Funny story. When we were getting ready to launch Ting, we were very concerned that people would be shocked by the prices of devices. We knew we were passing them along at or below our costs. But US consumers are accustomed to having their devices buried into their service bills for multiple years. So, very often, they have no idea how much devices actually cost.
At the same time, we looked around the industry and saw that $35 activation fees were standard among major carriers. We actually had no intention of burying an extra $35 into the total cost of Ting. But we thought, “OK, we’ll charge the same $35 the other guys are charging for activation and we’ll take another $35 off the price of each device.” That way the device price would be more palatable.
Since then, two things happened:
- We discovered that our customers are savvier than we thought about devices. They generally understand that paying for the device upfront ultimately saves money versus “financing it” with a two-year commitment to inflated monthly service bills. And once they accept that, they seem to recognize that our prices are quite reasonable.
- People were surprised and, rightfully, a bit annoyed to discover a $35 activation fee. It just didn’t feel like Ting. Our customers expect more transparency and fewer line items.
So, we listened. Starting today, we are dropping the $35 activation fee and putting that cost back where it belongs, on the device price. (If you recently paid a $35 activation fee, understand that you got your device for $35 less. If you just saw a device you wanted go up by $35, recognize that you will be saving yourself a $35 activation fee.)
To be clear, we cannot subsidize these devices any more than we already do. This is not an announcement that we are “slashing” anything. This is just an attempt to stay true to our promise of clarity, simplicity and honesty. Thank you for reminding us of that.