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The latest updates from the Ting Team in your town

Why does Ting charge a one-time pre-order?


Why it costs $9 to pre-order Ting Internet

$9 isn’t a lot of money by most accounts. Still, if someone is asking you to fork over $9, you may, quite reasonably, have a couple questions as to why and what you’re getting in return. Let’s break it down.

fiberWe’re looking at pre-orders as “votes” for a particular neighborhood or part of town. Building crazy fast fiber Internet networks isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy. Obviously, an individual contributing $9 isn’t going to have any real financial impact on the build. That is to say, it’s not so much about the money as it is about getting skin in the game, so to speak.

Building the infrastructure needed to get a neighborhood connected then connecting whole streets and individual houses with fiber to the home doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of work and initial investment involved. There are certain thresholds of interest that need to be met before the effort makes sense.

While our plan is to cover as much of a town as we can, we can’t build in every neighborhood at once. It just makes sense that the places where we see the most interest are the places we’ll look first. If half the households in a neighborhood are dying for crazy fast fiber Internet, you can bet we’re going to make a point to get there sooner rather than later.

Why take a deposit at all?

Making a pre-order a transaction instead of an informal arrangement has a way of making things real. As we said, $9 isn’t a lot of money by most accounts but no one is going to fork it over without some understanding of what they’re buying into.

Think of the $9 a little bit like the quarter some supermarkets will ask you to insert in order to get a shopping cart from the corral. It’s not a binding “I will return this cart” kind of thing. It’s more a small incentive to do so. You could shop, take your cart out to the lot, load the car then save yourself a trip to the cart corral by forfeiting your $0.25. Indeed, some people do. Most, though, don’t.

Why does pre-ordering Ting cost $9? Here's a picture of a mangled shopping cart. Not sure how that relates but I've been assured that it does, indeed, relate.

This is why we can’t have nice things. Photo cropped from Dano‘s Flickr pic.

In short, it’s one thing to say “I want faster, more reliable Internet access.” It’s another thing to actually break free of the incumbent copper guys and take the steps to make the move.

Taking a deposit is the easiest and most binary way of gauging real, serious interest.

What happens to my $9 Ting Internet pre-order?

We’ll hold on to your $9 and apply it to the cost of installation when the time comes. We don’t have any specific plans for money collected as pre-orders. This isn’t a Kickstarter campaign.

How much is installation?

Wait, what? This wasn’t intended as an FAQ. Installation costs are detailed on the pre-order page. You’re looking at never more than $200 for a home or $400 for a business. The Ting Internet Box costs $199 upfront or $9/mo. if you choose to rent the box instead.

Is the $9 refundable?

Yes. Also no. Mostly yes. Let me explain.

If we don’t see sufficient interest in a town to make building fiber feasible, we’ll refund all deposits automatically, as part of that (no doubt wrenching) decision. If we don’t make it out to a particular neighborhood, we’ll refund all pre-orders for that neighborhood.

If you choose not to get Ting crazy fast fiber Internet after placing a pre-order, we’re not going to deny you a refund on your $9. That’s not how we operate (just ask our mobile customers). We’d much rather part as friends.

That said, we’re not going to expend our collective energy chasing down pre-orders specifically to issue refunds. So, if you want to rescind your expression of interest in a better Internet for your town, you’ll have to give us a call or send us an email.

Don’t worry, though. We’re not in the business of keeping you waiting, making you navigate a phone tree in order to speak to a real person or otherwise get in your way.

So, should I pre-order Ting Internet?

I mean, we’d argue that you should, yeah.