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We love our business customers – Round 2

business2This is the second edition of “we love our business customers.” Again:

I have been looking through our customer base at all the wonderful small businesses that have discovered our service. I wanted to find a way to thank a few of them. I also figure if they are smart enough to save thousands of dollars a year with Ting, they are probably pretty good at what they do. So, if you are in the market, please consider using one of these fine Ting-powered businesses!

 

BCI

BCI Technologies
Industrial communication and automation solutions.
Location: Florida
Ting Devices: 13

 

allworldAll World Furniture
High quality, contemporary furniture at wholesale prices.
Location: California
Ting Devices: 14

 

gouin

Gouin Towing & Auto Repair
24 hour towing and complete automotive repair.
Location: Vermont
Ting Devices: 5

 

pcn-strategies-logo

PCN Strategies
Professional solutions for government agencies and private businesses.
Location: Washington, DC
Ting Devices: 14

 

hurt

Hurt & Proffitt
Full service employee-owned engineering and surveying firm.
Location: Virginia
Ting devices: 7

 

olson

L. Olson Designs
Graphic design, graphics and images for web and print and architectural design.
Location: Wisconsin
Ting Devices: 1

(There you go, Lonni. We love you too.)

 

If you would like to be included in the next edition of “We love our business customers,” let me know.

We love our business customers

business2I have been looking through our customer base at all the wonderful small businesses that have discovered our service. I wanted to find a way to thank a few of them. I also figure if they are smart enough to save thousands of dollars a year with Ting, they are probably pretty good at what they do. So, if you are in the market, please consider using one of these fine Ting-powered business!

 

American Furniture Rentalafr-logo-w-1
Furniture rentals for residences, home staging, commercial, trade show and events.
Location: New Jersey
Ting Devices: 14

 

cropped-cmacco_headerCrawford Merz Anderson Construction Company
Commercial construction.
Location: Minnesota
Ting Devices: 12

 

fentonFenton Plumbing & Heating
Residential and commercial plumbing and heating services.
Location: Colorado
Ting Devices: 17

 

flowers to goFlowers To Go
Family owned and operated florist for over 30 years.
Location: Washington
Ting Devices: 11

 

gentile_bros_comp_profGentile Brothers
Wholesale fruits and vegetables for retail and food channel.
Location: Ohio
Ting Devices: 10

 

mosquito squadMosquito Squad
Mosquitoes and tick control for residential and commercial properties.
Location: Virginia
Ting Devices: 16

 

 

If you would like to be included in the next edition of “We love our business customers,” let me know.

Validas study and Ting savings

We engaged a company called Validas a couple of months ago to help us understand people’s mobile usage and bills. Validas has a database of over 500,000 US mobile users who give them access to their account to help figure out if they are on the wrong phone plan. Validas is able to use all that data in the aggregate (certainly not revealing anything about any individuals) to gather some amazing insights.

The study they conducted analyzed actual voice, text and data usage over 12 months of over 50,000 accounts. They measured how usage fluctuated month to month and how average usage compared to peak usage. These measures indicate how much people might be wasting from month to month if they buy a fixed or unlimited plan rather than paying for what they use. Validas was also able to take it a step further and compare what these accounts actually spent over that year to what they would have spent on Ting with that same exact usage.

In short, the study confirmed that US mobile users, from individuals and families to small and large businesses, from light users to heavy users, are wasting hundreds to thousands of dollars a year with their current plans.

In fact, 98% of US mobile phone accounts would save money on their monthly bills by switching to Ting.

Businesses with over 10 users (or lines) per account have even greater potential savings than individuals and families. Accounts with 21-50 lines have the greatest potential savings at $636.60 a year per line.

Again, the key to savings seems to be the switch from fixed and unlimited plans to Ting’s “moving” plan.

Mobile plans are commonly designed to accommodate peak usage as a consistent norm. However, the study showed that users are not so consistent. Data usage, for one, will regularly fluctuate by up to 55%. (An account that averages 1,000 megabytes a month, for example, may vary by 550 megabytes up or down in a given month.)

According to Validas, this ends up being a major theme in almost all the analyses they do. Mobile users aren’t necessarily overpaying because rates are high. It’s because their plan is not quite right for their usage. Ting is actually a great benchmark just because customers essentially pay for what they actually use.

The study also showed that mean monthly data usage tends to be just 62% of the peak. What this means is that, even on average months, mobile users are typically buying much more service than they need.

We were thrilled to see this data. It confirms that even heavy users are overspending on traditional plans because their usage varies so much from month to month. It confirms that indviduals, families and businesses of all sizes would save money with Ting.

But we have to admit that the savings numbers above still seemed understated to us. Customers are telling us every day that they were able to buy a high end smartphone with Ting, often for over $400, and recover that money in a year of savings or less. This report would suggest otherwise. So we started asking our customers about it and had a bit of an epiphany.

On their previous unlimited or bloated plans, Ting customers had unnecessarily inflated usage. They did not utilize Wi-Fi when it was available, for example, or they streamed data needlessly. They just didn’t care. When they switched to the Ting plan and started tracking their usage regularly in the Ting dashboard, even the simplest attention to these behaviors greatly reduced their usage and further reduced their bill.

So simply referencing past usage numbers, as people do with our Savings Calculator or Validas did in this report, might not tell the whole story. Part of the savings with Ting comes from our rates, part comes from a moving rather than fixed plan and part comes from decreasing usage without any real sacrifice in experience.

Overall, the message is pretty clear. People will save money with Ting. If you are reading this, you probably already know that. When you get a chance, please tell someone else.

 

Strategically-Used Devices

One of the many advantages of the Ting pricing plan is that you can spend very little on a device that you use sparingly. You pay just $6 a month to keep that device active. You only pay for usage at all if it pushes your total account into a new bucket. If it is your only device, the buckets start at just $3 a month. You can use just one kind of service (voice, data, text) and leave the others at $0. Of course, if you do want to ramp up your usage at any time, the plan is there to accommodate you fairly.

In the context of choices out there, it’s the flexibility you might get from pre-paid with the efficiencies (account sharing), ease of use (no topping up), features and support you expect from an account on a major carrier.

Since launch, we have heard a bunch of great stories from customers about strategically-used Ting devices. A couple of these were in the “wow, we never even thought of that” category for us so I figured I’d share them.

The Leash

There were a bunch of moms and dads at our meetup in LA this week talking about this. They’re not quite ready to hand over a phone entirely to their kids (at which point, they will appreciate the visibility, alerts and administrative control they get in the new Ting dashboard), but they do want to be able to stay in touch with them after dropping them off at a movie or the mall. So, we’re talking around age 12 here. The feature phone (or maybe low end smartphone) comes out of the drawer when they need it and back in the drawer when they don’t.

The Backup

This one came from our buddies Robert and Carmela over at The Bike Stop in Philly. (No, I didn’t just Rick Roll you. That’s the site.) They have cable and Wifi at the bar and they rely heavily on data for crucial functions like credit card processing and inventory management. They realized that they should probably have a Plan B. So they keep a Huawei hotspot by the register. If they need it, they turn it on and tether all their machines to it. The usage simply gets pooled with the Ting smartphones they use every day. If they don’t need it, it’s $6 a month.

The Passport

It turns out we solve a big problem for people who don’t live in the US but spend a ton of time here for business or pleasure. People like our Canadian friend Amber MacArthur. (It’s my blog post and I’ll name drop if I want to.) These folks have either been living in the world of pre-paid (topping up, expiring minutes, random fees), enduring ungodly roaming charges or just going offline between landlines and Wifi. With Ting, they get their “US phone” set up to work just like their everyday phone and they’re all set. Or maybe they tether their everyday phone to their Ting phone and just use the Ting phone for voice. (Either way, they need to remember to shut off data roaming on both phones so they don’t end up getting slammed on the wrong side of the border.)

Right now, non-US residents can only activate a Ting phone on the site if they have a US credit card. It is on our backlog to make this available for everyone on the site.

My Dad

I’ll use my own example here. “Dad, we don’t have to synchronize watches. I’ll call you when I’m walking up to the stadium.” “OK, I’ll try to remember to turn my phone on.” “Why don’t you just keep your phone on?” “I don’t know, I don’t want to rack up charges for any reason.” “Are you planning on butt-dialing Bolivia? I’m one of like three people that knows your cellphone number.” “We have a small plan and I don’t want to get hit with overages.” Ah, yes, overages. Now, to be clear, putting a senior parent on your plan means putting yourself in the role of account administrator and customer support. It’s a generous thing to do. To be honest, I haven’t done it yet.

If anyone has more examples of how the Ting plans have helped solve a particular problem (or maybe examples of problems that nobody seems to be solving just yet), please let us know.

Ting: The best business mobile plan
(if we do say so ourselves)

Today we’re taking the wraps off the Ting for business pages to explain the benefits of Ting and mobile that makes sense for businesses big and small.

When we first launched Ting, we knew it would be an ideal service for businesses. When we started talking about redesigning the Ting account control panel, much of the discussion for how it should work focussed on plans with multiple devices under management. Going beyond just family use and thinking about what happens when accounts have 10, 20, even 100 devices sharing pooled usage. With the new control panel available to use now, we’re redoubling our efforts to demonstrate that Ting can be the perfect choice for business mobile. We explain in more depth in our Ting for business pages.

In addition to the Ting for business pages, we also created a total cost of ownership (TCO) calculator spreadsheet that lays out just how much money a business could save by moving to Ting for mobile service. After all, if there’s one thing businesses love it’s a good spreadsheet… to say nothing of a killer ROI. This TCO Worksheet lets would-be business switchers run all the numbers, including having multiple partners or employees each with their own device, and expensing their own monthly wireless bills. The TCO worksheet factors Ting device purchases in to the equation to demonstrate that purchasing outright as opposed to getting deep discounted subsidized devices and back-loaded contracts is the better way to go.

Ting for business video

A perfect business mobile plan

Aside from an online account control panel that scales effortlessly whether you have one or 100 devices on a Ting account, many of the benefits families are already realizing from Ting also scale nicely to businesses: Shared usage between an unlimited number of devices, granular device-level control, incredibly reasonable rates for minutes, messages and megabytes of data. No limits and no wasteful bundles or unlimited plans. No overages or penalties. Rates that get better the more you use. You’ve probably heard the spiel.

Forward-thinking businesses are already experiencing Ting’s benefits. For them, the new control panel is a natural evolution and the business-specific points we make on the Ting for business pages are already being realized each month.

Business users still pick from the same buckets of minutes, messages and megabytes. We’re not changing the Ting model. Rather, we’re laying clear specifically how the Ting model makes fiscal sense for businesses.

Airave in-bound to Ting

If you’ve found the fringes of the mobile network and you need a bit of a coverage boost at home or in the office, this one’s for you. We just got final confirmation that we’ll be able to add the Airave to our list of Ting devices. Expect the Airave to hit the Ting devices page next week at an introductory sale price of $190.

For those unfamiliar with the Airave, it plugs in to your high-speed modem or router and routes calls and text messages using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). In short, you’ll get more signal bars in more places around the house and in turn, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Airave pricing

While we’re actively pursuing making secondhand Airave devices work on the Ting network, unfortunately you’ll have to purchase an Airave from us in order to use it with Ting phone for the time being.

The typical $6/mo. per device fee will NOT apply to an Airave on your Ting account.

Minutes and messages used count toward your chosen plan level. Megabytes of data would also come out of your chosen plan bucket … but you’d have to be crazy to use your mobile data connection when you’re so close to your (presumably) wireless router.

Airave setup

As with a Wi-Fi router, you may need to play with placement in order to get the strongest possible signal all over your home or office.

Airaves purchased through Ting will ship “hot,” which means they’re ready to plug in and begin broadcasting your new stronger mobile signal soon after unboxing.

If you’re anything like us, your first thought upon hearing about the Airave might have been to grab one and take it on the road to enjoy local calling and texting rates (avoiding roaming) wherever you have an active Internet connection. Afraid it’s no dice on that front: The Airave has protections in it to avoid just this scenario. It must be physically located in the USA and have a view of at least one tower in order to come online. Even a very weak tower signal will work. In addition to ensuring that the Airave is being used as intended, this geolocation process also facilitates 911 emergency location services.

Stay tuned to the Ting devices page, follow us on Twitter and / or hook up with Ting on Facebook to get the latest.