My 9 Month Ting Review and a Free $25 Gift for You
Welcome to Dan Arrington's review of Ting. This review is part of our "Tech Spotlight" program where we provide an in-depth, expert review on one new technology product per month. Already read the review? Click here to visit Ting and get a FREE $25 credit
very month on the 29th, I open my mailbox and find my dreaded Verizon phone bill.
A few months ago, I opened my bill, and guess what I saw?
…Total Due: $218.47!!
That’s over 200 bucks! I don’t even pay that much for my home internet, TV, and landline phone combined!
And it’s not just me. NBC recently reported that cell phone bills have become the number 2 biggest cost for families. That’s more than gas. More than shopping. More than food. More than entertainment. More than eating out. More than nearly any other thing that you do every single month.
So I thought to myself. There has to be a better answer. That has to be a cheaper way to pay for my cell phone bill. A cheaper option than $200 per month.
I started to do some research on cell services in the US, and was completely taken aback by what I found. Almost every website that I visited gave some kind of indication that Americans are being overcharged by telecom providers. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), you and I (and all other Americans) are paying way more than people in other countries do for cell phone service.
According to their report (which you can read here), Americans are paying over 300% more on our cell phone bills for the same level of service (the same number of minutes, texts, and data) compared to people in almost any other country.
In fact, the report showed that people in Finland pay only $131 per person per year on their cell phone bill. I have a family of four, so that means if we lived in Finland, we would only have to pay about $43 per month on our cell phone service.
And let me remind you, it's not $43 per month for a phone with no data or text messaging. People in other countries are paying $43 per month for the same number of minutes, texts, and data as I'm getting with my $200 Verizon bill.
Now first of all, a disclaimer. I’m someone who absolutely depends on my cell phone. My cell phone is also my business phone, so I need the best coverage possible since I frequently phone my clients while I’m on the move. When I started looking for a cheaper cell phone provider, I told myself that I absolutely would not switch over if I couldn't find a company with similar coverage to what Verizon had.
At first, the alternatives that I found to Verizon did not seem promising. It seemed like what was cheaper than my Verizon plan either had horrible coverage, a lot of hidden fees, or ridiculous monthly minimum payments. But then, just when I was about to call Verizon and plead for my account back, I accidentally stumbled on the jackpot.
Finally, after countless hours of research, I had found the holy grail of cell phone providers. I had found a fair, cheap cell phone provider with excellent coverage—its name was Ting.
Now first of all, let me explain what Ting is. Ting is a month-to-month cell phone service provider. With Ting, each month you only have to pay for what you use…and their pricing is really, really affordable. For instance, if you only use 100MB of data in a month, you only have to pay for that 100MB of data (which by the way, is just $3/month). Compare that with Verizon, where you have to pay at least $35 per month for data alone, since all smartphone users are forced onto the 1GB data plan.
In addition, with Ting, if you accidentally sign up for a larger plan than what you accidentally use, they’ll automatically bump you to a lower plan and credit you the difference. Say for example, you sign up for the 1000 minutes plan ($18/month), but only use 100 minutes that month ($3/month). At the end of the month, Ting will automatically switch you to the 100 minutes plan and give you your $15 back.
After I played around with Ting’s price calculator, I realized that if I switched to Ting, I would halve my monthly bill from over $200 to just under $100 per month. And that’s with the exact same number of minutes, texts, and data as I have with Verizon.
Ting’s pricing table. Take a look at where you would fall on this table, and see how much you’d save with Ting.
After crunching my numbers and seeing how much I would save with Ting, I jumped over to their devices page to pick out a smartphone to use with Ting.
Ting has a bunch of different smartphones from a low-end Optimus S (refurbished from $68) to middle-of-the-range Samsung Galaxy S3s to high end Galaxy S4s and HTC Ones. The one downside about buying a phone from Ting is that you have to pay for the whole, retail price of a phone (which can be in the hundreds of dollars).
You might ask, “why do I have to pay >$400 for a Galaxy, when I can get one for just $200 from Verizon”. Well the fact is that when you buy a $200 Galaxy from Verizon, you’re locked in to an expensive monthly plan for two years.
Say for example, you’re a family of four. If each of you uses an average number of minutes, texts, and data per month, (300 minutes, 700 texts, and 400 MB), with Verizon, you’d have to pay $220 per month.
However, with Ting your total monthly price comes out to be just $112 per month.
That means over the course of the 2-year contract, you’d save $2592 by switching to Ting. Even after subtracting the $200 difference for 4 Galaxy phones, you’d still save $1,792 dollars over the course of 2 years.
So at this point you might be thinking…OK Dan, Ting does sound much better than my current provider, but if it’s so cheap, it must have pretty bad coverage right? After all, Ting is a small company compared to Verizon, so it probably doesn’t have as many cell phone towers.
That's a great questions, and in fact, I was pretty worried about that too. I use my cell phone to contact clients on the go, so I knew that I needed to have really good coverage. Since Ting is a company I’ve never heard of before, I was skeptical that they could afford the amount of money it took to construct a nationwide network of cell towers.
Turns out my fears were unnecessary. You see, Ting is a Sprint-based mobile network provider. What that means, is that Ting uses all of the cell phone towers that Sprint has, and gives you phone, text, and data (3G, 4G, 4G LTE, all of that stuff) coverage everywhere Sprint customers have coverage. Since Sprint is the 3rd largest cell phone provider in the United States, that’s pretty good coverage.
But that’s not the only thing. The thing is, Ting has a special partnership with Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. Anywhere Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon customers have voice or text coverage, Ting customers also have coverage. Since Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are the 3 biggest cell phone providers in America, that means with Ting you’ll have almost 100% voice and texting coverage anywhere in the US.
In fact, because Ting has partnered up with Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, that means technically Ting has better coverage than Verizon or AT&T independently.
For the past few months, I’ve been using Ting, and I’m loving it. Coverage is great, the support staff is super-friendly (every time I call, I get a fluent English speaker within seconds), and my cell phone bill is literally just half of what it used to be.
If you have a large cell phone bill (anything over $100), then I suggest that you seriously take a look at switching over to Ting.
As a thank you for reading my review, here’s a $25 credit for you, when you sign up for Ting using the link below. I’m not sure how long this $25 credit promotion is going to last since Ting is starting to see a huge wave of new subscribers, so I recommend that you sign up ASAP).
I want to be perfectly honest with you here. The above link is an affiliate link, which means I get some coffee money if you sign up through me. I’m using and loving Ting, so I have no problem recommending it to you (and using my affiliate link).
PS. In case you were wondering, the process to switch from your cell phone provider to Ting is quick and painless. You just buy a phone from Ting (or port your old phone to Ting), enter your current phone number on Ting’s website, and Ting will automatically bring your current phone number to your Ting phone and you can start using your new phone immediately.
Review by Dan Arrington. Google +