Ting Case Study - Is the Leap of Faith Worth the Savings?

We interviewed 31 year old John Davis from Los Angeles, California about his experience with Ting. Ting is a cell phone service provider that charges only what you use, and has contract-free smartphone plans starting from $17 per month.

Elliot Noss - CEO of Tucows, the company behind Ting
Elliot Noss, CEO of Ting


he problem with phone carriers in the US is that four carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) own about 93% percent of the cell phone service market. Effectively forming an oligopoly (aka. a "monopoly" of four companies), the carriers know that by joining forces and establishing an agreed-upon price for phone service, they'll be able to maintain their high profit margins without risk of competition. If you don't believe me, look around. No matter which of the Big Four carriers you go to, you'll receive roughly the same prices everywhere you look.

But what this also does is it makes it difficult for anyone to trust smaller phone service companies that offer lower prices, especially if there's no contract involved. There has to be some catch here, right? The quality of service has to be poor or there are some hidden fees-in other words, it's simply too good to be true.

How Ting Wins Over Customers

This is how 31 year old John Davis from Los Angeles, California felt when he first read about Ting on our review page. John was paying almost $80 per month for his smartphone with Verizon, and was looking to switch to a cheaper provider. After a couple of weeks of research, John was impressed by Ting, since our review indicated that Ting coverage is excellent, prices are low, and service is great.

However, John's girlfriend thought that Ting seemed too good to be true since she was sure that a service that only charged $17/month would definitely have a catch (John: [My girlfriend] is pretty cautious by nature. She was afraid that Ting would either have horrible coverage, slow data speeds, or come with a bunch of hidden fees). In the end, however, John calculated his potential savings, and decided that the more than $47/month ($563 per year) he would save by switching to Ting was too good to pass up.

Using our $25 discount code, John activated his Ting account and realized that before he could switch to Ting, he had to buy a phone. This was a little troubling for John since Ting doesn't subsidize phones, meaning John had to pay the full retail price of the phone (unsubsidized phones cost anywhere from $50 for an older smartphone up to more than $400). (John: At that point, I was actually a bit worried since I wanted to buy an iPhone, and if Ting didn't work out, I probably would've had to resell the iPhone on EBay or something). But again, John decided that the savings on his monthly bills were worth the risk, and ended up purchasing an iPhone from Ting. As he soon found out, however, the risks were actually never really there at all.

Ting Makes Good on its Promises

That's because John was soon impressed with just how good Ting's service and support were. After getting his first month's phone bill for just under $6 thanks to the $25 discount he used, John realized that he saved over $70 in just a single month compared to his Verizon bill. At this rate, John realized that the Ting phone would pay for itself in discounted savings in just a few months.

In fact, according to John, after the first month, John was so impressed with Ting's service that he managed to convince his once-skeptical girlfriend to switch to Ting as well. It seems like that skepticism is gone now too since, during our interview, both John and his girlfriend noted that the quality and service of Ting were definitely on par with that of their former phone company, Verizon. Data speeds, coverage areas, call quality-all were spot on with Ting no matter where they used their phones: restaurants, work, home, on the go, etc. (John: Literally, with Ting it's like we have the exact same phone service, coverage, et cetera as with Verizon, except that somehow we're paying about a quarter of what Verizon charges.)

While interviewing John and his girlfriend, we kept on trying to have them tell us something bad about Ting, since it would be hard for us to write an unbiased case study without knowing both Ting's pros and cons. However, no matter how much we pressed, neither John nor his girlfriend could come up with anything about Ting that they were less than impressed with. All of their initial fears about Ting (poor coverage, low data speeds, and hidden fees) were completely dispelled in their first month of use, and according to John, neither John nor his girlfriend have had a single bad experience since. We'll keep asking them about any improvements they wish Ting would make, and we'll update this section if they do find something they dislike, but don't hold your breath. We conducted this interview more than a week ago (John's been using Ting for more than three months), and from the looks of things, after switching to Ting, John and his girlfriend haven't looked back since.

Ting Sets the Bar High and the Prices Low

But John and his girlfriend are just one of many stories out there from customers who are finding out that they don't have to tie into long term contracts to receive "lower" rates. In fact, companies like Ting are out there charging less money per month with no contract to sign. Ting has amazing coverage and quality, making it on par with the top phone companies out there.

In fact, because Ting charges less per month, you are actually getting better quality for your dollar, making Ting the obvious choice for phone service. Do you have to buy a Ting phone? Yes-that would be the only drawback that anyone could bring up. But as John quickly found out, even a $300 phone quickly pays for itself thanks to the savings Ting provides its customers each month. Let's assume that without the $25 credit, John's bill would have been $30. That's $47 dollars cheaper than the $77 per month he was paying with Verizon.

That means that John's phone will have paid for itself in about six months. After that, it's just pure money in your pocket (how does an extra $47 of cash per month sound?).

Is Ting Worth Trying?

So, when it all comes down to it, Ting is a very attractive option for anyone looking to save money on their monthly phone bill without giving up internet speed, call quality, customer service and support or coverage area. In fact, since Ting phones pay for themselves in service, you actually save money by just trying Ting, something that John and his girlfriend quickly found out.

Add to that the fact that you only pay for what you use and don't have to sign any contracts, and it's easy to see why Ting might seem too good to be true for some people. But the fact of the matter is that every day, people like John are finding out that just because the big four carriers have decided they can charge what they like because people will unquestioningly pay it, that doesn't mean you have to keep falling for the same trap every time you sign a phone contract.

Of course, it does make it easier that John had a $25 discount code before he tried Ting so if that's the only thing stopping you, you can click here to get that very same code John used and find out just how good your phone service can be when you switch to Ting and save your hard earned cash.