The Tech I Use - Ting

This is the first post in series called The Tech I Use. If you would like to see the comprehensive list of technology I use click here.

Ting is a new mobile phone provider that launched their service to the public on February 2nd, 2012.

In this blog post I am going to share my experience with Ting.

Buying My Ting Phone

On December 6th, 2011 I was accepted into the Ting beta program. Since Ting does not have any retail locations I jumped online to purchase my new phone. After browsing the variety of devices from basic flip phones to Android powered smart phones I decided to purchase a Samsung M360 flip phone.

You will notice that all the phones cost money. You won't be getting a free phone from Ting. The reason that you have to pay for your phone is that Ting does not lock you into an expensive contract for two years like most cell phone companies. You are able to cancel at any time.

I paid $65 for my flip phone. The online interface is really easy to use and the process to purchase the phone took me at most ten minutes.

Activating My Ting Phone

Once I received my phone the activation process was super simple. It involved me navigating to Ting's website and following some very simple directions.

I entered in the ESN/MEID number and a nickname for my phone.

I chose whether I wanted a new phone number or if I wanted to port my current phone number over to Ting.

If you choose to set up a new phone number Ting will allow you to choose an area code based on where your billing zip code is.

Confirm your details and your phone is activated!

Picking My Ting Plan

Once my Ting phone was activated I then got to pick my plan. Ting has a fairly unique approach to mobile phone plans. They offer what I would call "buckets" of minutes, text, and data. These buckets are labeled XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL.

Since I do most of my texting through Google Voice on my MacBook Pro or iPod Touch and I do most of my talking with Skype on my MacBook Pro I opted for the small bucket of 100 minutes ($3), the small bucket of 100 text messages ($3), the XS bucket of data ($0), and I will have one device on Ting ($6). My total monthly bill will come to $12 plus tax.

Ting doesn't have crazy overage fees like some cell phone providers. The following is listed as Reason #3 for why you should switch to Ting.

You choose your plans for minutes, messages and megabytes. If you go over on any of them, we will reconcile in the next pay period so that you pay for what you actually used (without penalty). Likewise, if you go under on any of them, we will credit you in the next pay period so that you pay for what you actually used. Again, we will credit you.

I was really attracted to this feature of Ting because I am not concerned that I will either pay for minutes and text that I won't end up using or get hit with expensive overage fees.

If you want to learn more about Ting's plans check out the video found below.

Ting's Customer Service

In the short time I have been using Ting I have had a chance to experience their customer service and I have to say that I am impressed. The first thing that I want to point out about their customer service is that when you call Ting a real person answers the phone right away. You don't have to deal with some crazy automated system and you don't sit on hold forever listening to elevator music.

My first encounter with Ting's customer service was when I had noticed that I didn't receive my phone in the promised 5-10 business days. I called Ting and spoke with Rodger. He promptly looked into the situation and informed me that some guy named José had signed for the package back on December 15th which was well within the promised 5-10 business days. Basically, FedEx delivered the package to Apple Valley, California instead of Apple Valley, MN. Rodger confirmed the address he had on record and it appears that the error was FedEx's fault and not Ting's.

Rodger immediately had another phone shipped to me and I had it a few days later. After I activated the phone I noticed that I was unable to make calls on it. I called Ting back and spoke with Shanna. She looked into the issue I was having and it appeared that they still had the phone that was sent to California linked to my account and within ten minutes she was able to switch the info and my Ting phone was working.

Both Rodger and Shanna followed up with emails making sure my issues had been resolved and asking if there was anything else they could do to assist me.

Overall, I have been very impressed with the customer service of Ting.

Ting's Coverage

What good is a cell phone if you are unable to use it to make phone calls and send texts? I do not use the phone a ton but I have yet to suffer a dropped call. My wife and I live in the lower level of a townhouse in Apple Valley and even with one bar of signal I am able to reliably make phone calls. I have also tested the phone while driving back and forth from Farmington and it has not dropped a call. My iPhone on AT&T use to drop calls all the time.

Ting service is provided on the Nationwide Sprint Network. Ting allow you to check out coverage for your area on their website.

Closing Thoughts

Ting's slogan is "Mobile That Makes Sense" and I think that Ting does make sense with their combination of a great product, a great price, and great customer service. There are plenty of reasons to consider Ting and I hope you do!