Home - , , , , , - FreedomPop Modifies Freedom Friends Program To Cut Maximum Free Data By 500 MB

FreedomPop Modifies Freedom Friends Program To Cut Maximum Free Data By 500 MB

Freemium MVNO FreedomPop lets users share data with each other through a program called Freedom Friends. Using Freedom Friends, each FreedomPop account could receive up to 1000 MB of additional free data per month. In an apparent cost-cutting move FreedomPop this week made a change to their data sharing policy that cuts the maximum amount of shared data an account can receive to 500 MB.

There are two ways to get extra free data using Freedom Friends:

  1. FreedomPop users could invite other FreedomPop users to become their Freedom Friends. For each Freedom Friend created both users get an extra 50 MB of data every month. Each user can earn 500 MB per month just for having 10 or more Freedom Friends. 
  2. Freedom Friends can also share data with each other. Each user can share up to 100 MB per Friend per month. Sharing is limited to 500 MB given to all Friends and 500 MB received per account per month. 
Until this week FreedomPop accounts could receive up to 1000 MB of free data using Friends, 500 MB from having 10 or more Freedom Friends plus 500 MB given to them by their Friends. Effective August 28, 2017 the total amount an account can earn from any combination of having Friends and sharing is 500 MB. The new policy can be found on this Freedom Friends Support page (updated August 28, 2017) which includes the following new paragraph:

Please Note: If you have already received 500MBs of data -- either from the automatic Freedom Friends function that gives you 50MBs per friend or from data that has been shared with you -- you will not be able to accumulate more data from Friends.

The screenshot above shows the message I received when I tried to give 100 MB to an account that had already received 500 MB from having more that 10 Freedom Friends but had not received any shared data.

FreedomPop free accounts come with 500 MB of data for Sprint based plans and 200 MB for GSM LTE Global SIMs. Combined with 500 MB from Freedom Friends, Sprint based free accounts are now capped at 1000 MB and GSM SIMs are capped at 700 MB of free data per month.

While I'm sorry to see a reduction in free data, I'm not surprised. By design or accident, FreedomPop made it really easy to get an additional 1000 MB of free data. Here's why

  1. It's trivial to get 10 Freedom Friends using social media resources including a SlickDeals Forum thread, a Facebook Group and a Facebook Page where FreedomPop users have listed their email addresses so that other users can add them as Freedom Friends.  
  2. FreedomPop's website doesn't have any way for users to change phones or transfer their service from a Sprint phone to GSM SIM or vice versa. FreedomPop actually encourages users who want to change phones or networks to just open an additional account for the new device or SIM. As a result, I think most long time FreedomPop users have multiple accounts and share data from their old inactive accounts to active ones. 
As a result of the ease of getting 1000 MB of free Friends data per month, I suspect that a lot more users where getting the full 1000 MB than FreedomPop originally intended when they launched in 2012. I surprised it took this long as this is actually the first change to Freedom Friends  since the beginning of FreedomPop service.

FreedomPop has long claimed they are profitable, a claim I find hard to believe considering how much free data they obviously give away.  After making very few changes to their service in the first four and half years since launch, FreedomPop lately seems to be working to improve their bottom line. The latest change to the data sharing policy follows two cost cutting or revenue increasing moves last month; throttling free Sprint based accounts to 1 mbps and disabling GSM LTE SIM accounts that hadn't made a call in the last 60 days. Hopefully, all these changes will make it possible for FreedomPop to keep providing free services for a ling time.   

Source: FreedomPop via reader tips and HowardForums

50 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Circling the toilet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All the RIP-ers will be lining up to post comments. I'm sure they're giddy with excitement!

    I shared a lot of data back and forth with friends and we had a pretty efficient system for optimizing the process-- so I'm sad to see this change.

    Bottom line, though, is that I can still make FP work for my needs.

    This will effectively get rid of data sharing since everyone inevitably ends up with ten friends.

    If this makes the company stronger and keeps them around a few years longer then I'm okay with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "This will effectively get rid of data sharing since everyone inevitably ends up with ten friends."

      I'm a millennial. Can I count Instagram followers as friends?

      Delete
  3. There's also the $0.01 per month activity fee that is being charged to global sims (not sure if it is every month or only in months where the sims aren't being used).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should raise that to $1.00 and make some cash from those with multiple phones.

      Delete
    2. Don't worry, that $0.01 will become $1.00 and higher in the very near future. Mark my words. The 'free ride' is over my friends.

      Delete
    3. I am sure they would cancel if they had to pay that much. Then they would get a ATT sim.

      Delete
    4. If I had a dime for every time someone said some variation of "mark my words, [insert company here] is going down" on these forums.....

      Delete
    5. "If I had a dime for every time someone said some variation of "mark my words, [insert company here] is going down" on these forums....."

      Verizon? Is that thing still around?

      Delete
  4. Junk. And lol @ circling the toilet... right on.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The advice used to be to set up each FP account with a different email address so you could share data between your accounts. Now that there's no point in sharing data since you can get 500MB just by having 10 friends tied to your account. Can you have all your accounts/devices on the same email address and still get the 500MB friends data on all of your devices or is there a catch somewhere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's less reason to have separate accounts for each line now. But I've seen complaints on FreedomPop's forum by users with multiple accounts that they did not get all 500 MB of Friends data on all of their lines. I think it's a timing issue that can happen if you don't have at least 10 Friends when you activate the second, etc. line.

      Delete
  6. They make enough money in unsuspecting charges to keep afloat. I suppose when you have mostly people like the old rp users you have to do something to make enough to keep the lights on. They should just start charging and quit sneaking in fees.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anyone notice a trend? Ring Plus, CellNuvo, Freedom Pop.
    That's right, same members and so far 2 companies failed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The real trend is that all three are freemium, a very difficult business model for something like mobile that has substantial recurring costs. If a business can't make money, the blame lies with the business' design and management not with its customers.

      Delete
    2. Most of us know the outcome of companies and prepare and alternative like but then there are others that grab all they can and then complain when the free model goes away! FP likely no longer wishes to be freemium and they are eroding slowly any benefit of those free accounts. A tremendous solution would be to start charging everyone and provide a decent product.

      Delete
    3. I agree go ahead and get rid of the free accounts simply because voip stinks and while they are at it take away data as well. Add a small fee for under 100 minutes of text and voice on non voip lines, maybe even eliminate byod and make some revenue on refurbished handset sales. Quit screwing the customers is a good start.

      Delete
    4. Well at the end of the day you actually have to MAKE MONEY to stay in business. You can't give everything away.

      Delete
    5. Some people here think everything should be free and then free on 10+ handsets as well.

      Delete
    6. The members are all completely blameless. In fact, they'd be idiots not to actually use the cell service they paid for.

      Now, if it turns out that customers signing up for and using the services kills the company, the only people to blame are the managers who actually approved decisions to offer plans that don't make profit.

      So, go ahead, customers. Max out your accounts, even multiple accounts. It's irresponsible and wasteful not to.

      Delete
    7. Shut it down watch the rats look for another hole.

      Delete
    8. rats & snowflakes same thing just give me give me more free

      Delete
    9. It surprises me to see all the people hoping to see freedompop go out of business. I wonder if they would be happy to see their corner grocer lose out to the megastore? I hope this isn't an apple to oranges comparison.

      Delete
    10. I think it has to do with their business model. Most people don't want to jump through so many hoops just to get the free offer. They would rather have a stable low cost service.

      Delete
    11. "I think it has to do with their business model. Most people don't want to jump through so many hoops just to get the free offer. "

      I did that, and it was harrowing. Jumping through the FreedomPop "hoops". So much deceptive language, bad layouts, invisible labels... and by the time I was done, it threw away my results and added ALL the bogus charges on again. So I had to do it all over again, fighting against all the deception.

      It took the 2nd time. But it left me feeling "these guys are real crooks, no way will I use this thing, at all."

      So I never used the service.

      I've never encountered such a company where 100% of everything they are doing is to cheat you and deceive you to their financial gain. Well, not since before the Wall Street crash of 2008, anyway.

      Delete
    12. "It surprises me to see all the people hoping to see freedompop go out of business. I wonder if they would be happy to see their corner grocer lose out to the megastore? I hope this isn't an apple to oranges comparison."

      I'd be happy to see my local grocery store go out of business and its owner destitute IF it was like FreedomPop and did stuff like never honor any advertized prices and quadruple-charge for anything at the register.

      The signup process at FP is like having stuff rung on a cash register where everything rings up several times the sticker price... and not by mistake, but by intention of the management.

      So yeah, I would gladly wish ill will on such a store.

      Delete
    13. I've been a FP customer for a long time and have never been charged for anything I didn't agree to buy. They flash the word "trial" pretty often when you sign up. We all know what "trial" means. You get a free month of a certain level of service and then you pay for every month after the first unless you cancel or downgrade. It's nothing new. Have you ever signed up for Netflix? If you remember to cancel the paid plan, FP doesn't charge you anything. Maybe try reading what you sign up for?

      Delete
    14. You don't get THOUSANDS of complaints with the BBB & Attorney General if you're doing a good job. I think it's more than your statement "read what you sign up for". The thing is FP does not seem to care about their deceptive practice. If it's a mistake and it doesn't happen frequently then people will forgive you but when it happens time and time again and FP continues the same deception then that's when customers start to show hate for a company.

      Delete
    15. You and I both know that the majority of those complaints are from people who signed up for a "free trial" and expected it to be free forever. Didn't bother to downgrade to the real free plan, got charged as they agreed to be when they signed up and then complained about it and went on to call FP dishonest because they couldn't be bothered to read what FP made perfectly clear at the time of activation and at any point thereafter on the online account management page.

      Delete
    16. "You and I both know that the majority of those complaints are from people who signed up for a "free trial" and expected it to be free forever."

      How can we know what isn't true? I signed up for the very small amount of free data which WASN'T a trial. and the login system kept trying to trick me into a vastly overpriced non-trial service and a lot of other bogus charges.

      "Didn't bother to downgrade to the real free plan"

      There's a lot of the trick there: I really signed up for the "Real free plan" there and wasn't nothing to do with the trial at all. But they made it very difficult to get out of the trial scam.

      "got charged as they agreed to be when they signed up"

      Also untrue. FB is very misleading about this and hides the information and lies about it. You and I both know that no one intentionally signed up for the trial scam on purpose.

      "bothered to read what FP made perfectly clear at the time of activation"

      That's something FP never does. Hence the complaints: they never make anything "perfectly clear" and are always trying to trick customers. You and I both know they are deceptive.

      Delete
    17. By the way, the Netflix example is apples and oranges. Netflix always clearly says what is going on. And they don't advertise an always-free version of Netflix and then use false/misleading statements and broken functions on their page to trick you into a vastly overpriced version of Netflix instead.

      But FP does this.

      Delete
    18. " The thing is FP does not seem to care about their deceptive practice"

      It's not that they don't care: they are intentionally deceiving. There's money to be made in advertising a "real free service" and then tricking someone into paying for a grossly-overpriced service that no one would ever agree to if it was presented honestly.

      You know, one of those MVNO scams where you end up paying a lot more than for the regular base carrier.

      Delete
  8. Who says tremendous? Really?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. who says really?

      Delete
    2. "Tremendous" was likely said by an educated higher iq individual and "really" was probably said by a hs graduate with a lesser vocabulary.

      Delete
    3. Anyone can use big words. Some people think it makes them sound intelligent but in reality it only works on themselves. Saying "A tremendous solution" instead of something like "A decent solution" or "A workable solution" makes that individual sound intelligent only to themselves.

      Delete
    4. 10:55a Really?

      Delete
    5. "Anyone can use big words...."

      Anyone can use big words, and those who are literate or at least willing to expand their vocabulary won't complain about it.

      Delete
  9. Still not bad for those who need a free service with low usage. Heck with Hangouts you can make basically unlimited texts. Between freedom pop voice and hangouts voice you can squeeze out 8 hours of talk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL--I couldn't talk 8 hours a month if I tried. 8 hours would last me 6 months or more. I guess some people have difficulty getting to the point and that requires more minutes. On the other hand my spouse has the phone glued to her ear..a positive for sure.

      Delete
  10. Watch where people from PPFN and Nth Forum go and then go the opposite direction if you need reliable phone service.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Freedom pop going the way of ring minus and cell screwvo, bail out while you can, hope you didn't port in that important number. Seems like this is happening more and more. Perhaps the same membership?

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a real phone list posted Nth Circle forum, no wonder these companies can't make a go of it. Explain WHY anyone in their right mind needs this many phones? She was a mod on RingPlus...that should explain a few things.

    Phones:
    Blu Life One X (T-Mobile Simple Choice Unlimited and FreedomPop Global Data Only SIM)
    Verizon Prepaid Moto E4 (T-Mobile Simple Choice Unlimited)
    LG G Stylo (TPO Benevolent)
    Blu Life XL (FreedomPop Global 3-way SIM and Data SIM)
    Blu Advance 5.0 (FreedomPop LTE SIM and Global Data SIM)
    LG Phoenix 2 (FreedomPop LTE SIM) (x2)
    Alcatel Pop 4 Plus (FreedomPop LTE SIM)
    Verizon Prepaid Moto E4 (FreedomPop LTE SIM)
    Moto E2 (Tello PAYG) (x2)
    ZTE Speed (Tello PAYG)
    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (Verizon 3g Unlimited)
    Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini (Tracfone Verizon)
    LG Tribute HD (CellNUVO)
    Samsung Galaxy S (Piranha Mobile)
    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (Truphone)
    Hotspots:
    Franklin R850 (4gCommunity)
    MiFi 2 (FreedomPop Global SIM) (x2)
    MiFi 500 (FreedomPop Sprint)
    Netgear Fuse (FreedomPop Sprint)
    Novatel MiFi 4510L (Verizon 3g Unlimited)
    Tablets:
    Asus Memo Pad 7 LTE (FreedomPop LTE SIM)
    Kindle Fire (WiFi Only)
    Spare SIMs:
    FreedomPop Global (x4)

    Spare Devices:
    AT&T Unite MiFi (x2)
    ZTE Speed
    LG Tribute HD (Boost, FED Locked)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Interesting list. Does anyone have an idea which plan the "Novatel MiFi 4510L (Verizon 3g Unlimited)" is running on and the monthly cost?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Has anyone been able to give/get anything at all even if you don't have 10 friends?

    I have 4 devices/accounts, and they are friends with each other. Each account gets 150 MB automatically (3 other friends).

    150 MB is less than 500 MB. However, I now cannot give/get anything at all.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "throttling free Sprint based accounts to 1 mbps"

    when i use LG G2 which capable of Sprint Spark network. and when i download app from app store, it' so slow. now i know why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's faster than the usual speed I got with Sprint. Sprint is throttled pretty low.. to 0 in most places, due to the simple fact of the network lacking coverage.

      Delete
  16. friends dont let friends join this stinkin desperate company

    ReplyDelete
  17. There is a reason the big carriers don't do this type of thing and don't worry about those that do. You can only give away free stuff or resort to deception to generate revenue for so long. Either way you're going down. The big guys know this and know that they are going to end up with the customers that tried to depend on these shady services as their primary service. I took advantage of R+ and have also used FP for some time now. I never really took either one seriously and never gave up my real service that I have used for 20+ years now. An ad supported plan like R+ tried is actually feasible, they just didn't have a good plan when going in. That became obvious when they started the musical plan dance, trying to get new users signed on so they could borrow more money by quoting growth stats. What would have worked was really very simple. Make everyone listen to a very specific ad before proceeding before every use of the service. They tried to dance around this and make it seem less intrusive.

    ReplyDelete
Comment Page :


Comments must be approved before they will appear. The following types of comments will not be approved:
- Off topic, comments should be related to the contents of the post.
- Name calling and insults directed at other commenters.
- Racist, sexist, ableist etc. comments.
- Language you shouldn't use in front of other people's children.