Tello to expire numbers on August 14

email from (got the same message for both of my tello lines):

it was a nice ride...

got the same. have 3 phones on the paygo. 1 in an emergency kit, 2 in car consoles. thats an extra $15 a month i dont need/want to spend every month for just in case. actually used one of the console ones about a month ago to report a power outage while my mainline was being used as a back up for a zoom meeting that was cut off due to said outage.

I received the same thing on a bunch of phones.

Very disappointing. These weren't the terms I agreed to when I originally purchased the Tello PAYGO. Originally, the only requirement was at least some use once every 6 months.

And when they finally implement this change, they only give us a week notice. I'll be letting all but one line expire.

I was waiting for this notice before purchasing a plan with Tello Dollars ($5/month).

I will cancel the plan from auto-renewing then wait for the next expiration notice before purchasing again.

Fortunately, I have enough Tello Dollars to keep this line active for a while.

I didn't get a notice but I actually placed an order on June 19. Assuming the notice is auto-generated, I should be scheduled to get it on August 12. I'll watch for it.

90 days from June 19 is September 17.

I guess this is the shoe dropping we've all been expecting.

Looking at this objectively, it's hard for me to complain (for my personal situation). I've gotten many months of backup service on a couple of lines for very low cost, and I have no doubt Tello's lost money on the couple of pure PayGo lines I still have. (We also have 2 Tello monthly plan lines, and those will stay for now-- one long-term, one short-term.) I haven't received the email yet, but expect I will in the next few days.

I do have over $20 balances in each of 2 lines, and need to keep one of the numbers live somewhere. Although I hate to walk away from the balances, it might be the best choice to do so. I don't know if I want to do the 90-day dance for any significant period, since I'm likely to miss a deadline sooner or later.

The cheapest options elsewhere I'm aware of:

FreedomPop/Red Pocket's Sprint-network $3/month plan. (Or $30/year through Ebay.)

UltraMobile's new $3/month plan. (With a $10 SIM cost.)

H20 and PagePlus paygo plans-- but I think these don't end up any cheaper than the FP or Ultra monthly plans.

Piranha or Truphone, with varying issues due to being 'foreign' SIMs, and some setup costs. (I think Piranha is cheaper to set up now.)

At $4-$6 month, there are a number of possibilities, but mostly without Tello's good support structure.

I think I remember your username from the good old R+ days! Do I remember correctly?

Same here! After R+ folded up, in 2/2017 I bought $5 and used the $5 'new customer' credit on both of my lines. Those $10 lasted me until now!

I'm familiar with TruPhone and planned on using it if FreeUp stops the Free plan. What's the deal with Piranha? Cheaper to set up, more expensive afterwards? How about reliability? I recall hearing TruPhone's voicemail can't be turned off. Any problems for Piranha?

I've only read about Piranha-- but I think there are a couple of users on this forum. The SIM is free right now, and initial top-up requirements are low. I believe the per-unit charges are reasonable for an ultra-low use application.

The biggest catch I'm aware of: the default numbers are UK numbers. A US number costs $0.70/month, and may be limited to only certain area codes.

Here's a discussion thread: 2018 Piranha Mobile Thread 2018
That thread is still active. Rates and changed (gone down) through the period the thread has been active, and the cost for a US number has gone up The later posts in the thread about these costs seem accurate.


Haven't gotten the email from Tello, yet. Have 2 lines that qualify for the death knell.

Re the pageplus option, I used to buy the $10 refill (good for 120 days) for $8-$9.xx so a year was in the high $20 range for VZW network but the best I could do / find on the most recent refill was $10 even (pinzoo).

I actually looked into Pirhana a while back and rejected them. I had wanted to get something that would give me a UK number based in Manchester. Unfortunately, Pirhana's default number are based in the Channel Islands, and the calls actually cost more.

I was hoping to get my niece who had been living in London and has plans to attend grad school at Oxford to get me a UK number on a Truphone SIM this summer, and then bring it to me on a visit to the U.S. But unfortunately, COVID.

I've wondered if the limited locations for phone #'s at Piranha are part of the business plan: Incoming calls are free to the Piranha user, but not necessarily to the caller, or to the telecom network in the middle.. If Piranha has a deal with the local rate center provider, perhaps they get a kickback on those charges to callers.

Yes, that's a big gotcha. If I give a UK number to the few people in the US that call me to call me, I think they will flip out! And they may not call me at all because, as you mentioned, UK calling rates are a different animal than domestic call rates.


I've got Piranha Mobile and gave up the U.S. number when they were no longer free.

I now have a U.K. number, instead.

I don't use it, much, but it's been trouble free so far.

So far, no email and my last order date is 05/2019, so well over due. Cant complain though. If it goes, let it RIP! For now, it works. Best of luck to all.

No email for me either.

Yes, I was on the R+ discourse, then R+ social after that - same avatar also. Registered here a few years back when R+ was ending their service.

I think I got a notice for every Tello phone I have except for the one I actually use more regularly, but my last order shows March 2019, so it's should be due as well (I also checked junk mail). Ironic - it's the only one I don't mind adding to the balance.

I wonder if part of the selection process involves prior usage.