Today I officially left Sprint for Ting. I will use this post to elaborate as best I can about my experiences with Ting vs Sprint/Verizon/AT&T (I've been with those 3 previously). Before I get started though, I will say outright that almost 99% of you on postpaid plans with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are getting jobbed. By getting locked into 2 year contracts for a discounted phone, you are typically increasing the total cost of ownership for that phone by a ton of money. How much really depends on each individual's use case, but for my wife and I, we're saving about $1,000 a year by making the switch to Ting, and we'll have the exact same service that we had with Sprint previously, except with BETTER customer service and no contract. There are numerous MVNOs now (thats Mobile Virtual Network Operator). There are certainly enough that with a minimal amount of effort you can find one with plans that fit your needs well. Ting, Straight Talk Wireless, Virgin, etc etc. There are lots. Since I am going over to Ting and I don't think any other FBGs have made that jump yet, I'll give a detailed explanation about why I chose them and how it is going. I encourage others on the other various MNVOs to speak up about their specific ones as well. Reasons why I chose to go to Ting: -Ting only charges you for the minutes/texts/data you use. You pick a plan. If you happen to use less minutes than you have in your plan, you get charged less automatically. If you use more texts, you just get bumped up to the next bracket. No penalties. This is ideal for my wife and I. We typically don't use a lot of data (thanks wifi) but if we travel we might. Its not worth it for us to have an unlimited plan though. Having toyed with the math a fair amount, I would say that Ting is a value proposition for anyone who is a light or moderate user. People who make thousands of minutes of calls or use more than 2 GBs of data a month would probably be better off on a different MVNO than Ting. Check out their plans here. If you know your usage patterns, you can use this calculator to estimate savings: Calculator -My impression is that Ting doesn't BS. They have a "no hold" customer call line that connects you to a person immediately. They don't charge extras for things like wireless tethering or navigation. I don't have the sense that they're out to nickel and dime you to death. They're basically trying to reinvent the model, and I support what they're doing. -Same network as Sprint (who I am used to). Includes access to both the Wimax and LTE networks. Sprint's "network vision" effort is currently transforming their whole network top to bottom, and in my area coverage is solid and improving. -Ting has top of the line phones. Some MVNOs only have older or midrange options. My wife just activated her Galaxy Note2 today. They've had it on Ting since Dec. Looks like new phones are available on Ting typically 4 to 6 weeks after they get on Sprint, which isn't that bad. -You can BYOD for *some* Sprint devices, typically older ones. That is what I'm doing, bringing over my old Evo3d for now. I'm kinda waiting to see what the Galaxy S4 and Moto X Phone look like before picking my next phone. Thats basically it. My wife and I were paying $170 a month on Sprint for the lowest family plan w/ 2 smart phones. On Ting I am estimating our monthly bill as $54. The difference is so large that I'm paying a $450 ETF to Sprint to get out of our contract and I don't even care. It just makes sense for my wife and I. They do have a referral program. Anyone who signs up with my link will get $25 off of either a device or a $25 service credit (and I'll get a $25 credit as well). I will post my referral link at the bottom of this post, and anyone else who signs up, PM me your link and I'll add it to this post. No point in not helping out fellow FBGs if anyone is looking to make the switch.
**********UPDATE********* This thread took a bit of a turn. I took it upon myself to start becoming an expert in every plan out there and have started a spreadsheet tracking over 400 different plans from over 50 different providers and MVNOs. If anyone has any questions about smartphone plans, ask them here and I'll be glad to help. My wife has been on Ting for a little over a week and everything is going great so far. Customer service has also been exemplerary as well. For myself, I ended up convincing myself that I wanted my next phone to be a Nexus, and got impatient, so I got a Nexus 4. Since that is a GSM only phone, I needed to find a different provider than Ting (which is CDMA). I ended up choosing Solavei (on the T-mobile network). A couple of reasons. The T-mobile GSM network is HSPA+42, which is faster than AT&T's HSPA network. The Nexus 4 can't use AT&T's LTE, so that seemed wise. Solavei is cheap at $49 a month for unlimited calls, texts, and 4 GBs of 4G data (throttled to 3G after you use up your 4GBs). There are cheaper plans with "unlimited" data out there, specifically Straight Talk and Walmart Family, but both of these providers will throttle you at unclear amounts of usage, and using Youtube or Pandora type services over their network violates their Terms of Service, so they can and will cut you off if you are a heavy data user. The internet is littered with stories of this happening. So, I figured $4 more a month for avoiding that potential headache was worth it. Solavei also has a MLM component to it (refer 3 people get $20 off your bill every month, so long as those 3 people are still using the service). Thats great, but thats not why I went with them. They just fit my needs the most. I've added my Solavei referral link below, and anyone else who signs up with them (or elsewhere), PM me and I'll add your referral link as well. Thanks.
themeanmachine: $25 off @ Ting
EvilGrin: $25 off @ Ting
Rascal: $25 off @ Ting
cobalt_27: $25 off at Ting
Fishboy's Coworker: $25 off @ Ting
proninja: $25 off @ Ting
siffion: $25 off at Ting
Uwe Blab: https://ze7j2d1add3.ting.com/
Hawklets90: Hawklet's Solavei Referral Link
It's a website that lets you save a couple of bucks on refills for several of the MVNOs out there. Jaysus has a referral email with them: JayMVNO@gmail.com Also, following Callingmart on twitter or Facebook might net you an extra 5 to 10% discount when they run specials.
Edited by (HULK), 22 April 2014 - 11:05 AM.