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Switch From Postpaid to Ting and Get Reimbursed For Your Early Termination Fee

In a blog post yesterday, Sprint MVNO Ting announced that it will reimburse users for the early termination fees (EFT) charged by the operators they are leaving. The offer is subject to a few conditions, listed below:

  • The offer is good from Feb 1, 2013 through  Feb 28, 2013
  • The reimbursement is in the form of a Ting service credit which can be used to cover Ting's monthly charges and taxes. It can't be used to buy a new phone
  • You must port your number to Ting to be eligible for reimbursement.
  • Your current mobile contract must have been signed before Jan. 16, 2013
  • You must activate a new or refurbished Ting device or an eligible Sprint device that not currently in service on Sprint and port your number to Ting.
  • You must send Ting a PDF scan of an online or paper copy of your final bill from your old operator showing the amount of the ETF that you were charged.
  • The reimbursement is the lesser of $350 per line or your ETF, excluding taxes and other fees.
  • There's a limit of $100,000 for all reimbursements.  If every reimbursement is the full $350, that's enough for at 285 reimbursements. But ETFs are prorated so the average reimbursement will be less than $350, probably around $200 or about 500 reimbursements.

Ting's pricing model is unusual. There's a $6 per phone monthly fee that doesn't include any airtime. On top of monthly fee you are charged for buckets of minutes, messaging and  data.   For example, the first 100 minutes costs $3. Use more and you are charged for the next tier which is $8 for 500 minutes. There are separate tiers for data and messaging. Here's a table showing the tiers.

Ting Pricing
Tier XS S M L XL XXL Beyond XXL
Minutes 0 100 500 1000 2000 3000
Cost $0 $3 $9 $18 $35 $52 2¢/ea
Text Messages (domestic and international) $0 100 1000 2000 4000 6000
Cost $0 $3 $5 $8 $11 $14 1/4¢ each
Data (MB) 0 100 500 1000 2000 3000
Cost $0 $3 $13 $24 $42 $60 2.25¢ per MB
Data, minute and messaging tiers can be shared across multiple phones or users on the same account which can make Ting a good fit for families and multi-device users.

Unlike most other Sprint MVNOs, Ting offers no extra charge off network roaming (voice and text only, no data), (coverage map).  

Ting isn't for everyone. Its pricing  favors moderate users, but gets really expensive for someone who really needs "unlimited everything" The minimum monthly charge is $6, $9 if you use the phone at all, so Ting isn't the best for very light "glove box phone" users. But if Ting's pricing works for you and you are stuck under a contract with a heavy termination fee this offer is a great deal.

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6 comments:

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  1. I'm not so sure about Ting in the long haul. Sure, use them to help you ease out of the ETF. Once you've exhausted your bill credits then look for something better. Data is expensive on Ting. If you use a lot of data, you're probably better off investigating Sprint As You Go. Sprint As You Go will be available beginning at the end of this month.

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  2. Ting is perfect for my relative who is using 500-100-100. $21 +$3 tax is less than she was paying on Ptel without any data at all. And she now gets free Verizon roaming.

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  3. The Dashboard is definitely something to have for managing your teen's use. Warn them at 80% and 95% data, then cut them off at 104%.
    Do the same with texts if you want.
    Yes, they give you a 5% tolerance on all levels above XS.
    They offer call forwarding, too.
    They keep track of your historical usage, and display it in the Dashboard.

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  4. Data is less than 3 cents per MB if you use the bucket. Pretty good. Is there a better rate on Pay-Go? I have not found one. If you only use half the 500 mb bucket, the rate is still 5.2 cents per MB.

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    Replies
    1. If you include the $6 monthly fee it's 7.6¢/MB for 250 MB, 3.8¢/MB for 500 MB.

      Thoese are good prices. The next cheapest PAYGO data 10¢/MB on PTEL or EcoMobile. Ulta has been promising 5¢/MB data for "next month"for months but still hasn't delivered.

      90 to 500 MB with no voice or texts is one of Ting's sweet spots. If you need less than 90 MB, PTEL is cheaper, more than 500 MB you are probably better off with T-Mobile's Walmart plan although that depends on how many minutes you need.

      I still think Ting's pricing model is too complex and the cost per month too unpredictable. It's OK if you have an analytic mind and micromanage with the Dashboard and limits, but the average person doesn't want to do that.

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    2. If the user is willing to set the Dashboard for a couple of alerts per service, Ting is not hard to manage. I would use a hard cutoff for data at 500 mb, for example, with alerts at 400 and 450. No different than running out of data with a cap.
      A VOIP app would help stay within the 500 minute cap.
      Texts are priced low enough that use should not be a problem.
      I think you need to pay some attention with all prepaid plans, particularly with data use.

      You should also only allocate $2 of the monthly fee to data calculations if you are going to talk and text too.

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