RingPlus completely changed its plan lineup, replacing every single plan with something different. In general, the changes include:
- An allotment of MMS is now included every plan except the data-only plan.
- On "free" plans, the minimum top-up which is charged at plan activation and whenever the plan balance reaches zero has been increased.
- Paid plans, with the exception of the data-only plan, no longer require a top-up in addition to the monthly plan fee, but the monthly fees are higher.
- All paid plans now include some international calling minutes
- There are substantially fewer paid plans. All the plans with more than 3 GB of data per month have been eliminated. Additional data can be added to any plan, but it's expensive, $15 per GB per month or more.
- There are now Member+ and non-Member+ versions of every plan. Member+ costs $39.99 for 3 months, $59.99 for six months, $99.99 per year or $159.92 (paid in 8 monthly installments of $19.99) for a "Lifetime" Member+ subscription.
|Old Plan: Price (Top Up)||New Non Member+ Plan: Price (Top Up)||New Member+ Plan: Price (Top Up)|
|Truly Free 3: $0, ($0), 125 min, 50 SMS 15 MB, 5¢ overages||Michelson, $0, ($9), 250 Min, 250 SMS, 250 MMS, 250 MB, 5¢ overages||Chadwick, $0, ($5), 250 Min, 250 SMS, 250 MMS, 250 MB, 4¢ overages|
|Splash: $0, ($5), 500 min, 500 SMS, 500 MB, 5¢ overages||Anderson, $0, ($18), 500 Min, 500 SMS, 500 MMS, 500 MB, 5¢ overages||Davisson, $0, ($10), 500 Min, 500 SMS, 500 MMS, 500 MB, 4¢ overages|
|Ice Cream: $0, ($10), 1000 min, 1000 SMS, 1000 MB, 5¢ overages||Lawrence, $0, ($27), 1000 Min, 1000 SMS, 1000 MMS, 1000 MB, 5¢ overages||Stern, $0, ($15), 1000 Min, 1000 SMS, 1000 MMS, 1000 MB, 4¢ overages|
|Old Plan: Price (Top Up)||New Non Member+ Plan: Price||New Member+ Plan; Price|
|Malevich: $9.99, ($15), unlimited min and SMS, 500 MB, 2¢ overages||Bloch: $12.99, unlimited min and SMS, 500 MMS, 1 GB, 5¢ overages, 100 int'l min||Bloch: $3.99, unlimited min and SMS, 500 MMS, 1 GB, 5¢ overages, 100 int'l min|
|Rivera: $12.99, ($15), unlimited min and SMS, 1 GB, 2¢ overages||Kusch: $19.99, unlimited min and SMS, 1000 MMS, 2 GB, 4¢ overages, 200 int'l min||Kusch: $9.99, unlimited min and SMS, 2000 MMS, 2 GB, 5¢ overages, 200 int'l min|
|Miro: $19.99, ($15), unlimited min and SMS, 2 GB, 2¢ overages||Bridgman: $29.99, unlimited min and SMS, 1000 MMS, 3 GB, 4¢ overages, 300 int'l min||Bridgman: $19.99, unlimited min, SMS and MMS, 3 GB, 5¢ overages, 300 int'l min|
Add-Ons: The following add-ons can be added to any free or paid plan. Add-on renew monthly:
- Minutes: $5/250, $8/500, $15/1000
- SMS: $4/250, $7/500, $12/1000
- MMS: $5/250, $8/500, $15/1000
- Data: $5/250 MB, $8/500 MB, $15/ 1 GB
|Old Plan: Price||New Non Member+ Plan: Price (Top Up)||New Member+ Plan; Price (Top Up)|
|Rembrandt: $19.99 2000 MB, 2¢ overages||Bardeen: $3.75, ($14.99), 500 MB, overage $14.99/GB||Bardeen: $1.99 ($12.99), 500 MB, overage $12.99/GB|
Looking at these plan changes, two things stand out. The changes seem intended to improve RingPlus' cash flow and make its revenue stream more consistent. I suspect that the majority of RingPlus customers manage their usage and rarely pay overages. That means that on free plans, the majority of revenue that Ring Plus sees is the initial top-up paid at activation, hence the higher top ups on free plans. On paid plans, the monthly prices have been raised, replacing the rarely used top-up fee.
The other change is the elimination of paid plans with large amounts of data. I'm guessing that Sprint changed its wholesale data price structure making the high data plans unprofitable to RingPlus. I've long believed that RingPlus and FreedomPop are being subsidized by Sprint to keep Sprint's sagging customer count up. Sprint gives the freenmium MVNOs cheap data so they can attach large numbers of relatively low data use customers inflating Sprint's connection count at a relatively low cost to Sprint. On the other hand, Sprint would rather keep the relatively few high spending, high data customers to itself.
Although these changes amount to a price increase for new lines of service, RingPlus current customer's plans are grandfathered, at least for now. I still consider RingPlus a good value for light users who can use one of current plans without going over the plan limits and being hit with the relatively high overage rates. Just consider the initial top-up on free plans a one-time activation fee.