What’s New at Ting: Login and Pay with Amazon, real-time ESN checker and more!

We’ve been working hard over the past few weeks to launch some great features that we think you’ll find useful. These recent improvements affect our website and your Ting account, including billing, activation, devices and more.

Screenshot 2014-04-04 16.27.50

We’ve made some important updates that should help serve you better, along with minor tweaks here and there. Read ahead to learn more about what’s new at Ting!

Login and Pay with Amazon

We’ve launched Login with Amazon and Pay with Amazon! Whether you’re currently with Ting or have yet to make an account, you can now use our new Login with Amazon option, in addition to the native Ting login and Persona. You can also use our Pay with Amazon feature to purchase devices and cover your monthly bill. (FYI: Ting is the first third-party to go live with the new Amazon Payments platform!)

We’re giving away five Amazon Fire TVs to celebrate! Five lucky Tingfolk who have enabled Login with Amazon, bought a device or SIM card using Pay with Amazon, or signed up for Amazon Payments to cover their Ting bill before next Friday, April 11, 2014 at midnight (Pacific time, in honor of our Seattleite friends) will be randomly picked to receive a killer new Amazon Fire TV from Ting. Find out all the details here.

BYOD page improvements and more

Screenshot 2014-04-04 11.44.39We now have a real-time ESN checker on our BYOD page! You’ll get a near-instantaneous response when checking any particular device, rather than having to wait on an email. We’ve added a reCaptcha check to ensure aliens, robots, toddlers, pets, and scripts are not using our real-time ESN check tool to nefarious ends.

We’ve also launched a wildly improved whitelist on the BYOD page that’s visually appealing and quickly navigable. It’s a bit like going from a dot matrix printer to a colour laser printer. Or, maybe stone tablets to telepathy. Something along those lines. And we hope it brings a tear (and some relief) to the eye of every person trying to figure out what devices they might be able to bring to Ting.

You should also be seeing a few navigation improvements across the Ting site. Activate is now more prominently featured on the main navigation bar and the upper utility strip has been reorganized, with smarter, state-aware “Your account” and “Sign up / Sign in” options. Drawer alerts (i.e. the device review solicitations in your control panel) are now center-aligned, which should look a little more pleasing.

Last but not least, we’re now including a breakdown of taxes and fees on the downloadable PDF bill that customers can generate from their control panel. This should clarify any discrepancies between your online bill and what you see on the PDF.


Have some feedback or suggestions for us? We’re always listening on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. As well, check out our feature requests forum to submit your ideas and join the discussion!

Login and Pay with Amazon… We’re giving away five Amazon Fire TVs!

Amazon Payments comes to Ting!We’re stoked to announce that you can now use Login with Amazon to sign in to or sign up for Ting! While you’re at it, you can also use Pay with Amazon to buy a new device. And, if you’re as excited about all of this as we are, you can now even use Amazon Payments to cover your monthly Ting bill.

One of the reasons that we’re especially aflutter about all of this is that Ting is the first mobile service to launch with Login and Pay with Amazon. I’m pretty sure we won’t be the last, but we’re going to bask in our early adopter sunlight (or Seattle fog, as it were) for now…

But, what does it all mean, you ask? For starters, if you use Login with Amazon you won’t have to remember another password just for Ting anymore. (And you’ll be able to use your same Amazon login across a growing number of sites… Shoes or deals, anyone?) If you’re buying a fancy new phone, you already know Ting has awesome customer service and a rock solid return policy. But you’ll also now have the added protection of the Amazon A-to-z Guarantee, which we think is a great way for folks to feel even more comfortable getting to know Ting. And, you’ll never have to enter or update your credit or debit card number again… Just fix it over at Amazon Payments and you’re good to go. How easy is that?! Plus, if you happen to want to pay your Ting bill with a JCB or Diner’s Club card, you can use those cards — in addition to Discover, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard — directly through Amazon Payments.

Which brings me to… Amazon Fire TV! Five lucky Tingfolk who have enabled Login with Amazon, bought a device or SIM card using Pay with Amazon, or signed up for Amazon Payments to cover their Ting bill before next Friday, April 11, 2014 at midnight (Pacific time, in honor of our Seattleite friends) will be randomly picked to receive a killer new Amazon Fire TV from Ting. (Although we’d love for you to, you don’t need to actually activate Ting service or buy anything right away. Just using Login with Amazon to create a Ting account and providing a phone number so we can reach you if you win is all you need to do to get on the list.)

If you’re already a Ting customer, all of these options are open to you, as well. Just head over to your account to enable Amazon Payments. If you’d like to give Login with Amazon a try, just signout of your Ting account and then click the Login with Amazon button the next time you sign in. (Just be sure you’re using the same email address with both Amazon and Ting.) You’ll be asked to confirm your old Ting password once, but then you’ll be good to go. And check out this Ting Help article for all the gripping details.

And let me just go on record as saying that I, for one, welcome our new Oiorpata overlords.

Quick update! Congrats to our winners… Kelv from Provo, Utah; Christy from Portland, Oregon; Irene from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana; Gregory from Gig Harbor, Washington; and Hally from Essex Junction, Vermont.

Fine, we will sell you a Nexus 5.

Starting today, Ting is now selling the Nexus 5. But, please, for the dear sweet love of Google, don’t buy it from us. Instead, just get a $10 Ting SIM card (now in stock!) and go buy your Nexus 5 in red, black, or white from Google Play. You’ll save $95 bucks right off the bat (and likely a lot more by switching to Ting).

Nexus 5 Red for TingHonest to goodness truth: the price we are selling the Nexus 5 at is below our cost, and we still can’t even come close to matching the awesome $349 deal that you can get buying directly from Google with no contract.

Not long after the Nexus 5 started shipping in quantity in November, it became (and has remained) our top Android device, by far, for new activations. That’s a pretty huge deal, honestly. Because of the commitment Google has made to keeping past Nexus devices up-to-date, older Nexus models have enjoyed long-lived success at Ting… But nothing like what we’ve seen with the Nexus 5. A device we haven’t even been selling up until now has, for nearly all intents and purposes, been our best seller.

In a perfect world, we’d love to ship you a beautiful Nexus 5 and Ting SIM card snug together in our fashionable Ting shipping portfolio. But when there’s a way better deal to be had, we’re absolutely not going to stand in your way. In fact, we’ll even point you in that better direction. We like to think of ourselves as being kind of like Flo, for wireless.

So, to recap… Order your Ting SIM and then head over to the Google Play store and order your Nexus 5. Then spend that extra $95 on someone or something you love for Valentine’s (or Singles Awareness) Day, instead.

Love, Ting.

The Ting app arrives on iPhone!

Sally Field: You Like Me!“I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect [...] and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

For those of you who were still in diapers (or not yet even a zygote) in 1984, that was Sally Field in her Academy Award acceptance speech for Places in the Heart. It pretty well sums up how we’ve felt over the past few days as a bunch of you have downloaded our snazzy new Ting app for iOS and shared awesome feedback.

Ting app for iOSChad, our mobile app guru (and generally awesome guy), is already hard at work in Michigan with your ideas, suggestions, and unintended feature discoveries… On the App Store, we are currently at version 0.9, with 0.9.1 likely going live later this week with a few small repairs. (Thank you, Shawn Colvin. Can you tell I lived through the 1990s?)

But we’re not stopping there. Next up on our timeline is a total review of our mobile app usability. We’re thinking of ways to really improve how we display usage to make things more intuitive, how to improve device feature management, looking at ideas to make referrals both fun and easy through our mobile apps, and more.

So if you have any ideas, suggestions, or feature requests you’d like to see in our future mobile apps, share away in the comments here… And if you haven’t already installed our new app on your iPhone, go get it!

It’s time to bring your Nexus 5 to Ting!

Nexus-5Wow, what a week! Last Thursday, a handful of savvy denizens from around the country began activating the very first Nexus 5 devices on Ting. We have heard from those early adopters loud and clear: they really, really love their Nexus 5 — and they’re stoked to have their dapper Nexus 5 smartphones up and running here on Ting.

Which is why we are really excited to say: it’s time to bring your Nexus 5 to Ting! (In our humble opinion, of course.)

So, here’s the game plan to get a snazzy new Nexus 5 on Ting…

  1. Go order your Nexus 5!
    • Because of sheer demand, there is a bit of a wait right now over at Google Play, so go lock in your shipping date. We’re doing everything we can to get SIM cards out the door as quickly as possible, which brings me to…
  2. If you have not already, go get on our SIM card priority list right now!
    • We have begun shipping initial batches of SIM cards out. We are emailing small groups of folks at a time to find out if they are ready for a SIM card and, if so, where they would like their SIM card shipped. Please be patient with us, as these SIM cards are still in very short supply.
    • If you are in a mad dash to get your Nexus 5 up and running on Ting, you can also check out the early adopter thread for random ideas on where else you might be able to snag the necessary SIM card.
  3. Once you have your Nexus 5 and a SIM card, head over to this rapidly evolving support article for the play-by-play.
    • And, as part of our newfangled Nexus 5 open beta, our staggeringly awesome support folks will be able to provide guidance starting later next week, should you run into roadblocks large or small.
    • In the meantime, if you run into any issues, our awesome community has done a great job figuring out the occasional Nexus 5 quirks right here.

We have said it before, but it bears repeating: the excitement we’ve seen around the Nexus 5 from you Tingfolk (and soon-to-be Tingfolk) has just blown us away. So get yourself signed up for a Ting SIM card and then head over to our forums to follow the progress!

Ting’s Nexus 5 manifesto redux:
A Very Ting Roadtrip

(For the tl;dr action plan, skip to the last two paragraphs!)

Nexus-5Over the past few days, something changed. Guys and gals in big brown trucks started delivering snazzy new Nexus 5 smartphones to anxiously awaiting folks across America. For the first time, anyone with just this one awesome device could choose between at least three of the four major mobile networks in the United States.

We knew the Nexus 5 was a smartphone we wanted to have and support for the Ting community. We were, frankly, more than a bit surprised by just how many folks bought a Nexus 5 from Google Play and then showed up at our (virtual) door. We always try to be as open as we possibly can be about new devices and our plans (just take a look at our Nexus 5 manifesto from yesterday). So in that spirit, the redux: An update on our progress with the Nexus 5.

The fact Ting runs on the CDMA network has meant that a device you buy for, say, T-Mobile cannot be used with Ting or vice versa. But, pretty darned suddenly, you can head over to the Google Play store and buy a Nexus 5 and then take it to just about any carrier.

There is one roadblock. For a little while now, almost all new CDMA devices have supported LTE. LTE devices require a SIM card. Without exception, every LTE device we sell has a SIM card included (and some are even embedded). We have never before needed to provide a SIM card by itself. For our MVNO brethren and sistren that operate on GSM-based networks, providing a SIM card is routine. For us, it’s a new logistical question.

Set of color SIM cardsWhich leads me to my last-minute trip down to Buffalo, New York yesterday. We have quite a few older SIM cards here at Ting HQ for testing, but the Nexus 5 requires a fancy new SIM card (model SIMGLW206R if you’re keeping track). Inspired by our Nexus 5 manifesto, I found the nearest Sprint Store with SIM cards on hand, jumped in my sweet, sweet ride and made a run for the border.

And then I waited. You see, Ting HQ is here in Toronto. I grew up in West Virginia, where a traffic jam is a few coal trucks getting in the way on a long and winding mountain road. Between Toronto and Buffalo, however, there is the Queen Elizabeth Majestic Parking Lot Way. Her Majesty and I need to have a little chat because clearly she needs some new traffic management planning experts.

But, I digress. I left the office at 3:30pm and arrived at a buzzing Sprint Store in Buffalo right around 7:30pm, just a half-hour before they were scheduled to close. They gave me their last five SIM cards and I headed over to the Barnes & Noble next door to jump on their Wi-Fi network. Connecting to Ting HQ via VPN, we were able to get our first few Nexus 5 devices active on Ting.

This isn’t an announcement that the Nexus 5 can now come to Ting. We’re still testing and working on instructions for getting everything up and running. That said, things are looking very promising.

We are crazy excited about the Nexus 5. The demand is awesome, but the paradigm shift it portends for the old wireless industry models is especially exciting. Want to give T-Mobile a try? Want to give Ting a try? Want to head over to Sprint for unlimited data, instead? The more freedom you have, the happier we are here at Ting. Even though I didn’t get back home until well after midnight last night, I’d be saying the same thing — perhaps even louder — after a good night’s sleep!

Where we are right now

If you want to bring a Nexus 5 purchased from Google Play over to Ting, you have a couple of options.

  1. Take the blue pill and wait for a bit while we smooth the way for you to bring a Nexus 5 to Ting.
    We are working on getting a sufficient quantity of SIM cards to start shipping them out to new and existing Ting customers that want to activate their Nexus 5 purchased from the Google Play store. If you want to be notified once we have these ready, give us your details here and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can. Please keep in mind that bringing your own Nexus 5 will only be possible for Nexus 5 devices purchased directly from the Google Play store.
  2. Take the red pill and test with us.
    If you simply cannot wait and are willing to blaze a trail with us here, get your hands on a Sprint* SIM card and head over to this thread in our forums for the nitty gritty details. Before you swallow that pill though, please be fully aware that we’re still working on getting some things working and we can’t guarantee that everything will go perfectly smoothly: There may still be challenges ahead that we can’t yet foresee.

Whether you’re ready now or you want to wait it out, here’s to the Nexus 5 helping to make mobile make even more sense!