How I stopped throwing away $$$ for cell service

James

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I've been meaning to come on and proselytize my new found cell freedom with MR but have busy so I am just getting around to it.

I got really tired of shelling out $150 a month for 2 smart phones with Sprint (since I started I have paid Sprint about 14k+ for 2 plans since 07 at $1,800 per phone per 2 year contract plus upgrades and phone costs). Once I really started doing a budget I realized just how much money I was wasting. There had to be a more frugal way but I was not willing to compromise service like some of the Metropcs and Boost plans that I have heard about.

Started reading about this Canadian company Ting which offers pay-for-what you-use smartphone service on Sprint and Verizon's backbone. I signed up and haven't looked back except to kick myself for not doing this the first second I heard about it. You can migrate your Sprint phones over, if you want a new phone you just buy it unlocked and that is that, no subsidies. My monthly bills so far have been been $12 and $18 plus the taxes and fees which are only a few bucks, My wife's bills have been $18 and $25 because she talks and is on FB ALL the time. Granted I am not a power user but I realized that I could use wifi for data and even calling if I wanted to so now I just use wifi pretty much everywhere except during my commute (and even then with hotspots a lot of the time).

They have a referral service which got me $100 from 2 referrals ($50 for the first person and $25 for any after that plus my $25 for signing up and they paid me 25% of my early termination fee from Sprint which was another $75 so I had $175 dollars to start, haven't paid them a dime yet and I still have about $150 credit left. At the rate I am going I will have no cell phone bill for another 9 months. Plus, they have actual customer service with no automation. You call up and they just pick up and they are Canadian and nice... (call them like I did because I didn't buy this too good to be true customer service at first: 1 855 846 4389).

Anyway, figure you would want to get the $25 for using a referral link and I get $25 as well if you sign up using my referral link here https://zff6p72s8k5.ting.com/
If not just go to Ting.com and sign up without the credit (this would be dumb but I don't really care, just throwing it out there to see if I can get to a year without a cell phone bill.)
At the very least check it out and see if it would work for you.
I'm really loving this company and have noticed that T-mobile has recently been trying to copy their model (no phone subsidy, no contract)
If you sign up and are interested in cutting costs on your usage this thread is what I used to get google voice up and running. http://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/comments/1khmaz/ting_surchargestaxes/

...which actually means that in buildings with Wifi but bad cell reception I actually get great reception because I am over wifi, at Nerac this weekend I got a call for the first time during the dinner which I never have done before due to poor cell reception in there. I also use GV for my texting so I don't get charged for that. Only downside is if you do it that way you don't get picture msgs or group txts but if that is important to you then just don't use google voice and use Ting service like they were Verizon or Sprint.

Anyway, I hope this info saves some of you reefers $ so you can use it for the important things like coral and equipment upgrades. If you have any questions just ask them here and I'll answer them if I can. :smoker:
 

James

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Sounds to good to be true
I thought the same thing, my reputation here on MR is pretty decent, I wouldn't sully it for a $25 credit on a cell phone company. Call them up or try it out or just google about them, they are pretty awesome. It is the same company who used to run Tucows if you have been on the internet awhile, Tucows used to be the best.
 

James

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Yeah, it is a normal service just like the major 4. You can't tell you are not on one of the major carriers. It is a cell phone company with voice, msging and data. Everything works the same. One thing I forgot to mention is to check your device on https://ting.zendesk.com/entries/22567167-BYOD-Whitelist-

to see if you can bring it over, they only accept sprint devices, not verizon but you can buy unlocked phones and bring them over if they are on that list.
 

duromega

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Your device must be a Sprint?* branded device. GSM devices or devices from other carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Boost, Credo, Cricket, Straight Talk etc, cannot be activated with Ting.
 

James

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Your device must be a Sprint?* branded device. GSM devices or devices from other carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Boost, Credo, Cricket, Straight Talk etc, cannot be activated with Ting.
There are devices that can be brought to Ting without being a Sprint device, the Moto X being one of them, the Nexus 5 being another (that works on many networks which is awesome). Ting has "official" support list (the Sprint sanctioned one) and the whitelist. The whitelist is what you want to look at, technically they can only support official Sprint releases but they have other top tier Android phones that work just fine. I use the GS3 so it isn't a big deal for me but I would get the Nexus 5 for $350 if I need a new phone soon.
 

James

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Am i SOL since i'm still under a 2 year Sprint contract?
I was in the same boat Bugg, but you are not SOL, Ting pays 25% of your ETF (Early Termination Fee) up to $75, Sprint charges a smaller ETF the closer you are to your end of contract, I think it is something like $20 per month left IIRC. With my wife, brother and I, our usage made it very worthwhile to pay 3 ETFs and make the switch. The key to using Ting that I have found is to limit the apps that use background data and make most of them only use background data under wifi. For example, I used to update my podcasts whenever I was in my car, now I just update them on wifi only... it is not a big difference to me at all but saves a lot of data... which I now care about because I pay for what I use. I also check my email with a refresh swipe instead of it checking every 10 minutes like I had it set when I was with Sprint. (I have the luxury of not needing email for work and some people don't), this is a small data hit anyway so I am not sure it even makes a difference but I don't mind doing it.
 

James

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I use Pageplus, a Verizon Wireless mobile virtual network operator.

Much cheaper than Verizon, good service, they use the Verizon network. You can go month to month, or have it billed monthly. I have unlimited talk and text for 39.95 a month. It has worked out real well for me. I would highly advise looking into it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_virtual_network_operator
I have heard good things about Pageplus too. I guess the takeaway from this thread is if you are paying in the $1000's per year on 2 yr contracts for your cell phone... there are much better options. There seems to be this huge misconception in this country that you have to be bent over by the major 4 carriers but it is simply not true.
 

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