Starts you on two free trials, so be sure to downgrade under both Plans AND Services in the first month.
Basically, you get 500 MB free data every month, plus another 500 MB bonus every month for connecting with 10 "FreedomPop Friends" in your account. That bonus persists as long as you keep at least 10 "Friend" connections (meaning, you don't have to add 10 new ones every month). Add as many friends as you can from the most recent pages of this thread at Slickdeals and you should be good for 1000 MB free data per month going forward:
You also get "minutes" and "texts" on the free plan, but only through FreedomPop's VOIP app. I don't even bother with that, I just use Hangouts / Google Voice as my VOIP provider of choice. You need to install the FreedomPop Messaging app to activate the device, but once you are activated, you can uninstall it and continue using the free data.
Add-on for "real cell" minutes
The "Premium Voice" add-on ($3.99/month) gives you 200 real cellular minutes per month. It used to be outgoing only, and there was some trickery involved to force it to use cellular, but they've since added a "Incoming Premium Voice Preference" which you can enable in your account settings. I just tested and it worked for incoming and outgoing on the native phone dialer. Of course, it uses your FP phone number, but you could use it in conjunction with Google Voice and forwarding to use your GV number on it. (Real cell minutes on Sprint aren't that valuable to me, so I don't plan to keep this "Premium Voice" service beyond the free trial.)
GSM SIM cards
This is all for their BYOD CDMA service. They also offer SIM cards for GSM data service on the AT&T network, although "Premium Voice" isn't an option there and the free data allotment is slightly lower -- 200 MB base, 700 MB total after adding 10 "FreedomPop Friends." The LTE SIMs are currently $1.99 (and during the checkout process you get offered a second $0.01 "bonus" SIM) -- you can buy a bunch and rotate through them on the same device, if you need more data. They also have "Global" GSM SIMs (for $0.01) that work internationally as well as in the U.S. but they aren't LTE -- maybe a good choice for a backup / international travel SIM.
Overages / Billing
If you don't have a balance on your account, they will bill you when you are within 100 MB of your monthly plan limit. So if you have 1000 MB free per month, they will charge you $15 after you hit 900 MB. That $15 goes into your balance and will be used to pay overages if you exceed your plan limit. Their stated reason for charging before your limit is because of reporting delays. You can add $5 to your balance to cover overages instead (called "Disable Auto-Topup" in your account's billing settings) and your balance won't expire except you will need to click to renew it after awhile, I think. (Likewise accounts/plans don't expire due to inactivity, but they can go dormant if unused for awhile and you'll have to sign in to "re-activate" (for free) to get back online again.)
You can keep a credit card on file, or connect it to a PayPal account. I formerly used a prepaid card on my account but they have blocked that now. Many folks use a virtual credit card from their credit card company; others set up a special PayPal account with minimal funding. Still others link FreedomPop to PayPal, but then revoke the authorization in PayPal. I guess if FP tries to bill you though and it fails, they could shut down your account.
I'm pretty careful, and I don't use a ton of data anyway, so I keep a zero balance and haven't had any problems. I set my devices to limit mobile data at 200 MB below my plan limit (although I've never reached that threshold). I also use this FreedomPop API Python script as a basis for automating my usage checks / reports:
I happen to have both the CDMA and GSM models of the LG G2, so I have them both on FreedomPop free data now, sharing one Hangouts / Google Voice number. I will switch between the devices as coverage and data usage dictate.
I should add, while you can have more than 1 device or SIM card on a FreedomPop account, it is recommended to create new accounts for each where possible. That works best with that Python API script I linked above, and it seems like the safest way to ensure that all your devices get their "FreedomPop Friends" data bonus -- plus it allows you to be your own "FreedomPop Friend."
I have had extraordinary luck, with FreedomPop. I've never felt scammed and have gotten far more than my money's worth.
I have two global hotspots and two Sprint network hotspots that get 1.2-1.5 GB of data, per month, after sharing.
And I have an assortment of global SIMs that are in a variety of devices that we have.
I pay for rollover on four SIMs and am saving that data for a rainy day. It also helps keep me from feeling like a freeloader. At $3.99/500MB it's reasonable and I donate the remaining data to my hotspots.
For a total monthly investment of $15.96 I get more than 8 GB plus another 2 GB rolled over for the future.
I end up giving lots of data away but it's a fun little universe to be part of and I hope they stick around for years to come.
tonywagner wrote: Yeah, that Python API client is pretty cool, I've got it emailing my usage reports now. Surprised it hasn't been discussed more? Maybe I shouldn't be publicizing it or FP could close it...
So I've loaded the api.py onto two linux boxes and getting the error message:
File "api.py", line 5
SyntaxError: invalid syntax
EDIT: NEVER MIND... Looks like the download process screwed up the file. Will try again.
EDIT2: Worked ... This is BRILLIANT! Awesome sauce!! This will be VERY helpful! Thanks again!
One thing that I found out.. If you get one of their Global SIMs it comes Live... Soooo.... if you are going to cancel/opt-out any of the add-ons after (or during the first month) you will need to go online and do it in the first 30 days... Don't think (like I did) that since you haven't "activated" the SIM in a phone that your 30 days isn't ticking away...
Also, in addition to downgrading your Plan and Service, there is one more freebie to which you can subscribe -- the free Global 100 minutes under International. I haven't really used it yet but it might come in handy someday!
We got one of their new AT&T based GSM SIMs a month ago.
Couldn't make it play nice with our TF SIM in the dual SIM phone no matter what we tried, so downgraded it to free level some days later & got the confirmation email to prove it...
The rest of the month passed and a $19.99 charge posted on yesterday's date for services that our account says we do not have...woof.
This is not the 1st time this has happened to us from FP & it leads us to think their system and/or practices are all messed up.
So...a 'support ticket' with the details is now open & hopefully that will do the trick without having to waste any more time & effort on this matter.
As has been said before:
Watch FP when it comes to charges - they seem quite sneaky about them & DO charge for stuff users have told them not to charge anymore;
Also - their billing cycles start when anything you buy from them is shipped even though it hasn't yet been activated - and you MUST remember to downgrade BEFORE the end of that month !!