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The Ting self-serve help site gets a makeover

Recently we let you know that changes were afoot for our help site and those changes are rolling right along. The first step was reorganizing the content in a way that made more sense as well as removing content that was no longer relevant. Now we’re on step two: The makeover and the move.

What’s different?

Well, first, the help site looks a lot more like it’s a part of Ting (which seemed like a good idea, given that it is). Until now being on didn’t feel like you were in a Ting space and we wanted to change that to make the experience more, dare we say, holistic.

Before we undertook the reorganization, we took the time to better understand how people approach help. We used some of what we learned to do some top-level navigation that will help people find the help documentation they seek without too much messing around. You’ll also notice we’ve worked to make each help page not just easier on the eyes but also easier to navigate.

Fo Fum, Change Gonna Come

I want to address Google’s new mobile service, Fi, starting with the obvious question:

Are you scared?

What?! Scared? Why would you…I’ve never been…sure, a little.

Google can do things nobody else can. They also have that uniquely Google thing where they might mess with folks over here just to ultimately achieve some totally different goal over there.

I definitely had that movie moment in my head where the giant lizard is stomping down the street and I’m hoping the foot lands a few inches to my right.

Then I got calm. (And it wasn’t because I realized you have to buy a $649 phone to use the service. Although that helped.) Then I started to get excited. Here’s how I think about it.

150,000 Ting subscribers might say, “Hmm, I should check this out.” 350,000,000 non-Ting subscribers might now lift their heads up and say, “There are choices beyond the major carriers?!”

Self-serve help is getting a little simpler

As we mentioned in our most recent Ting update, change is a comin’ and it’s coming in the form of an enhanced help site.

When we created our help site, and more specifically our Knowledge Base, it was early days. We didn’t really know you, our customers, very well at all at that point. We made our best guesses as to what kind of information you’d want and how you’d go about looking for it.

Now that we’ve gotten to know you a little better, we’ve realized that some of our guesses missed the mark. This is us correcting our aim.

The goal is to maintain much of the helpful information that’s currently in our help site but to make it easier to find the relevant info you need. We’re also updating the look and feel of so that it more closely mirrors the experience you get on the main Ting site.

Ting on a GSM network: Open beta is, well, open.


GSM network beta

Ting on a GSM network is now in open beta. That means anyone with a Ting GSM SIM card can activate it, slip it into an unlocked phone and get started with Ting. No invitation required.

Likewise, the purchase page for the Ting GSM SIM X1 has gone from invite-only to public. That means the Ting GSM SIM card is available to purchase (then activate, then put in an unlocked phone and get started with Ting) with no invitation required.

If it feels somehow impolite to just waltz in to a beta uninvited, or if you’ve been anxiously awaiting an invitation and are disappointed that no explicit invite is coming, let us say this: You’re invited to the open beta of Ting on a GSM network.

Check out the Ting GSM and CDMA coverage maps to see what kind of coverage you can expect where you are. GSM and CDMA devices can coexist under a single account, sharing pooled usage for minutes, messages and megabytes.

New Ting customers can now choose whether they’d like to get started with their first device on either GSM or the CDMA networks. In many cases, the type of device someone wants to bring will determine which network is the right one.

Offer for customers who bought a device that has failed the financial eligibility check

UPDATE: This offer was intended as a stop-gap to help people that found themselves on the wrong side of the Sprint financial eligibility date (FED) check, despite getting prior assurances that their phone would work on Ting. It was a time-sensitive issue and its time has passed. We’ll keep this blog post around for posterity (and to preserve the massive comment thread that accompanies it), though the offer has long since expired.

An unlocked phone means more phone freedom

unlocked phone

New rules provide new freedoms for your unlocked phone

New carrier rules dealing with locking and unlocking phones come into full effect today.

In short: Going forward, unless a phone is connected in some way to an account that owes the carrier money, said carrier will unlock the phone if asked to do so. Carriers have the option to do so automatically as soon as a contract term is fulfilled, but we won’t hold our breath for that.

For prepaid carriers, the carrier must allow a device to be unlocked one year after it was first activated.

It’s called the Consumer Code for Wireless Service and February 11, 2015 was the deadline for full carrier compliance.

It wouldn’t be difficult to argue that these new unlocked phone rules don’t go far enough or that they only came about because the other option was looking like regulation. Still, it’s a real win for consumers.