In case you missed it, I’ve been on the fence about switching cell phone service providers. I wanted a lower phone bill and I was willing to sell my iPhone in order to make it happen.
And then my iPhone had an episode. It kept rebooting itself. I figured out a way to keep it from happening by never letting it go into sleep mode, bought a new battery, and after all that effort (and $95), it proceeded to kick the bucket.
I went to the Apple Store. I called Apple Support (4x). Nothing. No explanation, other than it was a non-specific “hardware issue.” I was offered a replacement phone for $299 (plus tax), and after much trepidation, I bought it. There are apps I have for work and personal life that I didn’t want to let go. (And lifestyle inflation rears its ugly head.)
Once I had my iPhone, changing to Ting was incredibly easy. THANK GOODNESS!
I’ve been monitoring my usage daily for the few days I’ve had the phone so that you can get a sense of what I’m spending for the privilege of having an iPhone.
Ting, my new carrier!
Making the Decision to Move to Ting
Ting offers GSM and CDMA options for compatible phones. I appreciated having a choice. Because they lease more than one major network, they can offer both options.
Ultimately, I decided on GSM based on what I learned about coverage in my area.
Check out the original post where I outlined the steps I had taken to assess mobile virtual network operators and coverage for my area in a quest to lower my phone bill. With so many network options, I found it valuable to consider the merits of each and what works best in central PA.
Porting a Number to Ting
I wanted to keep my phone number, so I contacted Ting to see exactly what I needed to do in order to port my number (i.e. move it from Verizon to Ting).
I was also concerned that I was activating a new, unlocked iPhone, so I wanted to know if this was a problem.
Ting’s support line was SUPER helpful. I opt for chat support every single time it’s offered for any business, so I appreciate that Ting has chat.
The first time I contacted Ting via chat, I was connected with Kyle. Kyle was quick to answer all of my questions and help me understand the porting process.
Basically, I needed a new SIM card. And that’s it. Really. Buy a SIM card from Ting, pop it in my iPhone, and I’m set.
I couldn’t believe it, but that’s exactly what happened.
I ordered a new GSM SIM card for my iPhone. It showed up a couple of days later.
Had I retained the original iPhone, I would have had to take the Verizon SIM card out and inserted the Ting SIM card. But I didn’t have to do that in this case. My new iPhone didn’t have a SIM card, so I simply inserted the Ting SIM card.
Next, I had to follow the activation steps on Ting’s website. As long as you have the SIM card, device serial number, and the security code from your original carrier, this should take a few minutes. I didn’t know what the security code was for Verizon, so I had to log into our account to obtain this number. On Ting’s recommendation I took an extra step to chat with Verizon to verify that my iPhone was indeed unlocked and that I was out of contract so that we wouldn’t see any surprise charges.
Once Ported Over to Ting
Within a couple of hours, the porting process was over and I officially became a Ting customer.
Here’s a screenshot of usage. This is accurate almost up to the minute–there’s a slight delay if a call has just ended. But I’m confident that my data is accurate at the end of the day when I’ve shut off my phone.
My Ting usage
My bill reflects a $25 credit since I used an affiliate link from Club Thrifty. Thanks, Greg!
Tips for Ting Customers to Keep Your Bills Low
- Turn off cellular data. Right away, I saw that data could be a problem in this new system as my phone switched from Wi-Fi at home to cellular and then back to wifi. In those periods of transition, I saw my default app settings used some data. I don’t need a cellular connection for apps because I always use free Wi-Fi hotspots (thanks to Xfinity), so I turned off cellular data.
- Use the Google Hangouts app for calls when you’re on Wi-Fi. When I was without an iPhone for four days, I made calls from my desktop using Google Hangouts and I LOVED it. Calls were clear and I was able to take notes while I was on the phone. Calls from Google Hangouts, at least for me in the US, are free.
- Use Whatsapp or another messaging app when you’re on Wi-Fi. If the person you’re texting has an iPhone, then iMessage should work; however, Garrett and I have found that iMessage isn’t foolproof and iMessages will be sent SMS. I don’t text that often, so I’d rather spend my money on calls than on text messages.
- Download updates only on Wi-Fi. I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I update my list at home while on Wi-Fi. It’s a productivity thing, too. I do all updates on Admin Day, at home, on Wi-Fi. (Trying to do my level best to not let me phone be a distraction!).
- Schedule time for social media at home while on Wi-Fi. Not only will this save money, it’ll save time, too. I’m not gonna lie–this has been difficult. I read a lot of productivity blogs and listen to a lot of productivity podcasts. As someone who works from home, I know how easy it easy to get lost in infinite scrolling. It was time to stop that bad habit in its tracks (and save a few bucks).
- For iPhone users, turn off Wi-Fi Assist. Settings –> Cellular
My Experience With Ting
Deciding to make the switch to a new carrier happened at the same time that I was trying to increase my productivity and decrease my cell phone bill, so it was kind of a big deal.
I was getting distracted by my phone’s notifications. I let social media and email dictate my day WAY too often.
Ting makes me pay for what I use, so making the switch is actually helping me change my behaviors in ways that cut down on distractions (and cut my bill). I had unlimited calls and text messages before, so I didn’t really think about how I was using my phone and how that would change in changing over to Ting.
If I had to identify any downside to Ting, it would be that Ting lacks visual voicemails, a feature I hope to see in the future. Now, I’m forced to listen to my messages right away to determine the urgent (i.e. clients) from the not-so-urgent (i.e. appointment reminders).
Once I had my system down and knew exactly how and when I wanted to use my phone, I set up my phone accordingly and change my usage alerts to help keep me on track. For the frugally-minded folks, this is great. It helps me monitor my bill so that I am less likely to be surprised later.
Usage alerts increase awareness of spending!
Ting has done more for me than cut down on my cell phone bill. Ting helped me change my behaviors so that I’d be more productive. These benefits, coupled with the responsive customer service, makes Ting a top-notch service provider in my book. I’ll post another update next year when I have bills to share.
If you’re interested, use this affiliate link to sign up. You get $25 bucks toward your bill and I get a credit, too. Thank you! 🙂