Much is being made of the T-Mobile shake up of the industry. Lower prices, no service contracts, and a ton of great add-on services that benefit the end user. Unfortunately, most people don’t know that RingPlus has been doing this far longer than T-Mobile, and they are still doing it today. For starters, the cost of RingPlus is far less than you’d think. If you aren’t a heavy user, your bill can be as low as, well, free. If you need more, they have you covered there as well. Their $49.99 plan includes unlimited talk, text and 6GB of data. That puts it on par with some of the best MVNO pricing out there. Of course, going back to the free plans, RingPlus has been running a series of customer base building events under the branding of ‘future plans’ that are a deal to be reckoned with. The future plan included 1000 minutes of talk, 1000 texts and 1000MB of data. Simple and easy to use, RingPlus has a serious edge up on the competition.
The first piece of the RingPlus puzzle is the fact that they are competing with VoIP providers like FreedomPop or lower cost cellular providers like Red Pocket Mobile. The advantage they have over the VoIP companies is that their call quality is the same as you would get with a traditional cell phone. The advantage that they have over the lower cost companies is that you can probably find a free deal at some point in the near future to take advantage of, which makes lower cost more like free. Of course, there has to be a catch, right?
RingPlus has a rather brilliant idea for marketing and generating income when you use their services. At first, it was almost a deal breaker, but after using the service for a bit, it became almost normal. When placing an outgoing call, RingPlus plays a commercial or song for you instead of allowing the device to “ring” like it normally does. The caller on the other end hears nothing different, and it can last as little as a few seconds if the person you are calling answers quickly. Overall, it seems like a very small price to pay for a fully functional Sprint cellular connection.
While the paid plans are still a great value, the real steal with RingPlus comes with their giveaway plans. If you aren’t able to get one of the Future Plan deals, the Pepper Plan is the next best thing. With 250 minutes, 500 texts and a tiny 10MB of data per month, it doesn’t seem like a great deal, but for those around Wi-Fi regularly, it might work to power your device on a monthly basis. If you find yourself needing a bit more, especially in the data department, you can simply purchase 1GB of data for $8 or 2GB for $16 a month. If you need more talk or text usage as well, those are sold in blocks also. For example, if you were on the Pepper or Free Plans, you could add 1000 extra minutes for $15, 1000 texts for $4 and a full gig of data for $8. This brings your monthly cost to $27 a month for a pretty average plan. Keep in mind, you don’t have to purchase the additional items every month if you don’t need them regularly, but they are always there if you do. Just make sure to turn them off before your next ‘billing cycle’ as they auto-renew monthly if you do not.
As great as RingPlus is, it isn’t for everyone out there. First and foremost, it runs on the Sprint network. So, if you check the Sprint coverage map and see that you have poor coverage, you might want to skip this deal. Second, while the pre-call music/ads didn’t seem to annoy everyone, some people may prefer not to have Sheryl Crow blaring in their ear while waiting for Aunt Martha to answer the phone. Finally, there are some people out there that just continue to love to pay a higher price for service. For those out there that just don’t believe that lower cost to free service actually exists, consider the gauntlet dropped. Go find yourself a nice used Sprint handset or order something inexpensive to try RingPlus on. Not only will you find the service surprisingly great, you will also see your monthly bill cut to almost nothing, or nothing at all.