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The Ting $100,000 ETF Payout

UPDATE: The Ting $100,000 promotion is over.

While it’s too late to have us cover your early termination fees with this specific promotion, we’re always coming up with new and interesting ways to mix things up. If you’d like to be among the first to know the next time we come up with a way to help the mobile contract-afflicted, sign up here. Also, it behooves us to say, promotion or no promotion, you’d probably still save money on mobile with Ting.

UPDATE: The Ting $100,000 ETF page is now live! The button to “Reserve your spot” will direct you to the signup form starting Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:01 ET (GMT -5:00)

UPDATE: Check out the Ting $100,000 ETF payout FAQ

We hear from people all the time that they’re going to make the move to Ting… just as soon as their current mobile contract is up. We hate to see people toil under the yoke of mobile oppression (not to overstate things). We’ve decided to take matters into our own hands.

We’ve set aside $100,000 to pay off Ting switchers’ early termination fees (ETFs) over the entire month of February.

On Feb 1, the Ting $100,000 ETF payoff page will go live (we’ll update this post with the link). Continuing through the end of the month, Ting will be paying off the early termination fees (ETF) up to $350 per line for anyone that’s ready to ditch their mobile contract and come over to Ting.

We’re not buying out your contract and asking you to sign a new one; Ting is (and always will be) contract-free. Your ETF payment comes in the form of a non-expiring service credit dropped straight into your Ting account.

Why, we hear you asking in earnest? Well, because we’re pretty sure that after you give us a try, you’ll stick around long after your Ting credit has run through and you’ll join the ranks of happy Ting customers, saving money, living contract free and taking advantage of all Ting has to offer

How it works

You can buy a device now in preparation for the Feb 1 campaign launch if you wish but you’re not required to do so. You have the option to purchase a new or refurbished Ting device, buy a used Sprint device that’s ready to come to Ting or bring an eligible, inactive Sprint device that you’re no longer using.

When the campaign launches on Feb 1, hit the Ting $100,000 ETF page (again, we’ll update with the link) to secure your slice of the $100,000 ETF payout fund. Within 30 days, you’ll need to activate your device, port your mobile number to Ting and send us your ETF documents. We’ll then drop a credit for the full ETF amount into your Ting account.

We’re not into setting limits but in this case, we must: We’ll be paying out the ETF up to the maximum per line which, depending on your carrier, can be as high as $350. You can bring over multiple lines and we’ll give you up to the $350 max for each line.

We’ll pay out ETFs for any contract that was in effect or that wasn’t renewed / extended before Jan 16, 2013: the day we pre-announced this promotion.

So why are we telling you about this now at the obvious risk of having a bunch of people who are in a mobile contract hold off from making the move to Ting until our ETF buyout program is online? Simple. This promotion is not retroactive; we’d hate to spring this on you the day after you paid out your ETF and made the move to Ting. We figure we’ll give a heads up and you can decide what to do with all the available information. Just don’t sign another mobile contract between now and February 1, 2013, OK?

Are you stuck in a mobile contract? Do you know what your early termination fee would be if you cancelled? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out the Ting $100,000 ETF payout FAQ

Ting holiday shipping times
The short version: order soon

It is 13 days before Christmas and all through the warehouse, the crew is busy packing up Ting devices in order to get them out in time.

What, you were expecting a rhyming couplet?

Half price express shipping

In order to get your device in time for Christmas, there are a couple of options. First off, we’ll be dropping the price of express shipping by 50% for the holidays; starting tomorrow afternoon (December 13) right now and through the end of the holiday season, express shipping (FedEx delivery within two business days from the time it’s picked up and on the truck) will cost $12.50 (regular price $25). Express shipping is the best option to ensure timely delivery.

Order dates and ground shipping times

If you decide to go the free shipping route, please note the following (geographically dispersed) approximate shipping times and get your order in ASAP. Place your order before 5pm ET Monday to Friday and available devices (that is, any device on the Ting Devices page that doesn’t have a caveat like “ships in 3-4 days”) will leave the warehouse on the same day.

Standard shipping average delivery times

  • Boston, MA – 3 – 5 days
  • Miami, FL – 3 – 5 days
  • Seattle, WA – 2 – 3 days
  • Los Angeles, CA – 2 – 3 days
  • Dallas, TX – 3 – 5 days
  • Denver, CO – 3 – 5 days

Please note these timeframes are an average. Please err on the side of caution. For example, shipping to Los Angeles, most orders make it to their destination within two days. However, we’ve seen a few take up to five days to arrive; once they’re on a truck, there’s nothing we can do to speed things along.

For shipping locations outside of major city centers, tack on at least one business day for suburban areas and two for rural areas. The overall average for standard (that is not express) shipments is eight days and accounts for rural areas and the non-contiguous states Alaska and Hawaii.

The safest bet is to choose express shipping at checkout: that’s why we’ve dropped the price by 50% for the holiday season. We’d hate to see anyone disappointed.

The confirmation emails we send upon completion of your order include tracking information so you can get updates on your package as it makes its way to you.

New video start up guides on Ting

In the new year, we’ll be redesigning our video start up guides. Gone are the real-time walkthroughs with voice over (from a VO guy some of you have said sounds like James Stewart), replaced with a more straight-ahead and polished approach.

Rather than bundling several topics into one video we’ll be breaking out the topics people need to get started (how to set a passcode lock, how to download and install an app, how to connect a Bluetooth device and so on) as quick-hit help videos. We’ll be doing up to 15 per device.

These prototypes are available in up to 720p resolution. Click the cog icon in the embedded YouTube videos below to access quality settings. The final renders will be available in up to 1080p.

Prototype 1 – Ting Start Up Guide video

Prototype 2 – Ting Start Up Guide video

This is where you come in

Before we really start cranking through these videos, we’d love to hear your thoughts. The content of these videos is early stages. This topic in particular is pretty rudimentary for anyone who’s had a smartphone before. However, think of the newbies. (Won’t somebody please think of the newbies?!)

What we’re interested to hear is what you think of the treatment overall. Is the on-screen text easy to follow along with? Is what’s going on easy to see? Is it too fast? Too slow? Do you prefer version one with blue text on the right and the phone on the left, or version two with black text on the left and the phone on the right? Perhaps you’d prefer some combination of the two. We’d love to hear from you before we finalize our plans for the redesigned Ting start up guide videos.

These videos serve a dual purpose. First and foremost, they are designed to help those new to the world of Android figure out how to get things done. Second, they’re designed to give people looking to buy a new device a much closer look at how the device works, what it looks like in the real world and so on.

With all that said, please feel free to sound off in the comments below. We’ve also put together quick survey where you can share your opinions.

Ting Hangout – Nov 29 at 2pm ET

On November 29 at 2pm ET we’ll be doing a Google+ Hangout with members of the Ting team. We’ll be talking about everything from our bring your own device efforts and our own device lineup to our plans for the end of the year, for 2013 and beyond. We’ll touch on Ting for Business, we’ll get one of our talented developers up to talk about the ideas behind Ting control panel 2.0 and the recent changes to our devices pages as well as what’s next for the site as a whole. We’ll have swag. Someone will be walking away with a sweet new phone.

We’ll even talk candidly about our iPhone and Windows Phone; where we are, where we’re hoping to go and how we plan to get there.

We’ll also have celebrity guests*

It’s going to be a super fantastic online streaming party and everyone’s invited.

We’ll take all your questions via email ( Twitter (@TingFTW, #TingHang) or by phone (phone number coming soon).

The event will be live on Google+ and live streaming to our YouTube channel.

November 29, 2pm ET. Mark it.

*presence of celebrity guests depends very much on your definition of the word celebrity.

Where did Ting’s refurbished devices go?

Let us address the elephant in the Ethernet. We don’t currently have any refurbished devices on offer on the Ting devices page. Even though we have plenty to address demand sitting in our warehouse.

If you had your eye on a refurb device from Ting and that device is no longer available, we’re sorry. Refurbished devices will be back as soon as possible.

The problem

A huge rush of orders for refurbs using a particular promo code alerted our team that something might be amiss. A blogger had suggested purchasing refurb smartphones from us for next to nothing and not activating the device on Ting. It started a flurry of purchases from buyers that did not smell like future Ting customers.

We’ve been pretty transparent with the fact that service (minutes, messages and megabytes) is where Ting makes money. As we sell devices at or below our own cost (even before promos) and we don’t deal in contracts or other mobile business as usual, we would take a significant financial hit if these refurbs were never activated with us.

The solution

The actions we’re taking are twofold: first, as I mentioned, we’ve pulled all refurbs from the Ting lineup for the time being. Second, we’ll be changing the way promo codes work for some transactions.

Promo codes will continue to work as they always have for most first devices purchases, offering a dollar off discount on the purchase price. However for select devices, including very inexpensive refurbs, a Ting service credit will be offered instead. This way we’re able to give the same dollar value discount but that discount is delivered upon activation as opposed to on purchase. It’s an incentive to activate and ensures that devices aren’t being sold at significant cost to us and never activated on Ting.

As soon as that chunk of code and backend connecting has been completed, refurbs will once again appear in the Ting lineup. Our dev team is hard at work on the code necessary to make this a reality. We hope to have refurbs back in our lineup before the end of this month.

EYO(S)C is now live!

There hasn’t been a ton of anticipation surrounding our Embed Your Own (Savings) Calculator initiative, but I’m excited about it. If any of you are telling friends about Ting – either to earn yourselves $25 service credits or just to be good friends – and you have your own blog or website, you can now offer up your very own savings calculator.

Here is the embed code:

<iframe src=”” width=”900″ height=”500″ frameborder=0></iframe>

If you don’t know what to do with that (or have any problems) and you would like to have a Ting savings calculator on your site, we are happy to help. Just comment here and we will have someone geeky get back to you.

Meanwhile, I’m going to give it a try myself here:

Hey, look at me! I’m a coder! By the way, we intentionally stripped out any “Get Started” buttons after the calculation so that you can just include a button that links to your unique referral URL. Enjoy.