Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us. Etc.
Today, Ting is five years old. From our first public “hello world” blog post to today, it’s been quite a ride. Before we get too retrospective though, here’s the thing that probably hooked you to come here: The giveaways!
Five days of giveaways!
Watch us celebrate Ting’s fifth birthday from the recorded Facebook live stream below:
Now, a look back at the past five years.
A brief, non-revisionist history of Ting
Ting mobile was conceived of the idea that cell phone companies ask too much and give too little. We took aim at contracts, bundling and locking people in. We came out against mobile business as usual: “Free” phones that come with handcuffs, bloated unlimited plans that lock people in to pay for stuff they don’t need or use and fee creep that makes the bill you receive look nothing like the plan you signed up for.
People really seemed to appreciate our straight-forward approach, honest pricing and the much needed clarity we try to bring to an industry that profits on confusion. We really appreciate the appreciation. We believe that you win your customer’s business every day. We’re proud of the work we’ve done and we’re not about to rest on our laurels.
Since launching Ting with mobile that makes sense, we’ve branched out to offer crazy fast fiber Internet in select US cities and towns. Symmetrical gigabit Internet.
Suffice it to say, that’s going pretty well. We’ve heard more conglomerate cable co. horror stories than we care to recall in our visits to the various Ting towns. It’s clear that if there’s one place where our open, conscientious and honest approach is more needed than in the mobile space, it’s in fixed Internet access. People are tired of getting tired, tiered Internet access over tired copper that wasn’t designed with today’s Internet in mind. We’ve laid down roots in Westminster, MD, Charlottesville, VA, Holly Springs, NC and we’ll come online soon in other towns and cities including Sandpoint, ID and Centennial, CO.
Some Ting mobile wins
Perhaps our most notable achievement on the mobile side: We dropped our prices. Twice. First, coinciding with our two year anniversary, we cut voice, text and data rates across the board.
Later, after successfully negotiating with our carrier partners, we were able to drop data pricing further, down to $10 per gigabyte after the first. In classic Ting style, these price cuts were across the board, for both new and existing customers. No grandfathering and certainly no forcing customers to call and threaten to leave in order to extend the new pricing to them.
We launched service on a second network, adding GSM to our existing nationwide coverage. Thus affording people more coverage options and—the thing we were most excited about—more phone choices. With this addition, over 80 percent of phones in the market were able to come to Ting and the Ting Shop was no longer the only place someone could buy a Ting-compatible phone. Since unlocked phones have become more the norm in North America (called it!) that 80 percent number continues to grow.
We’ve had the distinct honor of being included in Consumer Reports annual survey on cell phone service several years running, beating out the big guys handily and trading top honors back and forth with other scrappy MVNOs intent on changing what people expect from phone companies.
A little foresight and a little good fortune saw us working with Neeb, the top ranked North American StarCraft II pro gamer who consistently leaves a trail of computer-generated carnage in his wake. Seeing him in his Ting Starcraft jersey and hoisting the KeSPA Cup, the first North American in 16 years to do so, was quite a moment.
Every rose has its thorn
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing and we’ve had some challenges to face along the way to year five. The first one that comes to mind, the “financial eligibility date” rules that came into effect in February, 2015. Our blog post on the subject still has the dubious distinction of being the most commented on post to hit the Ting blog. We got past that and ended up in a better place for it with even more phones becoming eligible to come to Ting.
Another bump in the road: Someone found a way to exploit a little coffee-themed incentive program we ran and managed to snag a bunch of $5 digital gift cards very quickly… to the tune of >$35,000. We shut this person down, invalidated the codes, closed the loophole and got the promo back up and running quickly. We learned some important lessons. Not least of which, have someone with a criminal mind examine your promotions for possible loopholes.