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Comments on news posted 2014-08-07 18:01:04: When I first came across FreedomPop advertising their free services, I naturally figured that it was too good to be true. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · next


inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

1 recommendation

They have billing cycles, but they don't honor their billing cycles....

...or anything else for that matter.

So I had a situation where I went over my free 500Mb. I had the automatic top up turned off so I wasn't worried about being charged for more data. I had even read before hand that my service -should- be cutoff at 400Mb when automatic top up is off. But that didn't happen.

I had about 8 days left in this billing cycle (really more of a service cycle since I'm not paying for anything-or so I thought)

I looked online and it said I was 718Mb of usage, or 218 over. Well I thought that was odd since Freedompop even says in their FAQs you can't go over if automatic top up is disabled.

But anyways since I had time left in my cycle I thought I would do the honorable thing and get back under my quota by completing some free easy offers to bring my quota in balance. An hour or two and many useless freewares installed/uninstalled I was back under my quota. All was cool I thought.

About two weeks later, I tried to use my hotspot but couldn't. I thought this was odd since I should have a new 500Mb allotment. I go online and it says my account is disabled because my CC is invalid. That's true cause they had an old number that had expired. I thought it was odd they needed current payment since I don't pay anything so I went ahead and put in the new current number.

BIG MISTAKE! Those scumbags CHARGED me for the data that I had gone over WHILE INSIDE my billing cycle! They do not wait until the end of your cycle to tally up credits and debits...the charge you IMMEDIATELY when you go over. Even if you have auto top off disabled!

This company cannot abide by any of its own set policies. The whole thing is a sham.

AVOID these crackpots.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"



KoolMoe
Aw Man
Premium
join:2001-02-14
Annapolis, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

vs Republic Wireless (data vs cellular)

I'm in the market to get my middle kid his first phone.
It's pretty much between FreedomPop and RepublicWireless.

My biggest concern about FP is apparently all services are over data...which means VOIP, which is means call quality is much more dependent on signal strength that were it true 'cellular' voice.
At least, as I understand it.

So far, RW is likely to win my business. Their $10/month plan shuffles to wifi if available for data but will send voice over the cellular connection if available.
I like that - better quality and reliability (right?) and if the kid can't get data because there's no Wifi, that's ok for now. Biggest purpose as far as we parents are concerned is text/voice.
--
Don't Lie - Be Kind - Realize your Potential


dragonman300

join:2011-03-02
Anaheim, CA
kudos:1

....

Is it worth it? Yes for free service! I have Samsung Epic 4G as a backup phone. Come with 500MB of data, 500 texts and 200 minutes of talk per month for free!



ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
reply to inteller

Re: They have billing cycles, but they don't honor their billing cycles....

I hope you did a chargeback.



ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
reply to KoolMoe

Re: vs Republic Wireless (data vs cellular)

RW is hands down the better company. They seem to actually want to communicate with their customers. Just an overall better community feel to it.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party



ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
reply to dragonman300

Re: ....

how much was that phone?


elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

PT Barnum Broadband...

Its much worse than too good to be true.


m3nphls

join:2012-10-02
Brooklyn, NY
reply to inteller

Re: They have billing cycles, but they don't honor their billing cycles....

dispute it with your cc company.


spamster

join:2009-11-27
Yonkers, NY
kudos:1
reply to inteller

Sorry to hear about your problems. As I said in the article, I've not had any.


spamster

join:2009-11-27
Yonkers, NY
kudos:1
reply to elray

Re: PT Barnum Broadband...

I have to disagree, but that's just my opinion and experience with FP.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to inteller

Re: They have billing cycles, but they don't honor their billing cycles....

Yeah, I was thinking about getting their little hotspot to supplement my AT&T service, and I read the fine print and ran as fast as I could away from that. It's nearly impossible to avoid getting charged for SOMETHING. It's basically a scam.


dragonman300

join:2011-03-02
Anaheim, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
·Time Warner Cable
·Dish Network
reply to ArrayList

Re: ....

I bought screen shattered Samsung Epic on eBay for $35 almost three year ago. Replace the screen and my phone look brand new! Love that phone According to Ebay, Samsung Epic 4G is worth about $35 or lower


78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

This explain a lot

After all, how can a cell phone company be successful if they don't charge for their services?

The connection is via the Sprint 4G network, so the coverage is that of a regular Sprint cell phone

A) They are a MVNO not an actually cellular company. Kind of easy to offer cheap service when you don't have to spend money on towers or spectrum or maintenance etc etc. Some the lovers of companies like Net10 or Straight Talk don't quite get.

B) People want to know why Sprint's service seems slower than molasses in January here you go. You can apply this to the other carrier which are FORCED by the government to give access to these MVNOs and sue their bandwidth. Then when they don't have enough for their won customer they are the ones that get the grief. To top it all these same companies love to bash these same carriers they're mooching the network off of. How nice. That takes balls.


78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

where is tehe FCC on this?

a $20/month unlimited plan that will only throttle the data after 1GB of usage.

as well as data plans that let you add 2GB or 4GB of data, at a cost of $20 or $35 per month.

So unlimited is throttled but tiered data isn't? Wasn't the FCC riding Verizon ass about this just a few days ago?



ev

@74.140.91.x

Inspecting Your Packetry, Deeply

Who all do they sell your informations to? Is your USPS address, email, telephone, et cetera safe?

Seems like they Clear-ly have some misleading and aggressive billing issues, much like their 4G wholesale partner...



Shark

@198.179.137.x

BYOD

One thing that makes things different is that FreedomPop allows you to bring your own device (about a dozen popular models) while Republic Wireless does not.



brg

join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL
kudos:1

More info?

Spamster, there is a lot that you could have added to your article.

* What specific device did you receive? It's clear that you got one of the FreedomPop hotspots. But, they have offered many. Which one did you get?

* When discussing that hotspot you say "the connection is via the Sprint 4G network, so the coverage is that of a regular Sprint cell phone." Not at all. From experience, I expect you mean that the hotspot is connected to Sprint's soon-to-be-shuttered WIMAX network, which offers extremely limited coverage. Prior to deploying LTE, WIMAX was the only "4G" network that Sprint had. I'm convinced that you didn't pick up one of the new FP LTE hotspots for $15 (they cost $199 at the moment), and therefore you don't have access to LTE. So, your coverage for the hotspot can't remotely be comparable to "that of a regular Sprint cell phone" (which can work in the much larger footpring of Sprint's 2g/3G CDMA network.

* FP does have some hotspots that allow/fall back to Sprint's 3G CDMA network. If possible, given the right device, accessing that network is =not= free at FreedomPop. It costs money.

* Is FP's cellular service via VoIP data only? If so, if you don't have a really good 4G WIMAX/LTE connection it doesn't work well. VoIP over 3G is pretty crummy.

* You can get up to 500 meg more free data/month with 10 FreedomFriends per account, totalling 1000 Meg (not quite a gig) of free data each month. I've done it with each of the 2 FP accounts that I have.



compuguybna

join:2009-06-17
Nashville, TN
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·HughesNet Satell..
·ooma
·Virgin Mobile Br..
·Charter
reply to inteller

Re: They have billing cycles, but they don't honor their billing cycles....

the EXACT same thing happened to me with the billing. In fact, they just kept charging and charging and charging data in $2.00 increments before I realized it.... they claim their billing is 2 hours behind, so while I was only about 300mb over, it took that long for it to catch up, then the credit card action started. Charges are IMMEDIATE when you go over.....

so, that started a fraud alert on my credit card because there were like 8 $2.00 charges in a row. Naturally, service was suspended because the credit card company started declining the $2.00 charges....THEN my service was suspended of course....they credited all the $2.00 back as a one time "courtesy", but their system would never accept that card again, even after the credit card company had lifted the hold.
I finally requested a refund of the entire device which I never received even after I had proof via tracking number that I'd send it back. charged the device amount back, credit card company ruled in favor (was only $19.99).

Service was OK until it hit the 1gb cap. I never found an option in the billing to turn the auto-refill off. But Sprint's 3G network is slow slow slow slow..

My battery only lasted about an hour, and the overdrive pro I had received got VERY hot. I can understand the device getting so hot probably killed the battery life (as heat is the enemy of a battery).... they offered to send another battery, but I just cancelled at that point.

OK service, just be aware of their billing practices.

said by inteller:

...or anything else for that matter.

So I had a situation where I went over my free 500Mb. I had the automatic top up turned off so I wasn't worried about being charged for more data. I had even read before hand that my service -should- be cutoff at 400Mb when automatic top up is off. But that didn't happen.

I had about 8 days left in this billing cycle (really more of a service cycle since I'm not paying for anything-or so I thought)

I looked online and it said I was 718Mb of usage, or 218 over. Well I thought that was odd since Freedompop even says in their FAQs you can't go over if automatic top up is disabled.

But anyways since I had time left in my cycle I thought I would do the honorable thing and get back under my quota by completing some free easy offers to bring my quota in balance. An hour or two and many useless freewares installed/uninstalled I was back under my quota. All was cool I thought.

About two weeks later, I tried to use my hotspot but couldn't. I thought this was odd since I should have a new 500Mb allotment. I go online and it says my account is disabled because my CC is invalid. That's true cause they had an old number that had expired. I thought it was odd they needed current payment since I don't pay anything so I went ahead and put in the new current number.

BIG MISTAKE! Those scumbags CHARGED me for the data that I had gone over WHILE INSIDE my billing cycle! They do not wait until the end of your cycle to tally up credits and debits...the charge you IMMEDIATELY when you go over. Even if you have auto top off disabled!

This company cannot abide by any of its own set policies. The whole thing is a sham.

AVOID these crackpots.


spamster

join:2009-11-27
Yonkers, NY
kudos:1
reply to brg

Re: More info?

said by brg:

Spamster, there is a lot that you could have added to your article.

* What specific device did you receive? It's clear that you got one of the FreedomPop hotspots. But, they have offered many. Which one did you get?

I have 2 of the Freedom Spot - Photon Platinum devices.

* When discussing that hotspot you say "the connection is via the Sprint 4G network, so the coverage is that of a regular Sprint cell phone." Not at all. From experience, I expect you mean that the hotspot is connected to Sprint's soon-to-be-shuttered WIMAX network, which offers extremely limited coverage. Prior to deploying LTE, WIMAX was the only "4G" network that Sprint had. I'm convinced that you didn't pick up one of the new FP LTE hotspots for $15 (they cost $199 at the moment), and therefore you don't have access to LTE. So, your coverage for the hotspot can't remotely be comparable to "that of a regular Sprint cell phone" (which can work in the much larger footpring of Sprint's 2g/3G CDMA network.

Correct, it's a 4G device, which I got for $15.

* FP does have some hotspots that allow/fall back to Sprint's 3G CDMA network. If possible, given the right device, accessing that network is =not= free at FreedomPop. It costs money.

All I know is that I have service and don't pay for it.

* Is FP's cellular service via VoIP data only? If so, if you don't have a really good 4G WIMAX/LTE connection it doesn't work well. VoIP over 3G is pretty crummy.

I'm not certain about that. All I know is that it works for me.

* You can get up to 500 meg more free data/month with 10 FreedomFriends per account, totalling 1000 Meg (not quite a gig) of free data each month. I've done it with each of the 2 FP accounts that I have.

I have 3 accounts, but haven't tried to push the limit of the friends thing yet.

sman83

join:2014-08-02
Sacramento, CA

If You Know What You're Doing

Freedom Pop is a great service if you do your research first, their website has all this info. As far as going over your data limit, it is stated that the data meter is behind real time usage due to Sprint sending updates by roughly 3 hours, I think. The website does also say that they will bill you even though you have automatic top off turned off. This is due to the delayed update from Sprint. There's numerous threads on slickdeals that describe Freedom Pop and how to work it to your advantage.

I currently get 1Gb free every month and received a free hot spot.

As always read the fine print.


spamster

join:2009-11-27
Yonkers, NY
kudos:1
reply to 78036364

Re: This explain a lot

said by 78036364:

After all, how can a cell phone company be successful if they don't charge for their services?

The connection is via the Sprint 4G network, so the coverage is that of a regular Sprint cell phone

A) They are a MVNO not an actually cellular company. Kind of easy to offer cheap service when you don't have to spend money on towers or spectrum or maintenance etc etc. Some the lovers of companies like Net10 or Straight Talk don't quite get.

True, although it's semantics when I have a cell phone.

spamster

join:2009-11-27
Yonkers, NY
kudos:1
reply to ev

Re: Inspecting Your Packetry, Deeply

said by ev :

Who all do they sell your informations to? Is your USPS address, email, telephone, et cetera safe?

I got my first device on May 20 and used a unique email address. So far, no unusual email or spam.


Goliath2k
Premium
join:2013-12-28
united state

4G Only?

So correct me if I'm wrong, but FreedomPop is Sprint 4G only right? No 3G fallback capability?

BTW great article spamster! Very well written and interesting too!



Raggerd

@76.95.226.x

I have had great experience with my S3

Besides fact that it took 3 weeks to get my device (FreedomPop checkout page said 1-2 weeks), I have been very very pleased. And whiners complaining about charges should note, you are getting 500 free MBs... If you use more, quit whining about being charged.

For me, the I just ported my old number to my S3 (that process was not great) and now paying $19.99 for 2 GB of LTE data which is about $40 less than what I was paying.


spamster

join:2009-11-27
Yonkers, NY
kudos:1
reply to Goliath2k

Re: 4G Only?

Thanks for the kind words.
The hotspot is 4G, but the Galaxy S4 is LTE.


ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
reply to 78036364

Re: This explain a lot

1- TracFone and all of the other true MVNOs pay a great deal to be an MVNO, those costs and requirements are NOT cheap by any means. Have you seen or even done this? You'd find that by being a MVNO of Sprint the interconnect to them is well over $15,000 to have done. That's not the billing system or anything else. JUST the interconnect.

2- the Gov't did NOT force them to open their networks. Anyone is free to build out a network by purchasing any frequencies and doing so. How do you think Cricket/Leap got started? Or Revol.com (well they sold out/closed for the 2nd time). Or any of the other small regional players. They PURCHASED spectrum and built out. And if this was a forced gov't issue- then why isn't other MVNOs getting access to LTE such as PagePlus under VZW which is a MVNO- one of the first and oldest in the country- and now owned by TracFone??? They're still 3g.

3- Sprint's network is only slow because they refused to upgrade the network until they were left in the dust and that was recently. And it doesn't use the 4g network- it uses WiMax there is a difference. 4g applies to the entire 4g network. Wimax maybe fast and 4g, but it is not a complete national network or available everywhere nor will ever be at this point- something that Sprint caused to happen as they decided to sell off Xhom and create Clear with Clearwire- the first national 3g data provider that did fixed wireless.


ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

1 recommendation

reply to ev

Re: Inspecting Your Packetry, Deeply

The only one you have to worry about selling your USPS address is the USPS itself.


ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
reply to 78036364

Re: where is tehe FCC on this?

FCC= no power over data. Move on.


ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
reply to Shark

Re: BYOD

Custom software.


ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
reply to spamster

Re: 4G Only?

4g is Wimax and LTE- please cite which technology.