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Why we are leaving Ting

Discussion in 'Ting' started by fdbryant3, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. fdbryant3

    fdbryant3 Android Expert
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    I think Ting is a fine service. I love the pricing model and the customer service but with regret it has come time to move on. Before I get into what Ting is lacking that has lead met to this move let me start with how I came to join Ting.

    Two years ago my wife and I were with MetroPCS. We were paying $90/mo for the 2 lines with unlimited services. Overall we were happy with it. Customer service was weak but the service was decent (this was before being bought by T-mobile) but our phones sucked (they were a pair Galaxy Indulges). The biggest negative I had with MetroPCS was that in my work building there was practically no service in the area I worked. This got me to looking around to see if I could find a better service at the same price – which is when I started hearing about Ting. So I investigated and figured out that it would be approximately $30 to $40 a month cheaper. I also thought that the service would have to be better being backed by Sprint and sealing the deal is we could buy the Galaxy S3 before they would come to MetroPCS. So we made the switch to Ting.

    I was happy. It was cheaper and I found the network service acceptable, although perhaps not as good as I would have liked. My wife though who actually uses the phone for talking much more frequently than I did was not as enamored as I have been. She complained about dropped calls and poor connections particularly around home. She had trouble receiving texts (this may have more to do with Google Voice than Ting but something might have to do with the network, plus as far as she was concerned it was Ting ). I have to note that I also felt some frustration particularly with data services in buildings. We probably would have switched a year ago but I bought a Obihai device which solved calls at home but she still complained of other problems and it would have cost us $1400 to replace the phones (granted we didn’t need top tier phones but that is what we err I wanted) and any other service would be more expensive. So we stayed and while I do think the network has improved it hasn't been enough and it looks like we will have to buy new phones to fully take advantage of the upgrades.

    So that brings us to today. After the latest round with my wife the stars have finally aligned to provide an optimal time to switch. First I got an invite for the OnePlus One which has been my latest technolust obsession. Combine this with a Nexus 5 for my wife and we could replace our 2 year old S3’s (which to be still work great and don’t need to be replaced) for a reasonable $700 and the fact is that the competition has come down in price. Before I took a job (which I am leaving this month) that provided a cell phone for me we were paying on average $60 to $65 a month to Ting (although it was nice when my referral links on Lifehacker was clicked, I can’t count on those). Two years ago this was a significant saving over the $90/mo we were paying. Today we can switch to Cricket (backed by AT&T) or MetroPCS (backed by T-Mobile) and pay $70/mo for unlimited min/text/1GB per line of high-speed data. So outside of customer service Ting has lost its advantages.

    In my opinion Ting has two weaknesses currently:

    1) The Sprint network. While not horrible in my area – the old MetroPCS network was actually better (I cannot comment on it under T-mobile). It may be improving but it is still far behind and I’m convinced it can't catch up (this is of course a bit YMMV depending on where you live – my guess my region isn’t the worse but not the best). The data connection in particular is spotty especially indoors. It makes enjoying it difficult. As mentioned my wife hasn’t been impressed with voice side either.

    The second issue with Sprint network is that it is CDMA. One the justifications I found for switching is the fact that now that I have GSM phones I can move to the service that I a feel provides the best value at any given time without having to reinvest in new hardware. This was a selling point to me.

    Ultimately I believe that Ting needs to partner with AT&T/T-mobile and replace or supplement Sprint (ala StraightTalk) to improve network performance, phone selection, and make it easier for people to switch to Ting. I am aware that of course it is their relationship with Sprint that allows them to provide one of their strongest selling point – the pricing model. That brings me to the second weakness:

    2) Pricing. Two years ago I believe that Ting was the best value for what we used. Times change and the competition has evolved (I think Ting can take a bow for being a catalyst for this). Other MVNO’s have better networks backing them and provide competitive pricing. Even the big 4 are having to adjust and compete. However this means that what was Ting’s strength is at best neutralized and at worse a weakness for anyone using more than the lower tiers.

    While it would be nice if they would lower their per unit pricing at the very least it would be helpful if they would provide more tiers. One of the pain points for me was that my wife and I would use a little more than 500MB a month (and just a bit more than the grace allotment) and it kinda stung to pay for that 1GB tier. By switching we get 1GB of data per line. It wouldn’t of been so bad if Ting had a half or even quarter tier. Another alternative could be to rollover unused allotments (even though this would be against their no “gimmicks” policy). In the end, their pricing needs to change for it to continue to being a selling point. While metered usage makes sense when it results in a lower bill - if you can get unlimited for the same or less, why wouldn't you?

    Anyway, despite its flaws and that Ting is no longer the best value for my family I still love Ting and would recommend it to anyone for whom it makes sense. Two years ago Ting was innovative and the best bang for the buck. I hope they can change and adjust with times and that I’ll be able to at some point return to Ting
     

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    #1 fdbryant3, Sep 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
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  2. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #
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    Good post. Though you may have to change your sig line now. ;)

    Good luck with whatever carrier you end up with and by all means let us know how your next experience goes. I'm always looking at my options and it's good to hear what people who've actually used the various services are saying in this regard.
     
  3. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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    The recent price wars have resulted in some other carriers having some attractive plans, but it depends on your usage which one is best. I remember Ting lowered their rates around half a year ago, hopefully they can negotiate new prices with Sprint again soon. Personally I use WiFi for most of my data so Ting is still a better deal then Cricket, Boost, etc.

    Hope you have a good experience with whoever you switch to :)
     
  4. dsmryder

    dsmryder Android Expert
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    I joined ting as well. It's been working for me. ~$54 per month. Three phones.

    What I do is I use my work phone and house phone for most of my calls and we all stay on WiFi most of the time. My daughter used the most data this weekend (27MB) she has ever used. Combined! It doesn't work for everybode, but it works real well for me.
     
  5. mrsmumbles

    mrsmumbles Android Enthusiast
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    I have a line on Ting as well. I love the company but for my very low use the small buckets are too big. I'm probably going to port that line out to h2o on the $10/90 days paygo "plan". My other line is on Cricket which I love. No dropped calls on Cricket, but regular dropped calls on Ting. Too bad Ting contracted with Sprint, but I really do love the company.
     
  6. willis68nova

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    I do agree with you on the points but I think like some have said it depends on your usage. Ting is not for everyone and I think ting has some huge advantages over other MVNOs too. But again there is not a "one size fits all" in the cell world. Good luck to you and I hope you find the best cell setup for you! PS...I do see the sprint network as lacking in some areas too.
     
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  7. Stomata

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    I think it depends where you live. Here in NY / NJ it's been working very well for us.
     
  8. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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    For coverage yes, it really varies on your location. Some areas have great Sprint/Ting coverage while other locations have poor reception. Hopefully their coverage improves after they're done upgrading their network. :)
     
  9. Stomata

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    "after they're done upgrading their network"

    2018?

    :)
     
  10. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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    2028 :p

    I've heard sometime in 2016.

    The 800 MHz buildout is supposed to be mostly complete by the end of 2015, according to this article:
     
  11. Stomata

    Stomata Newbie
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    It's like flying cars. In 1930 they said we'd have them by 1950. In 1950 they said 1970. In 1970 they said before 2000.
    It's perpetually "coming soon!"
     
  12. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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    Turns out they are actually doing this :)

    Ting will add GSM service in one month using T-Mobile with AT&T for roaming.
     
  13. Stomata

    Stomata Newbie
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    Yep! You can click on Kate's signature for 25 free bucks to try it out.
     
  14. wuyiL

    wuyiL Member
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    They're giving anyone who activates a GSM device between now and May 28th a free $30 in service credit. Yay!
     
    #14 wuyiL, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
  15. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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    Cool deal :)

    Do you have a source? I just checked their blog/twitter but there was no mention of it.
     
  16. wuyiL

    wuyiL Member
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    I got an email titled "Ting on a GSM network is officially official" about this.

    "To say thanks for waiting so patiently, we’d like to offer you a little something. Activate a phone by Wednesday May 28 and receive $30 in Ting credit! All you need is a GSM SIM card to get started. We'll drop your credit into your account on May 29. If you've activated a GSM device before receiving this email, you'll get the credit on May 29 automatically. So, confirm your phone is compatible, grab a SIM card and you're on your way!
    If you have any questions, we have answers, which is a convenient arrangement for all involved."
     
  17. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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    Ahhh, thanks :) I remember they had a sign up for GSM news but I didn't register for it, so I didn't get that email.
     

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