Home - , , , - FreedomPop Increases the Cost of Disabling Auto Tops and Downgrading to the Free Plan

FreedomPop Increases the Cost of Disabling Auto Tops and Downgrading to the Free Plan

FreedomPop Logo
If you want to get 100% free service from FreedomPop, it looks like it's going to cost you a little more.  The freemium AT&T and Sprint MVNO has increased the amount that new users need to pay to get free service.

If you aren't familiar with FreedomPop their selling point is free mobile phone service. As with most free things there is a catch. When you buy a phone or SIM from FreedomPop it generally comes with free trials of a paid plan and a bundle of extra cost services.  The trials are only free for the first month. If you don't cancel them FreedomPop charge will you about $30/month starting the second month. When FreedomPop first launched switching to the free plan and cancelling the extra cost services was free, but that hasn't been the case for nearly a year.

Last March, FreedomPop started requiring a $2 account balance to downgrade to the free plan. New users start with no balance and FreedomPop began charging them for a $5 top-up (why not $2) when they switched to the free plan.  The automatic top up when switching to the free plan was increased to $10 in December. It just went up again, According to a FreedomPop help page updated Jan 10, 2018, "you must have minimum account balance to be on 100% Free account, if not, $15 will be added to your credit which can be used for data overage." The help page doesn't say how much the required minimum balance to avoid the $15 top up is.  So I messaged FreedomPop on Facebook and got a reply that the minimum balance to downgrade to the free plan is still $2.

To avoid unexpected charges on FreedomPop, besides downgrading to the free plan you also need to cancel the extra cost services, which is still free to do, and also disable auto-top up. If you don't disable auto top-up your card gets charged $15 whenever your remaining data goes below 100 MB and your cash balance is under $2.

Disabling auto top up requires a $5 balance. Until recently, if you didn't have at a $5 balance, FreedomPop would charge you $5 and add it to your balance when you disabled auto top. That was just increased to $10 according to another FreedomPop help page which says "You must have at least $5 in credit on your account to disable Automatic Top Ups. If you do not have at least $5 in credit, your account will be charged $10, to place credit on to your account."

It looks like you can save $5 on the cost of downgrading to the free plan by first turning off auto top-ups before downgrading. The $10 you are charged for disabling top ups gives you a $10 balance so you aren't subject to the $15 top up when you downgrade.

The $10 or $15 tops do get added to your account. They can be used to pay for data overages, but not for anything else like paid plans or services. However with auto top up disabled, data gets shut off before an overage can occur, so having a balance is essentially useless. I like to think of the required balance as a $10 activation fee  on the free plan.  Balances also expire every 30 days but can be reactivated for free.

If you are interested in FreedomPop uou need to read my Prepaid Operator Profile: FreedomPop post first. It describes all of FreedomPop's plans and services and includes step by step instructions on how downgrade to the free plan, disable auto top and extra cost services and reactivate expired balances. There are also tips on getting customer support from FreedomPop. The post tells you how to easily get an extra free 500 GB per month of data on any FreedomPop account. You will probably need that extra 500 MB as FreedomPop's free plans only include 500 MB of data on Sprint and 200 MB on AT&T.

Image: Facebook


53 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. The end is coming fast for FP

    ReplyDelete
  2. Clearly designed to trick people.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Best to pay $55 and get a yearly Red pocket plan on eBay for low volume users

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FP policies make any other MVNO with lukewarm deals (such as RedPocket) seem quite benign in comparison. FP is in a league of its own with a business model based largely on bait-and-switch and deception.

      Delete
  4. Following RingPlus to the grave.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Games. Junk. I let them burn me once, it was just an experiment so thank goodness I wasn’t actually counting on this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. way too complicated to even try. Im staying where im at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And even if you try carefully and save the information properly, when you come back you might find out that FreedomPop has added some bogus charges to your account: even AFTER you declined these bogus charges (typically for scam product add-ons that no one ever chooses) and verified that your account didn't have them.

      Delete
  7. Most any company will have rare instances of customer experiences where the customer gets burned, misled, bait-and-switch, ripped off, etc. Even with "Tracfone", for the vast majority of customers, there are no problems: people pay for clearly advertised plans, and get exactly what is advertised and exactly what they pay for.

    (Some here report that after "FreedomPop" tricks you into paying more than they were supposed to, you can easily call them and get your money back, which makes them great. That is like saying that mugging is no problem as long as you can ask the mugger to get your wallet back)

    "FreedomPop" is unique in that their ordinary business model (not rare exceptions of it breaking down) involves burning and misleading people and ripping them off. They do truly stand alone. Well, not entirely unique in history. Didn't Bernie Madoff run something on this business model also?

    ReplyDelete
  8. You guys are right, getting into a relationship with FreedomPop is basically no longer worth the effort.

    I have the global SIM. I didn't get a warning email about the shut-off, but I knew about it through this website. They definitely shut it off.

    I have the LTE SIM in an iPad Pro. I bought into their rollover data program back when it was $1.99. No bogus extra charges. Still working great, but I won't be surprised if that is killed off, too.

    I wanted to put a Sprint-compatible phone onto their Sprint service. Their activation site accepted my MEID and the ICCID from an eBay SIM. The activation failed and they escalated it. In the end they gave up trying to get it activated. That process took nine days! The very same day they emailed me about releasing my MEID and refunding the activation fee of $0.99, I activated on Tello using the same MEID and ICCID. Activation happened in seconds. All I needed to do was reboot the phone.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Based on my experience with FreedomPop in 2015 and reading the experiences of others both before and after my own, it's rather clear the free service is an advertisement for the paid service. However, IMO if they didn't offer any free service they'd lose the 'free service' advertising and would be just another MVNO at a serious disadvantage because calls and messaging are over-the-top instead of being real voice and messaging.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Just let it die already. Such an irritant. Nuisance.

    ReplyDelete
  11. FP could probably do pretty good if they would just stop all this BS.
    They can't seem to stop the nickel and dime of their customers.
    When will people finally wake up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, FP might be good if they advertised what they sold and delivered what people paid for. Instead, their business model is based mostly on fraud and deception.

      Delete
  12. Just to be clear. I have an ATT LTE account and I already have auto-topup disabled. I don't have any credit on the account period. Will this affect me on my free plan?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, if you are already on the free plan with auto top-up off these changes do not apply to you.

      Delete
  13. I have two free lines, and am not sure if I should keep them. I find VOIP calling with the ATT sim is very unreliable. I can't depend on it. Therefore, the sims have not really been all that handy.

    And then we these rule changes, it's hard to keep track what's going on, and I get paranoid I am going to get some oddball charge for a sim I rarely ever use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try using Hangouts for calls and messaging. I've found it very reliable, unlike the FP app.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Dennis, I have tried the Hangouts calling app. While maybe it is a tiny bit better, it is still problematic. And this is in an area with decent coverage.

      I'm going to check and see if I already have auto top off disabled.

      Delete
    3. I've found the opposite, the fp app places calls quicker and less echo and lag.

      Delete
    4. VoIP is generally unreliable regardless of the app, I've tried them all. Fp's app is actually one of the better ones in my experience.

      Delete
    5. Side benefit of Hangouts is if/when FreedomPop goes under there's very little disruption. Just buy a block of data from the next cheapest provider.

      Delete
  14. When will freedom go out of business. I need to be gone like Ringplus did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry. Be happy and enjoy the free service.

      Delete
    2. Ring plus was giving away almost 5 gigs a month till the end, FreedomPop isn't.

      Delete
    3. RP was also throttling the hell out of it, so you never use all that data. Useless.

      Delete
    4. The nice thing about RP was that I was not worried that I would be charged extra. Their system allowed one to enter an expired credit card number after the account was set up with a valid one. That "peace of mind" to use your data was why I liked RP.

      Delete
  15. get the $3.99 data rollover if you don't use too much data and if you are on wifi most of the time anyways if you even have FP like for a backup phone that you probably barely use. you can accumulate rollover data up to 20gb for when you really need cellular data when you are not on wifi. it's like having a super dirt cheap $4/month plan. think about it. basic free plan plus data rollover for only $3.99 per month.

    but yeah people are so blinded by wanting to pay ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that they will continue bellyaching about why FP is making changes and trying make some money.

    (but FP is most likely making more money from licensing because that seems to be their ultimate business target that no one gives them credit for. and FP is already well financed. but only FP knows how much money they could be burning through.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I did, but only 200mb is eligible for rollover on the free plan, the 500mb of friend's data disappears.

      Delete
    2. I used to pay the $3.99 rollover fee for my hotspot plan. When I got the free year on Sprint Unlimited BYOP I cancelled the plan and walked away from my balance, since I get 10GB/month high speed hotspot with soft cap. The savings pay for my $3.27/month Sprint taxes.
      BTW, this free plan ends this month. It's not too late to sign up for a free year of Unlimited TnT plus Unlimited HS data. I'm getting up to 122 Mbps down in my area, and averaging about 12 Mbps. No complaints.

      Delete
  16. I pay $2.50/ mo for VM and only use about 300mb / mo, very happy FP customer, just read the mouse print!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wish you'd stop giving Freedom Pop free advertising, they are a scam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're more than welcome not to use them.

      Delete
  18. From the parent post: "The trials are only free for the first month. If you don't cancel them FreedomPop charge will you about $30/month starting the second month."

    Again, pure deception. You click on a free plan and end up paying far-above-market rates for a few gigs of service on America's far-and-awayworst well-known network (due to lots of tricks in their web site. Something no person would ever CHOOSE to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No deception here, and your post proves it. Their advertising clearly states the charges after the first free month. I'm not defending their business practices - they should be more upfront about the actual cost of downgrading.

      Delete
    2. It's really just one example of the subterfuge

      Delete
  19. I like FreedomPop. I currently use three LTE sims from them.
    My future plan is to combine the LTE sims with Project Fi - early next year after I'm done with the Sprint 1 year free plan.
    I will use Project Fi with my Pixel 2's eSim, and use a LTE sim in the other Sim slot. When I am close to 700mb of Project Fi data, I will switch to the LTE sim and use hangouts.
    I also have another LTE sim and a Truphone sim in my Axon 7.
    When combined with wifi, , that will meet all my data needs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1. I have two Freepop LTE SIMs and a Global SIM with zero-rated WhatsApp use. Speeds are good. When my Sprint Unlimited BYOP year ends July 1, I will just use my Truphone SIM and FreedomPop SIMs.

      Delete
  20. Why don't they just let you pick what you want when you join, if you choose the free plan then that's what you get. No downgrading, no top up downgrading and no free trials if you don't want them. Let us choose what we want and quit scamming people. I think they do this because they are making fast cash by being thieves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, let me pick what I want!

      Delete
    2. So you think companies are thieves when they charge for products and services? I pay Sprint about $3/month for 'Free' Unlimited Talk, Text and Data. They are not stealing from me; I signed up willingly because it was a bargain. So is FreedomPop service, free after an initial cash payment. So funny to see people get angry over such a bargain service ;-)

      Delete
  21. That's entirely different. With Sprint you get what they advertise. With FP they advertise free and then illicitly try to trick you into paying high junk charges.

    I'm not sure the deceit and fraud counts is "theft", but it's pretty close.

    ReplyDelete
  22. These cheats are still around, interesting. They must have an investor with deep pockets because they surely arn't making enough money to survive with what they were were offering last time I checked. Perhaps this is one last attempt to drum up some cash flow before they shut the doors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well if I were an investor I sure as heck would not invest in this crap shoot.

      It's only a matter of time although they have lasted longer than I anticipated.

      Delete
    2. "Well if I were an investor I sure as heck would not invest in this crap shoot."


      People don't want to risk their regular credit cards with FP either.

      Delete
  23. I was prepared to pay $10 to downgrade my trial account, but when I went to do it today and it was $15 I cancelled my account out of annoyance. I know it's only $5 more, but it's symbolic of the direction they are going with all these quick changing terms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much! Now freedompop can afford to give me free service for about 6 months ;-)

      Delete
  24. They are developing quite a following of people who will never, ever do business with them again, no matter how great the offer. What little trust a person might have in them, they seem to do their best to erode it as quickly as possible. And it's a shame because they have unique ideas and try things that are out of the box. But trust is too big to flitter away like they have done, time after time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they burned me and tried to defraud me.

      Delete
    2. Anybody with the attention span to read PP PN can read the Freedompop review and follow instructions. They are one of the biggest bargains you will find. Just use your brains, folks!

      Delete
  25. At least I still have the old sims with low expense. Their new person at slickdeal is not as good.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Just a heads-up to others that Cranial Borborygmus, DSL Reports and Howard Forums are all reporting FreedomPop has again changed things, disabling auto top-off now costs $4.99/mo.!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Never needed to cancel a sim but there is a menu option to do that. A ticket support is not as good and the new person at slickdeals is not as good.

    This link is good to find out the sim's serial number, which is helpful https://www.freedompop.com/account/device_list.htm

    ReplyDelete
Comment Page :


All comments must be approved before they will appear. The following types of comments will not be approved: off topic comments, insults or personal attacks directed at other commenters, bigotry, hate, sexism and profanity.