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 for a free $25 credit. Just looking for the $25 credit? Click here.
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 dollars! 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 food. More than entertainment. More than nearly any other thing that you use on a monthly basis.
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 international economic research institute, OECD, Americans are paying way more for cell service than people in other countries.
According to their report , Americans are paying over 300% more on 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 about $32 per person per month on their cell phone bill.
And let me remind you, it's not $32 per month for a phone plan with no data or texts. People in other countries are paying $32 per month for their smartphone plans with the same number of minutes, texts, and data as your >$100 per month Verizon plan.
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 providers unless I found a company with coverage that matched or exceeded Verizon’s.
At first, the alternatives that I found to Verizon did not seem promising. I looked at AT&T, T-Mobile and many others but it seemed like what was cheaper than my Verizon plan either had worse coverage or a lot of hidden fees. After months of long, fruitless hours spent scouring through the internet for a better phone plan, I was just about to call Verizon and plead for my account back, when 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 quality, cheap cell phone provider with excellent coverage—its name was Ting.
Now first of all, let me explain what Ting is. Ting is a cell phone service provider with monthly plans averaging from $20-$30 per month. Ting has an agreement with Verizon and Sprint, so that it has calling/texting coverage everywhere Verizon or Sprint has coverage, and data coverage everywhere Sprint has coverage.
How is it so cheap? 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, because Ting only charges what you use, there's no such thing as an "overage" fee with Ting.
After I played around with Ting’s price calculator, I realized that if I switched to Ting, I would halve my family’s phone bill from over $200 to just under $100 per month. And that’s with the exact same number of minutes, texts, and data that I have with Verizon.
(Note that I halved my four person phone bill to just $100 per month with Ting. If you're a single person looking to switch, you'd probably only need to pay somewhere around $30-40 per month with Ting.)
Ting’s pricing table. Take a look at where you would fall on this table, and see how much you’d save with Ting. Click here to visit Ting's website for an interactive pricing table plus $25 of free credit.
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 HTC Evo (from $68) to middle of the range Galaxys S4, to the high-end iPhone 6. The one downside about buying a phone from Ting is that you have to pay for the whole, retail price of a phone, so a Galaxy from Ting might cost about $300.
You might ask, “why do I have to pay $300 for a Galaxy from Ting, when I can get one for just $100 from Verizon”. Well the fact is that when you buy a $100 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 $800 difference for 4 Galaxy phones, you’d still save $1,792 dollars over the course of 2 years.
The above is a small sample of Ting’s phones. Click here for the full list.
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 smaller company than Verizon, 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. In fact, Ting has a special partnership with both Sprint and Verizon. Anywhere Sprint or Verizon customers have voice or text coverage, Ting customers also have coverage. Since Verizon and Sprint are 2 of the biggest cell phone providers in America, that means with Ting you’ll have nearly 100% voice and texting coverage anywhere in the US.
For the past few months, I’ve been using Ting, and I’m loving it (update Mar. 14, 2016, I've now been using Ting for a year and a half and I'm still loving it). Coverage is superb and my cell phone bill is now less than half of what it used to be.
If you have a large cell phone bill (anything over $50 per month), then I strongly suggest that you 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.
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 Sprint phone to Ting), enter your current phone number on Ting’s website, and Ting will let you use your existing phone number. After a two-minute activation process, you can start using your new phone immediately.
Final Verdict: 4.7/5. Thanks to its partnerships with Sprint and Verizon, Ting has excellent coverage, but is much cheaper than either. The only downside is that buying a new phone with Ting is unsubsidized and can cost hundreds of dollars.
Review by Dan Arrington. Google +