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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.

Device update: On filling pre-orders and fulfilling promises

Device Update – Aug 16, 2012

We’re pretty pleased with the way our device lineup is coming together. The Samsung Galaxy SIII pre-order we announced in the last Device Update was a real win for us and, more importantly, for those of you looking for a truly top-end phone for use on Ting.

Coming to Ting

Top-end smartphones

Sometimes called “superphones,” these are the true top-tier smartphones; dual-core processors, a gig or two of RAM, huge, super high-resolution screens and the like are the earmarks.

HTC EVO 4G LTE

The HTC EVO 4G LTE is making its way to Ting. We’ll be offering pre-orders in mid-September with shipments happening in mid-October. We expect to offer the HTC EVO 4G for around $520.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE is a pretty killer device with a 4.7-inch screen 1280×720. It runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) with the new, pared down HTC Sense atop. It sports a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, expandable via microSD card. As the product name suggests, the HTC EVO 4G LTE is also an LTE-ready handset.

Motorola Photon Q

We’ve had some requests for a high-end QWERTY slider to replace the HTC Detail. Only too happy to oblige, we’ll be able to offer the Motorola Photon Q for pre-order next week; we’re expecting to have it available to us as pre-order on August 20, with shipments beginning three weeks hence. This timeframe is optimistic but likely.

The Photon Q is an LTE phone, it has the requisite slide-out QWERTY keyboard and packs a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It runs Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0 (4.0.4 out of the box, to be exact).

We expect to offer the Photon Q for around $500 but exact pricing is as yet TBD.
[UPDATE: August 21, 2012: Pre-order pricing for the Motorola Q is $520.]

LG Viper

A little lower down the spec chain but not by much, we expect to have the LG Viper on offer in October for a little less than $400. Another LTE smartphone, the LG Viper has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It runs Gingerbread, Android 2.3 out of the box. Thankfully though, an update to Ice Cream Sandwich is imminent, as confirmed by both Sprint and LG, though we have no specific ETA to share right this second. For more information on how the Ting Android update process works, please check out this article on the blog.

Think of the LG Viper as the LG Optimus Elite on steroids… but with LTE and a faster processor instead of acne and ‘roid rage.

Samsung Galaxy SIII

The Samsung Galaxy SIII is the top of the top-end. Pre-orders have been rolling in fast and furious.

There are a lot of moving parts that have to be taken in to account in fulfilling the SIII pre-orders. We’re on it literally every day, pushing to get these phones out the door as soon as possible.

We expect to begin shipping pre-orders of the Galaxy SIIIs across the four variants (Pebble Blue, Marble White, 16GB, 32GB) by early September and we’re pushing hard to move the shipping window up. As soon as we have a clear timeframe, we’ll certainly share it. Watch this space!

Smartphones

This is the most popular device category on Ting by volume. These smartphones come in at between about $200 and $300, generally feature single-core processors and smaller cameras. They’re not the absolute bleeding edge but they’re capable devices that won’t break the bank.

Kyocera Rise

This inexpensive slider will be offered for about $200 and will be hitting the Ting devices page soon. Sprint launches the Rise on August 19 and we’ll be able to offer it a couple of weeks later, in early September.

The Rise has a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a 3.5-inch screen. What’s interesting though is that we’re now starting to see Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0, move from exclusively the domain of the “superphones” and in to the more attainable smartphone space. The Rise is the first smartphone we’ll be able to offer at or around the $200 mark that runs ICS out of the box.

Feature phones

Feature phones aren’t met with the same fanfare as smartphones, which is understandable. These staid handsets don’t do much with data, have smaller screens and less advanced software running the show. That said, they’re a necessary part of any device line-up for the people that don’t need or want a smartphone.

Codename: Hyperopia

Within a couple of months we’ll be adding a new feature phone to the Ting lineup. We’re codenaming this feature phone Hyperopia because we can’t see quite far enough out to get the actual product name. The codename is also ironic as it will feature large keys and options for large on-screen text, perfect for shortsighted people. Really though, it’s perfect for anyone looking for a simple, solid phone without much in the way of bells and whistles. Hyperopia will hit in the near future and by the next device update, we hope to have a device name and price point to share. Until we confirm the name of this impending Ting feature phone, please feel free to speculate wildly in the comments below.

Going from Ting

The device sale on the Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot and the Sierra 250u continues, and we’re also adding the black Samsung Galaxy SII into the mix at $50 off ($435 down from $485). As with the white SIIs, once we clear through the remaining stock of black Galaxy SIIs, these devices are gone for good which leaves little room for hemming and / or hawing. If you want one, you’d better get moving!

Nothing to report on the iPhone front as yet. We continue to work every available angle. We expect to make small steps forward (and possibly a couple back-steps along the way) before we finally break into that walled garden. We’re happy with the progress we’ve made thus far, even though it’s baby steps. We’ll definitely keep you posted as news warrants.

In other news

We continue to work with Sprint on LTE. The back-end work has been accomplished on our side so as soon as the virtual switch flips, we’ll be able to offer LTE to Ting customers (at no extra charge, it must be pointed out). We’re still looking at an early September timeframe… and again, our tenacious team is all over it.

A lot of the feedback we’ve received from Ting users, both current and would-be, is that we need to offer a wider variety of devices and that ideally, we should support bring your own device (BYOD). We’ve been working hard on both fronts and our efforts are starting to pay off. We hope to have news to share on the BYOD front soon. We only mention it now so you don’t think we’ve fallen asleep at the switch. Let us assure you: We as a team drink far too much coffee for that to even be a possibility.

Broken Galaxy Nexus dreams

In other, less fortuitous news, it doesn’t look likely that our efforts to get the Galaxy Nexus will come to fruition. That’s a whole post in and of itself but suffice it to say that Google needs to make its pure Google phones MVNO friendly. We’re adopting the thought that it’s their loss… but isn’t that what all spurned lovers say? Our sincere apologies to the unmodified Android devotees. We’ll let you know if that changes but as it stands, we have to say: Ting will not offer the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

We’re hoping we can turn the tides for the next pure Google phone. Again, watch this space. We’re thinking a letter-writing campaign to Google HQ. Seriously. Who’s in?

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!

Win Won: a Nexus 7 and Ting Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot

UPDATE: We have a winner! Congrats to @charlesschr. Your Nexus 7 and Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot are on their way out to you now.

Thanks to everyone that entered. We’re already cooking up our next giveaway idea so watch this space and this space too!

The slick Nexus 7 and the Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot are a match made in high-tech heaven. As we hope we’ve adequately pointed out in our Ting loves tablets post.

To drive the point, we’re giving away a Nexus 7 tablet and a Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot.

Tweet to win a Nexus 7 and Express Mobile Hotspot

If you’re not already a Ting customer, first ask yourself why. Get really soul-searching about it. Next, grab a couple of recent bills from your current mobile service provider and run the numbers on the Ting Calculator. Share your potential savings on Twitter by clicking the handy Tweet button on the Ting Calculator page and you’re in the running.

Here’s a sample tweet:

I would save $XX.XX/mo. with Ting mobile. Calculate your savings to win a Nexus 7 tablet + hotspot. http://ow.ly/cXVk3 #Ting

or click for a pre-populated Tweet.

If you’re already a Ting customer, please accept our heartfelt gratitude and, instead of sharing what you could save, share what you are saving with Ting versus your previous mobile carrier.

Here’s a sample tweet:

I’m saving $XX.XX/mo. with Ting mobile. Calculate your savings to win a Nexus 7 tablet + hotspot. http://ow.ly/cXVk3 #Ting

or click for a pre-populated Tweet.

So calculate your savings and share for a chance to win.

We should point out: Promotion ends on Aug. 17. US only. No purchase necessary. Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot can only be used on Ting. You must have a valid post-paid credit card if you wish to become a Ting customer.

Ting <3 tablets, tablets <3 Ting

Whether you opted for the Wi-Fi only iPad or jumped on the Nexus 7 train where Wi-Fi is the only option, a mobile hotspot makes a perfect match for your tablet. Perhaps predictably, we’d argue that tablet-matching mobile hotspot should come from Ting.

While tablets are included in the major carrier’s new shared data plans, the fees for adding a device are steep. Contrast that with Ting where there’s a flat $6/mo. fee to keep a device alive on the network and where all your devices use the same pool of minutes, messages and megabytes of data. You’ll have a mobile data connection when you need it, but you’re not paying much to keep that mobile data option alive when you don’t.

Another option is to just tether your tablet to your Ting Android smartphone running in mobile hotspot mode. Tethering is included with Ting service at no additional charge; you only pay for the megabytes of data you actually use.

Granted, using a mobile hotspot isn’t quite as convenient as having a cellular radio built right in to your tablet. However, it offers much more flexibility. With a hotspot, you can offer up your mobile data connection to any Wi-Fi enabled devices you want; laptops, tablets, netbooks, whatever.

Consider the fact that a mobile-connecting iPad comes at a $100 price premium; you can purchase the Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot for a few bucks more and get much greater flexibility as part the deal.

Perfect data device for the Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 running Jelly Bean, Android 4.1, is the new tablet darling. With good reason. It’s small, light, sharp and smooth as silk. More though, Jelly Bean offers an interesting but less publicized new feature: the ability to denote a Wi-Fi access point as a mobile access point. In short, tell your Nexus 7 that the Wi-Fi signal coming from your Express Mobile Hotspot or Android phone in Portable Hotspot mode uses the mobile data network and the Nexus 7 will scale back its data demands; you’ll use less mobile data and with Ting, that also means you’ll pay less.

Take a look at the Huawei Express Mobile Hotspot: the ultimate tablet companion.

The Ting Road Warriors set off

A few months back, we were approached by a recent but eager convert to the Ting “mobile that makes sense” mantra. She reached out asking if we’d be interested in taking a road trip. Well, not so much us, as in the people behind Ting (though we might well have been down, if such an offer was floated) but rather, to come along for the ride with Ting riding shotgun. Naturally, we’d be chipping in for some gas and covering all data charges along the way.

From this simple email outreach, the Ting Road Warriors were born: Heidi, her hubby, their three boys and the latest addition to the family, a little girl just begging to be decked out in a Ting onesie. Funny story: Promotional onesies are surprisingly hard to come by. I guess there are too few companies looking to capture the 0 – 12 mo. demographic to make the promotional clothing industry pay much attention.

The Ting Road Warriors are setting out today and will touch Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois over the course of their eight-day journey. If you’re nearby, keep your eyes peeled for them. They shouldn’t be hard to spot: Just look for the happy family in a van with Ting magnets adorning the sides. They’ll all be wearing Ting t-shirts. Except the youngest member of the crew. She’s in the aforementioned Ting onesie.

Heidi, leading the charge with her five fellow Ting Road Warriors, will be checking in as often as she can on the Ting Road Warriors Facebook event page. Follow along!