Like many of you, Sam and I have been locked into a contract with our cellphone provider for as long as we could remember. We are smartphone
users junkies, and had an unlimited data plan with Sprint. It never occured to us that there were other options out there besides the big four – in this case, I’m referring to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
Our monthly cell phone bill is $134/month, but after one month on Ting… we are on track to spend less than $30 for the both of us combined!
What is Ting?
Ting is a no contract based cellphone service provider that uses the Sprint network. Meaning, there’s coverage wherever Sprint is available. Since we were already under contract with Sprint, we saw no difference in our coverage between the two providers. With Ting, you pay only what you use each month. Their pricing table allows you to estimate how much your monthly bill would be if you switched to Ting. We went middle of the road, and plugged it in for “medium” usage for two people. They estimated that our monthly bill would average $39/month! Yea, we can handle that.
Initially, there were a few things holding us back from making the switch:
The cost of breaking our contract with Sprint.
No iPhone support. This all changed in late 2013, when they rolled out support for the iPhone 4S.
Data usage. A look at our Sprint account told us we were each using about 1 GB of data. Would we be able to scale down? Would we want to scale down?
A quick crunching of numbers told us that even if we broke contract and bought two Ting supported phones, we would break even on our “loss” within 6 months. Ting will also pay off a portion of your early termination fee (ETF) if you do choose to break contract. That left the data issue. What I didn’t realize was that as long as we are not using 3G/4G, data usage does not count against us! We just have to make sure we’re using wi-fi at all times.
The iPhone also has a setting that allows you to turn “cellular data” off, so you can restrict all data usage to wi-fi only. I assume most smartphones have this feature. This ensures that I will never accidentally use data I’d have to pay for. You can also set up alerts on Ting to get notified every time you’re reaching a certain threshold for texts, minutes, and data use. My texts also don’t count against my usage if I’m texting another iPhone user (which is the majority of my friends).
A quick log-in to our Ting account brings up our dashboard, which shows our projected cellphone bill for the month, along with where our usage is going.
Once we realized that the two places we’re at the most (home and work) had wi-fi access, and that we could live without being plugged in 24/7, switching to Ting was a no brainer. There have been so many benefits to this; I no longer find myself constantly checking my phone at the park, at the store, when parked at a stoplight, or when hanging out with friends.
I’m more present in every way. I’ve gotten so much of my time back even though I’m still able to access my phone the majority of my day. When I’m on my lunch break, instead of wasting away my time on my phone, I’m enjoying books on my Kindle. When I’m playing with my kids at the park, I’m no longer partially checked out because I’m uploading pictures onto Instagram. When I’m at a stoplight, I’m practicing patience instead of constantly needing to fidget with my phone. The need to pull out my phone at every second of every day has diminished significantly. I’m conscious of my usage, aware of my time, and more present in my daily life.
This is a good thing.
Ting – I recommend it!
Please consider using my referral link if you do sign up. We’d each get a $25 credit so it’d be a win win!