What’s new with Ting
(short answer: Rather a lot)
Andrew Moore-Crispin • July 30, 2013if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Changes happen pretty fast at Ting HQ and we’re always working to improve the customer experience. To us, it’s just the way things should work.
Sometimes, we neglect to speak publicly about the cool stuff we are and have been working on. Not because we’re not excited about what we’ve been up to or because we like keeping you in the dark. Rather, it’s because we believe you’re only as good as your last release and so we’re busy working on what’s next.
With that in mind, and if you’ll forgive us a little horn tooting, here are a few of our latest achievements. If you want to stay up to date as we release new features, follow the Release Notes category here on the Ting blog. We intend to do a much better job of calling out what’s new going forward.
Improvements to Ting proper
This could easily end up as the longest post to ever hit the Ting blog… and that’s saying something. We’ll try to keep it short and sweet with just a few highlights of improvements that have hit Ting and your account dashboard in the past few months.
On the Ting Calculator page, anyone entering Verizon as their carrier will be invited to enter their Verizon account login and password. Those that choose to do so will see the calculator automatically populated with their precise usage data. This saves would-be customers the trouble of hunting around for a few bills then manually entering the data in order to get a Ting savings calculation.
Many of our new customers are coming from existing customer referrals. We very much appreciate the vote of confidence we’re always working to improve the tools to help you make the referral case. The Ting Calculator is a good example.
If you have friends on Verizon, the calculator is the perfect tool to help you explain a) that they’re probably way overpaying for “unlimited” and b) the unique Ting pricing structure that, for a large majority of mobile users, means huge monthly mobile savings.
Share your referral link with friends and point them to the Ting calculator to capitalize on our referral program. Your first ever successful referral net you $50 and each subsequent referral sees $25 in Ting credit dropped directly into your Ting account.
Find your unique referral URL in your Ting account dashboard under Referrals.
We probably don’t need to say this but we do not store Verizon logins, passwords or any identifying information when pulling in Verizon usage data from an account.
Full SSN no longer required
When a new customer signs up, we no longer ask for their full social security number, only the last four digits thereof. SSNs were always transmitted securely (all Ting pages are https) and were not being stored. By only asking for the last four digits, we get the confirmation that we need while at the same time, demonstrating our commitment to your privacy. Actions speak louder than words, as they say.
Plans to Rates
We eliminated “plans” and pre-payment entirely in June. Now, rather than prorating usage and asking for payment up front, we just settle up at the end of the month. All the details are here in the blog post entitled Ting has eliminated plans.
Swap your number to a new (or old) phone
Previously, switching your number from one Ting device to another required a call in to our customer service team. Not that those calls are ever anything less than pleasant, but it was an annoying extra step. Now, you can do a device swap yourself as part of the device activation process.
The process is instant; move your existing number to a new (or old) device and start using it right away.
Switch your number from your top-end smartphone to a phone like the rugged, waterproof and inexpensive refurbished Kyocera DuraXT for your weekend camping trip so you can stay in touch without taking a risk with your top-end smartphone. When you return, just switch it back without interruption.
While this important improvement was already on our to-do list, we expedited as a direct result customer feedback… which we always appreciate receiving. Please keep it coming!
The Ting coverage map received a sizeable upgrade. There are numerous improvements behind the scenes that mean results are returned much faster. We also changed some stuff you can actually see: The option to view recently mapped locations with a click and wider differentiation between the colors that represent the different services, for example. It sounds like a small change but it makes a big difference in usability and, as our development team might attest, it wasn’t a small thing from an implementation perspective.
Carrier coverage maps suck, as a rule. Ours definitely sucks the least. We’ll continue working to make it suck even more less. Stay tuned!
Ting Android app
Since we launched the official Ting Android app, we’ve been making improvements both subtle and major. The latest release saw the addition of a few oft asked-for features. Specifically …
Alerts in the Ting app
The Ting app now offers the ability to create usage alerts and edit existing ones on your Android device. You can do everything alert-related that you’d typically have to turn to your account dashboard to do previously: Set a simple alert that emails, messages or notifies you on your device. Set a hard cap so that data gets turned off when little Billy exceeds 500 MB of mobile data and so on.
When setting a usage alert in your Ting account dashboard or in the Ting app, you now have the option to receive the notification on your Android device with the Ting app installed. Ting account alerts appear just like any other in your pull-down notifications tray.
Lower data demand
In addition to the option to update only on Wi-Fi that’s been in the app since day one, we worked on the data compression when passing between the Ting app and your Ting account and were able to cut data demand as a result.
These are just a few of the things we’ve been working on, along with the general tweaks, nips, tucks and improvements you’d expect.
In case we haven’t made it clear, many of these improvements come as a direct result or were prioritized thanks to your feedback.
We’re always listening on our our Facebook page, on Twitter, via our YouTube channel, on Google Plus, in the comments on blog posts like this or via the official feature requests forum. Your feedback helps us to find friction points we may otherwise not see because we’re so close to the product.
Please keep the feedback coming! While we could conceivably build Ting without you, there wouldn’t really be much point in that, would there?