RingPlus is abruptly ending service for all of its plans that are not called "Mad". All plans being terminated are legacy plans, plans that are not directly routed through Sprint's network. Starting December 1st, RingPlus will not renew any legacy plan when a customers billing cycle ends. So if you are a RingPlus subscriber on an old plan set to auto renew after December 1st, you will need to change over to a "Mad Plan."
RingPlus intends to fully discontinue all old legacy plans by January 1st, 2017.
With the change, RingPlus is fortunately not hanging its customers completely out to dry like many other MVNO's do under similar circumstances. Those that have one of the affected legacy plans will find that it expires at the end of their current billing cycle. Once expired, RingPlus is automatically moving customers to a holding plan for a period of 7 days to give them a chance to find a new plan or to port out. The holding plan will contain 200 minutes, 200 texts, 200 MMS picture messages, and 200 MB of 4G LTE data. If subscribers do not switch to a new plan during the 7 day holding period, their account will automatically be suspended. Once suspended, subscribers phone numbers will still be retained for an additional 30 days before the number is lost for good.
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RingPlus CEO Karl Seelig posted the following in a RingPlus forum explaining the situation and why the change is necessary.
My apologies for not addressing you earlier. I know many of you expected me to comment sooner.
While my team and I have finished long negotiations with different parties, other negotiations are still ongoing. Those negotiations are protected under nondisclosure agreements and, therefore, cannot be shared with our Members. We apologize for this circumstance as it seems to go against our mission as an open and free-spirited telecom community. Please rest assured that my team and I always try to negotiate in the best interests of all our Members.
Lets start with the facts:
1) RingPlus is switching technology. We must do so because of technological reasons of which we have been made aware.
2) RingPlus is developing new technologies (including a Smart and VoIP Dialer applications) to replace the decommissioned technologies. The new technologies will be available soon. However, they are not yet ready.
3) As a result of the technology switch, we are now sure that we will have to move everyone to a “Mad” plan because we cannot run both technologies at the same time (we had expected to be able to run both up until now).
4) In addition, RingPlus has missed its projected Member growth over the past two quarters, leaving us with less than 120,000 Members. A minimum of 500,000 Members is necessary to gain the advertisement revenue predicted to reach the break-even level.
The actions we are required to take now:
1) We are in the final stages of our negotiation with other MVNOs (sorry, names are confidential) which will introduce our in-call radio and ad platform to their subscribers. This combined volume of audience will bring us well over the 500,000 Member mark (closer to over a million Members), which will allow the advertisement system to generate enough money to sustain Free Plans on which you currently (or have) been activated.
2) We must change technology. The technological change will not only reduce the in-call latency that many Members experience, but will also offer a platform agnostic version of our in-call apps, radio station, and advertisement platform. The platform and carrier agnostic (CDMA-VoIP-SIM) versions of our in-call applications & RingBack Tone Radio Stations are a pre-requisite to bring other MVNOs and VoIP carriers on board as well as to overcome the unforeseen technological problem.
3) We now offer the lowest-cost, self-sustainable paid cell plans in the industry which give all of our current Members a safe choice, and attracts new Members.
4) Due to the fact that we have not been able to increase the audience to the required threshold of 500,000 Members or above, we had to agree to adjust the free plan allotment closer to our competitors. RingPlus is still leading in its allotments of free service.
5) With the launch of the application and its availability on other MVNO’s and carriers, we will not only return to, but supersede, the prior level of free plan allotments as the combined subscriber level is now large enough.
6) I understand your disappointment as every one hoped for better allotments and that plans will stay forever and only change for the better. Multiple unforeseeable market conditions outside of our control and other circumstances caused from third parties required us to reallocate funds, including funds from marketing efforts, multiple times, ending in the sad result that we did not achieve our goal. Based on our negotiations with all involved parties and future partners, we came to the conclusion that this outlined course will be the only solution for our Members which will allow the continued offering of free plans without any interruptions during the system switch.
7) In the meantime, RingPlus is asking all Members on affected plans to change to our alternate technology currently available. This technology is in operation, and routes all wireless phone services directly over the Sprint Nationwide Network. However, this technology does not offer RingPlus the possibility to provide the discounted plans with high allotments supported by playing interactive sponsored content to you (e.g., advertisements and music) which RingPlus was previously able to offer you.
8) Sadly, it was communicated to us today that it is not possible to further sustain the high allotment plans until the combined audience threshold of 500,000 is reached. Starting December 1, 2016, all Plans that are not Mad Plans will not renew at the end of their billing cycle. Members can change to any of the currently offered plans from our website. For Members whose plans were not renewed, we will offer the possibility of a 7-day Holding Plan. All Members whose plans are set to renew on or after December 1, 2016, will automatically be switched to the 7-day Holding Plan at the end of their billing cycle. The end result will be that all non-Mad Plans will be discontinued by January 1, 2017, which will give our IT department the possibility to switch to the new system, and to start the combined offering with our future partners as soon as possible. This quick action is required based on negotiations with 3rd parties. Once the new technology is launched, RingPlus will once again be able to offer discounted plans with high allotments supported by playing interactive sponsored content to you (e.g., advertisements and music).
1) The free temporary holding plan will have limited allotments of 200 minutes, 200 texts, 200 MMS, and 200 MB LTE (full speed). Please note that overages will not be possible on the free temporary holding plan (e.g., if you use all of your allotment of data, it will just stop) so that there will not be any surprise overages.
2) For those Members with feature phones, we are in negotiations for a solution. Until a solution is found, they are welcome to use the CDMA portion of the voice minutes without the requirement of downloading an application or dialer.
3) Of course, when a plan is changed, the top up balance will remain intact. For details on each plan, please see the plan’s details on RingPlus Social.
4) You will still have access to your current voicemail system while you are on the free temporary holding plan. Please note that the currently available plans (other than the free temporary holding plan) will have a new voicemail system.
5) In call applications will not be available on our currently offered plans until our new technology (including a Smart and VoIP Dialer applications) will be offered. If you chose to switch to one of our lowest priced paid plans in the U.S. currently offered on our website, you will be able to download the dialers when they become available (to be able to get the new series of plans supported by the new technology to provide the discounted plans with high allotments supported by playing interactive sponsored content to you (e.g., advertisements and music)).
6) Phone Swaps will be free starting Wensday until further notice
We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience, understanding and support.
RingPlus will continue to offer new promotions throughout this technology transition, and we will update you about the development of our new technologies.
We look forward to the great future free and paid plan offerings (as well as the added functionalities) that will be possible with our new technologies, and we hope you do, too.
The changes have left some RingPlus subscribers upset, particularly the ones who not long ago signed up for one of the affected plans. Some even try to claim that this is the beginning of the end for RingPlus. The truth of the matter is though, that RingPlus has changed the technology behind their plans, and it is not economical for them to maintain the legacy plans. RingPlus still continues to provide good value and unique plans for its subscribers.