Author Topic: Considering switching from Sprint to Ting  (Read 8004 times)

icefr

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Considering switching from Sprint to Ting
« on: January 27, 2013, 01:56:55 PM »
So...when I first moved to the States, I did prepaid service through T-Mobile on a pretty sweet unlocked (dumb) phone I had bought for ~$150. It was still working great when I decided that I wanted to try out a smartphone. I bought one that had a pretty terrible screen and couldn't figure out a way to get a decent one without spending ~$600 for an unlocked one and so I ended up spending $200 to buy the Samsung Nexus S 4G through Sprint and signed a 2 year contract on the "cheapest" plan I could find. With my employer discount, this costs me about $70/month and then with taxes, about $83/month.

I go to Canada a lot (my parents live there) and most MVNOs don't include roaming and charge exorbitant amounts of money for texting Canadian numbers, but Sprint has reasonable roaming rates (I use Google Voice to make cell phone calls to Canada while I'm in the US) and doesn't charge for texting Canadian numbers, so I've been reasonably happy with them, in the sense of service and not a lot of extra charges on my bill. I don't, however, really value my smartphone enough to continue paying $83/month for it.

Ting is the first MVNO that I've found that seemed to beat my idea of buying an unlocked phone and going with T-Mobile prepaid and using the $30 or $50 monthly plan. I've done the math and I think my regular use case with Ting would cost about $32/month and vary from $20 in low talking and no data months to $70 in a really extreme month (but I've only had one such month happen in the past 19 months of my contract and there was a LOT of crazy stuff going on that month). I love the idea of being able to keep a smartphone, but mostly use it on wi-fi and pay for data only if I actually use it. I actually turned data off completely on my phone a few weeks ago and didn't even notice lol. Even if Ting doesn't pay the ETF, it would still be cheaper than me waiting out my contract with Sprint.

It looks like Ting finally supports bringing my phone over, but the process looks confusing: https://ting.com/blog/bring-a-sprint-device-to-ting-you-know-you-wanna/

Quote
Please note: a device thatís currently active on the Sprint network cannot be brought over. It must be deactivated first. If you can make phone calls from your Sprint phone now, itís an active device and youíll have to give Sprint a call to cancel service.

Porting is also a bit of a ordeal as it stands. If you need to bring both your device and your number over to Ting, youíll have to find an intermediary home for your mobile number while the switch happens. Early beta testers who needed to bring their number along for the ride successfully ported their number to an existing Ting device or to Google Voice, went through the process to turn their Sprint device into a Ting device, activated on Ting and then brought their mobile number back.

Has anyone actually done this? It looks like I need to:

1. Port cell phone number to Google Voice.
2. Call Sprint to cancel service. (I can only port my phone number if it is active, so I have to port it before calling Sprint to cancel, right?)
3. Go to the Ting page to turn my now-inactive Sprint device into a Ting one: https://ting.com/byod/get_started
4. Activate on Ting: https://ting.com/activate/devices
5. Port my cell phone number from Google Voice to Ting.

In addition, to take advantage of the Ting ETF payout (mine is currently ~$100), I should add:

0. Reserve my spot at 9:01 pm PST on January 31st: https://ting.com/etf
6. Show Ting my ETF charge from Sprint.
7. Receive a $100 credit from Ting, which should cover a little over 3 months of pre-tax service!

But then they say:

Quote
Can I port my number under contract with Sprint and at the same time bring my Sprint device to Ting to take advantage of this ETF payout?
No. Thatís the short answer.

The longer answer is that you can bring your Sprint number and your Sprint device to Ting but not in one action. Hereís the work-around:
Port your number from Sprint to an existing Ting device
OR
Buy a new / used / refurbished device from Ting, activate it and port your Sprint number. This will make your Sprint device inactive on the Sprint network.
THEN
Follow the bring your Sprint device to Ting process to turn your Sprint device into a Ting device.
Move your number from the Ting device used in step one onto your now Ting device.

Well, this looks super complicated now. The cheapest Ting phone they have is $52 and then I would have to wait for it to come in the mail. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd really like to bring my current Sprint device instead of having to buy a new one since this one works fine...

Also, does anyone have a referral code that they could give me? :)

dudemize

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Re: Considering switching from Sprint to Ting
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 03:39:58 PM »
icefr,

My wife and I switched to Ting a couple months back and we have no complaints at all.  Our monthly bill has gone from $150/mth to $25/mth (for both of us).  My wife had an iphone so I bought her the Samsung Transform Ultra (refurbished) for $76 and I did the BYOD thing for my Epic 4G.  I had to pay approx $200 in termination fees but I have already come out ahead overall.

We both ported our Sprint numbers over to Google Voice.  Once that was done, I called Sprint and paid the ETF.  You have to do this so the ESN on your phone comes up "clean".  Then you can activate your Sprint phone with Ting.  We got new numbers from Ting and just used that number as one of our fowarding numbers in Google Voice (along with our VOIP landline).   We use the Google Voice app on our phones to text (uses minimal data).  I keep 3G/4G data turned off and use WiFi  most of the time.  I turn it on periodically to check for messages if I am away from WiFi for an extended period.

Feel free to use my referral code.  It will get you $25 off a phone or your first month's service.  I will get $25 off my next bill as well.

 https://z5bm1j0111.ting.com/

I missed out on the Ting ETF deal.  Oh well!

Jason



 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 03:43:19 PM by dudemize »

icefr

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Re: Considering switching from Sprint to Ting
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 04:23:04 PM »
Thanks Jason, that is really helpful. I'll also use your referral code! I have some more questions, if you don't mind.

1. Were you able to make/receive phone calls while the number was sitting only with Google Voice? I guess you could using Gmail chat, right?
2. The only step that you needed to do during "business hours" was calling Sprint, right?

I guess I will try to find an existing Ting device for < $100 to get the ETF credit and then turn around and try to sell it again.

dudemize

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Re: Considering switching from Sprint to Ting
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 04:43:19 PM »
Thanks Jason, that is really helpful. I'll also use your referral code! I have some more questions, if you don't mind.

1. Were you able to make/receive phone calls while the number was sitting only with Google Voice? I guess you could using Gmail chat, right?
2. The only step that you needed to do during "business hours" was calling Sprint, right?

I guess I will try to find an existing Ting device for < $100 to get the ETF credit and then turn around and try to sell it again.

1.  We were able to receive calls on our landline via Google Voice forwarding.  It takes less than 24 hrs for the Ting activation so there is minimal downtime.  I've never used Google Chat but you should be able to receive calls as far as I know.  I recommend trying Google Voice as your primary number once you port your old cell number over.  Get a new number from Ting and set it up as a forwarding number in Google Voice.  At least try if for a day or two, you can always port your old number over to Ting later if you don't like it.

2.  Yes, you will just need to call Sprint and pay your final bill.  I didn't have to contact Ting on the phone at all.

Feel free to ask any more questions you have! 

Rangifer

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Re: Considering switching from Sprint to Ting
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 05:17:46 PM »

I guess I will try to find an existing Ting device for < $100 to get the ETF credit and then turn around and try to sell it again.


I've got a spare Ting device you can use as a placeholder. Send me a message if you're interested.