Will Ting Save You Money on Mobile?

Category: Mobile

Mobile phone plans (and those confusing monthly bills) can be maddening. You pay a certain amount for a bucket of minutes, text messages, and mobile data. But at the end of each month, you may see that you didn't use all you paid for. Or worse, you have to pay EXTRA for going over your allotments. Ting feels your pain, and has a solution that can save you money on your mobile phone bill...

What is Ting?

Ting is on a mission to make your mobile phone plan make sense. You may have noticed that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have each rolled out several new plans in the past year, each one more confusing than the last. But Ting is all about transparency and flexibility. You can roll your own service plan, choosing different amounts of monthly voice minutes, text messages, and data from six tiers (XS, S, M, L, XL, and XL+).

Kinda makes you wonder why they don't also sell t-shirts. But anyway... you can even choose "zero" if you don't want to use your device for one type of service. Each phone added to your account costs a base price of $6/month, so you can customize a family plan or a multiple-device service plan.

It might seem complicated, but Ting's rate chart that shows how simple this roll-your-own service plan is. There's even a calculator where you can plug in up to a year of your current usage and costs to see how much you would save with Ting.

Ting Mobile Calling

If you exceed your chosen allotment in any category, you are automatically bumped up to the next higher plan. For example, if you are paying $9 for 500 voice minutes and use between 501 and 1000, your next bill for voice minutes will be $18. If you exceed the "XL+" allotment, you pay a unit price per minute, message, or megabyte for the overage.

But don't worry... this automatic adjustment works in reverse, too. If your actual usage falls into a lower-priced bracket, your next bill will reflect the lower price in the form of a credit. Just try to find another phone company that will proactively lower you bill! Ting doesn't perfectly match your usage to your bill, but it comes closer than other bucket-based pricing plans.

No Math, No Contract.

There really isn't any need to estimate your monthly needs for each type of service. Just sign up for the lowest-priced plans and let your actual usage determine your bill. Ting requires no contract, and you can cancel service at any time. That's a breath of fresh air for anyone who's ever been in the vice-like grip of those multi-year cellular contracts that come with hefty early termination fees.

Ting isn't the only company that's doing innovative things in the mobile arena. See also my articles on hybrid mobile phone service from Republic Wireless, Google's Project Fi, and the pros and cons of prepaid wireless phones.

And how about some free stuff? Every Ting customer gets Voicemail, Call Forwarding, Caller ID, Three-way Calling, and Picture & Video Messaging. Not impressed? How about free number porting, tethering, and mobile hotspot capability? I know for sure that Verizon and AT&T don't offer those things for free.

I also like Ting's approach to customer service. When you call, you have the option to wait on hold until someone at Ting picks up, or you can press "1" and they'll call you back as soon as a rep is available. I called on a Monday at 9AM and got a rep on the first ring. And for what it's worth, he spoke perfect English. Ting says they hire people ("geeks", actually) who are already accustomed to solving problems for their friends and families. These reps are trained and empowered to solve problems without reading from a script.

You can purchase a Ting-compatible handset, which can range from $49 for a simple feature phone to $724 for a Galaxy S8 or $949 for an iPhone 8 Plus smartphone. Or, you can bring your own device, if it's unlocked and compatible with Ting's mobile carriers. (Ting uses the Sprint network for CDMA phones and the T-Mobile network for GSM phones.) Ting's BYOD page will help you determine if your existing phone will work with Ting, gives tips for buying one from a third-party seller, and will show you Ting's network coverage in your area.

If your current mobile provider has an early termination fee (ETF), Ting will help with that too. They will refund 25% of your ETF, up to a maximum of $75 per device.

I can't guarantee that Ting would save everyone money in the long run. My gut reaction is that people (or families) who use at least several hundred minutes a month would benefit. For a small business, it seems like a slam dunk win. Try the savings calculator mentioned earlier here, and see if your personal, family or small business mobile phone bill looks better with Ting. At the very least, it's a unique step towards true metered pricing of cellular services. Perhaps it will spur further movement in that direction.

Have you tried Ting, or are you curious about it? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Will Ting Save You Money on Mobile?"

(See all 21 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

I've been with Ting since I read about them in 2012. They don't bill in advance any more. It's all billed after the fact, so no prepayments and credits. I went from over $100 per month with a major carrier to around $40-45 per month with Ting (for two phones).

Posted by:

John Silberman
16 Oct 2017

Tried their calculator, seems to be about the same price as what I pay for Consumer Cellular.

Posted by:

Jo L. Will
16 Oct 2017

I've been with Ting in the past, but I'm happier now with Tello. There I put so much down, like $20, then use it up over time. 1 cent per text, 2 cents per megabit, and 3 cents per minute. Some tax is added to the money put on account, but no other charges. My wife and I don't use the phones a lot, particularly data- we're on WiFi mostly anyway. Her usage is running under $3/mo, mine under $6/month. We both have iPhone 5S's. I've found no cheaper cellular deal for our amount of usage anywhere (Sprint is the provider for the tello.com MVNO)

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

wow - I suppose this is of interest to people who are on their cell phone every minute. I am an old age pensioner who only has the phone as an emergency outlet for my aged mother. it costs me $21 for three months through TracFone, and I would have gotten the service twenty five years ago, if it was available.

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

Freedompop is still cheaper if want basic service
of 200 min , 500 text , 500 M data is free + $2.5 for voice mail , this would be $15 on ting for
100 min , 100 text , 100 M data
Since I only use cellphone for occasional travel or a power outage and then use Ooma at home , freedompop works for me.

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

I just did a calculation for my husband's phone. He rarely uses it but needs some data. 100 MB would not be enough; 500 MB would be plenty. That said, his plan with TPO comes out less expensive. It also uses T-Mobile network. The one thing Ting has that TPO does not is the monthly adjustment.

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

You mentioned "another phone company that will proactively lower you bill." Republic Wireless has been doing that for me for over 2 years. They've now been in business for 6 years. If you're only looking at AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile rates, Ting might look good to you. But if you compare Republic's rate, at https://republicwireless.com/cell-phone-plans/, they may not look so good, especially since Republic clearly states "All plans include unlimited talk, text and WiFi data." If you have ready access to wi-fi most of the time, your rates could be as low as $15/mo. On an older plan, my rate is usually about $15 or less every month. Tax only runs ~$2. So look at Republic before you leap at a piecemeal plan that will add up quickly.

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

We've had Ting for two years now and absolutely love it. Our usage varies greatly from month to month, and I love only paying for what we use. In fringe reception areas, a lot of times my phone will work when my friends can't get a good signal. I would recommend them to anyone.

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

I have a question.
How is the coverage?
I use Verizon and it basically covers great areas without roaming.
Does Ting and other outfits that other folks recommend in the comments here have poor, good, great coverage ?

Posted by:

Brian L
16 Oct 2017

I had TING for a year and hated it. You have to buy their buckets of minutes or data and if you exceed your bucket, you end up paying $85 a month like I did on several months. Republic Wireless, like Charles said is the better deal for me. I have the one gig plan and unlimited talk and text for $20 a month. I am always using my home wifi while at home or restarants wifi when dining out so I save on my data every month. Just make sure you have a decent/FREE VPN like jailbreak vpn offers. www.jailbreakvpn.com

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

@Fred Ting uses the T-Mobile or Sprint networks

Posted by:

16 Oct 2017

I got my daughter a Ting phone to keep in her car. It's the cheapest plan if you are going to use only a few minutes a month for emergencies, or maybe not use it at all.

Posted by:

17 Oct 2017

I hope Bob doesn't mind, here is a link that gets us both 25 dollars off.


Here's a Consumer Reports article.

I love this company. Our bill for 3 is usually under 30 total. Best customer service! One woman stayed over on her shift because she was determined to fix my problem.

Another chatted with me for at least 15 minutes about Irish music.

Posted by:

Pati Wolfgang
17 Oct 2017

Btw, Ting isn't right for everyone... Like my chatterbox wasband. 200 minutes one month.

The guy at Ting when I cancelled for wazzie laughed and said "We're not right for everyone!"

And if it's just you, a plan like Freedom Pop might be cheaper.

For a family, Ting is cheaper for us. You only pay for one plan. It works out to ten dollars each for us.

Posted by:

17 Oct 2017

Coverage is great, btw. We have 2 Sprint and one T Mobile. Both work fine and we're in the boonies.

Posted by:

17 Oct 2017

Btw, Tello was tempting. When I last checked them out, they didn't have roaming.

Big deal out here. Lol

Here's Ting's FAQ on roaming.

Here's Tello.


Posted by:

Joe M
17 Oct 2017

For my usage, H2O Wireless is cheaper.

Thanks for the spam.

If this were a comparison of low-cost providers, then fine. But c'mon....

Posted by:

17 Oct 2017

The calculator shows no savings for me over my T-Mobile unlimited plan. My plan includes the goodies mentioned, like voicemail, call forwarding, caller ID, three-way calling, picture & video messaging, free number porting, tethering, and mobile hotspot capability. But, Ting seems like a good option for people with lower usage.

By the way, I’m still trying to figure out which carrier is still selling service contracts. AFAIK, those went away a few years back. Unless someone hasn’t completed an old one, seems no one should have carrier contract for service anymore. (Anyone who has an old one should be very close to it ending.). An equipment payment plan goes away if you pay off the device, so it is not the same thing as a service contract that specifies a time frame. You’re not locked into a specified time frame. Pay off the device and move on if you don’t like the carrier.

Posted by:

17 Oct 2017

I have been a Ting customer for better than a year and could not be more pleased. The price works for me and the frosting on the cake is CUSTOMER SERVICE
these folks are great! When you call a real person answers the phone, speaks fluent english is friendly and well informed.

Posted by:

20 Oct 2017

TING is it! For our family of 4, including one female college student, with 5 total devices, Ting is saving us $100/month vs AT&T, where we even had a 20% corporate discount. And their Customer Service ROCKS! My daughter's university in the sticks, and her dorm was on the edge of a "natural area". Her GSM IPhone6 could get no signal, while her roommate had Sprint and it worked fine. I feared a new phone, but Ting CS sent a free CDMA/Sprint sim card for her phone and voila! problem solved (who knew IPhones were bi-?) Then, my 87yo mom's old Iphone, which was only used to stream her classical music station, kept getting spam texts which confused her. Ting CS said "you don't need a sim card just to stream wifi" and killed it, saving us $6/month plus hassle, and losing them that income. Can you imagine AT&T CS in either of these situations? No way.

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