Congratulations to our lucky winner, Tyler P!
This week marks the two year anniversary of our launch. We are celebrating by slashing prices, particularly on heavy data usage. (If that’s about all you need to hear from me, check out the new Rates page now.)
This is not a promotion, these are just our new rates. Current customers do not need to weigh a move to a new plan. New customers do not need to come from any particular provider or sign up for a particular plan. You don’t need to buy a device or make any commitment. We are simply dropping our prices.
We have a very simple business model. We invest heavily in engineering and customer support. We spend comparatively little on marketing. We take nothing on devices. We take a fair margin on service. We offer the best prices and the best experience we possibly can. We hope that you stick around and tell your friends.
We also listen. You repeatedly told us that our Achilles’ heel was our pricing on high data usage.
After two years of fantastic growth, we are now in a position to offer even better prices. We cannot think of a better way to spend our “winnings” than pouring them right back into our customers.
There had been talk in the forums about shifting or adding levels. We decided that felt, well, shifty (or addy). It’s so much purer to just drop prices across the board.
If you are already a Ting customer, you will begin enjoying the new rates in your next billing period (the one that starts after today). So, to be clear, the billing period you are in the middle of right now will still be on the old rates.
If you are just considering Ting, now would be a great time to re-calculate your potential savings.
Hello from Customer Service!
The holidays are fast approaching, so we wanted to let you know what our Support hours will be for all of the days of merriment:
Tuesday, December 24th: 8am – 5pm ET (early close)
Wednesday, December 25th: Closed
Thursday, Dec 26th: 8am – 11pm ET – (regular hours resume through December 30th)
Tuesday, December 31st: 8am – 5pm ET (early close)
Wednesday, January 1st: Closed
Thursday, January 2nd: 8am – 11pm ET – (regular hours resume)
You might be saying yourself “well other carriers stay open 365 days a year–366 in a leap year even; why doesn’t Ting?”
It’s simple: we really like our staff here. And we want them to have some time to spend with their families and friends over the holiday season just like everyone else. It’s one of the ways that we strive to keep them happy; and it works a lot better than the time we gave each of them a puppy.
We realize this might get in the way of some troubleshooting or activation help a few of you might need, so we’ve got some great articles online to get you through. If you need help with getting a device activated on your account, this article will walk you through that process. Completing a BYOD? This article will point you to the information you need for your device. Looking for some specific troubleshooting? Just do a quick search of the help center.
You can absolutely still get in touch with us on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and we’ll get back to you lickety-split on the 26th and 2nd.
Wishing you all the turkey and chocolate consumption you can handle,
Update: The sixth Golden Ticket was found! Congrats to Judith K. of Washington and all our winners.
As a reminder, we recently stuffed three of our sweet, new reusable Ting shipping portfolios with Golden Tickets. We also sent three digital Golden Tickets to random “bring your own devicers”. All Golden Ticket winners received $400 in Ting credit which, based on the average Ting bill, should offer about a year of free service.
So far, 5 out of 6 tickets have been found:
Stephen S. (North Carolina)
Jeff F. (California)
Sandy C. (West Virginia)
Ray T. (Ohio)
Catherine L. (Florida)
One of the best things about running goofy contests like this is that we end up meeting a few more of our customers. We get to hear about why they came to Ting and how things are going so far.
Jeff F. in California had a great story. He decided to come to Ting to save some money and bought the cheapest smartphone he could find on our site, the Refurbished LG Optimus S. Just as he did that, a friend offered him an eligible HTC EVO. He gladly accepted but was kind of bummed that he wasted the cash on the LG Optimus S. Then it arrived with a $400 credit! Best return on any investment he ever made.
When I spoke to Jeff, he was having some trouble canceling his account with Virgin and bringing his phone number over to Ting. He was concerned that he might have messed up the timing and lost his number forever. I said, “No problem, Jeff, call our Support team, we’ll walk you through the whole thing and make sure everything is fine.” He said, “Ugh, I’ll call, but I just know I’ll be left on hold for six hours.” I love it when people say stuff like that! Man, it’s so easy to be shockingly good in this industry. I talked to him the next morning. He had been lucky enough to get Kenisha on the phone. (I would say Kenisha is the best Customer Rep we have at Ting, tied with about 30 other Customer Reps.) He and his phone number are with Ting and doing great.
I was also delighted to meet Sandy C. from West Virginia. Sandy and her family use very little data and were wasting money with plans that essentially force people to buy fixed amounts of voice, data and text that they don’t need. She admitted that our coverage is not ideal for her out there. But being able to pay for just what she uses was worth a bit of a sacrifice. And she is rightfully hopeful that it will get better.
Funny story. I was talking to Sandy on her Ting phone and we were having an awful time hearing each other. I’m screaming, “Congratulations Sandy!!!! How are you enjoying Ting so far??!!” After a about thirty seconds of this, I said, “Wow, Sandy, this is terrible, I don’t want you to live like this!!! If we don’t have the coverage you need…” Just then, Sandy’s voice came through clear as bell and said, “Sorry about that, I was just looking for something in the basement.” I cracked up. So not that great, but not that bad.
I asked Sandy to send me a cute photo of herself and the Golden Ticket. She sent this photo and explained, “You asked for a cute picture of me and the ticket. Well I don’t do cute so much, but I included my goat Violet to add some humor anyway. The goats appreciate the win too, cookies for everyone!”
Catherine gushed for about 10 minutes about how wonderful we are. I laughed about that. I figure you can suck pretty badly and then give someone $400 and there’s still a good chance they’ll gush about how wonderful you are. She said had just worked a 24 hour shift in the Intensive Care Unit and we made her day. I laughed again. That shouldn’t be a tough day to make. But we made her happy. That makes me happy.
One bit of data: 3 out of the 5 winners so far have never won anything their lives.
So, Stephen, Jeff, Sandy, Ray and Catherine have all claimed their prizes. Stephen, Ray and Catherine got the digital tickets. Jeff and Sandy got two out of the three actual tickets. One actual ticket is still at large. I love the drama, since history would suggest that the last one to find the Golden Ticket wins the whole Ting factory!
Jonathan Pagan is a pretty awesome guy. When he’s not at work helping others as a Physician, he’s helping them out online! Jonathan enjoys talking about personal finance and is constantly lending his expertise to the great folks over at r/Frugal.
Recently, he decided he was fed up with paying a $160 monthly phone bill and researched many MVNO’s to determine the best option for his family’s usage patterns. In a reddit thread (and subsequent follow-up post), he outlined his findings and generated a healthy discussion on the best mobile rates available to Americans.
We had a chance to chat with Jonathan about his thoughts on Ting, the current mobile industry and more!
A: Over the last few months I’ve been doing my best to shore up our family’s finances, and the important first step was setting up a detailed budget. Once I had done that, there was no avoiding the glaring $160 a month that we were spending on two iPhones. We did our best to cut where we could, but no matter what we did that $160 line on our budget for cell phones kept staring at me. After I decided I’d had enough I began my quest to find something better! Thankfully, the internet has a lot of information. I spent many, many hours searching for alternatives, and couldn’t more thankful to have stumbled on Ting on the list of MVNO’s I found on Wikipedia.
A: As I worked my way through the list of MVNO’s on Wikipedia, I finally came to Ting’s website. Having looked at many of the alternatives, I knew nearly right away that Ting was different. Clearly, the lack of contracts with Ting is a big plus, but I think the most important aspect for me was the unique way of paying for service. I had no idea that there was a company that allowed me to only pay for what I used without overcharging me! For us, the flexible way of purchasing service with Ting had two big benefits: First, no matter what we’d never pay for something we weren’t using and by doing this we would reduce waste in our budget. Secondly, it provided incentives for us to use our cell phones less and spend more time interacting with our children, friends and family. These two forces combined so that we get everything we need and want from our phone plans, while improving the quality of our lives.
We have made a change to Ting today that is simultaneously huge and completely insignificant.
From now on, Ting customers will no longer pick plans for voice, text and data. You will simply pay for what you ended up using. I think an example is the easiest way to explain this clearly.
Before today, you might have picked, for example, the Medium plan for everything. At the beginning of the pay period, you would pay us $9 for voice, $5 for texts and $13 for data. Then say, for example, you actually used Large for voice, Medium for text and Small for data. We would reconcile at the end of the pay period. So you would owe us $9 for voice and we would owe you $10 for data. So you would pay $27 upfront and then we would give you back $1. Then you would pay us $27 again for the next pay period.
Now, in that same example, you will pay nothing upfront and would simply pay $26 at the end of the pay period for your actual usage (L for voice, M for text and S for data).
There is no change to the $6 monthly fee per active device or any of the surcharges.
For anyone paying very close attention we have marked this monumental occasion by changing “Plans” to “Rates” in our top nav.
Why do I call this insignificant? Because in the end, there is absolutely no change to what you are paying. In fact, if you have been picking XS for all your plans, this is exactly the same. You were way ahead of us.
So why are we doing this? I can think of three good reasons:
The whole “pick a plan” and “reconcile” approach was unnecessarily confusing. We found ourselves spending way too much time explaining it to people who were considering Ting and people who were looking at their bill. We spent way too much time saying things like “well, you pick a plan but it doesn’t really matter what you pick.” We thought we were rightly conforming to an industry convention (plans) and that people would find it comforting. It sounded sort of exciting when people talked about how Ting “credits you back” at the end of the month. But we realized that we could strip away a whole layer of process, for you and us, and lose nothing.
It just looked and smelled too much like the sort of games the whole industry plays with rollover this and “unlimited but not really” that. In this case, again, there wasn’t anything hidden up our sleeve. The numbers ended up right where they belonged. But you have made your way to Ting through a maze of telco smoke and mirrors. We would hate for even a moment to look like we’re doing the same stuff.
We were holding your money all month. Why not let you hold your money? To me, it’s just like taxes. When I get a big refund, my first thought is, “Hey, I got a big refund!.” My second thought is, “Hey, why was I overpaying taxes all year long?!” Now, to be clear, once you get going, your cashflow likely won’t be different. If you tended to exceed your chosen plan, then you owed us money at the end of the month. If you fell short of your chosen plan, we owed you money. Regardless, you’ll still be paying every month and your total over any aggregate of months will be exactly the same. But in principle, it makes so much more sense for you to keep your money and pay us when you know exactly how much you bought.
So, nothing then. Today, announcing nothing! Come and get it.
Now there is a bit of weirdness in the first month as we roll this out. Stick with me here. If you are an active Ting customer, you are in the middle of a payment period. You have already paid us for your chosen plan at the beginning of your period. So, on your next bill, we will simply reconcile with you for that period. That means you could owe us a bit or we could owe you a bit. But, as per the new system, you will not be charged for the upcoming period. Now you will wait and pay next month for what you used. So, that just means you will likely have a next bill that is somewhere between negative and small. (Remember don’t freak out and start spending money. You haven’t actually saved anything here!)
For what it’s worth, that also means we’re pushing a lot of our revenue back a month. We’ll catch up, but I still think it’s a nice indication how important this sort of thing is to us.
I hope this is all clear to people. If you have questions, please let us know. Ultimately, I hope you appreciate this change as just another effort to bring simplicity, honesty and clarity to mobile.