TING – $15 Monthly Cell Phone Service
Only $15/month! TING is an affordable cell phone service for low use cell phone users. Service includes 100 minutes talk, 100 texts, 100 MB data – all for only $15 a month. This is a great plan for low use smartphone users, like me. If you talk less than 100 minutes and rarely use the internet outside your home’s wifi area, this is the plan for you.
Even for higher use cell plan users, TING can save you money! Plus… get $25 just for signing up using my link. See below.
UPDATE 10/16/2016: I still LOVE using TING! My monthly bill, including tax and fees is only $16.95. That’s it! Reception is excellent, voice quality is excellent, and viewing emails and surfing the web is fast.
Here is my story
I went swimming with my cell phone in my bathing suit pocket. Needless to say, the phone stopped working. I had 3 months left on my 2yr contract with Verizon. I had been very happy with Verizon. As a low use cell phone user, I opted for Verizon’s $45/mo plan with unlimited talk & text and 250mb data. Good deal… so I thought.
New Phone, New Plan
Verizon offered me a new phone with a new 24 month contract but I would have to pay $300 since my HTC One phone was no longer working and could not be traded in.
I told them that was too much and so began my search for a new phone and new service.
I searched for low usage cell phone plans.
I work from home and have wifi in my house. I rarely use the phone out of the house except to make or receive a call. So my data usage is very low since 90% of the time I am using wifi. My call volume is also very low since I use my home office line (I use Ooma) when I am at home. Plus, I just don’t make many calls – or texts.
There are several good plans out there if you look. Here are a few that I explored:
**Metro PC**: No Contract $30/mo unlimited talk & text, 1 GB data
**T-Mobile**: No contract plan, $50/mo unlimited talk & text, 2 GB data
**TracPhone**: No contract, pay-as-you-go plans or monthly plans starting at $9.99/mo for 50 min. talk time
**AARP Cell Plan**: Cricket Plan. Starts at $35/mo unlimited talk & text, 2.5GB data.
**Pay as you go plans**: These are low cost but you have to remember to refill your account and if you are running low on minutes, you may not be able to call out or complete your calls. Paying $100 or more annually usually gives you more minutes that do not expire, but you have to pay annually. My wife has a flip phone and we use T-Mobile pay-as-you-go plan. I pay $100 for a year and get extra minutes (gold level). Once her year is up, I will move her phone to TING if it is compatible – or buy her a new compatible phone. Then her rate will be $6/mo ($36/yr) if our combined usage stays in the tier 1 level. More on that later.
Why I went with TING
TING uses a tier plan (sometimes called a bucket plan). Each component – talk, text, data has their own tier (or bucket). Each tier starts off at $3/mo. (actually $0/mo). If you go over the tier limit you automatically go into the next tier level and are charged the price for that tier for that month. Each month start new. The advantage of this structure is you will never be cut off, but instead automatically be moved into next bracket.
See image below. The highlighted boxes are where I usually fall. If you never get a text (messages) you would be in the $0 column and your bill would only be $12.
The other nice thing about this low cost cell phone rate plan TING offers is each device (phone, tablet, etc.) is only $6/mo.. As mentioned earlier, I plan to move my wife to this plan. She rarely uses her phone, so for her and me, the monthly charge will only be $21/mo. ($12+$3+$3+$3 = $21).
If either of us use the phone more than average – if out of town and calling home often for example – we may move into the next tier [101 – 500 minute] and the bill for that month will increase by $6 [$9-$3=$6] or $30 – which still isn’t bad for 2 cell phones.
Last month, I was out of town and ended up using more data then usual and landed in the 101-500 MB tier ($12). So my phone bill was a little higher. But still only $24, which is much less than the $45 I was paying with Verizon.
Which phones can you use?
You need to buy your own phone. TING sells phones starting at $47. Or, you can bring your own phone (BYOD). I elected the latter. If you bring your own phone, it has to be “unlocked” and you will need to buy a SIMM Card from TING ($9). I found a deal on eBay for an Amazon Fire Phone, unlocked, for $134 shipped free, no tax, brand new. Plus, it came with 1 year of AMAZON PRIME (a $99 value). As you may know, I am a big fan of Amazon Prime. My Amazon Prime account was extended another year! The Fire Phone is a quality android phone – may not have all the bells & whistles of $600 phones, but comes close. Originally, Amazon sold them for $649. They didn’t sell as expected and over the last couple years the price has come way down. Check eBay for current deals. Make sure to buy an UNLOCKED phone.
If you want a different phone, check out TING’s large selection, or try Amazon. Search for Unlocked Cell Phones. Yes, Apple phones will work with TING (if unlocked).
What cell service does TING use?
Right now, TING primarily uses T-Mobile service. One thing I liked about Verizon, when I had them, was their coverage. I was concerned whether T-Mobile would work for me. Yes! TING’s coverage is great for where I live. I am very happy with coverage, quality, & speed of TING’s T-Mobile cell service. I live in Southern California on the coast. So far, no problems.
TING uses GSM and CDMA phone services. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means… I didn’t either. GSM is the more universal phone signal. I suggest you get a GSM phone. Do some research to determine what is best for you. Call TING customer service and they will help you. They are very friendly and helpful. For CDMA phones, TING uses the Sprint network.
Visit TING’s website for more info on GSM, CDMA, and coverage maps.
How much will YOU save?
TING makes it easy to see how much you can save on your cell service. On their website they have a calculator – just enter your last few cell phone bills and it will compute what you would have paid with TING and how much you will save annually. Pretty neat!
If you are like me and my wife and do not use your cell phone that much, are not streaming movies or music all day, TING is a great choice for your cell service. I have been using TING for 3 months now (as of this post date) and could not be happier with the cost, service, connection speed, clarity of calls, no dropped calls, fast downloads of files and emails.
I usually like to point out CONS and not just the PROS. The only CON I can think of was buying the SIMM card and inserting it into my new Fire Phone. Initially, I could not activate my phone, it said it was “locked” and to enter a code. I didn’t know what code they referred to. I called the place I bought the phone and he pointed out that the code was on the box the phone came in. Sure enough, right there in front of me it said “Unlock Code” and a set of numbers. I put the numbers in and all was good.
I transferred my phone number from my dead Verizon HTC One phone online at TING. The website said it could take a few days but it only took an hour or so. I was up and running very quickly with my new phone and service .
I called customer support to help me with activation – since I was too dumb to see the unlock code on the box. I got through to a live person right away, she was very patient and friendly. She went above and beyond trying to help. She searched the web for the Fire Phone so she could walk me through setup. And, she never made me feel like a dummy. 5 stars for customer service.
Nothing to lose
There is no contract. Your phone will be unlocked, so you can go to any other carrier down the road if you decide TING is not for you. By purchasing your own phone, opposed to financing it at an inflated price through a 2yr contract plan with another carrier, YOU are in control. There are NO FREE PHONES! The contract plans by other carriers that offer “Free Phone” are misleading. The cost of the phone is in the contract. In my case, 3 months left on my 2 yr contract with Verizon which gave me a “Free” HTC ONE phone… wanted me to pay $300 to replace my now dead phone. Don’t be a slave to the contract plans. Give TING a try!
Get a $25 credit!**
Use my link below and you will get a $25 credit toward your TING bills. PLUS if you are doing an early termination of your current contract, TING will pay you 25% of the early cancellation fee up to $75! In my case, I got a $25 credit plus an $18.75 credit from early cancel fee from Verizon. MY first 2 bills from TING were free! My bill with tax runs about $17/mo.
Click here to visit TING website and receive a $25 credit if you decide to sign-up! **(opens in new window)
Here is my Oct 2015 bill (before my credit was applied). I ended up with a negative balance with credit carried to next bill.
You can always check your current usage online or using a TING phone app. You can set alerts when you get close to going over first tier. Here is my current usage this month so far:
I have a friend who wanted his elderly mom to have a cell phone so he could always reach her or she could use in an emergency. The phone rarely gets used and he was paying over $70/mo. I told him about TING and he switched over and now he only pays $15 a month for her. One month it was only $12!
Getting started is not difficult, even for the technically challenged. But, if you need help, call customer support and they will hold your hand and answer all your questions. Once you get set up, transfer your current cell number to TING (if you have one). You do this all online from TING’s website. They walk you through it step by step. After you are done, you will see how well your phone does in your particular area. Assuming you get 3-4 bars of reception and LTE 4 download speed, you will wish you had switched earlier!
Give TING a try. GET $25 CREDIT – which will probably cover your first bill and most of your 2nd month bill… or apply towards a new phone through TING. CLICK HERE to get your $25 CREDIT. It will show up on your first bill.
**Disclaimer – When you use my link to connect to TING you will receive a $25 credit on your bill and I will also receive a $25 credit. I am not promoting TING so I will get a $25 credit, I am giving an honest review of TING based on my personal experience using TING over the last few months. Hopefully, this review is helpful.