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Bring an iPhone 5 to Ting

iPhone-TingAppIf you’ve got a Sprint network-compatible iPhone 5, you can now activate it on Ting. If not, you can grab one and bring it over.

If that’s all you need to know, jump into the bring your own device flow and move your iPhone 5 to a happier home.

That sound you hear is people leaving this blog post in droves.

A couple of months after we added support for the iPhone 4 and 4S, we’re getting a little more current on the Apple front.

No doubt, the first question we’ll hear is “when will you add the iPhone 5s and 5c?”

It’s a fair one: We’re looking forward to the day we can activate those too.

We’ve talked before about some of the limitations on bringing your own device to Ting. Our network partner keeps some of the best phones for itself for a year. It’s a business move as they want to recoup some of the money they spent in marketing them. We get it. That doesn’t stop us from pushing though.

We’re able to offer primo devices for sale at the same time as the major carriers. Some recent examples include the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note III and the Moto X. At launch though, these devices are excluded from the bring your device to Ting program.

Back to the question at hand: The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c hit the Sprint lineup in late September of 2013. So, we expect they’ll be able to make the move to Ting at about the same time this year.

In summation:

If you’ve got a compatible iPhone 5 in hand you can activate it now. If you don’t have one in hand but you’re in the market, you’ve got options.

Hit the Ting used devices page to let the Ting personal shopper team scour the used device listings on sites like eBay for you and then send along a few worthy candidates for your hard-earned money. Or, buy an iPhone via our partner Glyde.

In either case, this is good news and we’re pretty excited about it.

The Ting app arrives on iPhone!

Sally Field: You Like Me!“I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect […] and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

For those of you who were still in diapers (or not yet even a zygote) in 1984, that was Sally Field in her Academy Award acceptance speech for Places in the Heart. It pretty well sums up how we’ve felt over the past few days as a bunch of you have downloaded our snazzy new Ting app for iOS and shared awesome feedback.

Ting app for iOSChad, our mobile app guru (and generally awesome guy), is already hard at work in Michigan with your ideas, suggestions, and unintended feature discoveries… On the App Store, we are currently at version 0.9, with 0.9.1 likely going live later this week with a few small repairs. (Thank you, Shawn Colvin. Can you tell I lived through the 1990s?)

But we’re not stopping there. Next up on our timeline is a total review of our mobile app usability. We’re thinking of ways to really improve how we display usage to make things more intuitive, how to improve device feature management, looking at ideas to make referrals both fun and easy through our mobile apps, and more.

So if you have any ideas, suggestions, or feature requests you’d like to see in our future mobile apps, share away in the comments here… And if you haven’t already installed our new app on your iPhone, go get it!

We have slashed our data pricing

This week marks the two year anniversary of our launch. We are celebrating by slashing prices, particularly on heavy data usage. (If that’s about all you need to hear from me, check out the new Rates page now.)

This is not a promotion, these are just our new rates. Current customers do not need to weigh a move to a new plan. New customers do not need to come from any particular provider or sign up for a particular plan. You don’t need to buy a device or make any commitment. We are simply dropping our prices.

We have a very simple business model. We invest heavily in engineering and customer support. We spend comparatively little on marketing. We take nothing on devices. We take a fair margin on service. We offer the best prices and the best experience we possibly can. We hope that you stick around and tell your friends.

We also listen. You repeatedly told us that our Achilles’ heel was our pricing on high data usage.

After two years of fantastic growth, we are now in a position to offer even better prices. We cannot think of a better way to spend our “winnings” than pouring them right back into our customers.

There had been talk in the forums about shifting or adding levels. We decided that felt, well, shifty (or addy). It’s so much purer to just drop prices across the board.

new rates

The highlights:

  • Every data graduation beyond the $3 ‘Small’ is cheaper.
  • We’ve dropped the XXL level across the board so pure per-unit pricing kicks in sooner.
  • Perhaps most importantly for our heavy data users and business customers, we have dropped the per-unit pricing on megabytes beyond 2,000 from 2.25 cents to just 1.5 cents. That means a gig (or gigabyte or GB) of data is $15 beyond the XL level.
  • Finally, just to make sure that jump from XL to unit pricing is a win for everyone, we dropped the pricing on minutes beyond 2,000 from 2 cents to 1.9 cents, raised the ceiling on the XL minutes bucket to 2,100 and raised the ceiling on the XL messages bucket to 4,800. Do the math, I promise it works.

 

If you are already a Ting customer, you will begin enjoying the new rates in your next billing period (the one that starts after today). So, to be clear, the billing period you are in the middle of right now will still be on the old rates.

If you are just considering Ting, now would be a great time to re-calculate your potential savings.

What’s New at Ting: Ground Crew, activation overhaul, cleaner refunds and more!

We have some great updates to share today!

Like any web-based company worth its salt, we’re always monitoring the flow on Ting.com, looking for ways to make navigation and the overall look and feel of the site as logical, clean and polished as possible. From the back to the front-ends, we’ve been working on some significant improvements that we can’t wait to tell you about.

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Ting Ground Crew page

The Ting Ground Crew program recruits students who are enthusiastic about Ting, love perks and could do with some extra cash. It gives these students the tools they need to propagandize share the Ting word with fellow students. We’re still accepting applicants for the winter semester. If you want to learn more about the program or if you’re a student and you’d like to apply, hit the new Ting Ground Crew page!

Set a primary contact

You can now set and switch the primary contact number in your Ting account. The primary contact number is the one we’ll use if we ever need to get in contact with you regarding your Ting account. Consider the primary contact number holder as the primary account administrator.

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To add a primary contact number, head to the primary contact section in your account settings page and select a number using the drop-dox box (see image at right). You can upate your primary contact number whenever you wish using the same method!

You can also add an alternate contact number which will be used if we can’t reach you at your primary number. You can assign this as any phone number you’d like, such as your landline, work or another Ting device.

*Note: I initially stated that Ting would automatically choose a default primary contact number for you. This is incorrect, as you must manually add the primary contact number on your Ting account. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Activation flow overhaul

This is the biggest update to Ting so far this year! In this most recent development sprint, our team has completely overhauled the online activation process for Ting devices. The new Ting activation flow does a much better job of guiding people through the steps required to get a device up and running on Ting and keeps them well informed along the way.

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As some Ting customers will attest, the previous activation flow wasn’t as simple as it could have been. We’ve completely streamlined the activation process and made it a much more user-friendly, self-serve experience.

This new activation flow ensures that anyone can activate a device with Ting easily and quickly. That holds whether it’s an inactive Sprint device that’s being brought to Ting, if it’s a used device purchased from Ting or elsewhere, if it’s a brand new purchased from our device offerings, if you’re getting a new mobile number or bringing over a number from another carrier.

If there’s an issue standing in the way of activation, the new process clearly states what that problem is and, where possible, the steps required to move forward.

Since the dev team was on a roll, they also gave several other Ting pages a facelift, including the Ting for business pageESN checker and more!

Credit card refunds

We’ve improved our refund process. Previously, when we issued a refund for whatever reason, it would cause a deficit to show up on your Ting account, albeit temporarily. It was irksome for some customers. So we fixed it. That’s just how we roll, you see.


Have some feedback or suggestions for us? We’re always listening on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. As well, check out our feature requests forum to submit your ideas and join the discussion!

Top 5 reasons why you should join the Ting Ground Crew

adoreting-slider (cropped)Love Ting? We’re looking for enthusiastic US college students to represent us at their schools through our ‘Ground Crew‘ program. You’ll be the first contact for students that are interested in Ting for their mobile phone service, and you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts. Not too shabby!

If you’re yet to be convinced, here are some reasons why you should join the Ground Crew this semester…

 

1. Earn some extra dough

Ground Crew members earn a $50 cash bounty for each person they refer to Ting. Whether you’re paying your way through school or just want some extra beer spending money, joining the Ground Crew is a great way to earn some cash while studying.

2. Give your resume a boost

It’s hard to get work experience while in school that can give you skills for your future career. As a member, you’ll get promotions and sales experience with a credible, international company. In fact, Tucows Inc., Ting’s parent company, is a publicly traded company with offices in Canada, the Netherlands and the US!

3. Get tons of perks

Ask our current members – we love rewarding the Ground Crew. From cash rewards to free swag to smartphones, we’re constantly holding contests and giving away sweet prizes exclusively to the crew!

4. Be in the know

Ground Crew members are among the first to know about news and promotions going on behind the scenes at Ting.

5. Meet new people

Get a chance to be a part of a nation-wide group of students just like you. The Ting Ground Crew Facebook page is the central platform for members to meet each other and share ideas! Thinking of joining? Join the Facebook page to see what’s been happening last semester.

 

We’d love to have you on board. We’re currently accepting applicants for the new semester! If you’re enrolled in a US college or university, you’re qualified!

Apply-Now

2013: A Ting retrospective

We’re not ones for regaling people with tales of our past wins. Nor will we rest on our laurels. Still, there are a few key accomplishments from the year that was we’d like to call out.

Check out the timeline on the Ting about page for a month-by-month blow of what we’ve done since we officially launched in February of 2012. Read on for some of the biggest, most impactful and proudest of our accomplishments of 2013.

It behooves us to point out: None of what follows would have been possible without the support, and occasional urging, of our awesome customers. So all credit to you and a very sincere thanks.

New phones

Not owning network infrastructure used to mean not having a line on the best phones. Now though, Ting gets access to the latest and greatest devices at or at very nearly the same time as the major carrier incumbents.

Much behind the scenes wrangling has made it so and while there’s no one MVNO industry alliance (perhaps we’ll put that on the list for the year ahead), we feel confident and justified in taking our fair share of credit for turning this tide. The waves we’ve made have started to trickle out to other MVNOs too and can be seen in their improved phone lineups.

Nexus-5In 2013, we were the first MVNO to officially offer support for the Nexus 5. That was no mean feat. As we said in our Nexus 5 manifesto: With the Nexus 5, Google is messing with the mobile status quo. While we’re fans of that kind of thing, as we’ve said elsewhere, it does complicate things for the “business as usual” systems we interface with. It was worth the trouble and now, Nexus 5 owners have the option to choose Ting and mobile that makes sense for their shiny new device.

In 2013, we were the first MVNO to offer Windows Phone 8 devices.

The first to offer the Galaxy S4. Note 3. HTC One. Moto X. And so on and so forth.

We were the first to officially launch Tri-Band LTE access and devices to take advantage of this new, faster and more versatile LTE standard.

While we can’t currently offer the devices up for sale, we were the first CDMA carrier to offer bring your own device (BYOD) capability for a certain iConic smartphone, one generation old. We’ll continue to work to offer the latest and greatest versions of these desirable devices.

2014 will be our year.

Complete redesign

We believe that if you’re standing still, you’re falling behind. So it is that we never consider Ting to be “finished.” We’re continuously working on the site, on your account dashboard and its capability, on our service, pricing, device lineup, BYOD offerings and so on.

Ting underwent what other companies would probably consider a “full redesign” in 2013. We worked a page at a time, adding functionality, cleaning up navigation and bringing in a more refined visual style.

Over 2013, we completely rethought our homepage. Now, it helps Ting customers get where they need to go (specifically, to their Ting dashboard… also completely redesigned in 2013). For people who aren’t familiar with Ting and what we’re doing, the new home page does a much better job of distilling Ting down to its core tenets and presenting them clearly and concisely.

Ditching plans, going post-paid

When we first launched, it was on a pre-paid model. Customers would pick the service levels they thought they’d hit for the month. If they went over their selected amounts for minutes, messages or megabytes of data, we’d bill the difference (without any overage penalties, of course) the subsequent month. If they used less than they thought they would, we’d drop them down to the bucket they landed in and automatically issue a credit for the difference.

As you can see, it can become a little difficult to explain… which is precisely why we changed it.

In 2013 we ditched plans and prepayment entirely. Now, everyone starts off the cycle at 0 minutes, messages and megabytes and actual usage determines the bill.

Much simpler and therefore, better for all involved..

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Paying out ETFs

Early in the year, we put aside a $100,000 fund dedicated to paying off the early termination fees (ETFs) of the contract-afflicted to help them make the move to Ting. It seems we tapped a wellspring of pent up demand: Our $100,000 fund lasted all of seven minutes.

Later, we made ETF assistance something we just do as opposed to a one-off promotion. In September, we launched our ETF relief effort. We’ll give back 25% of a switcher’s ETF up to $75 as Ting credit if they’re leaving a contract to make the move.

With some among the major carriers announcing at CES 2014 that they’re taking a similar approach (though naturally more fraught with terms, conditions and legalese, than our offering) it’s fun to see our strategies validated by the big three.

Shipping portfolio

Ting-portfolioIn October, we launched our new, reusable Ting shipping portfolio. Everyone that orders a device from Ting now receives it in one of our awesome reusable portfolios.

Our goal was to create something that, once it had served its primary purpose of getting a Ting device to your door safe and sound, could be re-used. It makes a great protective carrier for a tablet or netbook.

Internally, we call the portfolio version 1.0 and we intend to improve upon it with a new version later this year.

The year ahead

We have many goals for 2014. For obvious reasons, we can’t say too much at this early stage but here are a few things we’re working on.

Better communication around coverage: Our network provider has been busy making vast improvements to its vast network infrastructure. Ting customers have access to LTE in more than 300 markets, including several Tri-Band LTE offerings, as it is. In 2014, these improvements don’t just continue, they go into an even higher gear.

For our part, we resolve to do a better job of communicating with customers both current and to-be about these improvements as they hit.

VoIP: Another big goal for 2014 is to offer voice over IP (VoIP) calling. In other words, routing calls through the Internet where possible and seamlessly handing off between cellular and local networks. Adding VoIP means the potential for even more saving with Ting. As you might imagine, it’s not a simple matter… but we’ve got some smart people on the problem.

Shipping portfolio 2.0: As we mentioned, we’re looking to make the Ting shipping portfolio even better in 2014. It’s still early days and we’re always interested to hear how you think the portfolio could be improved. We’ve even got a simple form you can use to share your feedback.

Be sure to keep up to date on the Ting Facebook page, on our Twitter feed and / or grab the Ting blog RSS feed with your favorite feed reader.

Here’s looking forward to even more awesome in 2014!