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Ting – Our New Wireless Service

April 3rd, 2016

Thursday we initiated the process of switching our wireless carrier from AT&T to Ting. I had heard about Ting awhile back but was on the fence about switching. AT&T increasing the rate on our plan and Joe losing his job pushed us to reconsider the switch.

We ordered the SIM cards from Ting a couple of weeks ago. Since they are a pay for what you use type service they don’t give you the SIMs for free. Each one was $9 plus shipping so our total was $23. I read that most carriers do not prorate your bill so I felt Thursday would be the perfect time to start the process since it was near the end of the billing cycle and it gave us time to work out any lack of service issues.

I was also concerned AT&T wouldn’t unlock my phone in a timely manner since they won’t do it until after you’ve settled your final bill including an ETF (early termination fee). We’ve been with AT&T for seven years, switching from T-Mobile which we liked simply because at the time they were the only carrier that supported the iPhone. We stayed with AT&T because I was grandfathered into their unlimited data plan, we had a discount through Joe’s employer, and because our contracts were never in sync so there was always an ETF to consider unless we waited until both phones were off contract. However, after calculating how much we’d save with Ting, not to mention the referral fee from a friend plus Ting paying a portion of your ETF back in the form of an account credit, we decided to bite the bullet.

I requested Joe’s unlock at the beginning of the week since his phone was already out of contract and it was granted in less than an hour. Thursday evening I chatted with Ting and learned that I should request Ting to port over our numbers which would automatically cancel our AT&T account. The porting process took less than a half hour (although they do warn it could take up to 24) and we decided to deal with the AT&T portion and actually putting the new SIM cards in our phones on Friday morning.

That whole process was easy for Joe’s phone, and when I logged into our Ting account I got really confused because it was showing his test text message under my phone number. Long story short – I’m a doofus. The Ting account does not update immediately and the text message I was looking at (not carefully enough, obviously) was a text that had been sent to my phone the night before. I just never got it since I hadn’t yet asked AT&T to unlock my phone or put the new SIM card in. Derp!

On top of that, I got really pissed at AT&T because when I tried logging into our account to check the final bill it said we no longer had an account. Turns out they had sent an email to Joe (as he’s the primary account holder) letting him know our logins were changed from our phone numbers to a new login they had created. Why they do this I’m not sure, but whatever.

Once I got in the account showed a zero balance even though I was expecting an ETF, so I figured why not request the unlock? Worst they could do was deny it. Unlike Joe’s unlock request, mine wasn’t being granted as quickly, or so I thought. I called AT&T to find out what my final bill was, thinking the ETF was holding things up, and the rep told me my account was paid in full and the contract satisfied. Hmmm… that’s odd because last I had checked, my contract wasn’t up until September, but who was I to argue if they were going to let me out of my contract early and not charge the ETF? I went online to request the unlock again since the first time I put my name in and Joe is the account holder. I figured that might be holding things up, but after looking closer at the emails AT&T sent me, despite their VERY misleading verbiage, my initial request had already been granted shortly after submitting it. Derp again!

Needless to say, everything was smooth sailing from there. The only challenge is for me to not use my phone mindlessly when we’re not on a wireless network, although even if I did we wouldn’t be paying HALF what AT&T was charging us, so it’s really just a challenge to see how low we can keep our monthly bill. I love how you can log into your account and the system tells you what your bill is going to be based on your usage up to that point. I’m obsessed with it!


I also love that you can set usage alerts so you’ll know when you’re getting close to jumping into a different bucket for your minutes, messages, or data. On top of that, as seen in the screenshot, you can rename your phones instead of just seeing the phone number itself. Really cool service!

I’m pretty stoked that instead of being charged $135 per month our bill will be no more than $70 (based on our previous usage on AT&T). If you’re interesting in switching to Ting too, click my referral link, set up an account so you can purchase your SIM card(s), and you’ll get a $25 credit off your first bill! (And if you happen to forgot or not see the credit come up, just give Ting the URL since it’s unique to my account and they can retroactively apply it since that’s what I did with the referral link we were given).

Added on 4/11/16 – Well son of a bitch, AT&T reps don’t know what they are talking about (shocking, NOT). I just received a bill today for my ETF. On top of that they charge taxes on it for the remaining months so my final bill, which is just fees and no actual usage, is $173.75. Ting will give me back $36.25 of that, plus I received the $25 referral credit, so I’m out $112 for terminating my contract early. However, in two months we will have made up that difference and then it will be all savings from there, so it was still a good decision.

Added on 5/16/16 – Well AT&T once again baffles me. They sent me a second bill showing the ETF and all associated fees credited off the account. I have no idea why they did that, but I’m not going to argue. Woot! Also, our first bill with Ting was $34 but cost us nothing due to the credits we had so that’s awesome. I just realized we don’t have MMS with Ting, though, so I have to use my Google Voice # if I want to send pictures to people. Considering the fact that I’m not a big texter, and the people I do message I contact through Facebook Messenger and Trillian, it doesn’t really affect me much so whatever. I have noticed the cellular signal isn’t nearly as strong at AT&T was, however, which is a bummer, but for now it’s good enough and definitely saving us money which was the whole point of the switch to begin with.

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