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Thread: RingPlus MVNO Pros and Cons

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    Thumbs up RingPlus MVNO Pros and Cons

    RingPlus is a Sprint MVNO.

    This post is intended to openly, honestly, and accurately present many of the pros and cons of their service. If there are any errors, and as their services change, I encourage corrections and additions.

    PROS
    1. Multiple free plans! (Plans include voice minutes, text messages, MMS, and LTE data.)
    2. Other affordable plans.
    3. One plan does not even require a credit card. - No longer available as of December 2016.
    4. Many add-ons available for plans, including more minutes, texts, and data.
    5. Reasonable overage rates.
    6. Fast LTE data.
    7. If out of range of Sprint towers, may use Verizon towers for 911 calls (not verified).
    8. Roaming on Verizon towers optional, but expensive & requires providing both checking account details AND credit card details.
    9. Allows BYOD for many devices.
    10. Can listen to voicemails on their website.
    11. Can receive email with a transcript of voicemail with the audio sent as an attachment.
    12. Free on-demand recording of phone calls.
    13. Block specific incoming numbers during configurable time periods (set via website).
    14. Allow only specific outgoing numbers to be called during configurable time periods (set via website).
    15. Translation of phone calls for $0.20/minute (often +taxes/fees).
    16. For each international call, can specify maximum amount to spend on that call.
    17. Excellent customer tools on their website.
    18. Free ESN checker.
    19. Known to have loyalty and other bonuses.
    20. Innovative company always trying new things.


    CONS
    1. RingPlus has an established history of offering generous plans, and then cancelling those plans, leaving those customers to scramble to find new telephony solutions or pay significantly higher prices.
    2. Expensive "Member+" fee required to sign up for many plans.
    3. Voicemail not reliable for all customers.
    4. Numerous, not all, customers report significant voice latency that can make conversation difficult. For direct calls (non-VoIP), this may be resolved as of 12/2016 or 01/2017.
    5. Few, not all, customers report faint, but distracting, static when other party is speaking. For direct calls (non-VoIP), this may be resolved as of 12/2016 or 01/2017.
    6. Confirmed report that neither party can hear each other during first few seconds of calls.
    7. Continuing reports that some calls are not completed.
    8. Cannot block outgoing Caller ID.
    9. Taxes/fees are not included in posted prices, including in prices of top-ups on free plans. Those taxes reportedly can exceed 20%.
    10. Charges a "Federal Cost Recovery Charge" in their tax breakdown, which is reportedly not a real tax.
    11. No standard voicemail indicator. Voicemail indicator via email or SMS only.
    12. SMS indicator for voicemail not reliable as of 11/2016.
    13. No call forwarding or conditional call forwarding (cannot use visual voicemail providers like Youmail).
    14. No way to change area code of your phone number.
    15. For paid plans and free plans that require a credit card, area code must match credit card details.
    16. No roaming without linking account to a credit card AND a checking account, or by paying to join "Member+", or by carrying a balance of at least $50. (The latter two items represent an improvement; they were not originally available.)
    17. Very expensive roaming rates ($0.14/min and $0.55/MB as of Oct 2015).
    18. Network use at the end of one billing cycle will sometimes be charged during the next billing cycle.
    19. Uses Sprint network, which for some users may have gaps in coverage areas.
    20. Charges $1.99 (reportedly plus questionable taxes/fees) for each ESN swap.
    21. Charges $7.99 (reportedly plus questionable taxes/fees) to port a number in (which is reportedly not free for them either).
    22. When placing an outgoing call, instead of hearing ringing, customers will hear a configurable "radio station" that may include advertisements. Some people will not find this to be a con.
    23. Website does not support separate billing and shipping addresses.
    24. No official account management or usage information Android app; third-party RP Samara app reportedly is very useful but has reliability issues.
    25. Reportedly no on-phone account management or usage information for phones that do not have data capability.
    26. Overzealous "fanboy" poster(s) reportedly make it unpleasant and stressful to use the RingPlus support forums. Some believe the worst "fanboy" is actually an insider.
    27. RingPlus moderators reportedly contribute to the problems on their support forums, greatly reducing their value.
    28. Claims of censorship on RingPlus support forums.
    29. Report of posts critical of RingPlus being deleted (see also here) from their support forums, causing people to question the ethics at RingPlus.
    30. Lack of respect for others. Major promotion held on Holiest day for Jewish people and at midnight for everyone living on the East Coast.
    31. As of Sept 2015, online chat clearly overwhelmed, and interactions with online chat are extremely slow.
    32. As of Oct 2015, time to respond to support tickets is reportedly a week or more.
    33. No telephone support. Multiple calls placed to the phone number (310-919-0915) on their website were not answered.


    SAME AS OTHER PROVIDERS
    1. No charge to port a number out.


    WORTH MENTIONING
    1. If you are interested in helping RingPlus succeed, try pressing 5 during music or the ad while waiting for your call to connect. You will then receive a free SMS message with a link. It is likely RingPlus receives income from advertisers when you press 5.
    2. CEO and CTO both actually post on their forums, but they do not reliably follow up to requests for clarification, leading to customer confusion.
    3. Numerous people find their promos very confusing, while others like their "try anything to see if it works" approach.
    4. Promos often have very limited and strict time and quantity constraints.


    IMPORTANT
    The number of cons currently outnumbers the number of pros, but I want to remind everyone that the absolute number is irrelevant; every individual person needs to weigh each pro and con independently based on their own values and needs.

    RingPlus FAQ Ring Plus FAQ Frequently Asked Questions Discussion Discourse
    Last edited by PhonePhun; 12-07-2016 at 07:15 PM.

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    Excellent list.

    About 20% of my outgoing calls didn't go through. I liked the service and was showing off to my wife. I made a call to her phone and ads starting playing but her phone didn't ring. The inbound call did work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acegolfer View Post
    Excellent list.

    About 20% of my outgoing calls didn't go through. I liked the service and was showing off to my wife. I made a call to her phone and ads starting playing but her phone didn't ring. The inbound call did work.
    Supposedly it was a widespread issue they had a few days ago and they fixed it. Some router that messed up and prevent back up (calls going straight via Sprint) from working.

    Only additions I have: the charge to port your number is $7.99, and they charge taxes/fees for paid plans / top-ups... which vary by county. It can add up on higher plans.
    Carriers I've used: Sprint, T-Mobile, Cricket, AT&T, Verizon, Page Plus, Virgin Mobile, Movistar, AT&T Mexico, Telcel, Straight Talk, RingPlus.
    Phones I've used: iPhone 6S, iPhone 5c, HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S3, LG G2, BlackBerry Storm, Nokia 820, Motorola Atrix HD, iPhone 4S, HTC One V, iPhone 4, Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia N9, Samsung Focus, Samsung Captivate, Nokia N900, HTC 8525, iPhone 3GS, iPhone, Nokia E61i, Siemens A56...

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    Quote Originally Posted by acegolfer View Post
    Excellent list.

    About 20% of my outgoing calls didn't go through. I liked the service and was showing off to my wife. I made a call to her phone and ads starting playing but her phone didn't ring. The inbound call did work.
    I have had that happen a fair amount too. Redialing the number has been my workaround. I'll add it to the list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    Supposedly it was a widespread issue they had a few days ago and they fixed it. Some router that messed up and prevent back up (calls going straight via Sprint) from working.

    Only additions I have: the charge to port your number is $7.99, and they charge taxes/fees for paid plans / top-ups... which vary by county. It can add up on higher plans.
    Thanks. I was typing as you were posting, and did not see your post until I had made mine.

    I will add your items. To clarify, it is only porting IN that costs $7.99, and porting OUT is free, correct?

    I will leave out the "calls not going through" issue if it has been resolved.

    @Acegolfer, if you (or anyone else), continues to have that issue, please report it here (and to RingPlus), and I will add it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhonePhun View Post
    To clarify, it is only porting IN that costs $7.99, and porting OUT is free, correct?
    Correct. I had no fee or issues when I ported out.

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    Great post, PhonePhun!

    A con I will add is their Forum has a rabid R+ apologist that will criticize any good point you make. Ignore him. He will be easy to spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalvan View Post
    Great post, PhonePhun!

    A con I will add is their Forum has a rabid R+ apologist that will criticize any good point you make. Ignore him. He will be easy to spot.
    Unfortunately, I've noticed something similar here on HowardForums.

    One-sided rhetoric never benefits anyone in the long term.

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    CONS 3A: Taxes and fees are pretty-darn-high. Over 25% on my last transaction. ($5 top-up netted $1.26 in taxes and fees. That would be $2.52 on a $10 purchase. That's ATT/Verizon Territory...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalvan View Post
    their Forum has a rabid R+ apologist that will criticize any good point you make.
    That seems counter-intuitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brg View Post
    CONS 3A: Taxes and fees are pretty-darn-high. Over 25% on my last transaction. ($5 top-up netted $1.26 in taxes and fees. That would be $2.52 on a $10 purchase. That's ATT/Verizon Territory...)
    I've heard many complain about high rates of taxes on utilities.

    Is that a higher percent than others providers charged you?

    It is amazing how politicians and their appointed flocks are willing to add taxes to what most would consider an essential utility.
    Last edited by PhonePhun; 09-11-2015 at 04:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhonePhun View Post
    I've heard others complain about high rates of taxes on utilities.

    Is that a higher percent than others providers charged you?

    It is amazing how politicians and their appointed flock are willing to add taxes to what most would consider an essential utility.
    I just looked at my last bill, and the charges are detailed down to the city level. It is worth a look. It is not RingPlus' fault, but maybe they collect items they are supposed to that others don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalvan View Post
    I just looked at my last bill, and the charges are detailed down to the city level. It is worth a look. It is not RingPlus' fault, but maybe they collect items they are supposed to that others don't.
    Also, sometimes companies make mistakes with charging the wrong amount of taxes/fees.

    "Days Inn" hotel overcharged me over $200 in extra taxes, and they have never been willing to refund a single penny. Haven't been to a "Days Inn" since, and I now always recommend people stay at other hotels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalvan View Post
    I just looked at my last bill, and the charges are detailed down to the city level. It is worth a look. It is not RingPlus' fault, but maybe they collect items they are supposed to that others don't.
    Or, maybe they collect items that they aren't supposed to, or in unrealistic expectation of eventually being asked to collect them...

    ... after which they are deposited in an account, where they earn interest that R+ will keep even if the item shouldn't be collected, or won't ever be requested by a taxing authority ...

    ... interest rather like the interest they collect on pepper account balances, etc.

    See attached.

    I have never, ever, seen any utility of any kind collect all of these taxes here in Tax-Happy Chicago.

    I'd like to see this level of collection compared to, for example, Sprint's own Prepaid service. Arguably the collected taxes should be identical (because they are essentially identical services), no? Any takers on a bet that R+'s collections are much higher than those of SPP? If SPP even collects taxes? Sprint has lots of well-paid lawyers, too, right? Wouldn't they demand SPP also collect all of those taxes (and "fees") so as to protect SPP from legal jeopardy? Hmmmm...

    USF charged on money held in an account, to be maybe, eventually used, for example, to pay for an ESN change? Or a port? Unbelievable; those are not taxable "communications services" by any stretch of the imagination.

    RTA tax? Never seen that on any utility bill.

    "Federal Cost Recovery Charge"? Absolutely proven bogus when used by other utilities (like AT&T), time and time again. That is not a tax. There is no such charge imposed by any regulator. That is a posted-below-the-line cost item to recover "usual business" expenses. R+, of course, incurs some expenses in conjunction with complying with federal regulations. Lawyers, filings, whatever. That's a cost of doing business, ordinarily incorporated in the pricing of a product. But no, so as to reflect lower prices, R+ hides it as a "tax" (it is NOT) or a "fee" (that they choose to add, below the line), rather than anything required (and required to be passed-through) by the federal regulators. It is certainly not a cost that is a % of any sale. Ridiculous.

    - Source: 35 years a telecommunications attorney who practiced (and lobbied) before the FCC

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