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Our customer service team is growing!

It’s been a busy summer at Ting and I’m super pleased to welcome six new advisors to the customer experience team. Scott, Joey, Kyra, Tameika, Olga and Allan have recently finished up their training, and are just dying to help Ting customers with any questions they might have with their newly activated devices.

So why not give ’em a call and say hello? They’d love to hear from you!

Announcing Ting dashboard 2.0 preview

Today our talented dev team took the wraps off the new Ting account dashboard. It’s available to preview now and will be ready to roll out to all users soon, following the preview period and some final tweaks.

To check out the new dashboard just click on the Dashboard Preview link in the right hand navigation panel of your Ting account page. We think you’ll be glad you did.

Upon hitting the Dashboard Preview link you’ll be dropped in to the brand new control panel that features easier to read usage gauges for minutes, messages and megabytes (reminiscent of Great Pokéballs… which it must be pointed out have a 1.5x better chance of catching a Pokémon than a standard Pokéball), improved individual device-level control, brand new individual device-level alerts as well as the option to disable voice, text messages, data or completely suspend the individual device in question when it hits the limits you’ve defined. We’ve also made it easier to see events like phone calls, text messages and data sessions by account or by device.

The new control panel also allows the option to change global account settings to turn things like call forwarding and international calling, text and picture / video messaging, tethering, 4G and more on or off at the account level. Any devices whose preferences you’ve already set will remain unchanged; these global preferences will be stored and applied to any new devices you add to your Ting account upon activation.

We’ve made it much easier to find your Refer a Friend details and we’ve made it simpler share Ting with friends via Facebook and Twitter.

We’ve cleaned up the Details streams which are now nested under each of the usage dials; click View Details under the Minutes, Messages or

Megabytes dials to see a full log of all activity on your account. We’ve made it easier to change your plan and we’ve done a lot of work to clarify bills. We’ll continue to tweak during this preview phase and we have a lot of plans to further clarify bills in the coming development cycles.

Log in to your account, click the Dashboard Preview link and have a look around.

Please let us know what you think by filling out the Ting account control panel redesign survey, embedded below and available here.

Ting Customer Q&A – LeAnn Barga

LeAnn Barga

Ting customer since: Aug 2012
Previous carrier: Sprint
Monthly savings with Ting: Approx. $40/mo

Where did you first hear about Ting?:

I believe I first heard about Ting from a friend online.

What was it about Ting that resonated with you and made you want to switch?:

I love that with Ting I only pay for what I use, and if I use more than what I “plan” I am not bombarded with exorbitant fees. I really also enjoy the personal customer service, especially from Sarah in marketing. She was very helpful in my switch.

Were you in contact with a mobile carrier before you made the move to Ting? How long was left? What did that translate to in early termination fees?:

I was still in a contract with Sprint, I had 7 months left and my ETF was $70.00

What kind of savings are you seeing with Ting, month over month?:

I am saving over 50% savings each month. With Sprint I paid $84.68 a month. With Ting I pay $42.07.

How many phones and/or data services do you have on your Ting plan?:

1

When you explain Ting to your friends, family and/or random passers by, what do you say?:

I explain that I am with an amazing cell phone provider, Ting and that I pay less than half of what I formally paid with my previous provider.

Are you happy you made the move to Ting? Care to elaborate?:

I am very happy that I made the move to Ting. Not only is the customer service great, I can view my usage in real time.

What should we be doing better?:

I had wished that I could have brought my existing Sprint phone with me to Ting, but I am really enjoying my new cell phone.

BYOD – coming soon to Ting

UPDATE: BYOD for Sprint devices will hit beta testing soon. The latest details are in our BYO(S)D – Moving ever closer to Ting blog post.

Bring your own device (BYOD) is one of the most oft asked for features for Ting customers both current and would-be. It’s always been on our list and we’re always working to be able to offer it. That work is beginning to pay off. We’ll be rolling out the first phase of our BYOD program in Q4 of this year.

We’d say we’re excited to announce BYOD but that sounds too PR-ish. We’d say we’re super stoked to announce BYOD but that’d sound like we’re trying too hard. I guess you could say we’re at a loss for words to express just how super excitedly stoked we are to announce BYOD.

Before we dive in to the details on our upcoming BYOD plan, we want to manage some expectations. First, we’ll only be able to do BYOD for devices that work on the Sprint network initially [CLARIFICATION: and both Boost and Virgin mobile devices are excluded]. BYOSD, if you will. That said, this is a vital first step toward a more fluid mobile world where devices can move between carriers. We’ll continue to push. Second, this is not a backdoor to get the iPhone on Ting. BlackBerry, push to talk (PTT) and a small list of specific handsets won’t be BYODable (hey, it’s a word now). At least not immediately.

That said, for the vocal Windows Phone devotees we hear from, this development means that many Windows Phone devices purchased from Sprint can be brought over to and used on Ting. It also means that the super sweet Android smartphone you bought from Sprint can have a home on Ting and that the perfectly serviceable Sprint handset sitting in your desk drawer can come along too rather than taking a one-way trip to landfill.

We’ve got to hand it to Sprint on this too; this a brave and forward-thinking step. We partnered with Sprint because they’ve made it clear that virtual operators are important. This kind of development demonstrates just how important.

We’re still a good couple of months away from being able to offer BYOSD. Consider this a heads-up; if you’ve been hesitating on making the move to Ting because you’ve got a perfectly good Sprint device you’d like to bring along, you need hesitate no longer. Well. You need hesitate only a little while longer.

We must point out though, the sooner you move to Ting, the sooner you save. You can buy a Ting device knowing that your current Sprint handset can be handed over to your partner, your mom or the kids when BYOD hits. Running the numbers on the Ting calculator you’ll see that even factoring the device purchase price in, Ting will save you money on mobile. That said, if you have a reasonably current Sprint phone you paid good money for and would like to bring to Ting, you’ll realize those savings even sooner.

Our focus is on providing awesome and friendly mobile service. We’d much rather let our customers buy their phones from whatever outlet they prefer or bring their existing mobiles to Ting when their contract expires. This is a huge step in that direction.

How BYOSD on Ting will work

If you have a supported Sprint device that’s not under contract (or if you want to pay the ETF fees to get out of your contract), you’ll be able activate it on Ting just as you would a device that you purchased from us.

Your ex-Sprint device will use your Ting account’s pooled minutes, messages and megabytes.

Which phones are eligible for BYOSD?

Any Sprint phone will be eligible with a few notable exceptions including the iPhone, BlackBerry and PTT devices we mentioned before [CLARIFICATION: Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile devices are also not eligible for BYOD]. The list of exclusions isn’t finalized but will certainly be much shorter than the list of devices that can be brought over.

The reverse is also true

Any device purchased from Ting can also be BYOD’d to Sprint. It’s always been this way.

Strangely, we’re happy about this too. There are people who have been reluctant to try Ting because while we don’t (nor will we ever) lock devices, there’s a perception that a Ting device can only be used on Ting. This BYOD development makes the leap of faith more of a hop and people are more likely to give us a chance when Sprint is there as a fall-back plan. We’re sure that once mobile users get a taste of “mobile that makes sense,” they’ll have no desire to leave. That said, it’s the safety net that some people need.

We’ve been pushing hard for BYOSD. There’s still a bit of a wait but Q4 isn’t that far away. We’ll continue to push in an effort to make this happen in the earlier part of Q4.

As always, we’ll keep you posted. Follow our Device Updates feed to get the latest news.

If you want BYOD on Ting, please take a moment to fill out the quick survey that’s embedded below.

Ting Customer Q&A – Anthony Colby

Anthony Colby

Ting customer since: Feb 2012
Previous carrier: T-Mobile
Monthly Savings with Ting: Approx. $60/mo

Where did you first hear about Ting?:

Several online tech articles (Tech Crunch, etc)

What was it about Ting that resonated with you and made you want to switch?:

The price, the fact that it was pay-for-what-you-use (since I never use texting, and very rarely use voice, it always annoyed me to have to pay for either). Also, the fact that I could live “contract free” with a mobile provider was a key motivator.

…How long was left? What did that translate to in early termination fees?:

I had about 6 months left, it translated to aprox $100 in termination fees. Given that I purchased a $500 phone that means I am eating away at a $600 “debt” that I got into because of Ting. However, since I’ve been with Ting since February, that debt is already nearly gone. Sooooooooo much more honest / truthful / awesome than with BigCell.

What kind of savings are you seeing with Ting, month over month?:

I used to pay $90, I now pay $30 or less per month… so $60 savings per month, on average.

How many phones and/or data services do you have on your Ting plan?:

2, a Motorola Photon 4G and a Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot

When you explain Ting to your friends, family and/or random passers by, what do you say?:

It’s pay for what you use. It’s combined so that you don’t need a separate plan for each device. It’s simple. It’s no BS. It’s way cheaper than I was paying on T-Mobile.

Are you happy you made the move to Ting? Care to elaborate?:

INSANELY HAPPY! Paying $60 less a month is GREAT, but it’s more than that. I like seeing all of my fees upfront, not being lied to about costs, and being on a carrier that doesn’t think the iPhone is a golden-god and Android is something that they simply have to “deal with.” Lately, with the fact that the Ting Army is starting up, I’m even MORE happy, knowing that Ting FUNDAMENTALLY supports developers, benevolent hackers, rooters, modders, flashers, and roms. Truly groundbreaking, again and again.

What should we be doing better?:

Lower data costs. You guys are a phone service that loves anyone, but is best for nerds. However, your pricing reflects someone who doesn’t (love) tech users. I’d rather see higher voice prices, and lower data prices, than what they are now. The data costs about 2x what it costs for my former tablet’s data-only plan ($35 for 3GB) and that, to me, is way to high.

Ting Customer Q&A – Chris Michael

Chris Michael

Ting customer since: Jul 2012
Previous carrier: T-Mobile & AT&T
Monthly savings with Ting: About $50/mo

Where did you first hear about Ting?:

A friend of mine who heard about it through Engadget

What was it about Ting that resonated with you and made you want to switch?:

Sense. I had not owned a cell phone for many years because the plans the providers put forth just didn’t make any sense to me. I gave up several years ago, finally getting a contract-based plan, and have been complaining about pricing ever since.

Were you in contact with a mobile carrier before you made the move to Ting? How long was left? What did that translate to in early termination fees?:

Luckily, my old contract had just run out when I made the switch. If I hadn’t been so close to the end, I would have made the switch as soon as I heard about Ting.

What kind of savings are you seeing with Ting, month over month?:

Around 50 dollars a month for me and my wife.

How many phones and/or data services do you have on your Ting plan?:

2 mid-range Android phones

When you explain Ting to your friends, family and/or random passers by, what do you say?:

It’s the only provider whose pricing makes sense. The major providers seem to present their plans so that casual cell phone users like me have to pay for those who abuse the network. With my new family plan, I’d rather not play a guessing games with my usage to avoid overage charges. With Ting, everything is tiered and priced according to your usage for that month, which makes me feel good about paying my bill every month knowing that I’m pretty much paying for what I used. And free tethering? Yes, why not! It just makes sense!

Are you happy you made the move to Ting? Care to elaborate?:

Definitely. For once I am not complaining about how I have to pay a ridiculous 65 cents/minute when my family accidentally goes over the usage we had to guess at two years ago. I feel liberated from the greed-optimized plans of the major providers.

What should we be doing better?:

So far, no major complaints other than the obvious: people are picky about their phones. I understand if Ting can’t allow new customers to bring their phones in, but this will need to be offset by a larger variety of phones. People have become really attached to their phones, but nobody I know (other than Ting users) are attached to their service providers!