23andMe Mother’s Day Sale

I saw an ad on Facebook for 23andMe’s Mother’s Day Sale. It ends May 14th, is $20 off the regular price, and is good for up to two (2) kits. https://www.23andme.com/ so either $79 (genealogy only) or $179 (genealogy + health). It’s available directly on 23andMe’s main page and mentions gift wrapping included. Technically, it’s not a DNA Day sale, but the sale is running during DNA Day so I will add it to the DNA Day sale blog post.

It’s good to see 23andMe join the sale even if it’s geared towards Mother’s Day. It has the second largest genealogical DNA database with over 2,000,000 testers. Definitely worth checking out regardless of if you go with genealogy only or genealogy + health. You can always upgrade to health down the road for $125 (which is $25 more than if you add it when you initially order).

Posted in 23andMe, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AncestryDNA Hits 4 Million Tested

Ancestry tweeted yesterday they hit four (4) million DNA kits tested. It took them eleven (11) months to reach their second million; another seven (7) months to reach their third million; and only three (3) months to reach their fourth million. No telling how fast Ancestry will cross the five (5) million mark at its current pace. They could easily hit six (6) million by year’s end if the present pace continues.

This was on top of news that 23andMe recently hit their two (2) millionth kit earlier this month.

If Ancestry and FTDNA were more savvy, they would do what MyHeritage, WeGene, and DNA.land are doing and accept free DNA transfers from other companies. I expect MyHeritage may reach its first million DNA tests/transfers in record, or near record, time. While Ancestry has over four (4) million in its database, there are probably another million who have tested with other companies that haven’t tested with Ancestry. FTDNA offers a free transfer, but it’s limited in several ways and you would have to pay $19 to upgrade for full benefits of the transfer.

National Geographic has over 834,000 people in 140 countries who have tested DNA and could hit one (1) million later this year. Their test is on sale for $149.95 (regularly $199.95) https://shop.nationalgeographic.com/product/genographic-2.0-kits/geno-2.0-next-generation-genographic-helix-dna-ancestry-kit–u.s.-delivery?gsk&code=MR21432 . I am hoping one day National Geographic will increase the autosomal component from its current 200,000 markers to 500,000+ markers so it can be used for genealogy purposes. For U.S. tests, Geno 2.0 Next is processed with a spit kit from Helix. For non-U.S. kits,  they were still using cheek swabs from FTDNA.

Posted in 23andMe, AncestryDNA, DNA, FTDNA, MyHeritage DNA, WeGene | Leave a comment

DNA Day Sales 2017

Update Tuesday April 25, 2017: Happy DNA Day.

Update Monday April 24, 2017: 23andMe Mother’s Day Sale (running through May 14th); $20 off regular prices. Not exactly a DNA Day Sale, but it is running during DNA Day.

Update Sunday, April 23, 2017: A couple of new entries to the list. I added DNAFit, ShopFamilyTree (different company from FamilyTreeDNA), and made a few extra points on some of the other companies (AncestryDNA, YSEQ.net). Again, check with any of the companies below before ordering to make sure the sale prices are still in effect. Most end April 25 or 26 although DNAFit should be ending any time now.

Update Saturday, April 22, 2017: If you order AncestryDNA through Amazon.com, it’s free shipping. Contrary to some sites that claim you have to be a Prime Member to get the free shipping, you don’t. Non-Prime members get free standard shipping for orders over $35. You get faster free shipping if you are a Prime member (2 days vs. the 5-8 business days for standard shipping for non-Prime members).

Check with each company before ordering to make sure the sale has started or is still running. Several DNA companies are offering DNA Day Sales. While DNA Day is April 25th, the sales start at different times and run for different lengths. I will include several links below to cover the specifics as posted by other bloggers, but will also include direct links to the companies offering (and not offering for those companies that haven’t joined the DNA Day Sale bandwagon.

Different articles talking about DNA Day 2017 Sale choices.



https://nationaldnaday.com – has links to a few contests to win free DNA kits.

DNA Testing Companies (not all are offering DNA Day Sales and not all provide matching capability for genealogical purposes):

23andMe https://www.23andme.com Mother’s Day Sale running through May 14th. It’s $20 off regular price of either Genealogy or Genealogy + Health (so $79 or $179) with a maximum of two (2) kits allowed per order. Gift wrapping included. Use Amazon to save on shipping as they are showing the $79 sale price as well.

AncestryDNA https://www.ancestry.com/dna $79 (regularly $99) The free shipping code usually doesn’t work when Ancestry is offering a discount on the test. However, if you use Amazon, they are selling the kit for $79 and offer free shipping (Standard 5 – 8 business days for non-Prime and 2 days for Prime Members).

BritainsDNA / MyDNA   https://www.mydna.global No DNA sale price, $345 or $390 (online results vs. hardcopy results). It’s a company in the U.K. and the above prices are based on the exchange rate when this post was originally posted. It used to be BritainsDNA for those more familiar with the company under that name.

ConnectMyDNA https://connectmydna.com – not recommended for genealogical purposes, but they are an option for ethnic/continental breakdown. They offer three choices: Starter Map – two (2) regions for $89.95 with 25+ countries; Pro Map – three (3) regions with 45+ countries for $99.95; and Unlimited Map – five regions with 80+ countries for $104.95. The five regions are Europe; North Africa/Middle East; Central/South America; Africa; and Asia. I have not tested with the company, but believe people should make up their own minds on the value offered by a company instead of relying only on people who haven’t tested with the company to make up your mind. From the company’s website, it looks at the 13 CODIS markers to create a GeneRing. Note, the GeneRing potentially could be used to determine your CODIS markers by somebody tech savvy enough.

DNAFit: 119 GBP (click on the $ button on their page to see current U.S. price. They had a promo code of DNAFITSPRING25 that gave 25% discount. The discount was supposed to end April 21, but as early April 23 was still working. Check before ordering. DNAFit focuses on Diet, Fitness, and Sports, but not genealogy.  It’s for their Fitness Diet Pro (for kits ordered from them as well as  23andMe transfers). A full kit from the company is regularly 119 GBP (roughly $150 depending on the current exchange rate).  I don’t see a way to add the discount to a 23andMe transfer, but the price is the same if you go with the 23andMe transfer vs. ordering a new from DNAFit.

DNA Hunters, LLC Offering 30% discount on some of their digital downloads. http://dnahunters.com You may have to hunt around the site to find them or use the NationalDNADay link above if you can’t find it otherwise.

FTDNA (FamilyTree DNA) https://www.familytreedna.com/products (sales on autosomal, Y-DNA, and mtDNA products with their autosomal test, FamilyFinder, on sale for $59!).

GPS Origins https://gpsorigins.com Link is only good until tomorrow (April 21st; link removed as it’s no longer valid), but it is  normally $199. After the deal ends tomorrow, Promo Code DEAL will save $10 off the $199. No word on how long the DEAL promo code will work.  Tests 800,000 SNPs including some Y-DNA and mtDNA SNPs. Don’t see an option for comparing matches, but you may be able to transfer your results to MyHeritage, WeGene, DNA.Land, and GEDmatch which would give you matches. It has enough SNPs that FTDNA transfer could become an option down the road. Presently, it tests one of the largest amounts of SNPs tested, more than the current chip versions of FTDNA, AncestryDNA, and 23andMe.  I haven’t heard reports on how much similarity there is between SNPs tested by GPS Origins and the Big Three (23andMe, AncestryDNA, and FTDNA), but did find this article https://khazardnaproject.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/gps-origins-results-of-four-participants (Note: I haven’t done a detailed  analysis of this link or some other links that negatively reviewed GPS Origins). If you do a GPS Origins transfer instead of ordering the test directly, DEAL promo code will save you $5 off the transfer price. Additional note some experts are not a fan of GPS Origins, but it does test one of the largest numbers of markers and that has the potential to make it a better choice in certain circumstance.

Helix (they process National Geographic’s Geno 2.0 Next U. S. kits with non-U.S. kits being processed through FTDNA) https://www.helix.com/products/geno-2-ng It’s not a DNA Day Sale, but temporarily $149.95 when it’s usually $199.95. No word on how long Helix will offer the discount. It’s a deep Y-DNA (male testers only) and moderate to deep mtDNA with limited autosomal (around 100,000 SNPs tested from reports although it was supposed to be over 700,000 SNPs  in earlier reports).

LivingDNA https://www.livingdna.com/en-us $119 (regular price $159); tests 650.000 SNPs including  some Y-DNA and mtDNA results in addition to the autosomal results.

MyHeritage   https://www.myheritage.com/dna sale price is temporarily $79 (normally $99), but they are accepting free autosomal transfers from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and FTDNA. They should be offering a discount on their MyHeritage subscription that includes a DNA kit as part of the deal. Price will be $199 for a year’s subscription from reports by other bloggers working with MyHeritage.

National Geographic – see Helix above or use https://shop.nationalgeographic.com/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=2003825&gsk which is a link from https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com.

ShopFamilyTree http://www.shopfamilytree.com/genetic-genealogy-mega-collection-1 81% discount ($99.99 instead of $599.99). This is ShopFamilyTree’s Mega Collection. It doesn’t include a DNA test, but includes one DNA book, numerous video downloads, and one PDF download that is one of the more comprehensive DNA collections available.

VitaGene: https://vitagene.com/ is another DNA test that isn’t relevant for genealogical purposes, but is offering discounts for DNA Day. No word on how long the discount is available, but the two tests offered are Ancestry + Health (regularly $99, but $79 for the sale) and Health only (for those who have 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and FTDNA (regular price ?, but $49 on their website).

YSEQ.net http://yseq.net No DNA Day sale, but it offers a number of tests ranging from Y-DNA, mtDNA to full DNA tests. This is a German company, but it offers some of the best prices for Y-DNA and mtDNA and its full DNA test includes a 23andMe style autosomal raw data that can be transferred to FTDNA, MyHeritage, WeGene, and GEDmatch. Update: The company will be offering sales at a later date and the sales will usually be tied to German cultural events. Its full DNA test (starting at $899 for 15 read, contact for higher 30 read pricing) includes Y-DNA haplogroup (for male testers), mtDNA haplogroup, and an autosomal transfer download (similar to 23andMe so you should be able to transfer it to several other companies (MyHeritage, DNA.Land, GEDmatch, and possibly FTDNA. This is an all in one test because it is one of the few companies that gives you a full DNA test with separate autosomal results. So far, I haven’t seen any of the other companies that offer full DNA testing doing the same thing. For that reason alone, it’s easily worth the money to do either the 15 read or 30 read with YSEQ.net.

Posted in 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Autosomal DNA, BIG Y, DNA, FTDNA, GEDmatch, Geno 2.0, Helix, LivingDNA, mtDNA, myDNA, MyHeritage, MyHeritage DNA, Uncategorized, Y-DNA | Leave a comment

BritainsDNA URL Change

Update Sunday, April 23, 2017: I posted to BritainsDNA Facebook page and their Twitter accounts to see if they will respond, but as of 3 PM US Central Time today, they have not responded. With their Facebook page, they have to approve any posts which is why my post may not show up on their page.

I haven’t seen any reports on BritainsDNA changing its URL from http://www.britainsDNA.com to myDNA.global, but it was changed. If you try http://www.britainsDNA.com, you will get an expired domain name notice. Same for several variations of the company’s other URLs (update: apparently some of the variations may still work, but I don’t feel like digging through half dozen different links to see which ones still work). For those not familiar with BritainsDNA (hereafter referred to as MyDNA), it offers a variety of DNA tests. Its biggest test is the Chromo2 test which is a combination of autosomal DNA, Y-DNA (males only), mtDNA, and a couple of trait tests (Baldness, Eye Color, and Red Hair). The test runs about 240 GBP (roughly $345 USD as of a few minutes ago, but that will vary depending on the GBP/USD exchange rate when you order the test). If you want a hardcover copy of your results, it’s another 30 GBP (roughly $45 USD right now, but check prices before ordering). The company lets you order using GBP, Euro, or USD as pricing options so  you can easily see how much it will cost in each currency.

When you order the test, you can opt-in or opt-out of the optional Research participation. You can learn more about the Research Disclaimer at https://www.mydna.global/participation-agreement. Worth reading if you are considering participation in the research. The company’s T&C (Terms and Conditions, sometimes called Terms of Service or TOS by other companies) can be found at https://www.mydna.global/terms-and-conditions. However, the above link only gives you a download link to the PDF https://www.mydna.global/media/251710/mydna-global-terms-and-conditions-v1.pdf. I haven’t ordered the test from either BritainsDNA or MyDNA, nor have I read in full the T&C or Research Participation Agreement, but they follow the laws of Scotland.

It is my goal to add MyDNA to the list of companies I eventually test with, but that’s at least 6+ months away.

A couple of key points. The company is in the U.K. which may be an issue with some U. S. debit card purchases, but it does allow PayPal and debit/credit card payment options. You are shipping it to the U.K. so you may want to check with the Post Office (or other carrier if you use FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.) to see about pricing, customs declaration requirements, etc. The company estimates 8 – 12 weeks before you get your results. However, this time frame doesn’t start until they receive your kit, not from when you drop it off at the Post Office. Also, it is a spit kit and you should follow the general rules for spit kits (collect spit within 30 minutes, realize not everybody produces enough DNA in their spit for a spit kit to work, etc.).

MyDNA uses an Illumina chip that looks at 250,000 autosomal SNPs, 14,000 Y-DNA SNPs, and 3,000 mtDNA SNPs. In comparison, 23andMe, FTDNA, and AncestryDNA look at 500,000 – 700,000+ autosomal SNPs. In comparison National Geographic’s 2.0 Next looks at 200,000 autosomal SNPs, roughly the same number of mtDNA SNPs, and about 10,000 Y-DNA SNPs.


Posted in 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Autosomal DNA, DNA, FTDNA, GEDmatch, Geno 2.0, mtDNA, myDNA, Y-DNA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Not To Rely on Obits, Death Certificates, and Cemetery Records When Adding Memorials to Find-A-Grave

Apologies for the long blog post title, but there is a reason for it. Find-A-Grave has one major rule when it comes to adding memorials. The surname has to match the surname on the headstone. The first name, middle name, any nicknames, and maiden name don’t have to match the headstone. For example, your great-grandfather was J. C. Jones on the headstone, but you know he was named John Calhoun Jones and went by the nickname “J. C.” , then you are free to add this information in those names fields. However, suppose his headstone was misengraved Jnoes. Under Find-A-Grave rules, you have to add him as Jnoes although one would hope the admins would make an exception in cases like this.

Where it gets tough is women who remarry, but don’t update the surname on their headstone. While the obit, death certificate, and cemetery records may all show Mary C. Smith, the headstone has Mary C. Johnson (who may be husband 1, 2, 3, etc., but not the last husband or ex-husband). For those who rely only on obits, death certificates, or cemetery records, they would incorrect add her as Smith. End result you could wind up with Mary having two memorials (Smith and Johnson) when  she should only have the Johnson one. It gets worse if she was married several times and has all of their surnames on her headstone (Smith Johnson in this example) because under the current search parameters, the site only searches for the first surname (Smith) and you wouldn’t find her using a search for  Johnson.  You would find her under a search for “Smith Johnson” if you knew to look for her that way. It gets more confusing when you have a hyphenated name in one or more places. For example, if Mary had been born a Jackson, later marrying a Smith before marrying a Johnson, then her maiden name is Jackson, but if her name on her headstone is Smith-Johnson, then it should added as Smith-Johnson although Smith isn’t her maiden name. If the name was Jackson-Johnson on the headstone, you wind up with Jackson as a maiden name and Jackson-Johnson as a surname even though she may never have gone by that name.

I bring up this topic because I see too many people using obits, death certificates, and cemetery records to add memorials to Find-A-Grave. It works great when the headstone surname agrees with the record used to add the person, but too often in the cases of women, they don’t although there are times when a male surname is wrong for various reasons. I also bring it up because obits and death certificates frequently don’t record the correct cemetery. In the case of death certificates, it may say Bethesda Cemetery, but is only referring to a cemetery in the town of Bethesda and not specifically the town cemetery that is aptly named Bethesda Cemetery.  Another issue is when the person filing out the death certificate is given a cemetery, but the family later changes its mind. See similar things with obituaries although in addition to the above situation with death certificates, an obit may rely on a less common name for the cemetery or list the wrong town and/or county. It’s somewhat rare, but some cemeteries cross county lines and are on Find-A-Grave in County A although most of the cemetery is in County B. Depending on who wrote the obit as to which county is recorded in the obituary. Where it gets more confusing when there are several cemeteries in the county with the same name. For example, St. Peter’s Cemetery could be one of several in many counties and unless you know which St. Peter’s, you could be adding them to the wrong cemetery.  Let’s take it a step further and you have several St. Peter’s Catholic Cemeteries in the county. Ran across one where the person added a person to a Lutheran cemetery, but it was the wrong Lutheran cemetery on several counts. First, it was a different Lutheran denomination (one was ELCA and the other cemetery wasn’t as evidenced by both cemetery signs). Second, it was the wrong St. (St. John when it should have been St. Paul). Third, it was the wrong county by 80+ miles. Had they bothered to read the obit they added, they would have known it was the wrong cemetery based on counts two and three.

I was transcribing headstones on BillionGraves and comparing them to Find-A-Grave when I noticed a few more issues.

In one case, the cemetery record had them dying in 1951, but being buried in 1931 and the contributor added them using the 1951 death date. From the headstone, it shows 1931 so I am guessing a transcription error on the death date which is a common problem with this cemetery as it often has somebody being buried months before their death date (died February – December., but the burial date is January of the same year). In other cases, the surname on headstone doesn’t match cemetery records because the woman remarried and nobody changed the headstone surname. My favorite is a local who has her maiden name and all five (5) husbands’ surnames on the headstone. In theory, she should be listed with all five married surnames since the rule they enforce is all surnames on the headstone should be part of the surname field.  Hopefully, the soon promised upgrade (which was supposed to roll out to beta testing December 2015) will address this issue although I don’t think they have considered it. Another option would be to add  a LNAD (Last Name at Death) field similar to that used on WikiTree and by some genealogists.

An example of wrong cemetery (obit vs. actual) is a local who was supposed to be buried in Cemetery A, but I found the headstone in Cemetery B. Based on the cost of being buried in Cemetery A and the fact he is buried in Cemetery B’s Potter’s Field, I suspect price was why he wasn’t buried as planned in the obituary. Thankfully, he died before the obit chasers started adding memorials from obits, but I am seeing a growing case of wrong cemeteries and wrong surnames from the obit adders. If there were an option to include cemetery from other sources as a separate category, then I would be in favor of adding obits, death certificates, cemetery records, etc.  as a valid choice. It can be important to know that Cousin John who you thought was buried in Cemetery A based on obit or death certificate, but is actually buried in Cemetery B in a different county since you aren’t looking for John in the right place.

For death certificates, I ran across a person who was added to a World War I memorial, based on the death certificate stating Town Cemetery and the only town they could find was the World War I memorial. However, he was born several years after the war ended and his name wasn’t on the memorial. I found an obit and asked the manager to check with the cemetery in case he wasn’t buried there. As fast as he was moved to the cemetery in the obituary, I doubt the manager bothered to check with them. Another issue with death certificates is when a family member reports they are going to be buried in Cemetery A and it gets added to the death certificate, but the person is subsequently buried in a different cemetery that may not even be in the same town.

The above doesn’t take into account when a person is moved from the original cemetery. One of the most interesting cases of a person being moved after death was a lady who was originally buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Wichita, Kansas. She was moved within the cemetery at least once after her original interment. She was later dug up, moved to Los Angeles, California for a few years. Then brought back to Maple Grove and buried in a different spot. Only to be dug up again a few years later, moved to Salt Lake City, Utah before being reburied in Maple Grove one final time in yet a different section. When I checked with the cemetery, they originally didn’t have the new plot information because they thought the last reburial was the year she died so they had her as a different person until I let them she was the same person. Does she have headstones in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City? I don’t know, but she doesn’t have a headstone in Maple Grove although there is a slab next to her current resting place which indicates at one time she did. Suppose you only knew she was buried in Los Angeles or Salt Lake City without knowing the Wichita connection. You would be looking in vain for a grave that no longer exists.

Another problem is when obits list multiple towns and counties for the same cemetery. In one example, I found twelve (12) obituaries for one very small cemetery, but the cemetery was reported as being in six (6) different towns in a three (3) county area in the various obits. It took a while for me to find the correct location because it’s a very small denomination and the church is so small it doesn’t have a mailing address or phone number. Using Google Maps Street View, I eventually found the cemetery.

I appreciate and understand that some cannot make it to cemeteries and choose to add names using obituaries, death certificates, and/or cemetery records. However, under Find-A-Grave rules, the surname has to match the headstone and too often they don’t when adding memorials from these sources. It could be hyphenated in one place and not hyphenated in the other, or you can have multiple name differences between the sources. Throw in the number of times obituaries and death certificates have the wrong cemetery and it becomes a bigger problem. I even came across a headstone from Cemetery A incorrectly being added to Cemetery B in a different county. The headstone was unique enough that it wasn’t a case of a cenotaph in the other cemetery unless somebody spent a large amount of money for a full-grave cover and a twin for the second cemetery.

A somewhat separate issue is when you use the upload photos feature on Find-A-Grave and there are several cemeteries nearby and Find-A-Grave adds it to the wrong cemetery based on GPS. This can also happen with BillionGraves and in both situations if a cemetery hasn’t been added it moves the GPS-tagged image to the nearest cemetery on the site. Wichita has a handful of large cemeteries next to each other (across the street or next to each other) so this happens a bit more than in areas where the cemeteries are not that close.

Posted in Ancestry.com, BillionGraves, Cemetery, Find A Grave, Genealogy, Maple Grove Cemetery, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

RingPlus New Plan Witch Hazel (or Hazel-Witch)Oct 29 – 31 2016

As announced in an e-mail I received a little bit ago, RingPlus has added another new time-limited plan; it’s called Witch Hazel in some parts of the e-mail and Hazel-Witch in other parts. It shows up as Free Witch Hazel in my Upgrade pane. You can learn more about it at https://social.ringplus.net/discussion/8787.

This appears to be a non-Mad version of Free Mad Promo 6 which I mentioned several hours ago in this blog post: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/ringplus-free-mad-promo-6-oct-28-31-2016/. The main difference being it is not a Mad plan with another difference being you don’t get the free port-in available with Free Mad 6 Promo. However, they are offering a $25 Top-up credit for users porting in from other companies which will more than offset the Port-in cost.

You still have four (4) options: Free (there is an Activation fee of $15 and possible $20 Top-up fee if you have a zero balance) with 1,450 units (1,450 Talk, SMS Text, MMS Text, and 1,450 MB LTE Data), 2,000 units at $4.99 + taxes and fees/month, 3,000 units at $14.99 + taxes and fees/month, and 5,000 units at $24.99 + taxes and fees/month. It looks like they copy/pasted much of the information from the Free Mad 6 Promo so you should ignore references to Mad since it is not a Mad plan. If you go with the Free plan, you will need to make at least one (1) outgoing call every 60 days and I suggest 30 seconds or longer in duration. Like the Free Mad Promo 6, you should be able to switch between the different options as needed with an expectation you may have to wait for a new billing cycle for the change to occur.

The point about Tethering is worth mentioning. If you use more than 40% of your data tethered, you will get hit with Overages even if you don’t exceed your monthly Data allowance otherwise.

This plan should allow iPhone usage without having to install the VOIP dialer they are working on.


Free Witch Hazel Plan

One-time activation fee of $15 (Billed directly to your credit card)
$20 initial Top Up balance occurs only if you have less than zero balance to cover overages.*
1,450 Talk -1,450 Text -1,450 MMS – 1,450 MB LTE Full Speed and & unlimited LTE at 2g data speed.
Tethering included
Free Hazel-Witch – Upgrade to 2GB
2,000 Talk 2,000 Text 2,000 SMS & 2Gb LTE Full Speed unlimited LTE at 2g data speed
Tethering included
$4.99/ Month*
Free Hazel-Witch – Upgrade to 3GB
3,000 Talk 3,000 Text 3,000 SMS & 3Gb LTE Full and unlimited LTE at 2g data speed
Tethering included
Free Hazel-Witch – Upgrade 5GB
5,000 Talk 5,000 Text 5,000 SMS 5GB LTE Full Speed and unlimited LTE at 2g data speed (Tethering included)
$24.99 Month*

Special Regulation for Tethering as it is Included.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, if you plan to use more than 40% of your data allotment on tethering or if you plan to activate a data only device,

we recommend that you purchase prior, a data only device & tethering protection. Add on any time during a given billing cycle for $15 valid for 30 days after purchase.

This is important because you can activate tethering for fee any time, but if more than 40% of data is used for tethering or on a data only device the free portion from 1,450 MB will not be made available. This portion of data would be billed at overage rates.

All monthly charges and overages will be charged to Top-Up Balance.


Good to see an option that has the older non-Mad system available. It will have latency, but they are working on reducing it as much as possible. Once the new Smart Dialer and VOIP Dialer are available, it is probable you would be able to use them with this plan to remove the latency issue. This plan will have ads and the In-Call apps should work with it.

Some more Treats:
M+ and people with Mad plans with Surfing data can change to the Mad Promo 6 without an activation fee from Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 11am Pacific until Monday, October 31, 2016 at 10pm Pacific.
Some Tricks:
We will magically increase Top Up balances with a matching Top Up credit of up to $25 for any new subscriber who ports in from another telecom during this promo to any RingPlus plan OR for anyone who buys any item(s) in our store totaling more than $100.


Disclaimer: I am not a RingPlus employee nor do I receive any form of compensation for any of my RingPlus (or other product service) posts. I am a mostly satisfied RingPlus customer who sees the value offered by the company.

Posted in RingPlus | Leave a comment

RingPlus Free Mad Promo 6 Oct 28 – 31 2016

@RingPlus, #RingPlus

Addit 2: If you have MemberPlus or a current Mad Surfing plan, you can switch to Free Mad Promo 6 without paying an activation fee if you do it between October 29, 11 AM and October 31, 10 PM U.S. Pacific Time.

M+ and people with Mad plans with Surfing data can change to the Mad Promo 6 without an activation fee from Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 11am Pacific until Monday, October 31, 2016 at 10pm Pacific.


Addit: Looks like they are talking about doing something for MemberPlus since it hasn’t been worth the $120 upgrade lately. It’s buried in a comment by Karl in the below thread, but I included here:


So member+ don’t really have additinal benefits except for the roaming option that’s a bummer

The day is not over yet. We will have something coming for m+

As of 7:03 PM U.S. Central Time, there is nothing announced for MemberPlus and I am not seeing anything in the various parts of my Dashboard showing anything new for MemberPlus. Ideally, giving a $40 instead of the usual $120 would be a great option. Update: as mentioned above, MemberPlus members can switch to this plan tomorrow morning after 11 A.M. until Monday evening 10 P.M. U.S. Pacific Time. This was mentioned in the new plan offered several hours after I posted this blog post. See my other post here: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/ringplus-new-plan-witch-hazel-or-hazel-witchoct-29-31-2016/.

As announced in this thread: https://social.ringplus.net/discussion/8763/mad-promo-6/p1 RingPlus is now briefly offering Free Mad Promo 6. It is available from Octobter 28, 2016 at 11:30 A.M. U.S. Pacific Time until Monday, October 31, 2016, 10 P.M. U. S. Pacific Time. This is an interesting development as the lowest tier (1,450 units) is free of monthly cost (excluding the $15 Activation fee and possible $20 Top-up) with options to pay for higher allotments 2,000 units, 3,000 units, or 5,000 units ranging from $4.99 + taxes and fees/month to $24.99 + taxes and fees/month. If you don’t like the dialer requirement, you would be switched back to your old plan after two (2) weeks once the dialers become live. This is a Mad plan, free or paid depending on which of the four options you choose. For the free option, you will need to make at least one (1) outgoing call every 60 days or risk losing the plan. Suggest you make a call every 30 days of at least 30 seconds talk duration as a safe workaround. There are any number of places you can call if you don’t want to bother family or friends. For example, my financial institution has a number I can call to check on my account that doesn’t require human interaction although I can talk to an employee during regular business hours if I need to.

Some of the key points,  with a couple covered in more detail in the quoted section below:

  • Free Port-in if you are bringing a phone number from a different company. Big word of CAUTION here: if there is a problem with the port-in, you may lose the plan if it can’t be fixed before the promo ends. This is based on my personal experiences helping people porting in as well as numerous other people who have had similar negative experiences with porting in. If you want the plan, go ahead and sign up for with a placeholder ESN or other phone, then do the port. It may cost a bit more, but it beats losing out on the plan if it’s one you really want. In the vast majority of cases (roughly 96% according to some sources), porting in works great with no hitches. However, the rest of the time it can go wrong in numerous ways. If you are porting in from FreedomPop, for example, you will need to make sure the PIN is correct as it tends to crop up as a problem with FreedomPop port-outs.
  • No Overages on data as it includes “unlimited” Data at a lower speed. Note: there is a restriction on how much unlimited you can use before you risk losing your line. See General Rules 20 and 22 in the Legal section of RingPlus for more information.
  • Activation fee of $15 (billed directly to your credit/debit card).
  • Initial Top-up fee of $20 if you have a zero balance (waived if you have a Top-up balance).
  • 1,450 Talk, SMS Text, MMS Text, and 1,450 MB LTE Data (throttled to 2G speeds after the limit is reached).
  • Tethering included for free, but there is an option for tethering for $15.00/month – you will need this if you plan on tethering with more than 40% of your data or if you use a data  only device. See the quoted section below for more information. UPDATE: They will send warnings when you reach 30% and 35% limit.
  • Optional upgrades include the following (these appear to be higher limits and not added to the base 1,450 from the free offer; also, Karl has said in the above thread that you can switch between this options as needed although you may have to wait until the next billing cycle for the change to occur):
  • 2,000 Talk, SMS Text, MMS Text, and 2,000 MB LTE for $4.99/month.
  • 3,000 Talk, SMS Text, MMS Text, and3,000 MB LTE for $14.99/month.
  • 5,000 Talk, SMS Text, MMS Text, and 5,000 MB LTE for $24.99/month.
  • Overages for all of the above are $0.10/ unit (Talk, SMS, MMS)
  • You will need to install either the Smart Dialer or VOIP Dialer when it becomes available. I copy/pasted the details in the quote below.

A RingPlus Smart Dialer or VoIP dialer will have to be installed as it becomes available ( If you have a feature Phone its time to upgrade, we will have loaner phones available with pre installed dialers right before the holidays )  If you are an existing Member and you wish to switch back from this plan to your current plan you will be able to do so. The switching period will be available to your after testing the new Dialer System for two weeks, after the dialers become available.Please see detail below:

Smart Dialer, that will launch shortly for Android phones, is different than the VoIP dialers used by other free services (eg. Freedom Pop).

The Smart Dialer will utilize the standard voice channels offered by a cell phone network, not voice over Internet, therefore, offering superior call quality and circumventing inherent problems that still exist in VoIP technology that current users experience when traveling. The Smart Dialer will enable all RingPlus apps as well as Ringback tone radio stations from the handset.

RingPlus will also offer a VoIP dialer that will directly connect to our switches, circumventing lengthy routing passes responsible for call delays. We will use the latest VoIP technology for our VoIP dialer.

RingPlus Members on Android will be able to install both apps. RingPlus Members with iPhones that subscribe to Free Mad Plan 6  may be required to install the VoIP dialer.

If you are an existing Member and you wish to switch back from this plan to your current plan you will be able to do so. The switching period will be available to your after testing the new Dialer System for two weeks, after the dialers become available.

(See for more information https://social.ringplus.net/discussion/8733/one-hour-question-and-answer-session/p1)

Special Regulation for Tethering as it is Included.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, if you plan to use more than 40% of your data allotment on tethering or if you plan to activate a data only device,

we recommend that you purchase prior, a data only device & tethering protection. Add on any time during a given billing cycle for $15 valid for 30 days after purchase.

This is important because you can activate tethering for fee any time, but if more than 40% of data is used for tethering or on a data only device the free portion from 1,450 MB will not be made available. This portion of data would be billed at overage rates.

All monthly charges and overages will be charged to Top-Up Balance.


About Mad Plans

– RingPlus Radio is not included.

– Calls are routed over the Sprint Nationwide Network.

– In-call apps (e.g., In-call translator, Transcript and RingPlus Radio)

Bring Your Own Device

You can get a phone from RingPlus or activate a phone you already have on this Plan.

You can check if your phone is eligible in the RingPlus Check Tool athttps://my.ringplus.net/device_validation_requests/new.

Sign up at https://ringplus.net

For information on how to port-in to RingPlus, please see One Step Switch and Save.

I think the $4.99 + taxes and fees for the 2,000 units is a great deal. I think the higher prices for the 3,000 units and 5,000 units is high. Granted, it is cheaper than many competitors, but it is high compared to numerous previous offers on RingPlus. Having said that, it is worth it if you are paying more than the $4.99 – $24.99 + taxes and fees/month for the same amounts of talk, text, and data with your current cell phone company. I updated the bullet point about the different options after reading Karl, the CEO of RingPlus, commenting you can switch between the different options (1,450 units to 5,000 units) as needed. This makes it a better value than if you were stuck with a permanent change. This could come in handy if you know you are going to need more or less units at different times and would allow you to adjust accordingly.  I expect you may have to wait until the next billing cycle to avoid trying to game the system, but time will tell if I an correct.

Disclaimer: I am not a RingPlus employee nor do I receive any form of compensation for any of my RingPlus (or other product service) posts. I am a mostly satisfied RingPlus customer who sees the value offered by the company.


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