In looking at user comments on Ting service, I get the impression that there is a high level of customer satisfaction.
Thinking about the number that Ting showcases of the average bill being $23 across it subscriber base of 150,000 has me wondering what type of subscriber is the ideal fit for Ting service?
There is a blog post by a Ting rep reacting to the new Verizon unlimited plan that makes the following statement:
"With one device – 97.6% of our customers paid less than the $80 they would pay on Verizon"
That seems to imply for almost everyone going with Ting is a
"smarter" move than going with Verizon.
While this may be true if one simply looks at the distribution of Ting subscribers it is in fact beyond meaningless as a comparison. If average billing is $23 it has to be the case that most Ting subscribers pay less than the Verizon unlimited rate. It must also be true that Ting subscribers are getting a lot less than Verizon subscribers.
In fact, the claim is by any standards simply wrong.
If one had a single line on Ting, just 2500 minutes, 1000 texts and 4GB would cost $93.6 and that is more than what Verizon would cost for such usage. (I have a family member of Verizon who typically has that type of usage). In addition, Verizon has a better network, a nationwide chain of physical stores, and many device incentive programs.
So there seem to be two separate basic questions:
- how does one do an apples to apples comparison of cell services and is it even possible to do so?
Having thought about it quite a bit over the last year, I am inclined to think it simply cannot be done in a meaningful way.
- should the government take a position on the issue in either one of two ways:
a) demand that carriers who want to represent their service is cheaper than a competitor's provide a detailed worksheet that shows how the comparison is being made including adjustments for such things as network coverage, physical stores, device incentives, roaming, international use etc with a dollar value associated with each.
b) acknowledge that any such comparisons are purely subjective and warn consumers that claims by carriers are nothing more than marketing hype