Over the last year or so I've experimented a little more with this, and had an experience that has guaranteed that I will be setting aside/recycling my ACR at the end of the battery's lifespan.
I rented a satellite phone, one of the Iridium models as i recall, and used it to help coordinate a group in Humboldt county, as there were multiple cars of people heading up there. As well as for the actual trail. We never got the group to regroup -- messages sent by other people's cell phones (mine is Tmobile, which is off topic but let's just say it's the ****iest of the providers when it comes to travel outside urban areas, it pretends to work up there every once in a while, but messages never got where they were supposed to go, at all) and texts from the sat phone were hugely delayed, and not time stamped, and real time communication didn't happen once. I even attempted to call someone. My boyfriend attempted to call me and then got a call from Tmobile explaining that we had no international calls on our cell plan (all sat phones have international numbers and you use the country code to call them) and a HUGE upcharge on our bill, just because he wanted to test it out. My general impression of functionality of the phone ranged from "pathetic" to "I should get a refund."
Last year I was sitting at home at my computer doing routine paperwork, and got an email. From some guy, claiming to be in some department of the Chilean government. He wanted to know if my ACR beacon was activated. SO I am suspicious, because -- whole list of reasons. Because phishing schemes don't generally come to me with info on whether or not i have a PLB, I responded and said, no, but I hope that if there is an active beacon that you send somebody out there instead of emailing ME.
Chain of emails later, I am on the phone with NOAA. They give me a phone number for some office of the Air Force. I talk to a guy for a while about the situation. I look at my beacon and realize the last sticker (you re-register every couple of years) has that private space program in the space where my name goes on it.
DING DING DING. You have a database issue mister!!!! Go rescue those people, dammit.
I got a new sticker with my name on it for my beacon after they fixed the error.
No longer have much faith in an entity that EMAILS to respond to an activated beacon. WTF x 1,000,000. REALLY?
I have an InReach Mini on order, not as a PLB, but as a backup to the high band radio I use while on trail crew. We log our route plans and work detail with the FS to coordinate all the work and get approval before going out there, check in every day with the radio, but there are dead spots out there, so being able to text another member of our crew and have them phone the FS keeps us in touch, and if we can't get through that way, and are overdue, they'll send someone out there to get us. We'll use the SOS feature if we have to, but still not going to 100% trust it, because I just never will. Too much inconsistency observed over the years in these things, and don't have faith in battery operated anything.