A few weeks ago on the Ting Facebook page, we shared one of our weekly discussion posts and received some great comments from our Facebook fans. One of our customers, Ryan, responded to the post and was randomly selected as a lucky winner of a $25 Ting service credit. (If you’d like the chance to win some credit and/or Ting swag every week, Like us on Facebook.)
After adding $25 to his account, we noticed Ryan had been a Ting customer for over two years and had racked up a ton of referral credit since making the switch. As a veteran user, we asked Ryan if he would be interested in chatting with us about his experience with Ting, to help those who may be apprehensive about leaving a well-known provider for a low-cost cell phone carrier like Ting.
Fortunately, he was happy to speak with us! Ryan was eager to share his story, from his initial reasons for leaving AT&T to his current thoughts about Ting mobile service and more.
How did you originally find out about Ting?
My wife and I were in the market for new phones and wanted to switch from AT&T. We didn’t like how the cost of new phones would be calculated into our monthly bill, because we were planning to keep our new phones for a long time and didn’t want to keep paying for the same devices long after they should have been paid off. Of course we could get new phones every two years, but that felt wasteful to us, and didn’t address our goal of saving money. On top of that, we weren’t happy with AT&T’s pricing model. We were paying for minutes we never used, but if we went over on data or texts, we got hit with overage fees. We were essentially overpaying whether we used our phones too much or not enough – how lame is that?
So after Googling around, we found Ting and decided to take the plunge.
How many devices do you have on your account, and what type of smartphones do you use?
We have two Nexus 5s. Both have needed repairs (hers for water damage, mine for a busted power button), but they’re still great phones.
How much have you saved on average per month since switching to Ting?
Our average AT&T bill was roughly $120 per month, and that’s with a discount I got through my work! With Ting, it’s always about $50 per month, not including any extra credits. So that’s a $70 savings every month.
Did your usage patterns change since switching? Why or why not?
Yeah, if anything, we use our phones more! We aren’t worried about overage charges anymore, so we stopped closely monitoring our data and texting habits. I remember setting up little reminders on my phone to tell me when I was approaching my data limit – glad that’s all over with.
“My Ting bill is dependent on my actual usage, not some arbitrary plan I picked when signing up.”
What’s your favorite thing about Ting?
The customer service is really great, like actually refreshingly great. I don’t think I’ve ever called Ting without being surprised and impressed with whomever I spoke with. Not only do they really know their stuff, but talking with them feels like just a normal, genuine conversation instead of a scripted song and dance.
Do you use any “Ting hacks” or phone tricks to help lower your phone bill? (ex: Google Hangouts for free Wi-Fi calling, data compression apps, etc)
Ha! No more cost-saving phone tricks for me — fixing the service was the big one. But now that I think about it, I have downloaded offline maps to my phone so I’m not burning through data as I navigate. I’m sure that’s saved me a few bucks here and there. [Relevant Ting tip.]
We’ve noticed you’ve referred over 20 people to Ting. Can you tell us more about that? What do you say to people to help convince them to switch to Ting?
After we switched to Ting, I posted a review of my experience in an online forum and answered a few questions from visitors. It got much more attention than I thought it would, so I’m pretty happy I included my referral code!
I think a lot of people have assumptions about phone companies they expect will carry over to Ting. They’ve already had service with one or two major carriers and think Ting will be pretty much like that, with maybe a few cost-saving measures baked in. They think, “Am I willing to downgrade to save money?” But Ting isn’t a major carrier, so the experience is entirely different. My Ting bill is dependent on my actual usage, not some arbitrary plan I picked when signing up. Overages don’t really exist with Ting; neither do activation fees. There are also no early termination fees, because there are no contracts. There are no mall kiosks, no nationwide television ads, no corporate-branded sports arenas — all that stuff costs money that you, the Ting customer, don’t pay for anymore. It’s just simpler, and I like that. And I think being smaller makes for a better customer experience, too.
As a second part to that question, how long has your Ting referral credit paid your bill for?!
I just did the math, and Ting’s referral credits have paid for about 13 months of phone bills! To put that in perspective, if I were still with AT&T, 13 months of bills would have cost me over $1,500. All in all, I’ve saved over $2,600 since making the switch. Thanks Ting!!
“I agreed to this interview because I actually like my phone company. Not just the service they provide, or the price they provide it at, but the actual company—their mission, their approach—and the people I’ve interacted with. And I like being able to say that.”
You’ve been with us for a long time – is there anything you wish Ting could do better?
I’m very satisfied with Ting. For me, there’s really nothing that comes to mind. But please keep chugging away at improving call and data coverage. It’s always appreciated!
Anything else you’d like to say?
Just one more thing: I am a real live person. I agreed to this interview because I actually like my phone company. Not just the service they provide, or the price they provide it at, but the actual company—their mission, their approach—and the people I’ve interacted with. And I like being able to say that.
(Full disclosure, though, I’m also being sent a sweet Ting t-shirt.)