By: Gigaom
Ka-Ching! Ting will pay your contract ETF to switch phone service
Instead of spending $100,000 on advertising that may or may not get new customers, Ting is spending that money to get people to switch to its cellular service. The company will pay your ETF to make the move.

Innovative mobile virtual network owner Ting is changing the rules again, setting aside $100,000 to pay customers who switch to its phone service. The promotion, which starts on Feb. 1, will refund the Early Termination Fee (ETF) of contract customers who leave their carrier in favor of Ting. The no-contract company is unique in that it will refund monthly service fees after the fact if a customer’s usage falls under a lower-priced service tier.

Ting Ting says it will refund up to $350 per contract line customer, so the company could burn through that $100,000 fund quickly. Those that qualify — the program FAQ says you have to port your number to Ting — will see the eligible ETF fee as a credit on their Ting bill. The company hopes that those who take advantage of the program will continue to use Ting’s service after the credit runs out.

For consumers that want the flexibility of both no-contract service and low monthly fees, Ting is certainly an option worth exploring. Ting’s approach is to offer a “pay for what you use” service: You choose the amount of minutes, messages and mobile broadband for each phone. The company will refund or add charges based on actual monthly usage.

Ting uses Sprint’s network, so you’d need to be in a Sprint coverage area to use the service. Ting offers phones that work on Sprint’s EVDO, WiMAX and even on its LTE networks: the carrier started supporting Samsung’s Galaxy S III with LTE in August of last year.

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