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Survey says: our phone buying behavior is changing, but we could do more to save

Phone financing survey

While Ting Mobile is best known as a low-cost, high-quality service provider, we also sell phones that range from the newest flagships to affordable sub-$100 phones in the Ting Shop. And we’ve noticed that a hot button topic among phone-buying customers is mobile phone financing. The topic has come even more to the forefront due to the challenging economic climate we’re now in. For that reason, we polled 1,500 cell phone users across the country to find out more.

In short, we learned that a majority of cell phone users continue to buy their phones outright, but mobile phone financing is becoming more popular, especially with younger purchasers. Not just that; these younger buyers are also more likely to seek out financing methods other than the most popular method of financing through one’s carrier on a long term plan. It seems that the emerging buying public is “getting wise” to the fact that there are financing options that will save them far more money in the long run that tying themselves to an expensive contract.

By delving deeper into phone buying behavior, however, we found out that mobile phone financing is far from the only purchasing decision people are making in order to save money. As shown in our phone upgrade cycle survey, people are holding on to their phones longer (an average of three to five years). An astounding 70% of respondents in our new survey reported that they will either be delaying plans to upgrade or buy a cheaper phone than originally planned due to the current economic climate.

cell phone financing survey infographic

However, we also discovered that many users aren’t making changes that will help them save considerably more money in the long term. Only 22% of mobile customers are planning on changing their plan in light of the economic downturn; this, despite the fact that the average phone bill was reported by the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey to be $114 a month while providers like Ting have average bills that are a quarter of that or less.

See what you could save

See what you could save

Ting Mobile’s unique pay for what you use approach saves people a lot of money. See what you’d save.

Check Ting Rates

At Ting, we’re pretty obsessed with saving mobile users money, so it’s heartening to see buyers taking steps to either spend less on their phones or use mobile phone financing to split up payments and keep more money in their pockets. However, we encourage mobile users to look into alternative mobile plan options, as spending less on your monthly phone bill is a way to save larger amounts of money, potentially hundreds of dollars per year. And with Moblie Virtual Network Operators aka MVNOs operating on the major nationwide networks (Ting operates on three), customers receive the same level of coverage and service quality or better.


We’re not trying to be sneaky here. Naturally, we want you to consider Ting as your mobile service provider. That doesn’t make it any less true that you can receive the same level of service for much less by making the switch. And that switch doesn’t have to be to Ting Mobile. Check out the different features of the many MVNOs and see which is right for you. As for us, we save you money through one simple method: you only pay for the minutes, texts and data that you use. Use less? You’ll pay less. Our three coast-to-coast networks mean you’ll have great coverage wherever you are, and we’ll never lock you into a contract. Plus, we offer mobile phone financing with great rates through our partner, Affirm. Ready to save big on your monthly bill? See if your phone can come to Ting!