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PSA: Tello has (once again) changed their policy for how "Pay As You Go" credits expire

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According to these reddit posts (1 [reddit.com], 2 [reddit.com]), it's very unclear whether or not existing customers who purchased their "Pay As You Go" credit under a previous policy will also be impacted. If so, then all such owned credit will expire on 12/08/2019.

This page [reddit.com] shows a chronological list of the posts made on reddit by the user "tellomobile". I suppose these comments can be considered their official response. Unfortunately, these comments definitely indicate that existing accounts will NOT be grandfathered in to the policy that was in effect at the time of purchase but, rather, will expire in less than 3 months (unless $20+ is paid every 3 months to keep the account active).

Though Tello is much less likely to respond to comments outside of their own subreddit, here are some more discussions on this change:
A little history:
  • prior to 09/01/2017:
    • Archived: TOS [archive.org], FAQ [archive.org]
    • If you don't use the service for 6 months, the credit will expire and the Tello service will be disconnected. Otherwise, the balance and your number have unlimited validity as long as you call, text or surf the web.
  • between 09/01/2017 and 09/10/2019:
    • Archived: TOS [archive.org], FAQ [archive.org]
    • If you don't use the service for 3 months, the credit will expire and the Tello service will be disconnected. Otherwise, the balance and your number have unlimited validity as long as you call, text or surf the web.
  • as of 09/10/2019:
    • Current: TOS [tello.com], FAQ [tello.com]
    • If no order was placed in a period of 3 months, Pay As You Go credit will expire and the Tello service will be disconnected.
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#2
conflicting responses from Tello:
  • Thank you for choosing Tello!
    Actually we look into and the new policy will not affect you because you purchase before it came into effect. So you can still just do a call, text or use data and service will stay active.
  • Q: Will this apply to all customers or just new customers?
    A: Everybody is subject to this change, past, present & future customers.

Here are my top questions for a Tello agent (if one should visit this thread):
  1. If prepaid credit was added to an account before this new policy went into effect (ex: over a year ago), will it expire in December if the account is actively using its credit but has not purchased additional "topup" credit on or after 09/10/2019?
  2. If yes to #1, can the credit be transferred into another account? For example, if I have two (or more) accounts and only one is on a monthly plan.. can the prepay credits be consolidated into a single account?
  3. If yes to #2, is there any benefit to having prepaid credit in an account that has an unlimited postpay plan? Can the prepay credit be used as a preferred method of payment for the plan's monthly fee?
  4. Could the spend requirement be waived if an account has a balance of credit that is over a specified level?
  5. If yes to #1.. and no to #2 #3 and #4.. then can prepaid credits be refunded (ex: by check or paypal)?
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Last edited by cheapskate_on_ice September 28, 2019 at 04:51 PM.
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#3
Clearly tello is going belly-up. With T-Mobile swallowing Sprint, they have no way out. If I am tello's CEO I would sure do the same to lower reliabilities.
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#4
This was posted in the other Tello thread. It seems pretty clear it applies to everyone. The poster does not say the source though:

Quote from 221b
:

From them
Dear friends, sorry for all the confusion, we apologize for the way this was handled.
We just want to make everybody rest assured by saying that absolutely no customer was affected by this change by this date.
It's only fair to say that this will not affect active customers, that actually use and enjoy our service, from now on.
Please find the answers for some of the above-mentioned questions here:
- Will this apply to all customers or just new customers? Everybody is subject to this change, past, present & future customers
- When will the 90 days begin? We start counting from your last *order* with us, or 10 Sept, whichever was last
- Will you start checking 90 days after the policy was enacted ie 8th Dec? We will not expire any numbers until 8 December
- Do we have to refill with another $20 every 90 days? Yes. I'm sure you all can see that it would be easier & more affordable to get a plan from us, they start at $5/mo - just sayin'.
- Are you in trouble financially? When are you going out of business? We're not! We're actually growing at a nice pace, thank you! That is why we could afford all the wonderful changes we did this year: massive price drop, new plans, new lowered international calling rates and so on. We're constantly working on improving the service and you will see new changes brought to the Pay as you Go product at the end of the year (or early 2020).
- When you send out an email to warn of expiration how long after that email will we have until the Paygo credit is lost? There is no need to worry about this. When a number is due to expire, we'll send out a bunch of notifications, smoke signals and what not to assure you have been informed and have plenty of time to do something about it.
- Do I get a refund? Yes. Although every account is unique, anything that was paid for will be refunded, no questions asked.
- If you will get a refund will you be losing your phone number? Yes. You'll be asked if you want to port out the number and, if not, your number will be expired, but we are not wiping any numbers off without people knowing about it.
- If I have an active Tello plan, does my Paygo credit expire? No, that means you are still an active customer and your credit is safe.
- Using remaining PAYG credit to swap to a plan? This is a great suggestion, but it will depend on each case. We still have the most competitive phone plans out there, so these are a great solution for keeping your number and enjoying all of the benefits we have to offer. You'll still have to contact our Customer Service and have us look into your account to see what can be done.

Last, but not least, we want to thank you for your patience and for keeping your faith in us, even when things get blurry. We're here to create and maintain a quality service, that makes sense and adapts to our customers, that will never change!
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#5
Its hard to find their Pay2Go rates. They hide that now.
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#6
^ that long reply was from a Tello rep https://www.howardforums.com/show...tion/page6 see post #83. Tello is quickly becoming too much trouble.
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#7
I hope they dont collapse. I love their $10/2gb plan with unlimited text. It farking rocks.
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Quote from nickn8911
:
I hope they dont collapse. I love their $10/2gb plan with unlimited text. It farking rocks.
Quote from nickn8911
:
I hope they dont collapse. I love their $10/2gb plan with unlimited text. It farking rocks.
you don't use call? is it just for data? if yes, then check connect call for truly unlimited sprint (if you qualify for low income - i guess $50k for an year) at $12 pm - no capping on their hotspot device costing another $100.
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#9
Quote from holly_molly
:
you don't use call? is it just for data? if yes, then check connect call for truly unlimited sprint (if you qualify for low income - i guess $50k for an year) at $12 pm - no capping on their hotspot device costing another $100.
I make more than $50k/yr

no calls. I use it on a phone for data and texts only. tello allows hotspot, so it provides wifi to my car tablet.. and the texts are great because i have a script that tells me where the car is via GPS if i send it a text. its like free low jack that works even if data runs out.
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I was told math wasn't involved. I'm hoping tello referral dollars will milk my top off with the data only plan for 500Mb, no taxes or fees using tello bucks.

from https://www.nthcircle.com/forum/t...0?start=80 quote:
I suppose the lowest cost a user could now is $20 per year. By purchasing a $5 plan for 1 month every 90 days. The paying for the use from the pay as you go balance the other 2 months.
Jan 1 - $5 plan
April 1 - $5 plan
July 1 - $5 plan
Oct 1 - $5 plan
All other months pay for low use from existing balance
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#11
never mind
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Quote from monkeybiz
:
I was told math wasn't involved. I'm hoping tello referral dollars will milk my top off with the data only plan for 500Mb, no taxes or fees using tello bucks.

from https://www.nthcircle.com/forum/t...0?start=80 quote:
I suppose the lowest cost a user could now is $20 per year. By purchasing a $5 plan for 1 month every 90 days. The paying for the use from the pay as you go balance the other 2 months.
Jan 1 - $5 plan
April 1 - $5 plan
July 1 - $5 plan
Oct 1 - $5 plan
All other months pay for low use from existing balance
I think that's $5 every month.

I think they should do away with their PayGo altogether. Meaning no new PayGo accounts. And something like give people 30 days to port out & refund all balances once ports are completed or lines canceled.

Then if they can make money on their monthly plans continue on with them.

But reverse these onerous, bitter, ugly & disastrous blows to word of mouth & PR, PayGo changes. Which probably ime will kill their whole MVNO.
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Quote from zapjb
:
I think that's $5 every month.

I think they should do away with their PayGo altogether. Meaning no new PayGo accounts. And something like give people 30 days to port out & refund all balances once ports are completed or lines canceled.

Then if they can make money on their monthly plans continue on with them.

But reverse these onerous, bitter, ugly & disastrous blows to word of mouth & PR, PayGo changes. Which probably ime will kill their whole MVNO.
I should have seen this coming after Ringplus. The paygo parking was too good to last but I'm not sure it's settled yet and wonder how many will just give up on them. People smarter than I are just as befuddled and pessimistic.

I think the ^$5/mo plan can be cancelled after a month to satisfy the 90 purchase. So it's tricky, just set reminders to renew and cancel plan every 90 days. Use your paygo balance towards text and calls. If they are going to play game with the terms we can try to game them back. Not feeling the tello love like before.
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#14
If all stays the same. I still think their low Data usage monthly plans are outstanding if they fit ones usage.
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#15
I just ported all 4 of my Tello numbers for the Cricket Deals. I wasn't using them so now I have 3 Moto G7 Powers and 1 LG Stylo 5 for $100 with unlimited everything for a month. If another deal pops up, I will be porting these numbers again. Tello had good international rates but these new rules are hard to like.
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