Glove Compartment Mobile Provider Recommendation

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2 months 2 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #33288 by joseph
Who is currently the best provider, using any national network, for a glove compartment "emergency phone" that'll remain unused most months, and even when used see very few minutes used and less to no text or data.

Considerations are a preference for no monthly recurring fees, paying only for minutes (or text/data) used. That the service not be turned off or disconnected due to extended non-usage. Texting and data abilities are optional and can be done without.

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2 months 2 weeks ago #33290 by Chelle
Piranha Mobile. It works around the world, is PAYG, and can be dormant for over a year with no repercussions.

In order to have no monthly expense you'd have to pick a UK phone number but that shouldn't be a problem.

I've had one of their SIMs for a few years.

In most countries they're quite a bit cheaper than Truphone.
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2 months 2 weeks ago #33291 by st3fx
FreeUP Mobile (free plan) or Tello PAYG. With FreeUP, you'll have to take an action every month to keep the free plan. Tello PAYG requires "activity" at least once every 3 months.
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2 months 2 weeks ago #33292 by Chelle

st3fx wrote: FreeUP Mobile (free plan) or Tello PAYG. With FreeUP, you'll have to take an action every month to keep the free plan. Tello PAYG requires "activity" at least once every 3 months.


I believe that Tello reduced their 90 day requirement to 60 days about a year ago.
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2 months 2 weeks ago #33293 by st3fx

Chelle wrote:

st3fx wrote: FreeUP Mobile (free plan) or Tello PAYG. With FreeUP, you'll have to take an action every month to keep the free plan. Tello PAYG requires "activity" at least once every 3 months.


I believe that Tello reduced their 90 day requirement to 60 days about a year ago.


Good point, terms are subject to change.

Right now the Tello terms state:
"Pay As You Go credit is available for a period of 3 months since customer's last order or call, text or data session, effective September 1, 2017. If none of the actions mentioned above was carried out in a period of 3 months, SIM and Pay As You Go credit will not be available for calls." tello.com/terms
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2 months 2 weeks ago #33296 by KentE
Possibly Tello PayGo, if you're comfortable with Sprint coverage. $10 top-up would last a long time, but you need to make one call or text every 90 days. No monthly fee, no SIM purchase needed if you have a Sprint device ready for use on MVNOs.

Lycamobile PayGo also seems to be a frequent suggestion, on the T-Mobile network, also with a $10 minimum non-expiring top-up. From reading, it seems like you have to know the 'secret handshake' to set this up, but I believe there are Lyca users here. I don't know about occasional use requirements..

AT&T or Verizon coverage is more complete in many areas. I see these frequently suggested for PayGo glovebox phones:

Page Plus PayGo, Verizon network. $10 per 120 days. (I believe most Tracfone devices can be used on Page Plus, as well as BYOP.) When I last set up a line a few years ago as a glovebox phone for a friend, there was no intermittent use requirement.

H20 PayGo, AT&T network, $10 per 90 days. I don't know about intermittent use requirement.
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2 months 2 weeks ago #33298 by johnsmith

Chelle wrote:

st3fx wrote: FreeUP Mobile (free plan) or Tello PAYG. With FreeUP, you'll have to take an action every month to keep the free plan. Tello PAYG requires "activity" at least once every 3 months.


I believe that Tello reduced their 90 day requirement to 60 days about a year ago.

Used to be 6 months now 3 months.
Here's a link to an article reporting the change:

https://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2017/08/heads-up-tello-pay-as-you-go-now.html

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2 months 2 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #33299 by mmfacemm
I've been happy with truphone. Solid customer service. Even Apple trust them to name them as an esim provider. They have a history of not enforcing any calling requirement and are generous at 6 months. I don't see the point of going with someone like pirahna who has iffy customer service and a history of fumbling around with needing to switch networks and replace sims. But some are happy with them.

Freeup requires too much work, tello has a tight calling policy of 90 days and I am not sure how much they enforce it, Lyca's paygo is also 90 days and a hidden plan so may be taken away at any time.

Also consider tmobile's $3 a month plan. It gives you 30 mins/text a month and will be reliable. H20 on ATT and Pageplus on verizon are also good choices as per KentE's suggestions. If you want sprint tello is probably the best option but I'd go with one of the others.
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2 months 2 weeks ago #33300 by joseph
@mmfacemm How does Truphone's pricing stack up to Piranha? How lax is Truphone in not enforcing their non-usage policy?

Doesn't Freeup have a completely free plan that requires no customer usage/intervention?

Is your concern with Tello because they use the Sprint network or is it a competitive pricing concern?

Does H20's bucket for the $10 carryover after the 90 days (assuming there was usage preventing account cancellation)? How do TracFone brands other than Page Plus compare as far as cost?

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2 months 2 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #33302 by mmfacemm

joseph wrote: @mmfacemm How does Truphone's pricing stack up to Piranha? How lax is Truphone in not enforcing their non-usage policy?

Doesn't Freeup have a completely free plan that requires no customer usage/intervention?

Is your concern with Tello because they use the Sprint network or is it a competitive pricing concern?

Does H20's bucket for the $10 carryover after the 90 days (assuming there was usage preventing account cancellation)? How do TracFone brands other than Page Plus compare as far as cost?


For pricing does it really matter if it is just a glove box phone? 9c a minute for calls out and if you hardly use it the $15 starter credit will last years ($30 to start for the sim and $15 credit). They are as lax as they get for non use - I have gone for over a year without any issue.

No freeup requires monthly intervention.

Tello has a 90 day usage policy and I suspect they are fairly strict on that since they already tightened it from 180 to 90. If 90 days is okay with you then sure they are a good choice since it is cheap and costs hardly anything to start. Grab a referral if you use these as the credit can be used to buy more paygo funds.

Don't know about H20 carry over. Other tracfone brands have greater annual costs.
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