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.
Why is Ting so cheap?
With Ting, the average monthly cost per device is $21 and the average Ting bill is $31.50. Ting service is on the Nationwide Sprint* network and so offers the latest tri-band LTE, well over 300 LTE sites, 4G WiMAX and nationwide 3G.
We offer voice roaming (including text messages) on the Verizon network at no extra charge should you find yourself in one of the few places the Sprint network doesn’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
Rather 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
If 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
Other 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.
We partnered with Glyde to offer reasonably priced, Ting-ready used devices. Our Ting Personal Shopper service can also help you find the perfect phone to bring to Ting from a used online marketplace like eBay. These offerings are on the used devices page too.
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.