FreedomPop’s Free Wireless Would Be Cool If It Wasn’t So Shady

Is FreedomPop worth considering? Sure, but only if you're keenly aware of the service's hidden costs and gotchas.

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Jared Newman / TIME.com

FreedomPop, a company that sells wireless hotspot devices with free mobile data, is planning to offer a full-blown cellular service with free voice calls and text messages this summer.

According to AllThingsD, FreedomPop has been amassing a pile of refurbished phones that once ran on Sprint’s 4G WiMax network, such as the Samsung Galaxy SII and HTC Evo 4G, and plans to sell them for under $200 with no contract. In exchange, FreedomPop subscribers will get 500 MB of data and 200 voice minutes (via VoIP) per month, plus unlimited text messages.

FreedomPop hopes to make money by selling add-on services, such as unlimited calling, additional data and faster connection speeds. As AllThingsD’s Ina Fried points out, it’s a strategy reminiscent of dotcom-era companies like NetZero, which gave away basic dial-up Internet service for free. (Incidentally, NetZero rose from the dead recently with free wireless Internet service, but it only lasts for a year before customers must pay for subscriptions.)

Is FreedomPop worth considering? Sure, but only if you’re keenly aware of its hidden costs and gotchas. And from what I’ve seen of FreedomPop’s existing free data service, the company seems to try its best to keep potential users in the dark.

Here are a couple things to know about FreedomPop’s free data service, which is already available today:

  • If you use less than 5 MB of data in a given month, you get charged a $0.99 “Active Status fee.”
  • By default, when you reach your final 100 MB of data in a given month, FreedomPop automatically charges $10 to fill your plan back up. To avoid the automatic charge, you must change your billing settings on FreedomPop’s website.

Finding the above stipulations on FreedomPop’s website isn’t easy. There’s no mention of them on the home page, nor on the terms of service page that’s linked from the home page. You’ll only find them on a separate “Service Plan, Equipment, and Payment Terms” page, which is linked from the main terms of service. Even then, the part about extra fees is buried beneath six other sections of legalese.

FreedomPop does give subscribers a chance to opt out of automatic refills on the final service activation page, but the wording (“To ensure uninterrupted service, top up my freedompop account”) is vague. It doesn’t say that the charge is recurring, nor does it mention the 100-MB trigger.

freedompopnotfree

Jared Newman / TIME.com

FreedomPop also peppers users with additional offers during the sign-up process, while engaging in some classic sneakiness: On one page, an offer for 2 GB per month is advertised as “100% FREE” and selected by default, while the fine print mentions that a charge of $17.99 kicks in after one month. Another page offers faster speeds for $3.99 per month with a big green “Get Offer!” button, while the option to pass is presented in tiny text.

Other aspects of FreedomPop’s service are hidden from prospective customers as well. You can’t find out the cost of the devices without going through the sign-up process, during which you must enter an e-mail address and mailing address. And while FreedomPop’s home page advertises 4G speeds, users must pay $3.99 per month extra to guarantee the full speed that the network allows.

The fees themselves don’t bother me too much. They’re no worse than the below-the-line fees and value-added services of major wireless carriers, and if you’re mindful of FreedomPop’s policies, it’s certainly possible to get free data. I’ve used the service in Cincinnati, and it works.

I just wish that FreedomPop wasn’t so sketchy in the way it presents its services. It’d be easier to get excited about the upcoming free wireless service if the company was more transparent. Instead, I’m wondering what other new ways FreedomPop will invent to extract money from unsuspecting users.

UPDATE: FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols wrote in to address a couple of the points above. First, he pointed out that users receive an e-mail alerting them to the $10 automatic top-up after they sign up. FreedomPop began sending those e-mails to new users about 2.5 months ago. Second, starting last month, FreedomPop began waiving the $0.99 “Active Status fee” for new subscribers, and will eventually be doing so for existing users. It seems FreedomPop is working to address criticisms, but the company still has more work to do on being up front about the cost of the hardware and other fees before people sign up, not after they’ve handed over personal details and/or payment info. That issue, combined with the additional services that FreedomPop tries to sneak past new users, is what ultimately leaves a sour taste, not the fees themselves.

238 comments
mralaska
mralaska

I think they must crunch numbers and balance revenue lost to complaints against revenue gained by sneak attacks. Every time they remove a horrible feature they replace it with another. The latest that I was made aware of was the recent quiet insertion of a voice mail service that answered on the third ring and the only way to retrieve the message left was to subscribe to the service for 3.99. Luckily enough people complained that they added an option in the settings to turn it off but you still had to log into the website and find the place to do so. I would imagine new accounts still have it turned on by default, though, just as "top-off" is turned on by default.


I cautiously recommend this service to some people with the caveat that they stay on their toes, even reading one of their emails can sign you up for services without confirmation if you accidentally activate a link. When that happened to me I found myself enrolled in a free trial of additional data and customer service told me I had to call again the last day of the trial period before the system would allow them to cancel. It took arguments and escalation to resolve. I rarely use it for phone but the data is nice to have on hand if it is needed. With Freedompop you either need to buy from them or pay to register your own device so it really is not free even if you sidestep all the "offers".


For most light users I am more inclined to recommend Truphone. With free incoming calls/texts and roaming on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks Truphone has a few obnoxious quirks but none of the shadiness and they are actually cheaper than Freedompop in the long run if you answer calls more than you dial out and rarely need much data. Truphone works on any GSM phone and half the initial $30 for the card is awarded as a credit that never expires. Using Truphone with Google Voice and taking advantage of WIFI whenever possible you can stretch those minutes for years before you have to buy any more. With light use you can easily stretch a penny to last a few months. The only thing you lose compared to Freedompop is the data which is not cheap at 9 cents per meg.

hwmonkey
hwmonkey

Not easy to navigate, but you can get free service.


We are in an area where cell is spotty. Have had the phone since October. At home or work, flip into airplane mode, then turn on WiFi. On the road, turn off airplane mode. Don't watch video, post pics if not wifi, and data usage is fine. Add a texting app on the phone rather than use their built in.

For a minimal amount of headache, one can save $500/year ($40/month plan). In our situation, that is worth it.

ksa_real
ksa_real

I'm going to switch back to TMobile. I have FreedomPop Nexus 5 with free one year subscription (ends up in May) and live in San Francisco bay area. So far very bad experience and issue always on FreedomPop side.

Let me enumerate issues:

1. FreedomPop has custom android ROM one these Nexuses. In the summer phones started to download update from Google every few days and try to update. As the build is custom the update failed.  So my free 500mb got used in few days and then service just stopped. I tried to contact freedom pop support, check forums etc. No solution for at least 1.5m. I've lost patience and flashed Google stock rom and added Freedom pop messaging app on top. This fixed the issues for some time.


2. In November phone started to eat quote and ate 500mb and some money present on the account. I couldn't make calls anymore.

3. In December quote renewed and was eaten again. I still have $1.5 on account and 80M on account but as far as tech support told me, account is suspended. As there is too low fund (what?!). It looks like effectively these $2 were effectively silently taken from me forever (never can be used).

4. Tech support close to non-existent. I've spent 25 minutes on the phone to speak to tech representative. He listen to me and decided to redirect to another representative. Next 30 minutes wait ... (listen to classical music). I had to explain the issue again and then he told me account is suspended. Why first guy didn't told me that? Why FreedomPop site doesn't tell me my account is suspended? I reasonably thought it should be enabled (and still think).

5. At the moment I got stuck with the service where I can not do calls when connected to wifi. I.e. I'm forced to use mobile network, and due to that I run out of traffic. And freedom pop wants me to top up the account


SteveCh
SteveCh

This is absolutely the worst company I have ever dealt with!  They screwed up the shipment and say it's not their fault, but as of 45 days after I ordered nothing has been delivered, they will not contact you, I have spent 4 hours on the phone trying to get what I have paid for.  They have billed me twice for something they have not delivered and won't do anything to correct their mistake.  Their call center does nothing but repeat over and over that they "understand".  I have asked repeatedly to just refund my money so I can get them out of my life, but I'm still on hold with nothing being done.

JoJJJJ
JoJJJJ

Freedompop has been handling their business with me in a chaotic, dishonest and unprofessional manner. I used them as an internet provider since 2013 until this month. On 11/6/2015 the service stopped working due to a network upgrade and I decided to discontinue the service. I called and emailed Freedomopop multiple times, I cancelled my service and still I was "upgraded" and charged an arbitrary amount without my consent.  I disputed the unauthorized charge from Freeedompop and won and now I am dealing with refusing the shipment that I did not consent to. This is creating a lot of inconvenience and lost time for me. There is no way to cancel an account online and the customer service stated the service was cancelled but it has not happened yet. There is also no way to delete my credit card information in the online account which I think is abusive on the part of Freedompop as the customer has limited freedom to cancel the service completely if he/she chooses to. I believe potential customers should be aware of the issues they may encounter with Freedompop.

tiltowwhirl
tiltowwhirl

Dealing with this company has been a nightmare. I thought I would be clever and use their wireless internet service for my home computer instead of my cable internet. Turned out I used data so fast that it would have cost me more, so I decided to stick with my cable service. Then I tried to cancel my account. I waiting 30 minutes to talk to the customer service rep who barely spoke english, who said he was downgrading me to the free service but refused to cancel my account. I'm thinking I may end up cancelling my debit card to keep them from charging me.

DavidBG
DavidBG

FreedomPop... how can I count the ways in which it is the most pathetic piece of crap I ever wasted my money on? Don't waste your hard earned cash on this company's "product" and/or "service". Really.


No, seriously, don't even think about it. They scam you for a monthly fee to have service that is crappy, to be generous. The "free" service is perfect for people who don't use their phone to make or receive calls, and as long as you don't mind the cellular service not working most of the time, you might want it to check your email from 1998. If you really need a phone that only serves as a tablet that works when you have WiFi, then FreedomPop still isn't a good choice, because you can get a really cheap piece of junk from Ali Express, that works better, for $40.

TimothySummerville
TimothySummerville

This Company is Soooooooo Not customers service I've had this wifi device I've had paying 21.00 a Month only TRIED!!!!once to use it because I've got wifi at home so I travel to Alabama to visit family and did all what I was Told and Still DO NOT HAVE. WIFI BEEN PAYING FOR THIS DEVICE FOR 4 months STILL CAINT USE IT . CRAPPY SERVICE I WANT ALL 4 Months of my MONEY REFUNDED BACK TO ME !!! ASAP THIS IS THE WORST EXPERIENCE IVE EVER HAD PERIOD FROM A COMPANY..

WendyMaison
WendyMaison

@TimothySummerville Good luck getting your money back..They did the same thing to me..I paid 19.98 for the phone but they billed my debt card 39.98 and then all the other fees..I shipped the phone back with insurance on my dime and still didn't get anything else refunded to me..This company will be turned into the bbb from me and I'm sure other's..It's a total rip off. I didn't have service on the phone most of the time even if I was standing next to a tower..It was a total waste of my money and time..and I want the rest of my money back aswell..but I doubt we will ever see a penny..So I will continue to spread the news on this phony phone service..NOTHING IS FREE! That should have been my red flag..

SteveCan
SteveCan

This is the worst company in the world that I have ever dealt with. I bought a phone from them on May 19th 2015 and as of Oct 2015 I still don't have a working phone. I have been on the phone with customer support over 20 times and sent well over 75 emails. After 3 months they finally admitted that they sent me the wrong phone and I sent it back and still have not received a replacement or a refund. I receive no reply for my inquires. I have reported them to BBB and still nothing. I guess I'll have to sue them.

mbp
mbp

@SteveCan  Hi SteveCan, would you share how to reach customer service? I haven't been able to get a decent connection since I got the phone and want to know my options and costs for cancelling/downgrading but that is not posted anywhere. Unable to reach them by phone, I just keep getting sent to an automaton. Thanks.

miche1ca
miche1ca

@SteveCan I hope you are able to get a replacement or a refund. I purchased an LG Viper from them and the voice is so garbled it's unusable.  I never was able to find anyone to help so the phone now sits on my desk as a paperweight basically and a reminder of "caveat emptor." 

BilyJohnRodriguez
BilyJohnRodriguez

I adopted this company as my internet. Since I'm not in college anymore I don't  find useful pay 60$ or more a month for internet. Is sad many people get scared of Freedom Pop ways. I mean you will save anyways unless you have six tablets going on youtube all day every day.

CherylThrash
CherylThrash

Don't trust this deceptive business! I ordered a "hot spot" device from Freedom Pop last year. The instructions were totally inadequate and the website isn't helpful at all. Finding a customer service number on the website took quite a lot of digging. I was never able to use the hot spot. For the past 18 months I've been consistently overcharged for services I never signed up for.  I was being charged for "premiere service" which is apparently a "Value Added Service" which is not disclosed as part of my "free" plan. This charge was carefully hidden under another tab marked "services." I've been overcharged a total of $167 but they are only willing to refund $20.

ChanceJoseph
ChanceJoseph

@CherylThrash actually if you read the fine print it is very clearly stated that you will pay 6 dollars a month for premiere or premium

JohnLevitt
JohnLevitt

Well cell phone companies like any company in US is full of corruption and ripping off the customer. 

wurzo
wurzo

Complaints galore about customer service, but how does the Freedompop software/app actually work?

Say I'm not very diligent about adjusting certain settings -- 'User Error' is my middle name -- One day I come home and fire up my smartphone/tablet -- I connect to my own home Wifi network -- I watch numerous Youtube vids gobbling up tons of mbs in data -- it's goes way over 500mbs -- The next day I make a Google Voice call to my mother, also using my Home Wifi Connection, Mom and me talk for well over 2 hours.  

Question: Will I suddenly find that I've been charged $10 and/or cut off for going over the Freedompop free data cap, and will I now have only 80 minutes remaining on my free Talk plan while I was using my already paid-for Home Wifi?

Does Freedompop take 'master control' over Wifi? Does it continue to deduct minutes/data, no matter what Wifi signal I'm connected to?

Is there any ability to turn off Freedompop, to stop it from consuming the free data/minutes? Can my device switch between Freedompop service and Home Wifi?

For example with traditional cellular contracts, I can turn it off and go Wifi Only while at home, saving cellular data and avoiding any overage. Is this also true with Freedompop or not?

If I use up ALL of my free data/talk/text allowed per month, will Freedompop block my device from connecting to any Wifi, even in my own home? Can Freedompop render my Wifi enabled device useless for a period of time?

Would Scratch Wireless be a better option for my frugal mobile use?

Sorry for my lack of know-how and techy words.

tiltowwhirl
tiltowwhirl

@wurzo  Freedompop is a nightmare and a ripoff... stay away if you value your sanity.

SGBJR
SGBJR

This company as the ability to be great if they change the way they do business. Number one, they must stop sending phones out to customers via Smart Ship. Smart Ship allows the USPS to drop a package at your door without you signing for it. That means if you live in a apartment building, anyone can take your package right from in front of your door. I am dealing with a situation right now like this and each time I call back about a refund they keep telling me they need to escalate the shipment with the shipping department. All products that cannot fit inside a mail box should be sent either FedEx or UPS signature required. The customer does not seem to have any rights when it comes to resolving problems with this company. Maybe their under staffed. Until they resolve my issue with them, I will continue to pursue it even if it means filing a law suit because as of now I am out of $99.99 and no phone to show for it. If they solve my issue soon, I'll be more than happy to give them a better review because one thing they do have in their favor is the cost of cell phone plans and the cost of wifi plans.

HollyLuevano
HollyLuevano

@SGBJR I had this problem over the Holidays. I ordered a phone from them just before christmas. I wasn't expecting it to arrive so soon. It was delivered to my mailbox two days later when I was out of town. MY mail lady said she put it in my box but I never got it. While I was out of town I started receiving emails that I had gone over my data and $10 was added to my account.This was my first clue something was wrong. I arrived back home the next day and went to the web site and my account showed I went over the data. How could this happen when I haven't yet received the phone? I had a hard time finding a phone number for them. It's not on their website. They want you to contact them by email, which took them days to respond. I was finally able to find a phone number for them just by googling freedom pop phone number. I waited for like 20 minutes for someone to come on the phone. They cancelled my account for me so I wouldn't continue to be charged, and they credited me back the $10 in overage charges. They then said I should wait for an email from their shipping department that would give me a choice of either having them ship me a new phone or refund my money for the phone. That email never came. A week later I called back and they said That someone was using the phone. I again assured them that it wasn't me and ask if they could trace it and have them arrested. They put me on hold and when they came back said that they we going to escalate it and I should get an email within 24 hours from their shipping department. I told them that I needed to get a replacement phone asp and that I couldn't even buy another one  from their site. They said that after I received my credit I would be able to order another phone online but I would have to use a different email address. I thought this was ridiculous and started searching for other prepaid phone companies. I could not find any that offered a better deal. I went back to their site and use a different email address and was able to order another phone. I am not sure How I feel about this yet. I will be watching my mailbox like a hawk to make sure no one steals this one. I got a good deal on the phone. I bought the cheapest one $40 because I wanted to make sure I liked the service before I invested in an expensive phone. So I am only out $40 bucks not hundreds if I had bought a more expensive one. I know they spent money sending me the phone. My mail lady said she put it in the box. Someone had to have stolen it out of my mailbox. It's not freedom pop's fault but I don't really think it's mine either. I agree that it would save a lot of hassles if they would require a signature for delivery or at least allow you to choose it as an option when you order a phone. Also they shipped the phone already activated so in my case the thief was able to use it and use up my data. The new phone I ordered, I didn't chose a phone number for it  this time and am hoping that they don't activate it until after I receive it. My biggest disappoint is the way they handled the issue. I felt that they should have offered to order me another phone right away even if I had to pay for it up front and wait for a refund for the other one. Also I think that they are just stinging me along and I will probably never receive an email from them and they hope I just forget about it. I wish they would find a better way to handle this.


LisaCovington
LisaCovington

I got this service almost a month ago. First they sent me a charger that doesn't work, so I had to buy a new one, then I put in a customer service ticket because the phone won't hold a charge. After 2 weeks I got an email asking me if my issue was resolved. 2-3 days ago I told them no it was not and that a rep on the phone told me I was getting a new battery, but that hasn't happened. No response to me email as of yet. I am frustrated to say the least. The voice part of my service is sketchy at best, even though my husband uses the sprint network on Virgin mobile in the same area as I do and his service is fine. I constantly miss text messages as well. The texts show up on my lock screen and when I open the app, there is no text to be found.

franmarta
franmarta

I just cancelled my Freedompop internet.  The service was pretty bad and then I got my first credit card charge, about 3 times what I expected.  When they finally responded to the email I sent asking about the charge and cancelling, they sent a series of emails saying that they were cancelling my premium service, switching to free service, cancelling service, refunding my money, and one email asking how I would rate the customer service I got from "Latonda".  It later dawned on my how sneaky these guys are, they know that a lot of their customer would be reluctant to complain if they think that they're complaining about the service they got from a black women. These guys raise sleeziness to a whole new level.

cny730
cny730

@franmarta It certainly seems like this is a very shady company, but franmarta, I suspect your reluctance to complain about service from a black woman (and your assumption that an ethnic sounding name = black person) says a lot more about you than the company.  I'm a black male and have experience in customer service... unfortunately, due to historical biases and circumstances, black people are disproportionately found working crappy customer service jobs. That's all that is. 

rsibincic@gmail.com
rsibincic@gmail.com

Infomercial on TV right now says "never see a cellular bill again - ever" & "no fine print".

tonywayne1980
tonywayne1980

I agree with this article. However, it fails to mention how pour Freedompop is with Technical support and customer service. I agree with Tntazmania (Richie). My services as of late never works. If I do finally get connectivity, it only last 20 to 30 minutes. Freedompop is very poor with technical support and they use loop holes to trick you out of money. I have been a customer with Freedompop almost a year. When I used Freedompop just to access email... the services worked fine. However, as soon as I relocated and had to depend on Freedompop more frequently for internet service, the internet provider became very undependable. Services were inactivated every other week. Tech support became more out of reach the longer you have the service. It soon got to the point whereas the only way I could reach someone was to submit an email. Freedompop customer service is so poor that the longest wait time I had before someone actually got back to me was 2 months. When I was finally reached someone, not only was my situation not resolved but the credit I had on the account that I tried to get refunded back to me disappeared and I received an email stating credit on the account expires after 90 days. When I explain to Freedompop that this does not apply to me because they took 2 months to respond back to me, I get no response in return.


Its time to throw in the towel and find a new provider. I guess you get what you pay for. lol

KelleyBrown
KelleyBrown

When you get free, read the fine print. DUHHHH

senema72
senema72

I learned it the hard way! They shipped me the device after a month long waiting period. Then one night when I put Elmo vids for my son, I got a message telling me my account was suspended. The next morning I notice while checking my account they charged me five time 10 dollars and overdrafted my checking. Then each overdraft was a 39 dollars fee from my pnc account.

When I called to cancel they tried to convince me to change data plan even though my last transaction was a 29 dollars upgrade!

I would not advise anybody to pick that service unless you are able to check your gigs every hour to make sure you don't go above your limit because if you reach that limit they will keep charging your account to keep your service automatically!

tazman63
tazman63

Never use your debit card from your checking account period. I get a pre paid card for things like this so they can't take what's not there

Tntazmania
Tntazmania

My experience so far with tech support is laughable! The system that is set up for troubleshooting or getting an issue resolved is NON-existent! I understand its beta but the money we pay is not monopoly money, its REAL cash. So I would expect by this time that support should be real. I paid for the yearly unlimited plan 29 days ago and still don't have a working phone. I can call out but can't receive calls. Its not a handset issue or a signal issue or a PRL issue. Callers get a message that my phone has been disconnected and is no longer in service. I have opened multiple tickets thru support, sales, the forums, Admins, and even Freedom Pop's Facebook. Tech support has no tier support system or anything for escalation. You just get reassigned to different techs and it starts all over again with same canned responses"reset your phone, re-download software, do a PRL update lol What a group! The latest response from tech support is the following, and he has no clue. But at least he didn't say do a PRL update or as some have suggested "USE GOOGLE VOICE for calling instead of using the freedompop app"




"Dear Richie, 
Good Afternoon, Thank you for contacting FreedomPop's email support team. 

After reviewing your account I see it is cancelled to activate the account you have to add a new data plan.

If you have any additional questions, comments or concerns, I am happy to further assist you. Have a great day!

Thank you for your support!

Your Personal FreedomPop Support Agent,
DanielD""


And so the saga continues..This new tech evidently doesn't even have the ability to see or read all the past notes on my ticket over the month or is just clueless.

tazman63
tazman63

even if they sold new phones they should not activate them when they ship them the phone should not be activated until the client receives it and they call and have it activated

GISGuy
GISGuy

If something sounds too good to be true...it usually is.  How does a business make a profit on not charging for service...common sense tells you there has to be hidden fees.  They are counting on the few who follow every detail to keep there service free, but they know the masses will gladly pay the hidden fees, especially if it comes out being cheaper than being gouged the other big cell phone companies in the long run.

geekbrained
geekbrained

FreedomPop also has a few more little hidden things too Like as of October of 2014 maybe even September of 2014 FreedomPop if you have a credit card attached to your account which you do not need one if you have the free app service which give you 200 minutes and 500 texts to use with your existing cell phone service. but if you used the BYOD or bought a device from them on your monthly billing cycle date they actually suspended your account whether or not your have the funds in the credit card to pay for the services if you upgraded from the free plan or added services. though the suspension is temporary and in most cases will be automatically restored with in 24 hours you can also restore the service yourself by readding your credit card to your account. BE AWARE that if you have bought a device from them or a device branded to them this will affect you whether or not you are paying for upgraded services or even if your are using their free plan. This temporary suspension every month is due to what they call a billing error. Also if you happen to order a device from them you are supposed to get a free month of service for signing up with them. but when i were to get my second device from them which was a Galaxy S3 which was actually ordered in late august it happended to be on backorder they never notified me that it was on back order and it wasn't until 3 weeks later when i still haven't received the device i was finally able to talk to some one at freedompop. i actually didnt get the device for 33 days after i ordered it. but here is the biggest catch of all. FreedomPop actually starts billing you for thier service the day after you sign up for your service or order your phone whether or not you have possession of the device your first billing cycle is 45 days and it starts the day after you get the phone during this first 45 days your service should be free and in most cases it is in my case my device was on back order for a month and my free month was only 11 days.i called them up and they would assure me that my account would not get suspended because i wasnt going to pay for a month of service and that they would extend my free month for another 30 days. the 12 day of service my account did infact get suspended simply because i would call my bank to block the charge from freedompop and they did and the and i would actually cancel both my devices at the time. but keeping the phone and it being able to be used on any mvno using the sprint network i was calling in to see if i can activate that phone on another carrier but then i would run into yet another problem and that was that my devices were mnvo locked which means only a rep from freedompop can release the devices ESN back into the sprint network pool to be able to activate it on another carrier. so i would call back and i would actually get ahold of the same supervisor who had promised me that my account wouldnt get suspeneded and he though he sounds like a girl would actually reactivate both my devices with out a credit card which the previous agents refused to so and as a little way of saying sorry would give me the free month i was promise as well as an additional free month for my first device. but one of the reasons i would cancel both devices is that earlier month when my first device would reach its billing cycle renewal date i was affected by this billing error for the first time. though not at all my fault my account was suspended and i would have the addional addon of the rollover of my unused data which at the time was an additional 3.49 a month. but the policies of freedompop are that if your account is suspended for any reason you forfiet your unused rollover data, but this was not at all my fault and until now they have not returned my unused data but they did refund my monthly fee of 23.49 when i would cancel my service which included my 2gb data and the rollover do if you plan on getting the roll over do not get it because you will be paying for something you arent getting i've made the complaint to the supervisors but nothing was ever done to fix it and until now the billing error still happens because as of only 6 days ago both my devices were once again suspended now for the 6th time. even if you have the free services which i actually downgraded to see if the billing error will affect that to it affects free services only if you have a credit card linked to your account.

geekbrained
geekbrained

One last tidbit of freedompop catches and this is regarding only internet devices that use 4G WIMAX and the majority of the freedompop hotspots with the exception of the mifi 500 and the u770 are the only ones not affected by this situation as well as non of the phone are either since they all are LTE based not WIMAX. As of October of 2013 which is a month after freedompop launched thier services and they would know this was going to happened sprint would announce that all WIMAX devices will no longer be sold and will lose thier 4g access by October of 2015 once those new devices with a 2 year contract are up freedompop knew this was going to happen and even though they offered 4G WIMAX service at first no user will actually get 4G Services untill they started rolling out the 4GLTE devices and inorder to use thier services you had to pay to enable 3g even for the free amount of 500gb though it was only 3.99 still it would not be free. FreedomPop never admitted to placing a block on the sprint network for all 4g wimax devices but a block actually does exist with thier sprint mvno id which was confirmed by members of sprint's mvno development team. so if you have a wimax device or planning on getting one be aware you are going to have to pay atleast 3.99 for use of the 3g access. 4glte devices are not affected by this but also be aware that sprint's lte service has to be available where you are using it and since 4glte is fairly new to sprint and is currently still be deployed nationwide that option for 4glte is not available to everyone as of yet however sprint does plan on doing that so that option will be available to everyone in the near future also if you have a free phone the phone actually is internet only enabled with sprint. you cannot actually make and receive calls with out the freedompop app or texts for that matter and your sprint number which is assigned to all phone is actually different from the freedompop phone however if you have a phone and you are not able to get 4glte the 3g even with the free plan is actually free. but this only applies to freedompop phones with are all 4glte enabled. I have an S3 as well as an overdrive and i discovered all this the hard way so take into consideration when you decide to sign up with then but if you want cheap or even free this is definately the way to go but be aware of their little quirks. and buying the devices isnt a bad deal they are cheaper than if you were to get them from sprint as well as the cost of the plans are more than reasonable if you upgrade. you can also get them cheaper than on thier website on ebay buy buying them from ebay seller freedompop4g which is actually is freedompop and the prices there are actually about 15% lower than on freedompops website. but you'd pay for shipping which freedompop's website usually gives for free but its only 9.99 if you'd didnt get one of freedompops free shipping promos they only charge 6.99 so an extra 3 bucks for about 15% off aint bad either.

geekbrained
geekbrained

i hope all this helps everyone regarding little stuff the editor left out or just didnt know about but this should help you be more informed about thier little catches which is the intent of this article to begin with also the original 45 days is supposed to include 2 weeks to allow for shipping of the device and for standard shipping is usually about 5-7 days and is sent out by fedex smart post which is fedex and usps mixed together so they do deliver on the weekends. expedited services are usually fedex too unless it actually ships from freedompops official corporate warehouse in ca where they use ups there the majority of the orders are send to a warehouse in indiana which actually provides phones for multiple services and most refurbs and warranty replacements for those services will actually ship from that same facility those other services are not just sprint but verizon and att and a ton more. and if you were to get a free goverment phone from say safelink wireless by tracfone or assurance wireless by virgin mobile your phone will ship from that same warehouse as well. the warehouse is actually owned and operated by a third party independant company called wireless warehouse. and that warehouse has thousands of phones at any given time and they usually are never out of stock i just happened to order mine when the lte phones just started rolling out and the s3 is one of the more popular phones to begin with. as i actually have 3 of them myself on verizon, freedompop and on us cellular and i love then damn phone.

geekbrained
geekbrained

All the freedompop phones actually come with custom freedompop firmware roms but once again if your tech savvy replacing them with the original sprint versions or even a custom rom such as liquidrom isnt too hard and actually very easy on samsung devices because they were purposedly designed with the ability to replace or customize firmwares using something called odin by the end user every samsung device i've had as well as most motorolas have a feature or a similar feature. i have currently run liquidrom on my phone and its way better since alot more features work and using that thirdparty rom also allows you to use the hotspot and usb tether with out needing to pay for that additional service as well so there are tons of little ways to beat the system. if you happen to have a freedompop phone i recommend you restore the original firmwares for the sprint network because they simply work better and more options are infact available to you and if you want to get even crazier check out third party firmwares which are tons better in this case. also be aware that using a third party firmware will actually void your 90 day warranty and also void your device protection plan because it require you to root your phone and once your phone is rooted your phone will note that in a special section of the phones bootloader which even if you were to restore the original firmware will still indicate it was once rooted. rooting your phone will void your warranty and or protection plan for your device so if you dont have either your good and it shouldnt matter. also rooting your phone will void the warranty on all carriers not just freedompop since all android phones with gingerbread some people have even told me that it was also on froyo which is the version prior to gingerbread but i never had a phone running froyo and up have that feature on thier bootloader and some phones will even display in the phones about phone section of the settings app if the phone is rooted. so becareful when rooting because doing it wrong with certain phones can brick the phone and some fones the kyoceras and some lgs actually do not give you the option of getting into a usb adb download mode to restore the firmware back to factory versions. there are also ways around that too but its much more difficult.

geekbrained
geekbrained

another comment is freedompop does now give the option to turn off automatic top off and if that option is off 100 mbs before your data limit so if you have 500 mbs your service will be suspended at 400mbs you will not be charged but your service will be suspended till your next billing cycle or change your plan to a better one that option wasn't always available to me and my account has been suspended for gettin close to that 100 mb limit several times but really it isnt all that bad yeah it may be a scam because of all the hidden bs and the fact that that they only have 10 customer service agents to assist thousands of customers (that is an exaggeration btw i have no idea how many agents there are but i do know there are only 4 supervisors karl, and vaughn and a two more women). both karl and vaughn are guys which totally can be mistaken for women and actually getting ahold of customer service for any reason is a rather pain but if you need help here is a tip call thier sales line most of thier agents there can actually assist you and all the departments use the same 4 supervisors. the reason for this tip is simple most companies actually do not have queues for thier sales departments. and for good reason they want your business and they arent going to get your business if you are on hold for over and hour. but calling tech support directly you would normally not get through and after 60 minutes they say leave a voicemail and they will call u back and drop the call. and if you were to call back you'll be back at the end of the line once again. thier customer service is crap i give everyone that but as i said if you are willing to put up with the hidden crap it really isnt too bad for cheap or free services and i frankly like it its gotten me fairly good service infact better than some others regarding reliability. so hell i say give it a shot dispite what everyone else says and i'm relatively happy with it and the price aint all that bad either.

geekbrained
geekbrained

I've been a customer since Jan of 2014 and frankly other than thier poor customer service it really isnt bad almost all companies give poor customer service the company i hate the most regarding customer service happens to be comcast. And during every call to comcast every agent has to tell you about thier comcast customer guarantee which right now i think its total crap

i've had issues with a "free addon" for over 2 years pratically since they introduced the feature and until i disconnected that particular service that the "free addon" was associated with it has been fixed on and off over the two years and at one point would be out for an entire year and it gotten to the point were i'd be calling in every 2 months to fix the problem and it would mist of the time get fix when the agent decided to call me back which they were supposed to do with in 72 hours the majority of the time i never got a call back and i would only get a call back for that issue 3 times two of them way past the 72 hours they promised as 30 days and 45 days is definately past that the third time they would call back that particular service was already in pending disconnect because i was tired of it. all in all that feature was fixed a total of 4 times and out 5 and for most of the 2 years other problem was with my secondary emails that problem has existed now for 8 months and currently still exists and never once was fixed since i were to report it. it has gotten to the point where call in to having it fixed is completely futile so i dont bother anymore. but disconnecting my phone and tv was nightmare in itself i was on the phone with comcast every day for 10 days till the disconnections were complete one for almost 14 hours at day and i would speak to 47 different agents and nothing would have gotten done for 10 of those hours but that same day once the confirmation of the pending disconnect would occur a problem with the remaining service would arise they disabled my modem when it shouldnt have been touched at all and getting them to actually look at it was hard as hell since thier tech support system would not let them access the modem's config since it was in pending disconnect. this would happen close to midnight that night they claim the modem was disabled due to an outage but being a former cable tech for comcast myself i actually checked the signal and all signals were actually good and i even had one of those specialized testers which talk back to the modem and digital device servers an those tests would come up normal. so i knew at that point they disabled my modem and the only way for me to reactive my modem is by calling billing but at mid night they were already closed. but there is a department which i knew could override the pending disconnect and they were able to troubleshoot my modem. and it was the account securities department and i knew they can override that because the deal with the disabling of accounts and have access to do just that. but customer service altogether sucks. the only companies i have yet to have a problem with customer service is directv and vonage they have always statisfied me by the end of the call and i've had them only for a month so i do expect problems sometime in the future but i hope i dont. i no longer have vonage but they were always good to me and met my needs every time.

domperignon
domperignon

I think you missed the point. I have a spanking Note 3 that is not connected to a carrier right now and I have been using using WIFI. I downloaded MagicJack app to it and forwarded my MagicJack landline number and calls to it. I could still use this cell phone! Come Freedompop. I downloaded the app to my cell, got myself a free cell number and not only I can make and receive calls on my cell but text, something impossible with MagicJack which is landline based. Add the mobile modem hardware from Freedompop for $5.00 a month and now I get WIFI almost anywhere and when I cannot I get a 4G or LTE connection on the fly. I think it is genial! No one is going to buy an obsolete cell phone from Freedompop. Whenever they keep their carrier or not they can have a second cell number instead of a phone with two SIM cards. When their carrier cut them off they can still use their cell with Freedompop. For now on anyway I will buy my phones outright in full and use Freedompop network at a fraction of the price. In the old days I got rid off AT&T landlines. Now I can get rid of AT&T cellular network. This is a brave new world!

AnalisaMartin
AnalisaMartin

@domperignon  I too just recently switched to the $15.99/month unlimited data Freedom Pop plan w/ tethering and am using the MagicJack app for phone calls which I was able to carry over my phone number to. I am able to stream on up to 3 devices at a time with my tethering data as well as surf. I did however notice that Freedom Pop's call quality was not as good as MagicJack's and so therefore I ditched the Freedom Pop call/text plan for MagicJack which when broken down is less expensive than even Freedom Pop's VoIP App and is better quality. Well duhhh i'm sure the proof is in the pudding.


Mathematically, when broken down.


-> I use to pay $85/month for T-Mobile that adds up to $1020/year

-> With Freedom Pop I pay $15.99/month plus $50/year for MagicJack so when broken down

$15.99*12= $191.88     then    $191.88+50=$241.88   $241.88/12=$20.15


I'm so happy to share this life hack!!

senema72
senema72

How much do they pay you to advertise them?

ThomasMigrock
ThomasMigrock

I use Republic Wireless.... had it for a year now.  Only issue I had was when I changed my plan mid plan cycle but I really think it is me for I just could not get the 4G to work.... probably me.