Choosing a provider

It is not wise to pony up any amount ahead of time for cell service, since cell companies, can, and do. change the rates, terms and Conditions and procedures at whim,while the consumer forfeits any monies already paid with no recourse to refunds, if the terms of service become untenable.

Are you talking about R+?


edit: Of course not. R+ was a Social Entertainment Network!

Fortunately these days there are many options and not many require you to deposit a lot. Just depends what you are after.

After having perused the forums, and sadly being a latecomer to Ringplus, and having lost a pile of money in deposits,
Yeah, Tello and other cell offerings are great if you are a square peg in a square hole. Step outside of the mainstream,.........
There is no cell telecom offering fair money paid for services delivered.....
I spent 20 years outside the mainstream, cruising on a sailboat with a budget of $50/ per month to maintain contacts with family
. I also had a Ham radio and single side-band which cost $2000 up front which enabled me to keep in contact with loved ones and safety contacts while traveling around the world. Best money I ever spent!
Now I pay up front for unreliable communications which can be cut off at any moment!
What is wrong with this picture
Now I throw away money to providers who promise all and do not deliver

You're very upset about this.

Do tell how much of a balance you had / have at Tello.

I can't imagine why anybody who might go 6 months without usage would maintain any kind of substantial balance there.

Yes ,
I am upset.
I have maintained.. a positive balance with Tello . so that when I finish my posting,
I will have cell service for the trip home,.
Cross country with two vehicles, two cats and a fifth wheel.

I committed to serve my country for 6 months, and now I find that I am left SOL by Tello. Now Tello tells me that my 6 month prepaid is no longer valid.
I am not anywhere near a sprint service area, I will hold true to my commitment to my country....., but I will be SOL for cell service when I finish my posting and travel home..

You can download the Tello app and make a phone call at the 3 month point.

How does Ham radio connect you to the PSTN?

The Tello app seems to be a nearly perfect solution for someone in similar circumstances, requiring only access to Wifi sometime within that 90 day period, and a few cents expenditure.
Thanks to those who recommended it, and tested & confirmed that it does record as usage on the account!