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Trevor Peck – Long Hauls and Heavy Data

We are still at that adorable stage of the business where we want to shake all our customers’ hands and thank them for stopping by. That’s basically how I ended up talking to Trevor Peck. I was looking through customer data and saw that he had been with us 11 months. He had five devices with real people names. He also used an average of about 3GBs of data a month. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that Ting does not offer savings if you use a lot of data. I figured it would be good to ask him if he’s happy with Ting and see if he’s saving money.

Trevor lives in Branch, Michigan with his wife, Lisa, and their six kids, ranging from 3 to 18 years old. Sadly or happily, depending on how much time you’ve spent with kids ranging from 3 to 18 years old, Trevor spends weeks, sometimes months at a time out on the road in his truck. (He documents a lot of his experiences here.)

He was with T-Mobile right before Ting and pretty much all of the big carriers over the last 10 years.

Trevor actually didn’t come to Ting to save money. He had two issues:

First, T-Mobile had identified him as a “data roaming problem” and was trying to put strict limits on his usage. You can’t really ask a truck driver not to roam. (I’m sure there’s a song about that.) More specifically, a truck driver tends to rely on his GPS. So he checked out Ting’s network coverage and determined that he would get more consistent coverage. He knew Ting simply did not allow data roaming off the network but kind of preferred that approach to a policy of allowing data roaming along with a bunch of throttling, threats and penalties.

Second, he just didn’t like phone companies. He didn’t trust them. When he spoke to them, they never seemed to solve his problems or help improve his situation. He told me, “When I’m on the road, this thing (his phone) is my only connection to my life and my family. I just can’t be with a company that’s messing with me.”

Trevor uses Hover, our domain registration service. He described a call he had with a Hover rep who refused to let him off the phone until he had completely solved his problem. He thought, “Wow, don’t these people get evaluated on how quickly they get rid of me?!” He told me, “I wished you guys would open a grocery store and everything else I use. I just didn’t want to deal with anyone else.”

Then we sent him an email saying we launched a mobile phone service.

So here are the numbers.

Trevor had three phones with T-Mobile. He doesn’t know just what his actual usage was but he had a plan that included 5GB a month and then bought a supplemental 5GB a month. He paid $225 a month.

He now has five smartphones with Ting – two for him (a primary and a backup), one for his wife and one for each of his teenage girls. He said with the cheap refurbs and just $6/month per device (rather than $30/month on T-Mobile), it was a lot easier to get a couple more.

Trevor uses heavy data when he is on the road. But then he uses very little when he is at home. In eleven months, the account has ranged from 800 megabytes to over 5 GBs at an average of about 3GB. The voice usage has also varied quite a bit, ranging from about 1,000 minutes to nearly 6,000.

Now that he is on Ting, Trevor says he has become much smarter about limiting his data usage. For example, he downloads all the podcasts that he listens to on the road only when he has access to Wifi.

After 11 months, Trevor’s bill has averaged $162.57. That’s before regulatory fees, which I think is the fair comparison to the $225. After regulatory fees, it’s still just $187.72.

So he spent a total of $1,134 on devices (again, two more than he had on T-Mobile) and saves $62.43 a month on service. At this rate, even with the extra users, he will save $364.34 in two years.

Plus, he loves being in control. He says that if he spends a bit more one month, it’s because he decided it was worth it to stream a video on Netflix at a rest stop or download a few more podcasts on the road. If he needs to cut back one month, he can do that too.

I’m thrilled that Ting makes sense for Trevor and his family. I really enjoyed the chat.

Thanks for your business, Trevor. Go home soon.