We did some listening sessions earlier this week with mobile users (otherwise known as people) to learn about what’s not making sense in mobile phone service and how Ting can do things differently.
We asked folks to bring their current phone bills to the discussion.
But before we got to the bills, we talked a bit about about plans, usage and budgets. Almost everybody in the room at some point described themselves as heavy data users (hogs, whores, junkies, lots of unflattering metaphors). Many said they simply needed an unlimited data plan, at any price, because they would inevitably bust through limits and suffer huge overage penalties. (Don’t get me started on overage penalties. What other service industry penalizes customers for using more of a service? Isn’t that what you want customers to do? I’ll save that for another post.)
Then we asked them to read their bills and figure out how much data they actually used last month.
Lots of people admitted they had never looked at their bill before. Many leafed through pages and pages trying to find their data usage. Binder clips flew. Highly educated grown-ups debated about the relationship between a kilobyte and a megabyte.
There was (seriously) confusion, frustration, laughter and anger.
Once they got to the appropriate line item, almost everybody ended up realizing that they don’t use nearly as much data as they thought they did. It makes sense. We spend a lot of time on WiFi networks. And most of the activities we do when we are between networks (home and work) – emailing, tweeting, even browsing – just don’t really use that much data.
They realized that they are wasting money every month on data they don’t need.
Then we gave them a Ting plan and asked them to calculate how much they would save. You’ll hear more about that soon. Meanwhile, when you have some time, you should really read your phone bill.