Author Topic: Freedom Pop?  (Read 17303 times)

RadicalPersonalFinance

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Freedom Pop?
« on: December 05, 2012, 05:45:10 PM »
Does anyone have any experience with Freedom Pop?  www.freedompop.com

It looks really interesting...


madage

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 07:20:05 PM »
Jonathan over at mymoneyblog.com signed up for it:
http://www.mymoneyblog.com/freedompop-unboxing-review.html

The $89 refundable deposit can only be refunded within the first 12 months, and might not be refunded if the hardware changes by the time you want to return and get the deposit back.

mlipps

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 07:30:25 PM »
We have it, my fiancee is using it for his tablet on his commute. I feel like the $100 isn't that bad even if I do end up actually paying it; the 500mb free plan is enough for him.

arebelspy

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 07:40:59 PM »
I have it, on the free plan.

Been using it for a few months, signed up right when it came out.

I'm actually using it right now, but it's very rare that I actually do use it - most my Internet use comes from tethering through my phone, so this is more of a backup/alternate.

It works well, I have no complaints whatsoever.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 07:01:48 AM »
I'm on the free program, I like it so far.  I did have one lesson learned which cost $20:  don't get within 100mb of your limit, or you'll get charged $10.  I did it twice within one session (streaming audio).  No problems since then.  You also need to log in at least once a month, or they charge you a maintenance fee.

arebelspy

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 09:36:04 AM »
I'm on the free program, I like it so far.  I did have one lesson learned which cost $20:  don't get within 100mb of your limit, or you'll get charged $10.  I did it twice within one session (streaming audio).  No problems since then.  You also need to log in at least once a month, or they charge you a maintenance fee.

I disabled the "add $10" thing in the settings.  I assume when I run out (which hasn't happened), websites just won't work.  Under settings>billing change "automatic top up" from yes (default) to no.  That was the first thing I did when I got it.

Convenient that they let you, rather than making you watch and stop use when you get close, I could see them trying to do that to get more money out of customers.

I didn't hear of the maintenance fee. Is that listed on their website somewhere?

EDIT: this is what happens with automatic top up disabled:
https://www.freedompop.com/faq_answer.htm?categoryId=21061228&categoryTitle=Payment%20%26%20Billing&articleId=22329606

I still don't see the maintenance fee anywhere in the FAQ.  Link?

« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 09:39:41 AM by arebelspy »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 06:41:23 AM »
I disabled the "add $10" thing in the settings.  I assume when I run out (which hasn't happened), websites just won't work.  Under settings>billing change "automatic top up" from yes (default) to no.  That was the first thing I did when I got it.

Convenient that they let you, rather than making you watch and stop use when you get close, I could see them trying to do that to get more money out of customers.

I didn't hear of the maintenance fee. Is that listed on their website somewhere?

EDIT: this is what happens with automatic top up disabled:
https://www.freedompop.com/faq_answer.htm?categoryId=21061228&categoryTitle=Payment%20%26%20Billing&articleId=22329606

I still don't see the maintenance fee anywhere in the FAQ.  Link?

Turning off the top-off does nothing if you are in the middle of using data - you'll stay connected and get charged for it.  The maintenance fee is spelled out on their website.  Need to use 5MB per billing period to avoid it.

cats

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 08:42:57 PM »
Inspired by the MMM post on FreedomPop, we recently decided to give it a try for our home internet use.  We signed up for their mid-range plan ($15/month + ~$100 for their 'hub burst'), as it seemed to have speeds comparable to our AT&T plan ($30/month, and slated to go up to $41/month after the first year).

Our results: According to their map, our address has very high 4G coverage.  However, the hub burst on its own had a very hard time getting a consistent connection.  Internet was constantly going out.  Super frustrating.  We emailed their support and heard back a few days later.  They recommended an external antenna, which we found for $24 on Amazon.  The antenna has totally fixed us up, we now get consistent access at a pretty decent speed.  We are going through our free data verrrry slowly, so I suspect that most months we will pay just the $15, very nice!

I should note that we do not have hulu, netflix, etc. and so we rarely (if ever) want to stream anything.  We mostly use the internet for email, a little browsing, stuff like that.

So, conclusion: If you, like us, are a minimalist internet user, I would totally recommend FreedomPop, BUT....I would definitely plan on also having to get/make an antenna.

adam

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 07:29:15 AM »
I got an email from freeedompop today:
Quote
FreedomPop
FreedomPop now has coverage in [your town] and nationwide!

Fast wireless internet, anytime, anywhere. Get our special offer get 2GB wireless internet-100% FREE

Fast Speeds Fast Download speeds
Take It With You - Use at home, the office, or wherever you go.
No Contracts Cancel anytime without fees or commitment.

But when I went back to the web site to double check availability, it still doesn't show coverage anywhere in this state.  So what's the deal?  I really would like to try this out.  Oh, and when I followed the link in the email they have a special where if I sign up now I get 2GB the first month for free and pay $39.99 instead of $89.99.

I sent them an email trying to verify the coverage and am waiting to hear back.

matchewed

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 07:36:48 AM »
I certainly hope it is as good or better than Freedom Rock. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKDk-mg1J9Q

davisgang90

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 08:34:41 AM »
My son has the USB dongle one and uses it for his tablet.

I just ordered the hotspot version with 500MB/month.  I paid for the $3.50 a month to roll over the data, since I won't use it as much and it will be nice to have a cache of data when I need it.

adam

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 06:56:12 AM »
I still haven't received a reply to the email I sent them asking if I'm really covered.

arebelspy

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 07:15:06 AM »
I still haven't received a reply to the email I sent them asking if I'm really covered.

Their customer service is terrible.  Takes days for a response.

But the product is good, and cheap.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

igthebold

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 07:52:52 AM »
Oh, and when I followed the link in the email they have a special where if I sign up now I get 2GB the first month for free and pay $39.99 instead of $89.99.

I ended up in the same boat, but asked customer service to drop me down to the free plan. After a couple days they responded saying they had done so.

My main problem is that of coverage. The places where I want this sort of coverage are places where there isn't decent wifi. I've been able to use it 2 times in about 2 months. I'll be going to the beach in June without wifi, and I only have the "nationwide coverage" email that I got giving me any hope of actual coverage.

When it works, it works well, though.

adam

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 07:07:08 AM »
My hotspot came in the mail on Saturday when I was out of town.  I charged it up last night.  Brought it to work to play with it today, and it can't get connected to the 3G network (error 67).  Google says I need to to a profile update on the device to fix the error.  It says I can get the SSID/PW by double tapping the power button.  That doesn't work.  I figure out the SSID but the default password is not connecting me via wifi.  I try connecting via USB but I don't have the required software to interface with it.

So in other words, nothing works right.

Still troubleshooting.

I think I got it figured out.  For some reason when I reset it this time it showed me the SSID and PW so I was able to update the profile or whatever I needed.  Maybe I was able to do the factory reset with the pen I had instead of having to go find a paper clip.

adam

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2013, 07:10:24 AM »
First speed test now that I have things connected:
3G:
193ms ping
478kbps down
415kbps up

Beggars can't be choosers I guess?

fiveoh

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2013, 12:40:35 PM »
Has anyone tried the new one on the sprint network that you have to pay $4 a month for? 

Daley

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2013, 04:01:25 PM »
Has anyone tried the new one on the sprint network that you have to pay $4 a month for?

Four bux a month already, eh? So it begins. I suspected the FreedomPop revenue model was unsustainable. *coughmingocough*

arebelspy

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2013, 04:14:33 PM »
Has anyone tried the new one on the sprint network that you have to pay $4 a month for?

Four bux a month already, eh? So it begins. I suspected the FreedomPop revenue model was unsustainable. *coughmingocough*

You're ready to believe that without any confirmation or sources?  You're better than that.

I can confirm my FreedomPop usage is still free.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

fiveoh

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2013, 04:33:36 PM »
Has anyone tried the new one on the sprint network that you have to pay $4 a month for?

Four bux a month already, eh? So it begins. I suspected the FreedomPop revenue model was unsustainable. *coughmingocough*

You're ready to believe that without any confirmation or sources?  You're better than that.

I can confirm my FreedomPop usage is still free.

You can still get the freedompop for free on their network(whatever one they have been using)but if you want access to the Sprint 3g network its $4 a month.  I would mainly be using it for travel so this is more appealing to me. 

Daley

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2013, 05:06:58 PM »
Has anyone tried the new one on the sprint network that you have to pay $4 a month for?

Four bux a month already, eh? So it begins. I suspected the FreedomPop revenue model was unsustainable. *coughmingocough*

You're ready to believe that without any confirmation or sources?  You're better than that.

I can confirm my FreedomPop usage is still free.

I did confirm, they're charging for Sprint 3G "roaming" access. Just because their WiMAX offerings are still free doesn't mean much given they're abandoning WiMAX and Sprint's 4G/LTE maps are still pretty spartan. As much as Sprint thrives on MVNO business with their network, Sprint has also chewed up far more than its fair share of MVNOs over the years, many of which have done the whole "free" entry level service. A lot of eggs are being thrown into this Sprint LTE basket for FreedomPop, and Softbank's not going to be running the same Sprint that Sprint ran. LTE is cheaper to maintain than their CDMA 3G network, but it's still not that cheap either. End user datamining doesn't pay as well as it used to, and most people will pick the free option over paying. FreedomPop's model has the potential to be disruptive (and don't get me wrong, I want to see it be successfully disruptive and thrive doing so), but it's also very fragile because they're trying to exploit people's greed to make money, and companies always underestimate how greedy people can be. Lay on how terrible and overtaxed support already is with increasing media exposure and area rollouts with the Sprint transition... call me cynical, but it's not a great combo.

I hope for everyone's sake that I'm wrong, but I'm gonna call this one: 12-18 months before they either drastically neuter the free package on usage in relation to what it is now, they'll eliminate the free package entirely, or they'll disappear as fast as they came on the scene due to death by 1000 papercuts. There's still more venture capital swagger and media hype than substance to the company right now despite being on the scene for a year, and that troubles me.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 05:14:04 PM by I.P. Daley »

igthebold

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2013, 12:15:30 PM »
Just found this when looking at my usage (free 500MB plan)

Quote
The $0.99 charge is a fee to keep your account active. When you use less than 5MB in a month, you are charged to keep your account open and it is also a way for us to provide free data on a daily basis for everyone which averages around ~500,000mbs daily.
To ensure that this doesn't occur in the future, all you will need to do is log onto your device and use more than 5MB. This can be achieved by checking your email, visiting a desirable website or simply checking your Facebook account. If you use over 5MB within your full 30 days billing cycle, you will not receive this charge.

Obviously they don't need to do this. It smacks very much of the way commercial banks charge fees. I.e. because they can.

StarryC

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2013, 11:46:53 AM »
I just got an e-mail saying that the price for the device is now $40 instead of $60.  That makes this an even better deal, right? I'm thinking I might give it a shot for travel this summer.

fiveoh

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2013, 12:10:55 PM »
I just got an e-mail saying that the price for the device is now $40 instead of $60.  That makes this an even better deal, right? I'm thinking I might give it a shot for travel this summer.

I got the same one... just fyi thats for the 4g only device not the 3g/4g one.  The 4g coverage is pretty spotty.

fiveoh

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2013, 07:14:06 AM »
FYI they have it on sale now for 19.99(+$9 shipping) with 2gb free first month.  I went ahead and picked one up.  I'll downgrade to the free service after the first month. 

adam

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2013, 02:10:13 PM »
Just downgraded from the trial 2GB plan to the free 500MB plan.  I was also a little worried that they might say it no longer was available because of the $3 500MB plan that showed up, but it looks like everything was kosher.  I'll probably have to wait a day and try it out to make sure it still works for just the 3G coverage area that I'm in.

edit: I will point out that you can't do this through the web site alone.  Just when you think you're about to downgrade it pops up with a phone number you have to call and they're going to start asking why.  I just said I bought it for travel and will upgrade when needed, but for now I just wanted it at the free level.  They accepted that with a minimum of fuss after offering to extend the 2GB plan for another month for free, but I declined.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 02:12:18 PM by adam »

mikeps

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2013, 06:23:22 PM »
FYI they have it on sale now for 19.99(+$9 shipping) with 2gb free first month.  I went ahead and picked one up.  I'll downgrade to the free service after the first month.
I have as well along with a family member down the street.  We are out in the middle of nowhere and Sprint coverage is 125 miles away...but (Ding, Ding) Verizon just installed a tower a few miles away and so I bought a MiFi (more costly to use), so now we are trying this out for a back up to our miserable CenturyLink DSL as well as travel.  I have yet to get the Overdrive Pro.  I will likely downgrade the account to the 500 free (plus $4 monthly) also and use it in the car to provide us WiFi.

FWIW, they are now waiving the $1 fee for not using 5 MB monthly.  They have some sketchy stuff but while this ride is available, I too will give it a spin.  Now looking at the sharing of data (50 MB credit already with my family member).  Found a Forum (elsewhere) where everyone shares their unused data with other forum members...will be watching that closely.

3G for $4 a month for 500MB is cheaper then Verizon's MiFi $15 for 7 days and only 250MB, not counting the cost for the MiFi device.  This should be fun!

-- Mike, Mazama WA

adam

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2014, 10:54:55 AM »
Hate to bring something back from the dead, but since it had my prior freedompop experience, I figured this was the best place.

My hotspot has not worked for at least the last 4 months.  They started charging me $0.99 each month for not using whatever the min MB is, like 1MB or whatever.  I sent an email to support asking what the hell was going on, since I can see bars, and I can connect to the wifi, but I get no data.

They said my area doesn't have 4g coverage.  I said it worked fine 6 months ago (of course, that was 3g, not 4g).  Basically they said "try moving it around".  They also suggested I move up to the 500mb plan that also includes 3g data.  I won't be doing that.

Now I have to decide if its worth just cancelling the thing.  I get to keep the hardware, and whats the point of paying 99 cents a month for nothing?  That and I have moved on from my $12 pageplus mobile plan with 10MB data to PTEL and "unlimited" data, so I don't know why I need this thing any more.

arebelspy

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2014, 11:12:33 AM »
Definitely sounds like you should send it back for a refund.

Their customer service is pretty poor, but I am now using lots of FP devices: we have 2 phones, a hotspot, and their home internet.  Can't beat the price (free, free, free, and $10/mo).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Quark

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Re: Freedom Pop?
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2014, 01:04:11 PM »
Inspired by the MMM post on FreedomPop, we recently decided to give it a try for our home internet use.  We signed up for their mid-range plan ($15/month + ~$100 for their 'hub burst'), as it seemed to have speeds comparable to our AT&T plan ($30/month, and slated to go up to $41/month after the first year).

Our results: According to their map, our address has very high 4G coverage.  However, the hub burst on its own had a very hard time getting a consistent connection.  Internet was constantly going out.  Super frustrating.  We emailed their support and heard back a few days later.  They recommended an external antenna, which we found for $24 on Amazon.  The antenna has totally fixed us up, we now get consistent access at a pretty decent speed.  We are going through our free data verrrry slowly, so I suspect that most months we will pay just the $15, very nice!

I should note that we do not have hulu, netflix, etc. and so we rarely (if ever) want to stream anything.  We mostly use the internet for email, a little browsing, stuff like that.

So, conclusion: If you, like us, are a minimalist internet user, I would totally recommend FreedomPop, BUT....I would definitely plan on also having to get/make an antenna.

Can you link to the antenna you got? I am having the same problem.