Ting: The First Carrier That Won't Screw You

All mobile carriers pretty much suck. Sure this one has true unlimited data, but maybe it doesn't have the phone you want. This one has the phone, but you'll end up burning through your savings if you blow past your already expensive subscription cap. Ting's sliding scale approach to billing might be what you're looking for.

Ting is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)— it will operate on Sprint's network—launching in the middle of 2012. The carrier not only does away with contracts, but will credit your account if you don't use all your minutes. For example, let's say your subscription is for 500 minutes, but you only use 200 minutes. If Ting has a 250 minute subscription rate, you'll only be charged for that 250 minute subscription that month. Money in your pocket!

Now before you get all giddy with money-saving excitement, if you go over your allotted minutes, texts, or data, you're bumped up to the next subscription rate. This bump could potentially be more than what your current carrier will charge you in overage fees. If you have that 250 minute subscription and you use 251 minutes, you'll be charged for the 500 minute rate. But, if you've ever seriously blown past your subscription rate, you'll know that those overage fees can add up quickly and potentially make it a very sad holiday season.

I know that I never get close to my month allotment of minutes, so for people like myself, it actually makes sense. But remember, without a contract, you're going to be charged full price for your phone, or have to bring over your old CDMA phone. Plus, if you are constantly bumping up against your subscription cap, Ting might not be the best solution. Still, it's nice to have someone jumping into the field with a consumer friendly option. [Ting via CNET]