Home - , , , , - FreedomPop Raises Minimum Auto-top Up to $15, Wants $5 to Turn Auto-top Up Off

FreedomPop Raises Minimum Auto-top Up to $15, Wants $5 to Turn Auto-top Up Off


Sprint Freemium MVNO FreedomPop has made some changes to their Terms of Service effective 2/3/16. You can view the previous terms on the Internet Archive if you want to compare for yourself. The main changes affect how Auto-top up works:

1) When Auto-top up is enabled, you  will now be charged $15 (used to be $10) if your remaining data goes below 100 MB and you have a cash balance under $2. The $15 is added to your balance to cover potential overages.

2) You must now have at least $5 in your account to turn off Auto-top up. If you don't you will see the warning above advising you that if you turn Auto-top up off you will be charged $5 which will be added to you balance. When Auto-top up is turned off your service with stop when remaining data is 100 MB or less. FreedomPop says they do this to protect themselves because the usage data they get from Sprint is delayed by up to 3 hours and they could be left holding the bag by customers using up a lot of data in a short period of time.

Users who turned off Auto-top up before 2/3/16 can apparently keep it off without having to pony up five bucks.

Customers who use auto-top up or pay $5 to turn it off need to keep their eyes on their account balance to avoid losing it. FreedomPop has a long standing policy of expiring plan balances after about 90 days. The FreedomPop site says balances expire after 30 days but in my experience it's more like 90 days. The good news is that you can get your expired balance back by clicking a reactivation link on your FreedomPop Billing Overview page. I don't know how that link is available after the balance expires but it seems to be at least 30 days.

While some may see FreedomPop's changing billing practices as sneaky, FreedomPop has to generate revenue somehow. FreedomPop gives you 500 MB of free data per month per account. Free data can be expanded to 1000 MB very easily with Freedom Friends. There's no limit to the number of accounts a person can have either so FreedomPop is obviously giving away a lot of data. Someone has to pay for that data and that someone seems to be FreedomPop newbies and the unwary. But, if you are a smart shopper and watch your data usage and keep up with FreedomPop's billing changes here and at HowardForums you can enjoy free free data wherever Sprint has coverage.

Source: FreedomPop via HowardForums, Image: HowardForums

28 comments:

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  1. Do these companies pay the same amount to sprint regardless if you use your account allotments or not, do they prepay for wholesale allotments or are they billed by sprint later on, anybody know, just curious.

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    1. I have no idea. MVNO agreements are confidential.

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    2. In the past FreedomPop charged user who didn't use at least 5MB of data per month $0.99 for an active status fee. The reason behind that is because sprint charges them for your allotment regardless of you using it or not. They ditched this in favor of making your account dormant and having to have you go through reactivation(and multiple prl and profile updates) in order to restore service. So basically they cancel the account to avoid being charged by sprint. At lease that's what it seems like based on their blog and forum posts.

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  2. Dennis, thanks for this info. I hadn't realize that top-up balance can expire with FP (since I never carried a balance up to now). So you're saying that as long as the reactivation link is available, then the balance can be "reactivated" indefinitely, or is it gone regardless after 90 days?

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    1. You can reactivate indefinitely. I have a balance from 2013 on one of my accounts that I've reactivated multiple times.

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  3. RingPlus is a much better Freemium service. No hidden fees, great control panel, everything is upfront, simple activation, and fair rates. Plus you can make calls over the cellular network as opposed to data-only calling. My only gripe is that I wish you could pay a bit extra to turn off Ring Plus Radio.

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    1. I can attest to that, but outages still occur just not as much. Also Ring Plus Radio is how they made their money. It's advertising dollars for them. You'd have to pay for service then. Now you should be able to opt out on paid plans I agree.

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  4. At least they gave customers a heads-up about the change in terms this time. (pop-up alert when logging in) The expiring credit was sneaky.

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  5. Dennis, I love your site. You might want to change the word "Freemium."

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    Replies
    1. Why? That's what FreedomPop's business model is.

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  6. Freedom is garbag Why even waste your time with them. Get with a real wireless carrier like AT&T.

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    1. Tell me how I can get 500mb/month with rollover of unused data on AT&T with a $20 wifi hotspot and I would switch.

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    2. Who cares about that petty garbage they give your it's not even worth it. You got to be on your heels and toes with your fingers cross they don't charge you for this or that and you to be on the latest news that your don't get auto top for if you didn't get wind of it before hand. I rather pay for reliable service and have peace of mind then to be nickel and dimeing this carrier or that carrier I can switch to because I'm to cheap to pony up.

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    3. Totally agree garbage, but that's how they make money. If only 20% of the people are not aware of the scam beforehand and end up with charges then it's a win win for FP. They only care about the bottom line not the consumer!

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    4. Funny how we are not hearing about these charges before the new rule goes into affect, sounds normal for this company. Why anyone would use these thieves is beyond me!

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    5. 500mb/month is nothing. You act like that alot or something. I can watch a few videos on Youtube and be over 500 easily. I bet you go around and brag to your frineds about that huh. I never even heard of paying a MVNO to not auto top. This is the first and I hope they lose the customers they have now.

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  7. Replies
    1. I don't think you're paying. You have to have at least $5 balance from top-ups in your account. Right, Dennis?

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  8. I'm glad I have R+ now too, just in case I have to cancel my service with FPop. I'm still looking forward to their free HSPA SIM, but who knows when that will be available. You know with R+ now I don't use my FP hotspots much at all. So why should they have to pay for all that unused data is my question.

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    Replies
    1. Freedom Pop is is trash and Ringplus too. Get with a real wireless company like AT&T

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    2. Huh, maybe because at&t has coverage in one's location. I had a hotspot with at&t service and never got more than a 10mbps dlink and usually never even more than 1 or 2! I get better than that on both R+ and FP. I prefer T-Mobile dont get me wrong, but I can afford any thing more than something that's free month to month or at least mostly so.

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  9. I don't get Ring+'s business model, considering data is in demand, not voice minutes as much , considering that's the only place you'll hear ads.

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  10. I have used both FreedomPop and RingPlus since they began.
    FreedomPop saved me, my daughter and her husband hundreds of dollars on mobile hotspot.
    RingPlus has saved me about $300 so far on cellular phone service.
    They both serve market niches, and are growing fast.
    No amount of trash talk here can hurt them.

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  11. I ordered a Mingle wifi hotspot from FreedomPop, for some unknown reason they left off the 2nd line of the shipping address, the package is being sent back as undeliverable, sent them an email, got no response (just an automated one that they got my email).

    Has anybody else had a problem with FreedomPop deciding your address does not require more than one line?

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  12. If I buy a freedompop iphone and turn off the cellular data, can I just use wifi and not eat into the free "500 texts, 200 minutes, and 500MB data each month"? (I would only want to use this in an emergency). I have other apps that would allow me to make calls and text using wifi. Also, what about the imessages? Could I use this with other apple users on wifi and bypass freedompop?

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  13. FYI: I just activated a credit after almost 3 years. So, y'know, that seems indefinite.

    I kinda want to spend 99 cents on a SIM card to have a backup for extra data on an old phone, but I have a really bitter taste about the original sneaky top-up. Someone talk me into something one way or the other!

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    1. I'm sorry but I don'r undersand what you are saying. What does "I just activated a credit" mean? What is this "original sneaky top-up" that are you referring to

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    2. I reactivated an expired balance in my account that had been sitting dormant for over 2 years. You said it was unclear how long it could be reactivated. There is no limit.

      As for the sneaky top-up -- the top-up charge. That was really a sneaky billing practice from day one, and getting hit with it, and the general sneaktitude of it all left me with a bitter taste about freedompop.

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