutes bucket (1-100 minutes) is $3, the medium (101-500) is $9, the large (501-100) is $18, etc. The rates for all types of usage are very reasonable- and it’s sure nice not to have to pay for unlimited everything when you just don’t use unlimited everything.
2) What about overages? Unlike other companies, Ting’s overage prices don’t skyrocket. Even if I go above the extra large bucket in data usage (2000 MB, $29), the extra usage is only 1.5 cents per megabyte. That works out to be $7/500 extra MG. Not too shabby.
Still want to stay within a certain budget? The nice part about Ting is that you can choose a usage limit in advance. Say I don’t want to go over 1000 texts/month. I can request a warning when I’m approaching that limit. And if I so choose, I can even ask them to turn off my texting abilities once I’ve reached it.
And you know something else exciting? There have been a few times I’ve gone just a little over my certain bucket usage. And Ting- get this- are you ready?- rounds your usage DOWN instead of up. What other company have you found who doesn’t jump at the chance to charge you a little extra?
3) Can I use WIFI for my usage needs? Yes! If you’re running off of WIFI for calls, texting, or data, it’s all free. In fact, that’s a big reason why I switched to a smart phone on Ting. I could use the Google voice app for free calls and texting, or Facetime with my friends who also have iPhones. I just access the wireless network in our house or at a store, and it doesn’t cost a cent.
4) How does coverage work? Ting now has both GSM and CMDA coverage- meaning that they now have more coverage options than they used to have! You can check your device’s network compatibility on Ting’s website (under “coverage”) and choose which option works best in your area. With my phone, I run off of Sprint’s CMDA network with free roaming to all other network coverage for calls and texting. Works for me. (FYI, free data roaming is not currently available.)
How is my coverage personally? I have a few patchy spots, but it is mostly very good. You must remember though, I had patchy spots with Verizon too. (The number one network for speed, reliability, and coverage. Yup.) That’s just what happens out where I live, and so far no network has it perfect. My friend’s husband, however, tested Ting while driving across the desert in Nevada, and had no problems.
5) What are my device options? Ting does not offer subsidized phones. That’s one downside to offering awesome rates in other areas. But, many devices are already compatible with Ting! You can check your device’s compatibility here if you want to bring your own.
Ting also has a shop of new, used, and refurbished devices that can be purchased quite reasonably. Make sure you keep reading to find out how to get $100 off the cost of your device (or of your service if you bring your own device) to try Ting.
6) How is Ting’s customer service? Excellent. In fact, when you call Ting, you will find no automated menu options or long waiting times. The phone rings once or twice, and a real person picks up right away to answer your questions. Don’t feel like calling? If you email, you will likely receive a helpful response within an hour or two. It makes everything so much easier- and more pleasant- when you don’t have to try to chase down the right person after talking to 50 robots first.
7) Are they trustworthy? YES! This is what I love about Ting- they are transparent. They’re a relatively new company, so they are always working on improving their services- and they keep their customers informed on the positive changes they are working on. If for any reason you don’t like their service, there are no contracts to wiggle out of. There are no hidden fees. There is no twisting your arm to buy more than you want.
Is Ting right for you? It depends on your area and your usage habits. If you really LIVE on your phone, maybe you want to pay through the nose for a plan that has unlimited everything. But if you’re like me and you want more autonomy in where your monthly phone money goes- and you don’t want to have to pay for what you’re not using- then you should give Ting a try.
If you want $100 off the cost of a device with Ting (or $100 off your first bills if you bring your own device), click here and sign up by June 8th, 2015. If you miss that deadline, you can still get a $50 credit by using the same referral link.
I love this phone company and what they stand for. I love that they save me money. I love that they are trying to “fix” the mobile industry with honesty, fair prices, and personal service. If I’m going to be paying anyone, I want it to be someone like this.
This post contains referral links. That means when you sign up and get $100- or $50- off your bill with Ting, I get money off my bill too. Thank you in advance for supporting my efforts with this blog!
Post linked up at Frugal Family Linky.