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I understand that you'd like to use this phone on Ting's service, but you are unable to.
Just to let you know, by using the Status option in your menu, the network that shows there does not necessarily mean that it is carrier locked to T-Mobile. It refers to the network the phone is currently connected to. If T-Mobile shows up, that means the device has a T-Mobile SIM card inserted and connected to T-Mobile, unless it has a Ting SIM, then it would be referred to as Domestic Roaming.
Could you specify the model number of the device? If your J1 has a removable battery, remove it, and the full model number should be on a white Samsung sticker on the device. DO NOT share your IMEI or other numbers on this forum, other than the model number.
I don't recall T-Mobile ever selling the Galaxy J1 directly from T-Mobile, and since you've mentioned that it has a lot of pre-installed Verizon apps, it points out to me that the device is carrier locked to Verizon, not T-Mobile. Even Samsung's website points out that the J1 is exclusive to Verizon. I'd contact them directly. I'm not sure about Verizon's unlocking policy.
If you can get back to me with the model number, I'd be happy to look up more info. Keep in mind, I'm not a T-Mobile rep.