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After a two-year run with Sprint mobile, my wife, Alli, and I were looking to save some money on our phone bill each month. We decided to keep our existing phones – mine, the Samsung M400 (aka the “Flip Fantastic”), and hers, the Samsung M580 (aka the “kind-of-smart phone”) – and search for something else. Ironically, that something was Ting, a budget friendly wireless provider.
We’ve been part of the Ting network for two months, and we are really excited about the switch!
With a cell phone plan, there are a lot of tings (sorry; couldn’t help it) to account for. Here are the pros and cons of the Ting experience so far.
Cost – The great ting (sorry, I’ll stop) about the provider is that you only pay for the minutes, messages, and data that you used that month. This 1 minute Ting Rates video explains it better than I can.
A normal month for Alli and I produces about 450 minutes, 1500 texts, and 20 MB or data.
With these numbers, our combined monthly bill comes out to $39!!
Minutes – $9.00
Messages – $8.00
Megabytes – $3.00
Device charges – $12.00 (6 for each phone)
Tax – $7.00
Good Coverage, No Contract – Ting piggy-backs off the Sprint network, so we have the same coverage as before. There is no contract whatsoever with Ting.
Devices – Alli and I kept our phones from the Sprint plan and with a simple activation process we were ready to go!
User-Friendly – Customer service was timely and our account website makes it easy to track our phone usage during the month. Automatic bill pay is another option we utilize with Ting. A generous referral bonus ($25) never hurt anybody either!
Cost – Ironically, the cost could be a negative factor for others that have different minute, text, and data usage. Ting has given Alli and I a great low bill each month, but that may not be the same for a family with a teenager that sends 451 texts per day or a businessman who uses loads of data each month. Ting.com provides an excellent estimation tool to find out what your Ting bill would cost if you switched.
Coverage – Ironically again (is it still irony if it happens twice?), coverage could be a downside to Ting. Sprint’s network is great for us as we live and work in the Omaha metro area, but when we travel to rural southeast Nebraska to see family, our coverage is very spotty!
Devices – The device that you use can be a snag. You can buy a phone (used or new) directly from Ting.com, or bring a device that is compatible with Ting (extensive list). Ting allows lots of different phones including the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, Samsung Galaxy SIII among others. However, you will not be able to bring a phone from an existing non-Sprint carrier and make the switch to Ting. You will have to start fresh with a new (or used) phone.
To add to the possible device dilemma, insurance is not available for the phones. To offset this, Alli and I are committing an additional $20 each month (for the first 6 months) to be ready in case one of our phones stops working. I am confident though that the Samsung Flip Fantastic will outlive even me!!
Catch Factor – There’s always a catch…right? I always assume so when something is this cheap, so I call it the “catch factor”. There is indeed a catch factor with Ting, but so far I would say that the catch factor is very small. The only drop in quality I see is that I struggle to open group text messages from my iPhone friends sometimes. For regular talking and texting, I haven’t seen any drop in quality after switching from Sprint to Ting.
There are a lot of tings (sorry, last time) to consider, but the switch has been great for us! We’d definitely recommend considering Ting, especially if you are a current Sprint user looking for greener pasture.
Update 1/25/15: Ting was recently rated the best traditional cell phone provider by Consumer Reports.
Do you have any experience with Ting?