I had lunch at a restaurant with WiFi and logged in to my FreedomPop dashboard at my.freedompop.com where I was greeted with a pop up that said;
Your device is asleep due to non-use. If you'd like to wake up your device, click here
I had been using my phone every day for data so I thought it was odd to be deactivated for non-use. But I clicked the link and got a message that my account had been reactivated and I should reboot to restore my data service. I rebooted but still no data. I went back to my.freedompop.com, and saw the same "...device is asleep..." message again! So I clicked the reactivate link again, rebooted again and still no data, but at least the device asleep message was gone from my account. Giving up, I put the phone in my pocket. When I next looked at 45 minutes later data was finally working.
If you are having the same problem it's important to use the new mobile friendly version of the Freedompop dashboard at my.freedompop.com to reactivate your account, not the old www.freedompop.com page. The old www version (picture above) has a bug that displays a never ending Please wait... message that makes the reactivate link unclickable. The new my.freedompop page works, although reactivation isn't instant and you may have to reactivate more than once before it sticks.
Apparently, I wasn't alone in having my data cut off by FreedomPop yesterday. FreedomPop's own user forum has dozens of reports by other users who had their data cut off for non-use in spite of having used their phones regularly. FreedomPop Forum administrator Alejandra G responded to several of the complaints with this message:
Due to a recent policy change, active phone numbers will be disconnected and accounts will go dormant on paid and free accounts that has no outbound calls in last 60 days (2 billing cycles) or accounts that have two failed payments.
We are afraid you will not be able to get the same number you used to have but you can choose a new one from the main page, online
Apparently, FreedomPop's definition of non-use is not making phone calls with the FreedomPop Messaging VoIP app. I don't use the FreedomPop app because it doesn't let me make calls using my Google Voice number, which has been my main and only phone number for many years. Instead I use Google's Hangouts app which not only works with Google Voice but also seems to be more stable than the FreedomPop app. I know that many other FreedomPop users treat FreedomPop as a data-only service and use other OTT apps for calling and messaging.
In the past, FreedomPop never seemed to care whether people used its app or something else. It's probably to FreedomPop's advantage for customers to not use their app as it reduces the traffic through their VoIP connection which should lower FreedomPop's costs. I suspect cutting customers off for not making calls through the FreedomPop app is a cost-cutting tactic. FreedomPop probably pays a monthly line charge for each VoIP number. Maybe FreedomPop will allow customers who don't use the FreedomPop app to switch to data only accounts with no assigned phone number.
It's hard to be sure, but the deactivation for non-use policy appears to only affect FreedomPop GSM LTE SIM users. Most of the users who reported the issue on the FreedomPop forum didn't say which FreedomPop service (Sprint, Global GSM or LTE GSM) they were using, but those who did were all LTE GSM users.
Disabling inactive accounts is the second cost cutting measure FreedomPop has taken this week. The first being the throttling of Sprint based account's data to 1 mbps. Hopefully the cost cutting is the result of smarter management rather than a cash flow problem.
Update 9/10/2017: After my FreedomPop AT&T LTE SIM was deactivated July 6, 2017. I immediately reactivated it. 60 days from July 6 is Sept. 4. My SIM was not deactivated on Sept. 4 and is still active today, Sept 10. I have never made a call with the SIM using the FreedomPop app (I use Hangouts for all calling and messaging). Based on my experience the 60 day rule does not seem to be enforced.
For more about FreedomPop see our FreedomPop Profile post.
Image source FreedomPop Forum