*Buyer Beware! Since writing the review below quite some time ago we have watched user reviews and comments come pouring in about FreedomPop’s confusing billing tactics and unreliable service. While FreedomPop is a legitimate company and certainly NOT scam we do caution anyone that is considering the service to do their own in-depth research and make sure they know what they’re getting into so there aren’t any surprises down the road.
Founded back in 2011, FreedomPop is a company that states it “believes mobile service should be free because it’s a right, not a privilege”. Because of this, FreedomPop strives to provide free mobile services including data, text and voice minutes to millions of users in the United States and Europe. Sound intriguing? Then keep reading our FreedomPop Wireless Review to learn more about how FreedomPop is able to offer free phone service to users, the various plans available, its features, and more!
How Does FreedomPop Work?
Freedom Pop works by giving out 500MB of data free to users in addition to 200 voice minutes. Freedompop messaging is unlimited; however each message will eat up your data. This may sound like a dream come true, but understanding how FreedomPop works will give you an insight as to whether or not this is a good option for you. The company also offers various Internet only plans to satisfy the demands of tablet users.
This particular wireless carrier offers three different plans, one of which is free for the first year and all plans are month-to-month, so there are no contracts, activation fees, cancellation fees or credit checks. One of the primary reasons that so many people have switched is because they claim they do not charge hidden fees or require contracts of any kind for customers to use their services. Though real user reviews have clearly shown us that the signup process can be tricky with many optional upcharges that don’t take effect until 1-3 months into your service and even tricky service charge as we learn from a Time article.
“Here are a couple things to know about FreedomPop’s free data service, which is already available today:
- If you use less than 5 MB of data in a given month, you get charged a $0.99 “Active Status fee.”
- By default, when you reach your final 100 MB of data in a given month, FreedomPop automatically charges $10 to fill your plan back up. To avoid the automatic charge, you must change your billing settings on FreedomPop’s website.
Finding the above stipulations on FreedomPop’s website isn’t easy. There’s no mention of them on the home page, nor on the terms of service page that’s linked from the home page. You’ll only find them on a separate “Service Plan, Equipment, and Payment Terms” page, which is linked from the main terms of service. Even then, the part about extra fees is buried beneath six other sections of legalese.
FreedomPop does give subscribers a chance to opt out of automatic refills on the final service activation page, but the wording (“To ensure uninterrupted service, top up my freedompop account”) is vague. It doesn’t say that the charge is recurring, nor does it mention the 100-MB trigger.”
Our review of the website revealed that there are a number of different FreedomPop phones to choose from, though you will have to make sure you select one that is compatible with the plan you are interested in. The company also offers BYOD (bring you own device) options but again, the phone you are wanting to use must be compatible with the Freedompop network. Some of Freedomp Pop’s phones are Certified Pre-Owned, but they are all said to be in excellent condition. You will be able to browse through all of the different plans and phones on the company’s website before deciding which one is right for you. This carrier offers a variety of the latest and greatest smartphones including the latest iPhones and Androids devices such as the Galaxy S series, so you will have a myriad of options to choose from.
Before signing up for the free 500MB of data and 200 voice minutes, we suggest you learn more about the features and options this service provides. Additionally, you want to weigh the pros and cons to see if a ‘free’ service like FreedomPop is for you, or if a pay as you go plan is going to be better for your situation.
Why Choose FreedomPop?
Certified Pre-Owned Phones – All of the Certified Pre-Owned phones that are sold by FreedomPop go through extensive physical damage and functionality tests as well as data wipes, factory resets, and advanced frequency checks to ensure they are in perfect working condition. There are many inexpensive Certified Pre-Owned phones so they are affordable for most people.
Free High-Speed Data & Minutes – Those who sign up with FreedomPop will automatically get 500MB of lightning fast movie streaming, downloading and data for free each month, which is a feature that you will not find with any other wireless carriers. Even plans with additional data from this carrier only cost a fraction of the price that Verizon and AT&T charge. Also enjoy 200 voice minutes for free each and every month.
No Contracts – Another great thing about Freedom Pop Phone service is the fact that you never have to sign a contract like with so many other mobile carriers, this gives you the option to cancel your service whenever you want without having to worry about commitments or fees of any kind.
Premium Plus Service – Freedom Pop’s Premium Plus service is available for just $5.99/month, providing you with access to Sprint’s voice network through FreedomPop’s premium voice, as well as Wi-Fi tethering, and visual voicemail through the Freedom Pop Voicemail Android app. This voicemail Android app will allow you to receive, manage, and store all of your voicemails efficiently, as well as recorded personalized greetings for anyone who calls you. The Premium Voice feature ensures high-quality voice, even when the network connection is low. Wireless tethering allows you to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling you to connect up to 8 different devices wherever you go. Data Rollover (for an additional fee) allows you to roll over all of your unused data and accumulate up to 20GB, which you can use anytime you want.
Universal Use – instead of having one allocated phone, the company allows you to use the same number on any of your phones simply by downloading the FreedomPop application to your mobile device. This application is available in both the Google Play Android store and the Apple iOS store!
Bring Your Own Device – you can set up your existing phone with the FreedomPop service (providing it passes their requirements), or you can purchase a no contract device from their website at a great rate.
Super Cheap Plans For Those That Want More – Great plan options for paid users wanting more for less than the going rate. Plan options ranging from 2GB up to 10GB.
Getting Started With FreedomPop
If you want to get started with FreedomPop you can purchase one of their phones, or see if your phone already meets the eligibility requirements via their website. If you already have a phone, you are charged a fee for the use of FreedomPop; however this is waived if you buy one of FreedomPop’s smartphones via their website.
Once you’ve got your phone sorted out, you’ll have to create an account. The account is created online and will guide you through a step-by-step process of setting up your phone and service. Once the phone is linked to your account, you should be able to use your FreedomPop service almost immediately.
For setup of your USB modem or hub, consult the instructions provided or follow the video tutorials on FreedomPop’s website.
Does FreedomPop Offer Services To Businesses?
Yes they do actually. It’s not well known but FreedomPop does offer business cell phone service at considerably lower pricing than businesses are use to paying. The plans are the same as residential ones but the advantages for businesses include the following:
Bulk Purchasing – Get even cheaper phones than they already offer when your business purchases phones in bulk. Buying a lot of data? Purchasing it in bulk can further reduce already rock-bottom prices.
Unified Billing – Enjoy the easy and convenience of a single bill not matter the size of your account
Discount Pricing – Get even further discounted prices from already industry low prices. The more lines the bigger the discount.
Dedicated Account Management – Business need help right away when there is an issue with their phone serivce or they can lose valueable customer. Get premium customer service and attention whenever you need help with a dedicated account manager.
FreedomPop Service Plans And Pricing
FreedomPop offers a number of different plans that you will want to know about so you can choose the one that will meet all of your specific needs.
Talk, Text & LTE Data for a Year
With this plan you will get a total of 200 talk minutes, unlimited text, and 500 MB of data for FREE for a full year. This is a monthly plan, which means that you can cancel anytime you want. This plan runs through the Sprint network and is typically $10.99 after the first year. This is the world’s only 100% free mobile phone plan (as of January 2016).
Unlimited Talk and Text Monthly with 500 MB of Data
The second plan that you will have to choose from with FreedomPop includes unlimited talk and text and 500 MB of data for just $10.99 per month. You can choose to talk and text over Wi-Fi or using the cellular network. You will get the first month free and there are absolutely no credit checks or cancellation fees.
Unlimited Talk & Text with 1GB of Data
The last plan that FreedomPop offers includes unlimited talk and text with 1GB of data for the low monthly rate of $19.99. With this plan the first month is free and no credit check is required. This plan, like all of FreedomPop’s other plans, is month-to-month, so you can cancel at anytime time without incurring any fees whatsoever. The 1GB of full speed data will allow you to browse the web on your mobile device faster and more cheaply than ever before.
Internet Only Plans
FreedomPop offers several often changing internet only plans for tablet only users. These internet plans include a number of hotspots nationwide that are also changing often and the company is always adding more hotspots monthly.
FreedomSpot Photon & Other Hotspot Devices
What are they?
The Freedom Spot Photon, Photon Platinum, Photon LTE, FreedomPop Supernova and many more are internet devices that allow users to create a 4G mobile hotspot wherever they are at, be it at home for emergencies (power or Internet goes out) or on the go while traveling in their car. Each device comes with 500MB of data for free each month and two options to upgrade and pay for more data. As of now you can get 2GB of data for $17.99 per month or 4GB of data for $28.99 per month, both offers are absolute steals compared to Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile who offer similar hotspot deals for $50 or more.
How They Work?
The older Photon’s only work on Sprints 4G WIMAX network so no LTE service but they are still lightning fast at up to 12 MBPS. The Supernova and Spot Photon LTE obviously work with LTE data so you can get even faster speeds.
Fortunately for families each device can work with up to 8 Wi-Fi enabled devices and they are all about the size of a credit card, small enough to fit in your pocket. They each come with a battery life of over 6 hours which means using them is a great way to keep the kids entertained during those long road trips your family will be taking this summer.
How much do they cost?
Currently the Freedom Spot Photon LTE can be purchased for $99 (normally $179.99) on the official company site and the Photo Supernova can be purchased for $129.99 (normally $199.99). You can also find the older hotspot devices on the company’s website or on Amazon for $50-$150.
Before using the device you must register is with FreedomPop or the approved carrier of your choice (not all carriers allow use of a Wi-Fi hotspot device). E911 location information will not be provided or will be inaccurate for calls served through the use of these devices.
1) It sounds great and all but how is the coverage map?
As of this article the company uses the Sprint network for its services so it should be pretty good, although the coverage likely isn’t up to par with Verizon, AT&T or T-mobile. Of course that’s a matter of opinion as Sprint coverage can’t be horrible considering it has several million very satisfied customers in the US.
2) What is the companies customer service phone number?
Despite rumors that there is no FreedomPop number we were able to find one. If you are having issues with your service you can call 1 (888) 743-8107. We have heard that there is a long wait time so make the call when you have some time to spare and be prepared to wait for awhile or hope that the other rumors that we have heard about them vastly improving wait times are time.
3) Does FreedomPop Have An App?
Yes, actually they do. More on that coming soon!
Fairly cheap even with the extra fees – if you’re looking at a cell phone bill of over $60 from a normal provider, you’re likely going to be saving some money with FreedomPop even if you add in the extra fees, premium use, and active status charges they confusingly throw at your.
Fair amount of devices to choose from – while it’s said that the devices are refurbished Sprint phones that are offered on contract, you’ll actually find that you have a pretty decent selection of Android and Apple devices to choose from.
Free 500MB – one of the best features is that this is a good option for light phone users. You get 500MB of data for free from FreedomPop before you need to start paying something. For those who don’t watch a myriad of movies or download extensive amounts of games, this is a great option that can save you a fortune because, well, it’s free.
Free International Calling – There is also free international calling, which is a particularly great feature for those who have friends and family overseas.
Free International Texting Over Wi-Fi – You will also never have to pay anything for calls and texts that are sent/received over Wi-Fi to over 50 different countries and there are discounted for rates for country-specific plans.
30-day Money Back Guarantee – If you still don’t feel completely comfortable making the switch to FreedomPop, you will want to keep in mind that there is a 30-day money back guarantee with no questions asked.
Though FreedomPop is an incredible cell phone service they aren’t perfect, as is the case with all companies in this world. Here we list some of the negatives as of Spring 2017.
Customer support – FreedomPop does have a customer support number but we have received many complaints about it including long hold times and short hours for the help line. We found a contact form and a general FAQ/info page on their website and this may be your best route if you’re short on time. This reminds us of the complaints regarding magicJack’s lack of top-notch support. Though we again ask the question, do you really expect to get the same quality of customer service while paying next to nothing. It’s pretty simple if you think about it, the companies that provide super deals cannot possibly keep the same overhead as the more expensive multi-billion dollars companies and stay profitable.
Tricky upsales and charges set in place – When going through the signup process you are offered many upsales and ‘extras’. These ARE designed to be tricky and if you rush through the process you will undoubtedly be surprised when your bill comes and it isn’t free. Just know that all of these beyond the base free plan will cost you something if you don’t deselect them during the purchase process. Most of the fees however are only $5-$10 and you will still likely still be saving a TON over your previous carrier.
Final Thoughts On FreedomPop
There are many different wireless carriers to choose from and FreedomPop is definitely one of the more tricky ones out there in regards to billing processes and add-on service fees. However, they are the only carrier to offer a completely free talk, text and data service with no contract whatsoever (provided you catch and deselect all of the upsales), which is fairly impressive on its own. The 4G speeds that FreedomPop subscribers get with these plans rival other carriers around the world, which is something that will definitely appeal to those who spend a lot of time going online with their phones.
The fact is that FreedomPop is what it advertises itself as being, which is a cheap (or even free) wireless carrier for those who are tired of signing one or even two year contracts. This carrier really does allow its customers to cancel their service anytime they want without fear of any fees. The Premium Plus service from FreedomPop also has a lot of great features to offer and may be for some people but all things considered we simply cannot recommend FreedomPop until they provide a more transparent billing process.
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Real User Reviews
Do not get hooked by the free offer. Stay away from them, period.
They will continue to charge your account even after you have cancelled service. They have made it very difficult to contact them.
If you can't connect your phone to wifi, and are relying on cell towers, they have a nice little note in the fine print -- the cell service only works if you are outdoors, not in a building. Not sure if that is just with the crappy phone they sold me, or all of them, but buyer beware. Stay away. They have half a concept, here, and will no doubt be out of business soon.
I ordered the cards, never installed them, never used them. The service was supposed to be free so I never thought about it. I was not monitoring my checking account but then last month I saw charges coming out of my account for $27.93 for each card. NEARLY $60 per month and for the past 5-6 months. These guys are crooks! It may work but they are designed to steal money! They tell you free but the cards comes pre-configured for a $27.93 plan. I don't like dealing with crooks never have and don't advise anyone else to deal with them. What a sham!
We are sorry to hear about this. It's likely that you didn't notice when signing up that there are some 'add-on' services that cost money after the first free money.
It is the cheapest no doubt, but how many problems you want to take to make the service work that is the biggest question? The phone they sent is far worst than getting product from junk yard. I ordered 3 services/3 moto E . out of 3, 2 turned out to be defective not working devices. Takes 1/2 of a month to troubleshoot, generate RMA, shipping label. Welcome to freedompop. The connection goes through sprint network. Do not trust or go with the main review because they never used the service, trust someone who used the service.
After four days of using the phone purchased from Freedompop I have managed to connect two phone calls for less than one minute, and send and receive one text. This has consumed 100 megs of data!
Truly the worst network ever! Text messaging has to be done through an app and you need an internet connection to use it. Long delay in connecting calls, time delay on calls, poor signal, data comes and goes. Took me a week and some 20 emails before they gave me my PAC code. Shocking customer services, very infuriating, go round and round in circles when emailing them. I couldn't wait to leave, total waste of £5 to port my number to them.... only stayed with them a week.
They will not unlock your phone after your contract is up. I have been asking them for months.First they said they did it, only to find out my new service won't work because the device is locked.I have re-requested and now get no response.These guys suck - also I had three months of charges on my Credit Card (which you have to give them) billed after my plan ended.Total smell of a company. Bad business practices and even if they were cheaper than the cheapest I still lost money.Anyone want to by a locked Nexus 5?
A load of crap. I'm in the UK and had to download the app. No choice. Also you must have a wifi or data connection for a text message to send. Even then the service is temperamental and extremely slow. I got charged for all sorts of extras I never opted for!! There customer service is non-existent. Feel totally scammed and frustrated.
I signed up for their GSM service. Gotcha #1: it doesn't sign you up for the free plan they advertise, it signs you up for a "regular" paid plan and gives you a one month free trial, so you're fooled into paying for it when the next billing cycle rolls around. Luckily I was informed of this by the person who recommended their service to me, so I downgraded my plan to the free one, which explicitly stated that it was completely free. A month later, I found a $7.99 charge on my checking account. Long story short, when you downgrade to the free plan, FreedomPop automatically signs you up for a "Premium" monthly extra, without informing you (nor is it mentioned anywhere). There's a button to turn this off, but they've purposely hidden it in the corner in font so small it's almost unreadable.Shady, shady, shady...