Ting Review 2016 | In-Depth Analysis

Posted: March 23, 2016

Ting Mobile That Makes Sense

has a totally different approach to wireless service compared to other mobile carriers. Instead of charging a set amount each month for a "plan" there are simply tiered rates for different services. Ting charges you for what you actually use in three separate categories: minutes, texts, and data - everything else is free.

Have you already read the review and are back for the $25 Ting credit? If so, use this $25 promotional link immediately prior to purchasing or activating your first phone or SIM card on Ting to lock in the credit.

Pros & Cons

  • No contract
  • Cost varies according to usage (in tiers)
  • Additional lines only cost $6
  • Choice of two nationwide cellular networks
  • No limits on tethering & hotspots
  • Free alerts and per-line limits
  • Excellent customer service
  • No hidden/extra fees
  • Early termination fee relief
  • Data costs are higher than some other carriers
  • Phones are not subsidized so they can be expensive
  • Coverage is not as broad as Verizon or AT&T
Ting offers an excellent alternative to other wireless carriers with outstanding customer service, transparent pricing, and good coverage between two different nationwide networks.

What is Ting?

Ting is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which basically means that they pay the big nationwide carriers for access to their cell towers and mobile infrastructure while Ting provides their own unique features, billing, and customer service.

As a MVNO Ting buys wholesale wireless access from two of the major network providers in the U.S.: T-Mobile and Sprint. Because they are purchasing service at less expensive wholesale prices they are able to pass those savings on to their customers. Ting can do this because they do not have physical stores or the costs associated with maintaining wireless infrastructure.

At the end of 2015 Consumer Reports published their annual U.S. cell phone carrier ratings and ranked Ting the second highest overall, just one point below Consumer Cellular. Republic Wireless also did well coming in third. Unfortunately, you must be a paid Consumer Reports subscriber to view the full ratings. All the highest scoring carriers were MVNOs. Consumer Cellular primarily caters to seniors and Republic Wireless has integrated its service to work seamlessly over Wi-Fi to decrease costs. If you are reading this because you are frustrated with one of large U.S. carriers, you are not alone as the lowest scoring providers were the big four carriers: Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

The two most important factors to consider in choosing a wireless provider are coverage and value.

The two most important factors to consider in choosing a wireless provider are coverage and value. Consequently, before reading the rest of this review you should determine if Ting has good coverage in your area and if Ting offers good value for your specific needs.

Coverage and Network Performance

In the U.S. there are two different kinds of wireless carriers: those that use GSM technology and those that use CDMA. Ting has access to both types of networks so you can choose whichever is best for your needs. Some of the important differences are shown in the table below.

Ting GSM vs. CDMA: What You Need to Know
Ting GSM Ting CDMA
Network Partners: T-Mobile Sprint
Coverage: Better city/metro coverage Better rural coverage
Network Speed: Faster Slower
Roaming: Voice and texting on AT&T (no data)* Voice and texting on Verizon & U.S. Cellular (no data)
Phones: Large selection - most unlocked GSM phones and all T-Mobile phones Limited to the Ting Store and eligible Sprint devices
Cost: Ting service costs the same whether you're using a GSM or CDMA phone.

* A quick note regarding roaming: GSM roaming only occurs in designated partner areas while CDMA roaming should be available anywhere in Verizon's service area.

If you have no idea what GSM and CDMA are, don't worry, it doesn’t really matter for most people - just choose the network that provides the best coverage in your area. If you are interested in learning more about GSM and CDMA we wrote an article explaining the technologies and their main differences in plain English.

Although the table above is a good representation of nationwide coverage and network speed, it is best to check Ting’s local coverage maps for both GSM and CDMA in your area to see which provides the best coverage.

If the overall coverage is roughly the same, check RootMetrics reports and data speeds to see which network is faster. RootMetrics reports present information about the major U.S. carriers - just remember that Ting GSM uses T-mobile and Ting CDMA uses Sprint.

You must choose either the GSM or CDMA service as both cannot be in service at the same time on the same phone number. Although this has not happened yet, something to watch in the future is the possibility of switching between networks automatically since Google has developed a similar technology for its Project Fi network.

Ting GSM Coverage and Network Speed

Ting’s GSM coverage is identical to T-mobile’s in-network coverage. What does this mean? If you are already on T-mobile and have good coverage, switching to Ting GSM should make no difference. Roaming is free and occurs primarily on AT&T for voice and texts. There is no data access while roaming. Overall, if you are in a city or major metropolitan area you are likely to have good coverage, but in rural areas coverage can be spotty to non-existent.

One of the major benefits of Ting’s GSM coverage over their CDMA offering is that data speeds are significantly faster on GSM. In our testing it is fairly common to see speeds that are 2-3x faster on Ting GSM versus Ting CDMA even though both have ubiquitous coverage. This should be similar nationwide as places that have T-mobile LTE coverage are consistently faster than Sprint.

We have had the opportunity to use and test Ting’s GSM network since its inception in early 2015 and recommend it over CDMA unless you frequent areas with inadequate GSM coverage. Our recommendation of choosing GSM over CDMA is due to the higher data speeds, better device selection, and ease of switching phones on the GSM network.

Ting CDMA Coverage and Network Speed

Ting CDMA uses Sprint's wireless network to provide service that includes a voice and text roaming deal with Verizon and U.S. Cellular. That means that if you already have Sprint and are satisfied with the coverage in your area, switching to Ting should make no difference.

Sprint is still in the midst of a nationwide improvement of their wireless infrastructure they are calling "Network Vision." Areas that have been upgraded can provide significantly better coverage, voice call quality, and network speeds. However, many of these improvements are just catching up to the other three networks as Sprint consistently ranks last in network speed nationwide. If you plan to use a smartphone and having a fast data connection is important to you, then you are going to want make sure your area has 4G LTE as Sprint's 3G speeds can be very slow.

Value: Is Ting Worth it for You?

Ting will most likely save you money unless you need to use a lot of data. Grab your last couple of mobile phone bills and head over to the savings calculator to see your projected bill. It uses your current usage in minutes, texts, and data to estimate your monthly bill.

On average our bills are half of what they were on our previous mobile provider.

Before signing up and many times since then, we have compared Ting to the other no-contract providers such as T-mobile's no-contract service, Republic Wireless, Straight Talk, Cricket Wireless, Net10, Page Plus, AT&T’s GoPhone, Boost, and Virgin mobile. Besides Ting, they all have a few things in common - you either had to sign up for a very low allowance plan, they do not have good selection of smartphones, or you had to spend at least $40-50 per line per month for an "unlimited" plan that isn't actually unlimited. After running all the numbers, for us, Ting was the best value. Everyone has a unique situation, but on average our bills are half of what they were on our previous mobile provider. Since we started using Ting our average cost per line has been less than $20 per month overall.

You may be wondering, "But why is Ting so cheap?" Is there something lacking in Ting's service compared to Sprint and T-Mobile? From our experience there is nothing to complain about. Ting answered the "How is your service so cheap" question in a blog post that is an interesting read if you have time, but the bottom line is that Ting isn't that "cheap." You pay for what you use, Ting earns a healthy margin, and that is it. The reason Ting seems inexpensive is because the wireless industry as a whole in the U.S. is very expensive: prices are inflated and almost every carrier makes you buy far more usage (minutes, texts, data) through their plans than you will ever use.

Ting Charges According to Actual Usage

What first attracted us to Ting is that they charge you according to your actual usage without any contract. At the end of the billing cycle Ting will charge you according to your usage in the tiers listed below in 3 separate categories: minutes, texts, and data. There are no plans or overages - you just pay for what you use.

Also, knowing that we can save money by limiting our usage helps us be more aware of our usage and more likely to do things like connect to Wi-Fi when it is available or use Google Voice and Hangouts if we need to make an extended call. Those things help us limit our costs and are easy to do.

Rates and Tiers

Here is a table of the rates Ting offers. Remember you start out at XS (zero minutes, texts, and data) and the plan will adapt automatically according to your usage. Each line costs $6 per month to continue service. In the example below using up to 500 minutes, 1000 texts, and 500 megabytes of data on one phone would cost roughly $32 per month.

Ting Rates Change Automatically With Usage

Ting Features: Dashboard and Controls

The Ting dashboard and subsequent bill are very intuitive and easy to use. Watch the video below to get a quick idea of what the dashboard is all about. The dashboard makes it easy to keep track of your usage throughout each month.

The online dashboard also allows you to completely control all the devices on your account: turning on and off any feature is as simple as clicking a toggle switch. Ting also includes usage alerts and individual line limits for free. Most other carriers we have used charge extra for those features and call them "parental controls" or something similar. If you have a family and your teenager is texting or using up data like crazy you can automatically warn them to slow down, and then if they do not heed the warning, cut them off until the end of the billing period - they will learn pretty quickly to stay within the limits you have provided ;-)

The image below shows an example alert and data cap for an iPad on our account. In this example, if we exceed 475 MB, alerts are sent and further cellular data usage on the iPad is disabled until the end of the billing cycle. You can easily create alerts and usage caps for your whole account as well.

Ting Alerts and Usage Caps

Ting also offers dashboard apps for both Android and iOS to track your usage and change settings directly from your phone.

Phones and Tablets

There are a few phones that are compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks, but for most people it is best to choose a network prior to buying a new phone.

Phones for Ting CDMA

Ting offers some very nice high-end phones like the iPhone 6s, HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6, and more. You can even buy an unlocked Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P and bring them to Ting. If you are interested in getting an iPhone on Ting’s CDMA service, but are not sure where to start, it is pretty easy to buy and activate any Apple iPhone on Ting.

Phones for Ting GSM

This is where Ting GSM really pulls away from the competition. The number of devices you can use on GSM is massive compared to the relatively small number that Sprint allows Ting to use for CDMA. With a GSM phone your SIM card is activated and you can just take it out of your current phone and put it in another compatible device - no messing with switching it online or calling customer service - it will just work.

There are some minor restrictions in that the GSM phone must support the frequencies or bands that Ting uses. There are some phones (especially global phones - those intended for use outside the US) that will not work on Ting even though they are GSM. Finding a compatible phone is not difficult: simply make sure it supports bands 2 (1900MHz) and 4 (1700/2100 MHz) by looking at the “specifications” for the phone you are researching. If it is a T-Mobile branded phone it will be compatible. Although not required for service, in addition to band 2 and 4, it is best to have a phone that is band 12 (700 MHz) compatible as well. Band 12 provides better coverage inside buildings and in rural areas.

Ting sells a universal GSM SIM card that can be activated and used in any compatible phone or tablet. If you are bringing your own GSM device, the SIM card is all you really need. You can save a few dollars on shipping if you purchase them from Amazon instead of directly from Ting.

Customer Service

When we signed up for Ting we read about their "no hold" phone policy, but we were skeptical to say the least. However, in the process of signing up we had a question, so we called their main phone number and to our surprise and delight an actual human answered almost immediately! No automated system to navigate whatsoever and no holding. Since then we have called a number of times and everyone we have spoken to was knowledgeable and were able to answer our questions and resolve any issues right away. If you would prefer not to call Ting support, you can also reach them through email or online chat.

Ting customer service is the best customer service we have ever experienced.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Ting customer service is the best customer service we have ever experienced. We say that not just because everyone else’s customer service is abysmal, but because they will do everything in their power to fix your issue and bend over backwards to make things right if a mistake or error has occurred.

If you cannot decide which phone to buy, Ting offers a service that will help you find a phone that is compatible with its network by asking you a few questions about what kind of phone you want and then searching Amazon and other retailers before giving you a list of possible options.

Potential Downsides

There is no "unlimited plan", so users who use a huge amount of minutes, texts, and data - this might not be the best for you. High data usage can get expensive quickly with up to 2GB costing $29. Every megabyte over 2GB costs an additional 1.5 cents or $15 per gigabyte.

Phones are not subsidized so they can be expensive. Ting doesn’t offer any sort of financing or payment plan, so if you want a new flagship phone it is going to cost you.

In regions where T-Mobile or Sprint do not provide good coverage but Verizon or AT&T do, Ting will not be your best choice.

Comparison to Other Carriers

We switched to Ting at the beginning of 2013. Since we have been on Ting for over 3 years, we wanted to make sure that our recommendation of Ting's mobile services is still valid. Does Ting still make sense in 2016? After all, there have been some significant changes in the telecom industry recently. T-mobile has rebranded itself as an "un-carrier," doing away with contracts and lowering prices. Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon now all have the option of unsubsidized plans that are less expensive than their subsidized counterparts.

So, we decided to see what the cheapest (unsubsidized) plans available from T-mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon would have cost for our last six months of usage compared that to what we were actually charged by Ting. We used the Wall Street Journal calculator in addition to the carriers' websites to determine the projected costs. Since we chose the cheapest plans that fit our actual usage for each month, we probably underestimated the cost as this would be the real-world equivalent of switching your plan every single month.

We are still saving a lot of money on Ting, and can continue to strongly recommend their mobile service.

As you can see, T-mobile's new lower priced plans come the closest, but Ting was still consistently less expensive than all the other carriers. Compared to AT&T and Verizon, Ting was often about half the cost or even less. After reviewing this new data, we are confident that we are still saving a lot of money on Ting, and can continue to strongly recommend their mobile service. Click on the graphs below to go to the interactive versions.

Ting Cost Compared to Other Carriers
Ting 6 Months of Usage Data

Incentives and Promotions

As an incentive to switch, Ting also offers a credit equal to 25% of any early termination fees (ETFs) you paid in order to switch from another carrier.

Ting also has a referral program where each person you refer gets a $25 credit towards service or a new device and the person who referred them also gets a $25 service credit.

If this post helped you decide to switch to Ting please use our referral link before you buy your first SIM card or phone from Ting or activate a device you already own.

If you found this review helpful, please let us know by sharing it or by clicking the 1+ button below. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

Review Summary
Service: Ting Mobile
Description: Ting's mobile service gets high marks on almost every category, including outstanding customer service. Ting offers an excellent alternative to other wireless carriers with transparent pricing and good coverage between two different nationwide networks.
Rating: 8.8 out of 10.
Editor: R.G. Medlin
Updated: 03/23/2016


South Jersey Dave said...

Great review, thanks!

Kevin M said...

I've been an extremely satisfied Ting customer for about 6 months now and they have been absolutely amazing. I rarely use mobile data so I keep my bill pretty low, but it's there if I need it. For 2 devices on the account I usually pay around 30$/month, that's with using <100mb data and 1000 texts. I don't do online reviews very often but Ting deserves it. Great company and even better people working for them.

Ben said...

I'm with Kevin on this one. I'm not usually one to rave about a service, but Ting is kind of revolutionary (I've been with them for about 6 months now). Over the years I've been with all the big carriers other than T-Mobile, and Ting is a completely different animal: Not only do I not hate my carrier, I actually LIKE them!

It's pretty much exactly what a service provider should be: responsive, fair, helpful, prompt, transparent, and CHEAP! My wife and I share an account and we use a moderate amount of data - no movies or anything, but I browse the internet a lot, stream music from time-to-time, watch the occasional YouTube video, send ~300 texts/month, and spend a fair amount of time talking every day. With this level of usage, our COMBINED bill is regularly less than $60/month... Verizon was charging 50% more just for my account before I switched over.

The Sprint Network (which Ting uses) isn't the best, but so long as you're anywhere near a populated area you're in pretty good shape as far as I can tell - and it voice-roams for free (no data) if you're outside the Sprint network. Anyway, I can't recommend it more highly.

c2med said...

Thanks for the comment. I agree, one of the best things about Ting is that you can CHOOSE how much you want to use and therefore spend per month.

c2med said...

Thanks Ben, I appreciate the comment. I couldn't agree with you more... I have said the same thing to people a number of times, that "I actually like my cell phone provider" which is usually met with jaw drops or some response of disbelief :)

My area was switched to LTE not too long ago, and it makes a world of difference in the data speeds - easily 10x as fast as their 3G. Hopefully you already have LTE or will get it soon.

c2med said...

If you are thinking of switching to Ting and have to pay early termination fees now might be a good time.

Today Ting announced another ETF promotion: 25% credit for any ETFs paid, up to $75 per line.

Nick Malinowski said...

Switched to Ting in June 2013 from Verizon Wireless. Was paying $160 a month on Verizon for 2 phones and am averaging under $50 a month for my first 2 bills. 3G can be slow and reception from the 19th floor of my building can be spotty at times, but saving almost $100 a month more than makes up for these minor issues. Ting is perfect for my family and I wish we had switched earlier.

c2med said...

Wow, you are paying less than 1/3 of your Verizon bill... that is awesome! I agree that the minor inconveniences (slow 3G) are more than made up for by the extra money saved every month. Although I have noticed since I first switched that 3G has gotten a little faster with better coverage, and when they switched to LTE that helped a lot. Do you have LTE in your area?

I read this article from wirelessweek recently about Sprint's large spectrum holdings that made me hopeful they will keep getting faster in the near future with tri-band LTE.

Unknown said...

I switched when my last contract was up. Two phones (only one with data) averaged $180 a month. Now we have two phones (galaxy 3s) both with data and we're coming in just under $60 a month. No brainer. Sure we had to buy our phones off of ebay but they'll be paid for by our savings in three months. After that we're saving $120 a month.
Something to be aware of when considering the coverage map - Ting does NOT charge extra for voice roaming.

c2med said...

Thanks for pointing that out... voice roaming on Verizon's network is free! One thing to note, however, is that there is no data roaming - either you get Sprint's (Ting's) data or nothing. That is not a problem in my area where we have fairly good LTE coverage, but it could be for some people depending on where they live. Thanks.

Yevgeniy Marusenko said...

Thanks for the review.

After some thinking and research. Switched 1 line to Ting (and used your referral link :).

Cam Medlin said...

Thanks. I really appreciate it. I hope you enjoy your new service.

pudy68 said...

We are researching Ting right now, so I appreciate your review. We're not familiar with smart phones whatsoever, but if the prince is right, we just may finally make the leap. We are in a 4G LTE area (yay!) but I'm just not sure about which phone to start with. Also, I don't understand what you mean by switching to wifi to save on usage, etc. I see lots of folks talking about such things in various reviews, but it's all Greek to me. Are all 4G LTE phones backwards compatible with 3G, etc? How complicated is the activation process, or whatever it's called? Not being techy, are we going to have to spend a lot of time with their CSR?

Also, I did save a link to your webpage on my desktop, so we will definitely use your referral link when we are ready to go. If I sign up for two phones, is that a $25 credit to you & me, per phone, or per transaction? Would it be better to sign up each phone separately?

Thanks again for your review, and your time!

Cam Medlin said...

These are excellent questions, thank you for commenting.

1) Which phones to start with?
As far as smartphones go, there are a lot of options, but it boils down to one major question, "do you want an Android device or an iPhone?" I would suggest asking friends and family to let you play with their smartphones a little bit and see which you like best. If you use a lot of Google services you may prefer an Android device. If you have Apple computers or iPads the iPhone user-interface will be much more familiar to you.

All of the phones Ting sells directly are Android smartphones. To buy an iPhone you will need to buy through a 3rd party although Ting will help you with that if you need some assistance finding a used device.

2) Switching between WiFi and 4G LTE:
With Ting you pay for your usage in minutes, texts, and mobile data separately. A smartphone will use WiFi instead of mobile data whenever it can to decrease the amount of mobile data used, so it is best to leave your phone's WiFi turned on at home or work assuming those places have WiFi. Mobile data and WiFi provide the exact same thing - a connection to the internet - so to save on your monthly bill you can try to limit the amount of stuff you do on the internet (especially heavy data consuming stuff like watching youtube videos, etc.) when you are not connected to WiFi.

Yes, all 4G LTE phones are also backward compatible with older networks including 3G and will automatically switch between them as necessary.

3) The Activation Process:
The activation process on Ting is very simple and streamlined. The website walks you through the steps required - it literally only takes about 1-2 minutes at most. Porting a number from another carrier may take some additional time before your phone starts working but you won't have to do anything but wait. If you have any trouble the customer service reps can help you and can be reached immediately.

4) The $25 Credit:
The credit applies to each account when a new account is opened and activated. For 2 phones you will get a $25 discount off one phone because they will be on the same account. No, trying to buy the phones or sign up separately will not work - it is a one-time activation credit for your account.

Because the $25 credit "code" is stored in a browser cookie temporarily, to ensure you get the credit you must click on the link immediately prior to ordering a new device directly from Ting or just before activating a used phone you bought from someone else.

Hopefully this has been helpful for you. Let me know if there is anything else I can answer.

pudy68 said...

Thank you, Cam. Very nice of you to be so helpful!

We will stick to the Android choices, as we don't have any Apple devices. Old school, remember? ;-)

We only have the Cingular/AT&T Go Phone (pay as you go) so I would fully expect to NOT be able to port the number over, right? Will Ting assign us a new number, and will we get to pick between a few choices?

I will keep your advice in mind as to using the referral link/$25 credit. Thanks for the heads up!

Cam Medlin said...

I think you can port your numbers if you want but it may be somewhat of a hassle: https://help.ting.com/entries/21976221-Porting-from-AT-T-GoPhone-Helpful-Hints

If you elect to get a new number Ting will assign you one in your chosen area code - there are not multiple options or numbers to choose from.

pudy68 said...

Thanks! I read through that link...you continue to be very helpful. Santa will be extra generous to you this Christmas, I think! :-)

beezer h said...

My wife and I ported our numbers from T-Mobile. The T-Mobile service guy asked me why we were switching. We told him about Ting. He said, "Yea, That is hard to beat." He told us it would take 24 hours to port the numbers. It took about an hour. No hassle. LOVE Ting!

Kennon Fisk said...

What do you do if you want to buy a NEW Iphone?? I realize they are not subsidized and will be very expensive, but buying a refurbished or used phone seems like a big gamble. I would like to buy new, but not sure how that would work. Could you buy the new phone and AppleCare from Apple and then use it with Ting? Apple sells a "SIM FREE" phone, but then how do you make it work with Ting?

Cam Medlin said...

This is a good question, because buying a new iPhone that is the correct version (CDMA) for Ting is more difficult than it should be. The iPhones that Apple sells on their website as "sim free" are the GSM versions (meant for AT&T or T-mobile) - they will NOT work with Ting because Ting uses Sprint's CDMA network.

CDMA carriers (Sprint and Verizon) are notoriously "locked down" when in comes to purchasing phones - it has always been that in order to buy a new phone you HAD to purchase it through the carrier or not at all - that is why the Nexus 5 was such a big deal - it was the first unlocked CDMA capable phone ever.

To buy any Sprint compatible iPhone right now you will have to buy it through a 3rd party (ebay, glyde, swappa, etc.). I have bought and sold literally dozens of new and used phones over the years and have only had issues a few times which were always able to be resolved. You can buy a new iPhone, but, unfortunately, it will have to be from a 3rd party. For example, someone on Sprint who just extended their contract by buying a new iPhone, but kept their old phone so they could sell the new one for profit. Just make sure you are buying from a seller that has a good reputation/rating/reviews and you should be okay.

I am sure the minute Ting can offer a new iPhone, they will, but I imagine the major roadblock preventing that is Sprint and/or Apple. Hopefully that will change eventually, but I imagine it will take some time. Good luck!

Levon Charleyhorse said...

Can you please explain about tethering and hot spots? Thank you.

Cam Medlin said...

Sure. You can use any smartphone (Android or an iPhone) to share your mobile data connection with other devices either by tethering (physically plugging the phone into a computer for internet on the go) or with a hotspot which acts like mini Wi-Fi router, creating a Wi-Fi network for other devices to connect to its mobile network to get online. With Ting there are zero limitations on tethering... You will have to pay for the data you use, but there is no throttling or any restrictions like some other carriers impose.

Keleb Gadol said...

As a TING customer for 2 months, I am satisfied. I live in an area where there is NO Sprint service, but Ting uses Verizon for roaming (NO extra charges) and that works (it varies from 1 to 3 bars). I use my WIFI at home instead with my Google Voice for making calls and no charges and much better voice calls. In 2 months, my bill has been $12 per month (about $14 with taxes), using under 100mb data each month, no text messages and under 100 minutes in calls. Most of my calls, texting and data are on WIFI.
Finally, the phone I got on Ebay, a Samsung S3, for $125 (Nov 2014), but you must contact Ting's very good customer service BEFORE buying on Ebay to make sure a phone will work with their service.

Amanda Phillips said...

See the thing is that you guys do not use your data alot, as for me I am streaming movies and doing work off my cell phone. SO even though they do not have unlimited data, I tend to have to call them 3 to 4 times a week not only for my data but my internet not working in general.Plus I had a $75 credit on my acct and bc i went over my 5GB of data they turned off my phone the whole thing not just the data. So I called and they wanted a $50 payment from me and bill was not due until 2 weeks. I hate this service its just not for me. I also hate there automated machine. We promise to pick up the phone but now we are breaking that promise. Stupid

Cam Medlin said...

If you are using >5GB data per month, Ting definitely isn't for you. I would look for plans that have a high data allowance or are "unlimited."

pudy68 said...

Hi Cam,
I just ordered a phone through your referral link (thank you for the $25 savings). You were very helpful during our prior chast above, dated April 2014. I'm looking forward to surprising my husband with a phone for his birthday. :-)

lightfusegetaway said...

Is there a place where I can find a list of Sprint cell phone models that will work with Ting?

I would like to find the lowest-cost CDMA Android phone available (preferably used) and use it strictly as a WIFI hotspot while traveling. I will be going into an area (NW Pennsylvania)with terrible GSM coverage but slightly better CDMA. Help would be appreciated!

Cam Medlin said...

There isn't really a list because any Sprint phone should technically work with Ting unless it is currently under contract, is not fully paid for, or is lost/stolen. See more info here

If you buy a used phone, make sure to check the MEID before purchasing. The HTC Desire 510 is pretty cheap for a new phone on Ting's site for $88. You will have to pay $6/month to keep the line active plus data costs.

If I were you I might look into a dedicated hotspot like yourkarma.com - it is not on Ting, but their data rates and CDMA network are the same with the benefit of no monthly fee.

lightfusegetaway said...

Thanks for your help, Cam! I'll look into those services.

Heather said...

I have had Ting for a while (a year?) and while I have been happy with it, I am looking at whether I should switch. The big disadvantage is the rural coverage where I live. In travelling with someone who has Verizon in Western North Carolina and up I81 in Virginia, I found that Verizon had coverage almost 100% of the time where my phone frequently lost it. I pretty much had coverage only in cities/towns. And there are weird spots even in big cities where my phone would not have a signal. I have a Sprint phone so I am not sure about that table which says the CDMA phones have better rural coverage. I seem to have almost no rural coverage.

Cam Medlin said...

If you are on Ting's CDMA service you should have roamed on Verizon when there was no Sprint coverage... you might want to make sure your phone is roaming correctly.

Regarding the table, it is comparing Ting's GSM vs. CDMA service nationwide. If you look at the two different coverage maps you will note that CDMA tends to have more rural coverage overall which is consistent with our experience. Your area may be better served by another provider like Verizon or AT&T or one of their MVNOs.

Rose P said...

Thanks for an excellent review. The comments about customer service impressed me the most.
Yesterday my phone and purse were stolen as I was pumping gas. After waiting almost an hour to reach Consumer Cellular customer service to deactivate the phone, I called my son who had given me the phone said it had a tracking device and he could trace it if I reactivated it. I tried all afternoon to reach con. cell. again to no avail. This morning I called again and they reactivated it but the charge was exhausted and the phone was dead. The last address on the tracking device he saw yesterday was 2474 Colorado ave. but when I called the police yesterday they said they could no longer get a search warrant because over 3 hours had past. You don't realize how important customer service is until you need. it.

Alex said...

There's another con to Ting that I just discovered - it is a poor choice if you're planning on using it for multiple lines for a family or business and want to control your costs. Ting was originally designed to let you use as much as you want, and pay depending on how much you used.

However if you don't want your kids to watch YouTube 24/7 and run your bills up, they do let you put caps in place to cut off calls, texts, or minutes at a certain point you specify. Sounds good, but the problem is that these caps don't/won't/can't kick in in the middle of a call or a download, so usage can easily go over a cap and push you into a next-higher pricing tier (caps on texts *do* kick in reliably, according to them).

To avoid going over minutes or data, they tell you to set the cap to happen before the next tier (as an example they suggest capping at 475MB to avoid going over 500), but when I did that I still ended up at 509MB before being capped, which pushed me into the next more expensive tier. Of course, I could move the cap back to 450MB or earlier, but the earlier I put the cap, the fewer minutes or data I'm likely to use, which means the more money I'm throwing away.

Another issue with multiple users on Ting is that they have no way to text a code to find out your current usage. You have to either sign into the main account from the app or on their website. You can also set up an alert to text a particular number when they're getting close to a cap, but the alert doesn't say where the cap is.

Because of these various issues I've switched to US Mobile. Their support seems equally as good as Ting's, but they have a more traditional pricing/plan model - for instance if your plan says you get 500 minutes, 500 texts, and 1000MB, that's all you get and you can't use more each month unless you log in and pay to add more.

dsafljkasdjfklsad said...

Hi, so like I'm looking to move from Freedompop to Ting because I just don't want to deal with freedompop right now.

Anyways, Call quality. That popped up once in your review and it was just a passing mention of how blah blah blah will get better because blah blah blah.

I know call quality depends on not just the phone but the service and phone working together and stuff but like, how's your call quality?

Cam Medlin said...

Call quality is highly variable as you mentioned and Ting operates using either the Sprint network (Ting CDMA) or T-Mobile's network (Ting GSM). In our experience call quality is good overall with Ting CDMA (Sprint) being slightly better than Ting GSM (T-Mobile), but I would check out the Rootmetrics reports for your location.

On the Rootmetrics site in the upper right corner of the map, you can type in your location, then when the report comes up, click on the "call performance" section and see how the different carriers perform. I hope that helps.

christine macdonald said...

I have been with Ting for 1 year now and let me tell you, if saving money is important this is the place to be. I initially became a ting customer in P.A , shortly there after moving to FL. we had 2 cars on the road for a 2 day drive with constant communication thru all states. The service is fabulous , the people (I emphasize people ) on the end of the line amazing. Its great knowing I have what I need when I want it. I have not had a bill over $30 since becoming a member of the Ting family. My husband will be joining me in a matter of days from Verizon. I purchased the Galaxy Grand Prime from Ting and love it , it does what I want without having to be a Techno genius.
Thank You TING.

Michael S. said...

Hey. I signed up using your referral link. Haven't gotten any confirmation yet or notice of any credit on my end.

Cam Medlin said...

It won't go through until you have purchased something (a phone or SIM card) directly from the Ting shop, or activate your first device on TIng. If you have already done one of those things but still don't see it, give them a call and let them know... they should be able to get it worked out for you.

Unknown said...

The article is very clear, IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE.

Jose Luis Larrea said...

There's an important matter than you have forgotten...you are covered if you happen to travel international at a very competitive rate.

Robb Lawrence said...

what about if you use a microcell from at&t? i thought maybe to check tmobile's coverage here first to see. we have at&t & live in a small NW PA town & are looking to switch since bill is outrageous ($250/month for 2 lines). both have iphones so the "data fee" applies ev month. i am out of contract but other line still has a few months left & a payment for new iphone. ting looks like a good option but wanted to tell the situation first. thanks in advance.

Cam Medlin said...

I don't think a microcell from AT&T will work since Ting uses T-Mobile's network for GSM. You would need a carrier agnostic or T-Mobile microcell for GSM. If you wanted to switch to Ting, you can get a microcell equivalent for CDMA called a Sprint Airave.

I would check the coverage maps to see what your area looks like: http://ting.com/coverage for both GSM and CDMA and call or chat with them if you have any questions - they are super helpful.

Juanima Hiatt said...

After calculating my savings, my jaw hit the floor to discover my family can save $150/month. We have six lines. We are fairly controlled with our data usage, so I'm not too worried. What I AM worried about is coverage. I live in Oregon (close to Portland), and we currently have Verizon. I've NEVER, not once had a dropped call, or loss of signal, except in the mountain passes on the way to the coast. Can anyone quantify for me the difference in coverage? Would I experience a ton of dropped calls if we switched to Ting? The idea of saving $150/month is mind-boggling to me, and I could certainly handle a little compromise in coverage. But I don't want to move to horrible coverage. Any input?

Cam Medlin said...

It is going to be very specific to your region. I would check out the coverage maps including 3rd party ones as I mentioned in the coverage section.

If you know people with T-Mobile or Sprint you could ask them about their coverage as those are the networks Ting uses (GSM and CDMA respectively). One thing to keep in mind on Ting GSM is band 12 compatibility - if your phone doesn't support it, your coverage will likely be suboptimal.

If you have a compatible phone (you can check at https://ting.com/byod) it would be pretty easy to bring one line over first just to test things out - nice thing about Ting is you can easily go back if it is not working for you.