Sunday, May 29, 2016

Ting! I Got A New Phone

I have written here many times about the way things were, and resuming those practice is a path to escaping the terrors upon us.  I was thinking small business, but here comes Ting using precisely what I am arguing to take on "too big to fail" phone companies.

Why I came across Ting, I am not kidding, is because AT&T just made it too hard to pay.  Their websites are tedious junkyards of whiz-bang coding ostensibly designed to get me to upgrade.  Trying to figure out the path to pay a bill was so onerous I took to simply paying in their stores at a payment kiosk (so it seems I am not alone) while I was running errands.  Then they required a password and login to pay, even with a debit card, at the kiosk!  I complained, and a clerk advised me to contact "customer support."  I advised the clerk I had come to make a payment, not chat with customer support.  I was miffed.

So I began to search for the phone company with the easiest payment method.  It was never about the fees, which I assume you get what you pay for, VOIP being cheap but sounding like a car radio at 3am in the High Sierras.  Ting jumped out as the easiest pay method.  Their billing system is old school benecredit, they bill you at end of month for usage, what you used...
Nope. No plans here. Rather than asking you to pre-pay for a portion of your usage, we decided to keep things simple. Just use what you need and we'll settle up at the end of your billing cycle.
Well, I don't use much at all. My bill:
Hi John Spiers,
Thanks for continuing to be a part of Ting!Here are a few details for your Ting bill, which was for Apr 20 through May 19, 2016...
-------------------------------------------------------------------Activation Fee                 2069150337                     $0.00 Plan Data Usage XS->XS plus... 1 MB                           $0.00 Plan SMS Usage S               24 messages                    $3.00 Plan Minutes Usage M           426 minutes                    $9.00 Line Fee                       2069150337                     $6.00 Apr 20 - May 19 -------------------------------------------------------------------
And here were the taxes we collected for Uncle Sam...-------------------------------------------------------------------Utility Users Tax - Wireless                                  $1.54Sales Tax                                                     $1.97E911 (Wireless)                                               $0.95Fed USF Cellular                                              $1.00FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless)                                 $0.01-------------------------------------------------------------------Total comes to:                                              $23.47

You should see a charge for 23.47 on your card ending in 4XXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX  from Tingin the next day or so (if you don't already). That's us..
For years I have paid around $60, often more, a month for AT&T.

I like Ting's humor: Uncle Sam.  Note that the taxes are more then 30% of the bill, just as with AT&T.  That is wealth transfer from me to the bankers.  There were no telephone taxes before the Vietnam War.  Then Johnson laid them on to help pay for the war, and the war ended, but the taxes never went away, they just went up.

We had a pro-peace/anti-war movement back 1960 & 70s, and most of us just refused to pay that part of the bill.  The phone company never cut anyone off, you were just not paying Uncle Sam.  The amount, a few dimes back them, a couple of bucks in today's world, was too small for Uncle Sam to come after you.   With larger amounts, and computerization, now Uncle Sam can strike an individual quite easily.

Sadly, with the poverty draft and deep-state perpetual wars, the American people have come to accept war as a given, even if the people of Vietnam, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc, themselves have never abandoned their anti-war/pro-peace aspirations.

With all of this in mind, here is what I will do. If you have any of the biggy phone company services, dump them now and move to Ting.  Do yourself a favor.

Sign up with Ting, I get $50 or $25 (at some point, depending on how much you spend). (Apparently, at this time, you get $25 off, too!) What I will do is bundle up any and all remittances to me and donate them to one of the land mine removal charities, with a request they get it to SE Asia.  (Not sure which charity yet, I'll have to check the various ones for legitimacy).  There is a symmetry that telephone revenue would be directed to remove UXO in SEAsia delivered in part with funds from telephone taxes.  I like it!

(If remittances are in the form of deduction from my phone bills, then the money I would have put on the phone will be what is bundled and remitted to the charity.  Whatever, we'll make it work.)

It will be delightful to report say quarterly how much we have directed to war reparations.  To sign up with Ting in which kickbacks are directed to me, click here:

And by the way, I've experienced zero difference in call quality despite the half-off pricing.

So right now, click on the Ting link above, sign up to save money (and ease of payment!) secure your credit and mine, and let's do good while doing well.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.


Anonymous said...

Today, if we don't pay Uncle Sam he takes away our passport. Be careful folks.