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New RingPlus Free and Discounted Plans Available Today to NYC, LA and SF Residents Only

Today, Mar 6, 2014 at 10 AM PST, Sprint MVNO RingPlus will open sign ups for another of their ad-supported free mobile service promotions. For the first time the promotions will be limited geographically. There will be separate West Coast and East Cost promotions:

The West Coast offer dubbed "Surf & Turf" will be limited to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County and is actually two offers in one with a free option and a paid option. 

FREE: 200 Minutes, 200 texts and 200 MB of data 
Paid: Unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 200 MB of data for $12.99 

The East Coast offer is called "Club 51" and is limited to the residents of the five boroughs of New York City only. Again there are free and paid options: 

Free: 300 minutes, 500 texts and 10 MB of data
Paid: Unlimited minutes, unlimited Texts and 750 MB of data for $19.99

The plan prices do not include taxes which average about 20% on the paid plans and a dollar or two per month on the "free" plans. The free plans are ad supported and are subject to number of rules intended to insure that calls are made and the ads are heard. New users need to watch out for two rules in particular:
  • You must activate your phone and make a successful outgoing call within 24 hours after registering it or your account will be cancelled.
  • You must make a successful outbound call at least once per week and 10 successful outbound calls per month.
All four plans are BYOSD, "Bring Your Own Sprint device". You need to supply a Sprint phone that's not currently active on Sprint or another Sprint MVNO. iPhones, BlackBerrys, Palm phones, PTT devices, Sprint phone models released in the last 12 months and Boost and Virgin Mobile phones are NOT allowed. There's a list of allowed and not allowed phones here. You also can check if your phone is allowed by entering the MEID or ESN at https://my.ringplus.net/device_validation_requests/new.

RingPlus says that eligibility will be determined by zip code. New York City and Los Angeles County are clearly defined geographical areas but "San Francisco Bay Area" is a bit fuzzy. It generally means Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties but some definitions also include San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties as part of the Bay Area. I don't know which definition RingPlus is using.

Update: Reader HELLS_BELLS shared an official list of eligible Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City zipcodes. It looks like San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties are not included in the SF Bay promotion but some that are outside of Los Angeles county proper are in the LA one.

To sign up for one of the promotional plans head over to http://ringplus.net/plans/city/ at 10 AM PST (7 AM EST) 3/6/14 and see if you qualify. The promotions are limited to a specific number of sign ups. Past promotions have lasted anywhere from 7 minutes to two hours. For more information visit the RingPlus Forums' Surf and Turf and Club 51 threads.

Update 3/13/14: The paid City Plans are still available but the free ones have been closed to new signups

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  1. i really dislike how Ring Plus operates. This limited release here and there, constantly changing plans, etc... Not sure I understand their marketing dept.

  2. I reviewed a list of the zip codes for Los Angeles County here:


    It appears that those with billing addresses in zip code 93243, which is Lebec in Kern County and zip codes 92821 and 92823 which are Brea in Orange County are also included in this promotion for Los Angeles County.


  3. It's simple. They have advertisers in those markets who will pay more money to target consumers in the local areas. If your business is in Beverly Hills you don't want to market to a guy in Des Moines. More of this is coming so they can support their ad generated revenue.

  4. I gotta say, despite issues (the service is basically beta), RingPlus is pretty good for the money. My wife has been on the free 2013 plan for a while now and she hasn't complained once. I am considering moving from T-mobile to their $9.99/mo Bella plan (400 min 400 text 300 data, 2 cents per min/txt/mb overage). This is something I would have never considered had we not tried their free plan. The main complaint I have is sometimes there are voice outages (does not affect 911). They are pretty rare, but when they happen it's annoying. If you have Skype installed or some other VOIP solution you can deal with the issues. Texting and Data have also worked during voice issues. The only other gripe I have is 7 cents per MMS message.

  5. I have used four different flip phones on a couple of free plan lines, and all of them have trouble maintaining connection to the Sprint network. Signal bars go to zero, I get no service error messages, and calls and texts fail until the connection is re-established. These phones work fine on regular MVNO lines. RingPlus servers sit on the network in between Sprint's regular cellular services, so the connection is: Sprint cellular>digital link>RingPlus server>digital link>Sprint cellular. I think their servers are dropping the connections, perhaps when they are busy. Anybody else experiencing this?

    1. Nope, seems it is just you.

    2. I don't see signal problems, but the call quality does not seem to be as good as when I was on the Sprint post-paid plan.

    3. My call quality is not so good, and I get a delay or echo sometimes.

  6. just activated a virgin mobile phone I have lying around on ringplus with the free club 51. I can make calls and text message but no data.
    This is by far the best value I've seen for a cellular service. I'm thinking porting my main number to this service because i'm sick of my prepaid service getting cut off for not topping up but not sure how long I can get away with a virgin mobile phone. Thinking about picking up a Nexus 5 just for this.

  7. One of the best values out there for RingPlus is a used Optimus G (LS970). You can get them for $120-$160 on Ebay or Swappa depending on condition. Very nice phone (Quad Core, 2GB RAM, LTE, 32GB Storage, 720p 4.7 inch screen, 13MP Camera).

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