Ting is an incredibly user-friendly mobile virtual network operator that offers subscribers their choice of service over either Sprint or T-Mobile’s network. Rather than having a fixed allotment of texts, minutes, and data each month, fees are determined based on what subscribers actually use each month. The service is likely to be a cost-effective option for those who want to purchase multiple lines and don’t use large quantities of data. For those that use data heavily or only need service for a single device, other carriers will probably be more cost-effective. If you’re unsure about the quality of T-Mobile and Sprint’s networks where you live, see The Ultimate Guide to U.S. Wireless Service Quality,
Purchasing a plan
I purchased a Ting plan in February of 2019. The process was really easy. To order a SIM card, I went to Ting’s website, entered my device’s IMEI to check compatibility, selected the GSM (T-Mobile) network. I paid $1 for the SIM card and $4 for shipping. A few days later, the card arrived along with some basic information from Ting. To activate the card, I went to Ting’s website where I gave my address and selected a phone number.
Using the service
Ting’s service was good where I live (Boulder, Colorado). I did not notice any obvious throttling or speed caps. Below are screenshots from a couple of unsystematic speed tests I ran.
Unless you happen to live where I do, you shouldn’t place much weight on my experience. Instead, investigate the quality of the networks Ting uses (Sprint and T-Mobile) in your area (instructions here).
I didn’t have any problems with my service, so I didn’t contact Ting’s support until I decided to cancel the plan. Holy shit. My call went straight to a person. The support agent was incredibly nice in a way that didn’t feel disingenuous. The call was quick and efficient. However, after finishing the cancelation, I realized the number I called wasn’t the main customer support line.
To get a sense of what Ting’s support might be like for a more typical request, I decided to call the main support number from a different line. I didn’t get one of those annoying “Press 1 for X, Press 2 for Y, …, Press 347 for […]” menus designed to prevent me from talking to a real person unless absolutely necessary. Instead, I got a friendly message explaining that there was not a support agent available immediately, but that I could either hold or press “1” to get called back. I went with the latter option and was called back a few minutes later. I didn’t want to waste the second agent’s time with a fake issue, so I didn’t get a sense of the quality of support he could offer.
Plans and pricing
Ting uses a pay-for-what-you-use model. As of April 2019, Ting charges a base rate of $6 per line and additional fees based on the quantities of texts, minutes, and data used across all devices on a plan. For further details about Ting’s pricing structure, see the Ting section of my page on recommended carriers or Ting’s web page covering rates.
Ting’s rates for data are fairly expensive. Ting service is probably going to be most cost-effective for customers that don’t use a lot of data and want to purchase multiple lines of service. I expect most single-line users and heavy data users can find comparable coverage at a lower price.
Ting has an incredibly user-friendly dashboard. After logging in through Ting’s website, you can see information about data, texts, and minutes you’ve used in the current billing cycle along with the charges you’ve racked up:
On another part of the dashboard, you can view and adjust usage alerts and caps:
The process for creating new alerts is easy and flexible: