I Saved $354 A Year With Ting

Not long ago I wrote a post about how “I Saved $372 On My Home Phone” using Ooma, a VOIP device that enables unlimited long distance calling for just local phone taxes (about $4 a month). It seems that Ooma has flown under the radar for many of you who still use a land line in your home. Of course, in my quest to save even more money while still living in the 21st century I began to question my high AT&T cell phone bill. By any measure I am not a heavy user of my cell phone but I was shelling out a heavy payment every month for something that I did not use often. This was the same syndrome that was affecting me with my home phone line. Paying lots of money for something I did not use often.

 

 

My cell phone bill was about $43 a month with taxes and other fees factored in for 700 minutes of talk time which I never fully used. Sure, each month I racked up rollover minutes until I had over 2000 minutes on my plan that simply expired because they weren’t being used, yet I was still paying my $43 a month regardless of usage.

 

A little background:

 

One thing I have learned about in the world of marketing is that the word “unlimited” is meaningless. It sounds amazing, like “all you can eat” but in reality it’s just a marketing gimmick to get you to buy something or to subscribe to a plan. Think about it. What does “unlimited” really mean? Are you getting the true benefit of unlimited talk, text and web? What you should be focusing on is not the word unlimited but rather “usage” and that’s where Ting comes in. See Ting is a different cell phone company. It is built on the premise that you should pay for what you actually use. To me this just made sense. Why pay a flat fee for a certain number of minutes or better yet “unlimited” minutes if I never fully take advantage of it. Now, I know some of you will tell me that you are on your phone all day talking, texting and surfing and so perhaps Ting may not be for you. But for many people out there Ting can make a lot of sense.

 

Ting is an MVNO that piggybacks on the Sprint network for their service. Now before the comments roll in about how Sprint sucks, all I have to say is that even with AT&T I have experienced dropped calls and spotty service. In other words, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and the rest are all the same. I care not of service coverage maps, signal quality or any other metric since it is all marketing and every service has its pluses and minuses. It’s just like saying Toyota is the best car. Yet, drive down any street and you will see Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Ford, GM, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, VW, etc. In other words, get over it, it’s a car and they are basically all the same. So to with cell phone providers. The way Ting billing works is that you are charged a flat fee of $6 a month per device on their network and then depending on usage you are billed accordingly. You can see their full rates page here. Talk more, pay more, talk less, pay less. That’s where the keyword of ‘usage’ really comes in instead of ‘unlimited.’ Take a look at your most recent cell phone bill and see how much talk, text and web you really did use. You may find out that your “unlimited” plan may not make much sense if say, for example, you only talked 500 minutes for the month or perhaps sent out 800 texts when in theory you could have used a lot more.

 

So let’s get down to some real numbers and the dollars and cents of it all. Prior to my switch to Ting I was paying about $43 a month or $516 a year. My new monthly average bill from Ting is $13.50 a month a savings of $354 a year. Between my Ting cell phone savings and Ooma home phone savings of $372 I’m racking up $726 a year in phone savings. That’s real money.

 

What about your cell phone service? Are you really taking advantage of “unlimited” plans or perhaps it might be time to pay for what you actually use?

Image courtesy of: Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

15 thoughts on “I Saved $354 A Year With Ting

  1. I have not yet switched to Ting (debating between that and Republic Wireless), but girlfriend was on AT&T and paying around $70 a month for her plan – basically the lowest possible plan you could have with a smartphone. She ditched her iPhone as it was cracked anyways, and bought a EVO 4G LTE and has been with Ting ever since, with no real complaints. Her bill is now $20-$30 a month thanks to being on WiFi most of the time for data, and using texting apps instead of “wasting” SMS.

    The only thing I can say is that if you are a power data user, Ting is NOT for you – it will end up costing you more.

    • Hi DH,

      Great to hear your friend had made the switch and is saving a ton. Between my light usage and Wi-Fi from home and work (I can surf, talk & text unlimited for $0) my Ting bill is about $13.50 a month and I couldn’t be happier. For many people Ting makes sense unless you are a serious talk, text, web person. Though, even if you are there are many great apps that let you do all 3 via Wi-Fi for free. Thanks for commenting!

  2. DivHut,

    Wish you the best with Ting. Saving money is the name of the game!

    I looked at their service and found that after a careful cost analysis I was better off with Aio Wireless, which offered me better service (AT&T) for less overall money based on my usage. And for $25/month all in, I’m very happy so far.

    As far as service just being marketing tactics, I’m not sure about that when there are quantifiable differences. For me, there is a measurable difference between what I had before (Metro PCS) and Aio. Before I had NO service here, and now I have perfect call quality. No marketing gimmick there because I’m either able to make calls or not be able to make calls. Of course, this is just my anecdotal experience.

    Best of luck with it! Watch your usage, though.

    Best wishes.

    • Hi DM,

      Good to hear from you always. Regarding service between the cell companies I know that it all depends on your physical location. Everyone I know has a complaint about their cell carrier and these are people that have AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile. So when they market to us, “largest network,” “least dropped calls,” etc. you know you have to take it with a grain of salt as each carrier has those same issues.

      For me Ting was a no brainer. I am not a heavy cell phone user averaging 100 minutes or less each month and 0 texts. If I do need to text I do it via Wi-Fi apps. All I know is the real dollars I am saving every month which I am happy about. I bought my used LG Optimus on eBay for $23 and have been happy since my switch to Ting in October 2013. Thanks again for commenting!

  3. That’s a lot of savings. I’ve never heard of Ting before. I’ve had a lot of unused minutes on my phone, but lately I’ve been gobbling them up. It always feels great to find ways to save on phone, cable, and other utilities. Nice work!

    • Hi untemplater,

      Yeah, Ting of one of those cell phone carriers that isn’t getting the play it deserves. Not really sure why. The service has been perfect, bills reduced dramatically and it works with any Sprint enabled phone (I bought a used LG Optimus for $23 on eBay). The point of my article was also to show that ‘unlimited’ usage or paying for a finite plan is meaningless unless you know what you are actually using. Who cares if you have an unlimited plan and use only 500 minutes a month or like you say have unused minutes month to month. Pay for what you use is what I say. Between Ting and Ooma for home we have saved a lot of money annually. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Hi DivHut,

    Have you given Republic Wireless a try? I was skeptical at first, but after 6 months straight at $10 a month with UNLIMITED Minutes and Texts, plus unlimited wifi data I finally started recommending it to my friends and family. Have already gotten 2 other people to join which is nice because you get a $20 referral credit each time someone joins. Flat rate bill at $10 a month with no contract means $120 for the year. Worst case scenario I have 2 referrals in at $40 so my bill for the year will be $80!! That’s less than I was paying per month with a LIMITED Verizon plan! Might give it a try… imagine how many more dividends we can buying up!

    • Hi DP,

      Thanks for the suggestion. After reading several other blogs about this topic a lot of people have suggested looking at Republic Wireless as a cell phone alternative and like you have generally had good to excellent things to say about the company. I will take a look into it as well. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. I just recently switched to Ting, and so far, I love it! I’d been looking for a long time for a carrier that would allow me to get an iPhone but not pay for a data plan, and they fit the bill – and shrunk my bill at the same time!

    • Hi Daniel,

      Ting is great. I have been with them for about 9 months now and can’t believe all the money I wasted at AT&T prior to my switch. With wi-fi apps I can text for free and even make calls. I wish Ting was more popular. I think most people never heard of them. Also, I use Ooma for my home phone which is $4 a month for unlimited nationwide calls.

  6. I’ve got to say Keith this is an amazing discovery. Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me in on Ting! I’m currently in the process of trying to convince my husband that this a legit service. We recently got burned by an alternative cell service provider similar to Ting. I’m really happy that lots of people are starting to make the switch from the larger cornerstone providers by seeking out other options. If I do end up making the switch I’ll have you to thank for introducing me to the service!

    • Hi Naomi,

      The truth about cel phone/home phone plans is that there are a lot of amazing companies out there that are 100% legit. It’s just that no one has really heard of them. I can tell you Ting is a real company and I have been very happy with their service. I am with them for about one year with zero issues. My wife, skeptical at first, joined me a couple months after I joined. Our bill is now $27 a month for two phones. The beauty of smart-phones these days is that you can take advantage of Wi-Fi as well and make free phone calls, text and data. There are numerous apps out there than enable you to literally have a $0 a month bill if you do everything via Wi-Fi. Ting is not for everyone. I’ll fully admit that. But if you are a low to moderate user of talk/text/data it can be a great option. Republic Wireless is another company you should look into for cel service.

      And, not sure if you have home phone… we still do and use Ooma. It’s about $4 a month for unlimited nationwide talking. Been with them for about 14 months now. I wrote about it as well. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  7. That is some good savings and I agree with you, almost all cell phone service providers are more or less the same, it’s a bunch of marketing. I used to pay about $60 a month with sprint and just like you, I hardly used much of my so call “unlimited” Talk and Text.
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    • Hi CH,

      Whoever came up with the “unlimited” plan for anything is a marketing genius. Rarely, does it make sense to pay up for an unlimited plan and when you actually sit down and see your usage you realize that other limited plans might make more sense. These days, a cel network is a cel network. There is no noticeable difference between the major carriers. Thank you for commenting.

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