I made the switch to from Verizon to Ting one year ago, and here is my review of Ting after being a customer for the past year. I was swayed by the low prices, but how do they really compare when it comes to service?
Saving Money on Ting
The biggest thing that swayed me from Verizon was price. I wanted to have a smart phone, but not pay huge amounts of money to use it. Ting offers great prices and you basically pay for what you use each month instead of trying to guess how much usage you will use on average and then worry about overage fees if you go over. I like to call it “floating bucket” pricing. They have buckets of voice minutes, texts, and data and the buckets come in different sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL). At the end of the month Ting looks at how much you used in each category and they place you in a bucket according to that usage. The amount you pay is based on whatever buckets you fall in. If you’ve been reading Ting reviews, you’ll know price is one of their strong points.
Take a look at this chart to see the “buckets”.
The cool thing with Ting is they let you float around in different buckets. They don’t make you guess how many minutes, texts, and data you’ll use. Instead they look at your usage and you pay for whatever buckets you fall into each month. You could be in a Large “L” bucket one month and a Small “S” the next. This floating pricing can really add up to significant savings.
Here is how Ting describes it:
“Voice minutes, text messages and megabytes of data are each billed separately. Your usage is pooled and shared across all the devices you have under your account. At the end of each billing cycle, we’ll settle up for whichever “bucket” your usage falls into.”
Ting has a really cool saving calculator that will show you exactly how much you can save. Click this link then click “Savings Calculator” to see how much you can save.
Note: If you have read any older reviews you might notice they describe the billing a little different. Ting recently changed from pre-billing and refunding any overpayment at the end of the month to this much simpler bill you for what you use at the end of the month.
Not only do you save on usage, you can also save adding family members to your plan. Each device you add costs only $6 per month. When I was on Verizon it was $25 per month to add a phone to my plan, so Ting offers quite a savings here.
The final bit of savings that is icing on the cake is there are no hidden charges (like recovery fees), no contracts (meaning no early termination fees), and tethering and wi-fi hotspot are included for free.
Ting’s Phone Selection and Pricing
One thing to be aware of with Ting is that they don’t subsidize their phones. This is good and bad. On one hand it means you aren’t locked into a contract. On the other hand you have to pay full up front for the phone. Another problem I ran into with Verizon is that I was paying the extra for a subsidized phoneeven when I chose not to upgrade my phone. With Ting, I can keep my phone as long as I want and reap the savings over the long term.
Be sure to use my referral link to save $25 off your first device.
Ting has a good selection of the most popular Android phones at a variety of price points. They also offer simply non-smart flip phones and computer modems. Windows phones are rather limited and the iPhone is not available. From what I can tell Ting does their best to keep on top of what their customers want, although in the case of the iPhone they get limited by Apples bulk buy commitments. Hopefully as Ting’s customer base grows they will be able to add the iPhone to their lineup.
Ting offers the option to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). You can bring over an inactive Sprint device as long as it’s not an iPhone, BlackBerry, or Push-to-Talk device. Bring your own device makes it easy to switch from Sprint. It’s also great because you have the option to pick up a cheap Sprint phone on eBay or craigslist and bring it to Ting.
Coverage, Speed, and Call Quality
Ting uses the Sprint network as their backbone. Voice and Text can roam to Verizon if Sprint is unavailable. Data is limited to the Sprint network with no option to roam.
My experience with data has been good and bad. I knew the limits of the Sprint network going into my phone purchase, and since data isn’t critical to me, I am ok with the coverage area. Speed on 3G is slow. It’s ok for email but web browsing and Facebook are really slow on 3G. 4G (WiMax) is good. When I have a 4G connection and am quite happy with the speed of any data related activities. I’m looking forward to LTE becoming available in my area. I have LTE on a Verizon iPad and that speed is fantastic, so I’ll be happy when Sprint brings LTE to my area.
Look into data coverage carefully if you depend heavily on data. Data is the one area I would caution people about when switching to Ting (or Sprint for that matter.) For me the price savings was worth giving up a little on the data side. Plus, so many places offer free wi-fi now that I often have that as an alternative for data.
Voice coverage is awesome being that you get all of Sprint’snetwork plus you can roam to Verizon for free. Voice quality is very good and I can’t think of the last time I had a dropped call. Every once in a while (maybe once every two or three weeks) I get bad static on a call. This happens as soon as I answer the call and if I hang up and call back the static is gone. Overall I am as satisfied with Ting voice coverage and quality as I was with Verizon.
Texts are really cheap on Ting and I’ve never had a problem with them. I think texting is about the same no matter what carrier you choose; at least that’s been my experience.
Here is a summary of the Good and Bad:
- Not a good choice for super heavy data users on unlimited plans.
- Not a more affordable solution for 2% of potential customers.
- Pay full (unsubsidized) price for phones / devices.
- No option to use an iPhone (although you can sign up on the Devices page to be notified if/when they do make an iPhone available.)
- Data limited to Sprint network with no option to roam.
- Limited LTE coverage area (but Sprint is actively expanding LTE area.
- About once every couple of weeks I get a call with static and I have to hang up and try again. This usually fixes it, but I never had this happen on Verizon.
- Do not offer device insurance (you’ll need to go through a third party if you want insurance.
- Pay for what you use at the end of each billing cycle.
- 98% of potential customers would save money.
- Low price to add additional phones.
- No contracts.
- No overage fees or penalties.
- Dashboard tool to view and control account and usage. Can be used to place limits on data to limit your bills or control access for the kids.
- Voice and text can roam on Verizon for free.
- Option to bring your own device.
- Good selection of phones.
- Ting doesn’t charge extra activation fees.
- Ting doesn’t charge extra for voicemail, caller ID, or call waiting.
- Ting doesn’t charge extra for tethering / wi-fi hotspot.
- Ting doesn’t charge add-on or recovery fees; they only collect the taxes and regulatory fees they’re legally required to collect and remit on customers’ behalf.
- You can bring your existing phone number over. Or, you can test Ting by getting a new number on Ting and then bring your number over later when you decide to switch to Ting.
- Great customer support. They are truly helpful and speak good English.
I have been really happy with Ting over the past year. Their dashboard is great and lets me monitor my usage. It was cheap to add a phone (just $6 per month) so we got one for my 7 year old daughter. Obviously she doesn’t need a phone but with the low price it doesn’t hurt anything, gets her introduced to technology, and gives her a way to call home when she is visiting friends or family. Ting’s customer support is top notch. Their support staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. Don’t hesitate to call support if you have any issues at all as it’s actually a pleasant experience.
Ting is so vastly different from other phone companies. It’s basically the phone company I always dreamed of.
I have teamed up with Ting to offer my readers a discount when you sign up for Ting. You can save $25 off your first device, or $25 off your first months bill if you bring your own device.
Disclosure: I do get a small commission for my Ting referrals and that helps me keep the blog running. I have been a Ting customer for over a year, so unlike other Ting reviews that are simply trying to get commissions, I actually use Ting and believe their service is worth my hard earned dollars.
If you have any questions about my experience with Ting, please ask in the comments section below. I’ll be happy to share.