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A Valentines’ Day message to RingPlus customers: Stay

Dear RingPlus customers. I know you are restless. I know there are sexier options out there. Even as you flirt with us in social media and run your eyes all over our $35 credit, I can feel you planning your escape. So, on this Valentine’s Day, I want to boldly suggest that it might be time to settle down. I want to suggest that, just maybe, you should stay.

We will never try to control you.

Many of the plans you will consider out there are just that, plans. You commit to a fixed amount of usage. That’s when the games start. If you need less than what you bought, you just wasted money. If you need more than what you bought, you are likely buying overpriced top ups or paying penalties. Or maybe you get throttled or hotlined.

Ting doesn’t play games or offer plans. You use what you use and you pay a fair price for it at the end of the month. That’s why our customers average just $23 per phone a month. If you need just one phone to make the occasional call and you don’t need text or data, that probably means you are paying $9 for the month (a $6 line fee plus $3 for up to 100 minutes).

Plus, we actually give you tools and tip to help you control your usage and manage your budget. We want you to spend less so you stay longer and tell your friends. You can set alerts or even hard stops when your devices or your account reaches certain amounts of voice, text or data.

In fact, we don’t even care to control what phone or network you use. Bring a phone or buy a phone. Use a flip phone or a hotspot. Switch between our two networks. Have different phones on your account on different networks at the same time.

I guess I’m saying we’re easy. Heck, I’ll say it. We’re easy.

We will love your family.

Ting is simply unbeatable for multiple devices. Many of you have talked about having some family members on more traditional plans and then low usage family members on RingPlus. Ting value gets better with more devices on your account and gives you the simplicity of one control panel, one support call and one bill. You can have unlimited phones on an account. Each active phone costs just a $6 line fee each month. Then we pool the usage across all your phones to determine what you pay for data, voice and text each month. When you add elderly parents or kids to a plan that includes average smartphone users, those low usage family members are likely costing you $6 a month and then almost nothing on their incremental usage.

We will listen and help.

Free or low cost providers usually mean that you are pretty much on your own. At Ting, we have managed to cut expenses elsewhere – marketing, real estate, wholesale costs – and, in fact, offer the most outstanding customer support in the industry.

We have the most knowledgeable, resourceful, patient and personable reps. We also train, direct and empower them to give every customer the time they require and help every customer any way they can. This unique approach to customer support has earned us top ratings in the Consumer Reports survey of U.S. cell phone carriers for the past three years. It is the sort of benefit you might not even think you need or care about until you experience it.

We will stick around.

Many of you are still thinking, “Sure, but I want free.” I get it. It is tough to go from getting something for free to paying for it. But you know what’s tougher? Changing providers every time yours goes out of business. Listen. Services like Ting, RingPlus, Tello, FreedomPop, Solavei, Republic Wireless and others pay our carrier partners for any use on our service. If carriers were offering free wholesale service, I would know about it. If we have to pay the carriers and we are not collecting enough from customers, we have a problem. Ad-supported models don’t work because, in the end, customers almost never buy what the advertisers are selling. Other tricks that count on customers using too little or using too much don’t work because customers will ultimately be very smart and act in their own interest. Offers that look too good to be true probably are.

Ting is a bit boring. We charge a fair margin on all usage from the first megabyte, minute and text. But it seems to be working for everyone. Our 250,000 customers on 150,000 accounts are happy to be paying $23 a month on average and as little as $6 a month for emergency phones. Our employees are happy because they have good jobs and are selling something they believe in. Our shareholders are happy because the company (Tucows, NASDAQ:TCX) has gone from a valuation of about $30 million when we launched Ting in 2012 to nearly $500 million today.

In other words, we are not going anywhere.

We will migrate you over shortly. Spend the night, use your credits, have a good time. If you wake up at the end of your credits and you have somewhere else you need to be, we will not keep you. Although I think a lot of you might finally be right where you belong.

Happy Valentine’s Day!