Note: The links to Ting in this article will give me a referral bonus if you end up signing up, and will also give you a $25 credit.
Since I switched to Ting, lots of my friends have asked me how I could possibly have such cheap cell phone service. Since I wrote my first article here about Ting, several people have requested an updated Ting Mobile review. So I’m here to deliver my 10 month Ting review.
Ting? Never heard of them?
When I brag to my friends about my cheap smart phone bill, they doubt and question. Who is your carrier?! When I reply, “Ting” I usually get the same follow up question. “Who?” Ha ha! Makes me feel so hipster. Well let me clue you in on my secret.
Ting (owned by Tucows Inc.) was created in Feb 2012 as a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) on the Sprint network. What is an MVNO? Network owners (like Sprint) offer wholesale rates to resellers (like Ting), who can then administer plans and manage accounts. Ting supports phones using Sprint CDMA,3G, 4G LTE, 4G WiMax and EVDO antennas, depending on the coverage Sprint offers in a given area.
Ting was the first MVNO to offer LTE in the USA. After a year in business, Ting increased their Refer-a-Friend credit. In March 2013, Ting partnered up with Glyde to provide a simple marketplace for used Ting-ready devices. Ting was also the first MVNO to offer the HTC One and the Galaxy S4. Then they were the fist MVNO to officially support the Nexus 5! In feb 2014, After 2 years in business Ting cut their rates. Yes. They lowered their prices! Who does that anymore!?
What’s Great about Ting
Ting doesn’t subsidize phone sales. Some of you may think of that as a negative, but I like this because it makes buying a phone so much simpler. There is no new-every-2 upgrade or deeply discounted phones. You pay the market value of any phone – you know what it’s actually worth to the public at large. By not subsidizing phones, there are NO CONTRACTS. That’s what I hated about Verizon, ATT, etc!
NO contracts. But it’s not pre-paid either. You pay your bill at the end of each month based on what you used during that month. Ting doesn’t create a fake discount on devices just so they can handcuff you to a contract like the others do.
No Plans. What? You heard me; Cell phone plans are sooooo 2013. They ditched the plan concept back in June 2013. You just sign up and start using your phone. Your bill is split into 3 categories: Minutes, Texts, and Data. Your usage within each category puts you in different “buckets” each with their own rate.
AMAZING Pricing. This was the #1 reason I switched to Ting. I knew I was going to save a boat load of cash. And so far, I have. My typical bill is less than $27/month. Boom. (I fall in the following buckets: Minutes-Med, Texts-Med, Data-Small) The only 2 months I had higher bills were $55.86 in February and $38.42 last month.
Great Phones. Ting pushes hard to expand their supported devices as new phones become popular. Ting currently supports iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, HTC EVO 4G LTE (what a ridiculous name! This is my phone! teehee), HTC One, LG Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy S4, SIII, SII… and more phones by Motorola, Kyocera, Sanyo, Sierra, ZTE, & more.
Awesome Customer Service. I have only contacted customer service a couple times, but those times I have always been helped promptly by a very friendly Ting employee. These people are so down to Earth and awesome. It’s so refreshing. I think I need to call them up to chat sometime soon.
ETF Reimbursement and Referal Credits. (Read: Free Money) This was the #2 reason I switched. I was under contract with Verizon, so I wasn’t going to switch until my contract was up to avoid an ETF (Early Termination Fee). Well with the extreme savings on a monthly basis, plus the ETF Relief, and Referal credit, it actually made more sense financially to switch sooner and just pay the fee to ditch Verizon!! Basically Ting wants your business and to save you from your terrible cell phone bill so much, they will pay 25% of your ETF to make the switch to Ting ($75 max credit).
Switching to Ting Mobile
I switched to Ting at the beginning of October 2013, so I’ve been with Ting now 10 full months. I got my Ting cell phone on ebay. I bought an htc EVO 4G LTE that was previously on the Sprint network. I chose a seller with great reviews and ratings and made sure the phone had a clean ESN and the model number was on Ting’s “Whitelist.” That’s the list of supported devices. Go to the BYOD page to see supported devices.
I think I paid about $130 for my sweet smart phone shipped to my door. After creating my Ting account, I then activated the ESN on the Ting website. The process of switching over my number and activating the phone took a couple hours if I remember correctly. Be patient, it’s worth it!!
Since then I’ve been good to go. I’ve got my account set up to auto withdrawl from my bank account so I don’t even have to really think about paying my bill.
OK so what’s the catch, right? Ting can’t be perfect, can it? Well, no it’s not.
What could be improved
I really only have a couple issues with Ting so far. One is just simply unavoidable. The other, I could probably contact customer service and get an explanation but I just haven’t.
1. Service / Call Quality. There just isn’t really good Sprint coverage in my area or around the USA. Not as good as Verizon was. So I definitely experience more dropped calls and occasional low call quality. “Say that again, you’re breaking up…” But this is definitely not bad enough to even consider switching back. I’m sure over time it’s only going to get better.
2. Group Texting sucks. I’m not sure if this is a result of my device, how all MVNOs operate, or if it’s Ting. Or maybe it’s me – I could have some setting messed up I guess. But when one of my friends sends a group message (MMS) and I’m included, it needs to be “downloaded” as in, if I’m not connected to WiFi or Data, I don’t get it. So I have to find WiFi or use data to get my message. Then instead of being in a new group text, it shows up as being directly from the sender. Then when my other friend replies, I have to download that message and it shows up in my direct conversation between her and I. So as you can imagine if I am included in a rapid-fire group message I have to keep downloading these MMS and bounding back and forth between conversations trying to put all the messages in the right order. So I just try to let my friends know not to include me on those conversations and text me separately. Kind of a pain in the butt though. I should contact Ting and ask what’s up with that.
Switch and get $25
So That’s my Review! Hope you enjoyed it and I hope it helps you decide if Ting is right for you. If you would like to switch, I’d be very grateful if you use my Ting Referral Link – https://zljnfp1htd4.ting.com/ By using that link, I get $25 off my bill for referring you, and YOU get $25 too! You can use that towards your phone, your Ting service, OR donate your $25 as a charitable contribution!
In conclusion, I’m a big fan of Ting – and I hope this review and experience turns you onto their service. The links to Ting in this article will give me a referral bonus if you end up signing up, and will also give you a $25 credit. If you don’t want to use my referral link just type “ting.com” or use this plain Jane link – Ting.
Thanks for reading!