1 Year of Ting

We switched to Ting just about one year ago and it's time to do some number crunching to see how it's working out for us.

About Ting

Ting is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means they run a cell-phone service, but don't own any of the physical hardware.  In Ting's case, it all runs on Sprint's network, but Ting is the company you sign up with and pay and is in charge of all your customer needs.

Their approach is different in that they focus on treating you like a human being and not finding new ways to gouge money out of you.  It's quite refreshing.  Their customer service is top notch and in that regard I've been very pleased.  I don't lament calling them on the rare occasion that I need to.

They allow you to add as many phones to your account as you want, and all phones on your account pool minutes/texts/data so you get a better unit price as the quantity increases (additionally, you pay a $6 fee per line per month to keep it active on the account).

This is the kind of mobile phone plan I've been waiting for.  It fits our needs much better than any other plan I've seen.

Before

We had been on a T-Mobile family plan for about $70 per month with way more minutes than we needed and no texting or data allowance.  It was stupidly expensive.  When that contract ended we switched to T-Mobile prepaid, which was better (we bought minutes 1000 at a time that lasted about a year, but texting was still stupidly expensive and no data--and we had to buy minutes for each phone separately).

Then Ting came along

Ting charges you by the bucket for minutes/texts/data.  Use no data this month, pay nothing for data this month.  No limits, no caps, no overage charges.  No trickery.  I love the billing policy.

So how's it working out for us?

(All the information I report is total between Jess and I since Ting treats it all as one big pool for billing purposes.)

Usage and Costs over the last year per month:

Minutes Minutes Cost Texts Texts Cost Data (MB) Data Cost
Min 21 $3.00 50 $3.00 0 $0
Max 319 $9.00 171 $5.00 145 $13.00
Ave 86 $3.82 104.7 $3.82 84.4 $5.18

Our unit costs look like this (excluding line fee, taxes, regulatory fees):

Per Minute Per Text Per MB
Min $0.028 $0.029 $0.000
Max $0.143 $0.064 $0.120
Ave $0.044 $0.036 $0.061

Our average total cost per month was $25.31 (includes $6 per line fee and all taxes and regulatory fees).  Our most expensive month was $32.21 while the cheapest month was $19.15.

The Ting approach means you don't get any subsidy when you buy your phone, but there are also no contracts.  We bought very entry-level Android phones (Kyocera Rise) for $152.27 each after sign-up discount.  And if you do buy a more expensive phone, you'll most likely still save money over the life of a 2-year contract.

I will probably buy a nicer phone at some point, but I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a phone until I knew if I actually wanted a smartphone and if I actually liked Ting.

Ting is currently only 1 of 2 companies I will unhesitatingly recommend people try to do business with if it makes sense for their needs.

As I mentioned, they do run on the Sprint network which some people have issues with.  However, Sprint is in the process of a massive overhaul of their network.  The long-term goal of their "Network Vision" plan looks really good and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it plays out.  It should provide better coverage and signal quality for the entire country (it appears to me that they're essentially betting the farm on this overhaul and so far it's looking good).

Update 10/22:
If you're interested in signing up with Ting, use our referral code and you'll get a $25 credit and we'll get a $25 credit.  Everyone wins!  Here's the link: https://z9g8hk18l.ting.com/

1 thought on “1 Year of Ting”

  1. Hi Kyle, your article is making the rounds inside the Ting office today and it put a smile on our faces... on behalf of everybody over here at Ting, I wanted to say thanks and tell you that we're really glad to hear you're happy with the service!

    Have a great weekend,
    - Ben Lucier (Ting Customer Service)

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