RingPlus, a Sprint MVNO that features free plans with advertisements, has announced a huge change to its business model. Effective December 1, 2016
, all plans that are not “Mad” plans can no longer be topped-up after they expire. According to a series of posts in the RingPlus Forum, the company can no longer offer ad-supported plans due to a lack of subscribers.
RingPlus CEO Karl Seelig addressed the community last week with the news that RingPlus was being forced to partner with an unnamed MVNO, and will also be switching technology. Specific details were not released as the negotiations were still in progress, but apparently RingPlus did not reach the 500,000 member count needed to support the free plans. After all, you can’t get something for nothing, and it seems RingPlus is realizing this. Seelig said that once the shifts are complete, they plan to offer free plans again in the future and stressed that this move was temporary.
Non Mad Plan Owners
For everyone with a line on any of the numerous Mad Plans, your minutes and such are just fine as-is. The company simply stated after December 1, 2016, all non-Mad plans can no longer be topped up. Customers will, instead, be placed on a temporary “holding plan” which will have 200 minute, 200 texts, 200 MMS, and 200 MB LTE. This plan is designed to hold members over until they switch to a Mad plan, and there will be a hard cap with no overages. Voicemail will be available on the new holding plans, but the Mad plans have a different voicemail system.
As a note, RingPlus has temporary disabled all activation fees for the new lines, and you can use both a smartphone and a flip phone on the Mad Plans. You can check out the details on the Mad plans here
Is this the beginning of the end of RingPlus?
RingPlus has really only been around for a couple years, and it was an outlier in the industry that got a lot of attention to begin with. However, as with all new companies (especially in prepaid) there are going to be hiccups. Personally, while I can see this as being a little disappointing to the RingPlus fans, it’s something that we all had to see coming. From the ridiculous flash plans that bloated its offerings and made the company absolutely bewildering to new customers to the really unique and cutting-edge plan options that were all supported by unobtrusive advertisements, RingPlus has had a lot of ups and downs.
While I wouldn’t advise anyone throw in the towel just yet, we’ll definitely be watching closely to see what kind of deal RingPlus can come up with. Who knows… maybe the new RingPlus will be even bigger and better than ever.
Are you with RingPlus? Are you staying or jumping ship? Chime in below and let me know!