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Why is Ting so cheap?

We’re not going to lie to you. We respect you too much for that.

This post is here so that people using the search term “why is Ting so cheap?” get the whole story and details on “why is Ting so cheap” from us rather than getting half the story elsewhere.

Ting is indeed “cheap,” relative to what other carriers charge. The word “cheap” has negative connotations so we prefer to call ourselves inexpensive and our customers smart. Our no-hold customer service policy where you call and a real, live person picks up the phone ready to help isn’t what you’d expect from a “cheap” carrier. That said, we’ll stick with “why is Ting so cheap” for this discussion. If only because that’s probably the search term that brought you here.

We’d love if you’d read on and let us explain how Ting is inexpensive as opposed to cheap too.

That said…

Why is Ting so cheap?

adoreting-slider (cropped)With Ting, the average monthly cost per device is $23 and the average Ting bill is $31.50. Ting service is on the Nationwide Sprint* network and a nationwide GSM network, which both offer the latest and greatest network access (Tri-Band LTE and 4G/LTE).

We offer voice roaming (including text messages) on the Verizon and AT&T network at no extra charge should you find yourself in one of the few places our carrier partner’s don’t reach.

More though, the way we approach mobile is fundamentally different. It all boils down to this: We think people are smarter than the mobile service status quo gives them credit for.

Pay for what you use

Screenshot 2014-01-30 13.39.32Rather than lock you into a plan, Ting instead offers simple and easy to understand rates. You start out the month with a flat $6 per active device on your account. As (or if) you use minutes, messages and megabytes of data, you move through the small, medium and large service levels until you reach XL. If your account goes beyond XL for minutes, messages or megabytes, you pay a very reasonable 1.9¢ per voice minute, ¼¢ per text message and 1½¢ per megabyte of data.

Without changing your mobile habits at all, chances are Ting will save you money. Taking a simple step like using Wi-Fi at home and / or in the office though, you can save even more.

Compare that with a bundled mobile plan where you’re really picking the plan that fits the least poorly of the lot.

Stuff that should be included is included

Other cell phone service providers want to charge a per-device fee for things like tethering, three-way calling, voicemail, caller ID and so on. With Ting, these things are included at no extra charge.

It just makes sense.

Tools that put customers in control

Screenshot 2014-01-09 14.52.08If there was an award for the cleanest and most powerful customer control panel, we’re pretty confident The Ting account dashboard would take the prize.

We don’t hide any capabilities and we put the power in our customers hands.

Want to set a hard cap on a device under your account so that data is disabled once it reaches a threshold you choose? No problem. Want to turn tethering on or off for a device on your account? Go ahead. You can activate and deactivate devices, turn services like international calling, picture and video messaging and many more on or off in your dashboard.

With Ting, you’re in the driver’s seat.

No “free” phones

ETFpicOther carriers offer $0 or otherwise heavily subsidized phones in exchange for you signing a contract. They recoup the money they fronted you (and then some) in the form of inflated service costs and recovery fees.

That’s not our MO.

With Ting, you can get a new device or buy refurbished from us. We sell devices at or at very near our own cost. Therefore, we don’t need to recoup that money elsewhere and we can instead focus on and invest in customer service.

Sustainable business

We earn a fair and sustainable margin on the service we sell. We don’t load you down with confusing bundled plans and we don’t saddle you with 1,000 voice minutes just because you want a gig of data. Similarly, we don’t charge recovery fees or try to squeak extra line items past you.

We’d rather be clear and upfront about our offerings because we believe that people are smart enough to make the decision that’s right for them. So far, so good on that front!

No hidden BS

You know what they say about death and taxes. We can’t help you with the former… but we can promise we won’t add to the pain of the latter by charging recovery or disbursement fees.

With Ting, the tax you pay is the tax we’re legally required to collect and remit on your behalf. No more, no less.

We’ll never tack on extra fees or ding you for something as simple as turning on tethering or activating your voicemail.

Cheap vs. inexpensive

Now, for the all-important differentiation between “cheap” and “inexpensive.”

Cheap is cutting customer service to the bone and / or outsourcing.

Cheap is offering only a couple of undesirable devices and asking customers to settle in exchange for a low monthly cell phone bill.

Cheap is telling people how to use their cell phones and then penalizing them if they don’t do things your way.

Cheap is running a crappy Compuserve-era web site.

These, and the many other examples we could rhetorically provide, is why we prefer to say Ting offers inexpensive cell phone service to smart people as opposed to cheap cell phone service.

Meet Ting Internet Customer, Ross McDermott

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We’d like to take a moment to introduce you to one of our Ting Internet Customers in Charlottesville, VA.

Meet Ross McDermott, founder of Surface Below Media, a video production company specializing in documentaries, music videos, art films and commercials (click those links to view samples of the kind of work they do). His team operates from a studio space shared by a collective of artists and artisans. The studio gets Ting’s crazy fast fiber Internet, so Surface Below Media and others in the coworking space all get access. Naturally, we wanted to hear how the fastest Internet access around is working out for them.

Before they moved to the studio space downtown, Ross tells us they were paying for the fastest Internet Comcast could provide to their office. But it just wasn’t fast enough to keep up with huge file transfers during video production. They were also pretty disappointed in the quality of customer service they’d been receiving from local Internet companies. So they switched to Ting last August, and everything changed.

Three cheers for Champion Brewing Company

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Even before he got into home-brewing as a hobby, Hunter Smith thought it would be great to own and operate a brewery one day. Like many craft brewers, he says, he began with home-brewing and worked his way into the business, driven by “punk rock values” and sincere passion.

And business is good when the business is good beer.

As one of Virginia’s fastest-growing breweries, Champion Brewing Company has to brew a lot of beer to keep up with demand. In fact, they brew over 10,000 barrels a year, and delivering the best and freshest product is something Champion Brewing takes seriously. That’s where Ting’s crazy fast Internet comes in.
Read more

In business with Ting: FleetUp

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When you think of cell phone service, you probably think of a smartphone sitting in someone’s pocket, sending and receiving calls, text messages and bits of data. You might not think about trucks trekking all over the country or fleet vehicles buzzing all over town, sending analytic and other data back to HQ for the back office team to pore through and make business decisions with.

FleetUP, a service of TrueLite Trace Inc., is a fleet management solution based in Milpitas, CA that’s taking a smart tech-focussed approach to fleet management and uses Ting to handle the all-important mobile data part of the equation.

Connecting to the on-board diagnostics (OBD) port of a vehicle, the same port your mechanic uses to diagnose your car in the service bay, a FleetUp device can pull a ton of data from vehicles on the road. Everything from engine revolutions per minute, speed, throttle, braking and much more is available via a vehicle’s OBD port. With GPS on board and a Ting SIM card inserted into every FleetUp device, the relevant data can be sent back to the client every ten seconds.

We talked with Kimberli Lee, Marketing Manager at FleetUp, who filled us in on FleetUp’s mission to deliver real-time analytic reports to their clients and how Ting helps make that happen.

Firefly: Where everybody knows your game

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If you’ve got a taste for craft brew, good food, crazy fast fiber Internet and great retro games (and maybe a penchant for cancelled sci-fi shows that really deserved better than they got) then Firefly is the place to be. If you’re in Charlottesville, VA or if you’re ever passing through, it’s a great place to spend an evening, surrounded by games of all sorts.

Owner Melissa gave us the grand tour as Firefly hosted a DOTA 2 Pubstomp for The International 5. It was a great mix of fun, food and frenetic gaming action.

Firefly is among the first businesses in Charlottesville to get crazy fast fiber Internet from Ting and offer it up to patrons via a free Wi-Fi connection. The gig was invaluable for a live streaming event like our Dota 2 Pubstomp; the streaming broadcast came in high definition and without a hiccup.

I had a chance to speak with Melissa about how Firefly came to be, what it’s like stepping up to crazy fast fiber Internet and how the idea for an arcade-turned-bar came to be.

“My long term boyfriend Mark’s dream was to always have an arcade bar. Somewhere where you could hang out, play games with friends and order good food – not just a place to go sit and drink. When Mark passed from cancer in January, I ended up inheriting the bar,” she said. “While I have a business background, running a restaurant has been a new experience for me.”

Firefly’s journey and story is an interesting one and the atmosphere reflects it. There’s the standard bar stuff like draft beer, a pool table and Wednesday night karaoke. There are also a bunch of retro arcade machines, pinball and a ping pong table. Those looking for sit-down fun can play any one of the tons of board games on offer. Aside from the decor, Firefly has great food (including craft beers and healthy snacks) and a spacious layout that’s perfect for drinks with friends or an evening out with the kids.

Save your business money…
or get really good at foosball

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Scenario one: Your business sees the potential of saving a lot of money by switching to Ting. The office is filled with the sound of voices raised together in joyous song.

Scenario two: You realize you’re already getting the best mobile deal for your business. We give you a sweet foosball table. The office is filled with the sound of plinking balls, spinning plastic players and the occasional profanity for good measure.

Either way, you win.

Today, we’re launching a new promotion just for businesses with six or more devices on a single account with one of the major carriers. Send us three recent bills and we’ll run an in-depth analysis and get back to you on what (or, I guess, whether) you’d save with Ting.

If you would not save with Ting, we will ship you a brand new foosball table.

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