Ting Hangout – Join us this Thursday at noon ET!

tinghangoutjune18

Our next Ting Hangout is happening this Thursday, June 18 at 12:00 pm ET (noon).

Join the Ting team in talking about the latest Ting Internet news, including our recent Charlottesville launch and the upcoming Westminster fiber lighting ceremony. On the mobile side of things, we’ll be discussing the recent addition of GSM phones in the Ting shop and sharing some info on devices set to arrive in the coming weeks. We’re also giving away two Ting smartphones during the stream, along with some swag!

This Hangout is the perfect time to ask us any burning questions you may have, whether mobile or Internet-related. Submit your question below to be entered to win a Moto E (2nd Gen) and BLU Studio 6.0 LTE. Towards the end of the Hangout, we’ll randomly select two questions from the list and these submitters will win a brand new Ting-ready device! Any question that gets answered will also pick up some Ting swag (whether a t-shirt, hat, etc). Winners will be announced during the Hangout and emailed afterwards.

If you’re not able to make the live stream (or if you’re seeing this blog post after the fact), the live stream will be archived in the Ting Hangout YouTube playlist.

See you on Thursday :)


Customer spotlight: Felix Whelan

FelixIf there’s one thing we like more than messing with the mobile industry, it’s talking to our wonderful customers.

After dealing with the incumbents for 30 years, Felix Whelan and his family made the move to Ting. Detailed in length on his blog, Felix describes the horror stories he experienced with a big carrier along with some compelling differences he discovered after making the switch.

We reached out to Felix to chat further about how he came to find Ting, the difference between an MVNO and one of the “big four”, his thoughts on smartphones and much, much more.

Ting is giving away $10,000. Just because.

For no real, discernible reason, we have decided to give a customer and member of the Ting Ground Crew, Joe Murray, a check for $10,000!

Joe thinks he’s flying to our head office for an interview, with no knowledge of what’s actually in store. Within the hour (around 3:00 PM EST), we’re busting into his interview and surprising him with a massive check! We’ve embedded the live stream directly below so you can watch how it all went down. We’ve also released a 2 minute edited version with all the highlights!

Thanks to Joe for being awesome and for helping spread the word about Ting.

Ting Personal Shopper turns 1!

It’s been almost a year since we unofficially launched our Personal Shopper program! To those who aren’t familiar, the Ting Personal Shoppers take the hassle out of finding a used device to use on Ting. They’ll scour the used device listings to find the perfect phone for you based on your price, model and feature requirements.

Chi, who manages Customer Service Operations here at Ting, describes the impact of the program:

“The program is a great first interaction with our great support team: People are amazed at how personal the interactions can be, as our Personal Shoppers really work with each customer to find the phone that’s right for them. The feedback that we hear most often is how quick the response time is, and how nice it was to sit back and relax while we take care of the legwork.

Here are some of the stats from the program after one year:

Personal Shopper copy

 

What’s next? Well, the Personal Shopper program will continue to exist alongside a new, automated version we’re working on! If you’d like to utilize the Ting Personal Shoppers to find your next device, head over to Ting used devices page and click on the Personal Shopper icon.

Get-Started

 

 

Pop quiz! Mobile acronyms and initialisms

Take the Ting quiz to test your knowledge of mobile industry jargon and have a chance to win some Ting swag. There are no right or wrong answers. Well OK, there are right and wrong answers… but whether your answers are right or wrong doesn’t impact your odds of winning. We’d appreciate your first, gut response. Not the one you looked up on Wikipedia. To be clear, the Ting quiz is not like those other quizzes you keep seeing popping up on in your Facebook newsfeed. We won’t tell you which mobile industry initialism best describes you. We won’t ask you to pick your birthdate and the first letter of your last name to come up with your smartphone name. It’s just a simple, eight question quiz and a chance to win a little Ting swag.

Edit: Congratulations to our swag winners: Dana M, Mike S and Alex B!


Customer spotlight: Jonathan Pagan

Jonathan Pagan is a pretty awesome guy. When he’s not at workreddit 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!

 

Q: How did you find out about Ting?

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.

Q: What first attracted you to Ting?

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.

Ting Customer Q & A – Patrick Weidner

Patrick Weidner

Ting customer since: Jul 2012
Previous carrier: Sprint
Monthly savings with Ting: $60/mo. at least

Where did you first hear about Ting?:

I heard about Ting on the “Republic Wireless” blog.

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

Price, practicality, and ability to control your own account with a few clicks. And of course the great customer service.

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 have 4 dumb phones that were contractually up Dec. 2012
My early termination fees were only $50 per phone. It was a no brainer. I made that up in 2 months of service.

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

I will save at least $60 per month. The important part is that I now have smart phones, where in the past, I did not. The service is still $60 per month cheaper.

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

4

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

They can not believe it. I have to beg them to check it out for themselves. I send them to the web site but very few check it out because they think there is a catch.

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

I am extremely happy about the move. As strange as it sounds, I am looking forward to my first bill in 4 days. I can’t help but tell my friends about it. I am just trying to save them money and they think I am kidding. I am going to have to print out my first bill and start caring it with me.

What should we be doing better?:

I think you guys are doing it right. I love calling, just to get a real person within a couple rings in unbelievable. Keep up the good work.

Ting Customer Q&A – James Foster

James Foster

Ting customer since: Feb 2012
Previous carrier: Verizon
Monthly savings with Ting: $70/mo

Where did you first hear about Ting?:

I was sitting down with my wife, debating between taking Verizon’s lowest family plan, and giving Sprint a try. While she was fiddling with plan pricing, I was browsing Slashdot (like always). They had a feature about a new wireless company started by Tucows (a name I remembered from the good ol’ days before the .com crash). After looking into Ting a little bit, we made the obvious decision to switch.

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

Being a technology enthusiast, I have an endless number of rants on the stupidity of America’s wireless carrier situation. While I understand that putting up the infrastructure for these things is expensive, the prices these guys charge are absolutely ridiculous. When I first looked at Ting’s pricing structure and easily understood “however many devices you want, man” attitude, I was basically sold. I don’t mind paying a bit more for my device if I’m allowed to do whatever I want with it and pay a fair price to use all its features.

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?:

Our Verizon contract had just ended and we were no longer going to get a discount due to my wife switching jobs. We were going to be paying over $120 a month for dumbphones. If I had known about Ting earlier, I can guarantee I would’ve terminated.

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

Our old Verizon bill was about $105 a month for two terrible feature phones. My screen was broken, and my wife’s phone had many glitches. Our Ting bill, for 2 very capable smartphones, averages about $35 a month. We once had to pay $45 because I accidentally used a bunch of extra data that month. No tears were shed from that incident.

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

Two LG Optimus S’s. We love them both.

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

“Ting is a company comprised entirely of real people. When you call their single phone number, a pleasant-voiced human answers the phone. When you look into their forums to get an idea of their culture, they have a section on Android Hacking. When you actually use your phone, you are charged in a way that resembles what you’d charge your friends if you ran a wireless company. Ting is an almost blinding ray of sanity and choice in dark realm of mediocrity.”

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

I could not possibly be happier. I have a tinker-friendly phone running a custom operating system and a bill most would think is being subsidized by the government. My wife and I had a baby only moments before losing both of our jobs. We have literally been running on fumes every month. Ting has been one of the brightest patches of this troubling phase in our lives. With the bills being so low and the service so reliable, I have never once had to worry about whether or not I’ll have a phone number potential employers can reach me. Not to mention the fact that they’re Android phones, so I’m never more than two taps away from a fun game to help relax. My only fear is that (god forbid) Ting will assimilate so many happy customers that Sprint will get mad and quash them.

What should we be doing better?:

I really only have one tiny, insignificant issue with Ting. When are you guys going to make an android app/widget that lets us monitor our account’s usage across devices? If you get that implemented, I would literally be in wireless heaven.

Samsung Galaxy SIII giveway winner:
Christopher Blunden

We promised refunds from among the first 200 pre-orders of the Samsung Galaxy SIII when we first made it available on Ting. The response was a huge spike in device sales and proof positive that we’d put a challenging device period behind us.

Recently we had a chat with Bill Butt about his win. Now it’s Christopher Blunden’s turn to speak his piece.

Thanks for taking the time, Christopher. We appreciate it and we’re glad you’re loving the SIII and Ting service so far. We also appreciate your restraint in not plugging your own web site. Heck, you didn’t even mention it. Allow us:
If you’re looking for a voice-over artist or a pro PowerPoint presentation, check out PresentationLab.

Where did you first hear about Ting? Why did you choose to make the switch?

I have an Internet radio and earphone by the bed I use to listen Leo Laporte’s day-later podcasts of This Week in Tech (TWIT) various shows. What he said made sense. “When it comes to billing plans for smart devices, these folks at Ting got it right.” (ed: This is just one of the reasons we love Leo and his TWIT network.)

Prior to this, I always bragged about having the “smartest” data plan, then pulled out my Motorola v557 flip phone with the retired Cingular logo stamped on the bottom and said, “Zero, I have none.”

I had looked at plan upgrades for a long time through phone company competitors and at Costco, and realized after about a year with Ting, the ongoing savings kick in. I waited several months until you offered the phone I wanted, the SIII, and combined with a $50 promo savings you honored, I finally went ahead.

Did you run the numbers on how long it would take to save the equivalent of the SIII purchase price before buying?

Yes, and even with bundling plan offers, it still made better sense to me to invest in Ting.

How long would it have taken?

I have access to a wired desktop and a wireless laptop I use all day for work, so calculating my potential data usage using a mobile smart device in answer to your question is inexact. Being a baby-boomer in my “extremely late 40’s” I’ve always used computers daily since the pre-DOS CP/M days. I recently read that using a smart phone as a telephone is less than 5% of actual usage, and that most usage is as a mobile computing device. While engaging in one of my work skills (doing voice-overs for App developers) I’ve discovered new uses for these devices that never existed. I know I’ll be applying some of these Apps to my benefit. I also realized Ting was the most economical way for me to learn to use the device in new ways as a mobile computer at my own pace in wireless settings and to then apply that learning when on the go.

How is the Galaxy SIII working out for you so far?

It’s like walking into a Disneyland for the first time. I’ve had an iPod Touch 4 (64 GB) for two years (what Steve Jobs called, “The iPhone without the phone” which has always amazed me, but decided to enter Androidland to compare. Check back in 6 months.

What are you going to do with your new found fortune?

[Christopher] Upgrade the internet speed for my desktop.

How do you explain Ting to your friends and family?

The data plan where you only pay for what you use. And they actually answer their phone.