Freedompop - latest scam to 'monetize'
Published 04/12/2016 12:28 PM | Updated 03/27/2018 12:06 PM

Apparently, a new policy since March implemented with no notice.

So when then re-enable your account's top up 'feature', the only way to turn it off is to pay $6.99/mo.

I know it's been that way for a few months for lines that did not already have top-up disabled. I had assumed that lines that had disabled top-up via the old method of a one-time $5 charge (or free in the early days) would remain godfathered in.

Too much higgledee-piggledee with FP & those like it - enough to give one a headache just trying to follow it all !!

While I'm disgusted by that particular FreedomPop practice, I found that it's been easier & less stress to just have a top-up amount on my various FreedomPop accounts, on both Sprint & ATT. I can even dip into it from time to time. No wasted "fee" that may or may not be applied to the top-up amount. And no stressing over wasted fee.

I pay for rollover on several accounts and they just raised it from $3.99/mo to $4.96.

I'm done with them.

I'm going to use up all my rollover data and deactivate all my SIMs.

I'm also starting up a $25 Boost Unlimited Gigs line and paying for it with my CellNUVO dollars.

Looks like that's their goal... to upset people enough so they cancel the account so they can keep the top up.

They are no longer happy with top-up. they are charging $6.99/mo just to deactivate the auto top-up.

As long as you don't let it expire, top-up credit is supposed to be refundable when you cancel an account. (By request.)

But, I agree with your general point, and the similar thoughts offered by others here-- it looks like FP is trying pretty hard to convince folks to walk away from the base plans. It seems obvious to me that FP has to have a strategy to move us away from the free plans--but strangely, it looks like they're even working on pushing away those who are paying for additional services (like Chelle).

I've been using FreedomPop since April of 2015. So far, I'm still seeing enough benefit to keep using it, but the tipping point is getting closer.

I did not know that... is it as a favor from some CS agents or is it policy? I would definitely want to get my $10 top up back on that account that had the top up re-enabled. Too much risk of going over running around with a 200-250mb capped LTE SIM... would likely trigger another $15 top up.

I believe it's a policy. I think it's been noted before that FP doesn't make it easy to search for official policy statements-- anyway, I didn't find it easily.
But here's one of several forum threads of arrangements being made to return top-up credit on account cancellation-- this one from July 2018:

I asked because I was only allowed to transfer it to another account. I'll ask for refund this time. Thx.

After reading this, I logged into my FP accounts. Hadn't logged in since months. Looks like FP has enabled Auto-TopUp in my accounts (although I can't remember if it was always that way). My Credit balance has always been zero. So... does this mean I will be hit with an automatic $15 auto-topup charge on my credit card? Is that what's supposed to happen?

My billing cycle ends in 6 days. Should I cancel my accounts before that in order to avoid the $15 charges?

peterquinn, the auto-top-up charge only happens if you exceed your data allotment. Auto top-up is enabled by default when you set up a line, so most likely nothing has changed in your account. (You would know if it had been disabled previously, because you would have had to pay a service charge or deposit a credit, to disable it.)

Paying $6.99/mo in order to turn off top-up is basically a $7/mo plan...

You are right. And I see now that I wasn't clear in my post. I basically let it auto-top up, so I pay no fee. I just don't ever use up the entirety of the auto-top up amount, so it has never auto-topped up after the first time. And I don't stress over any fees, though I notice I get charged 1 penny per month per account for at least 2 accounts. I don't stress over that either. For now.
Published 02/05/2018 02:45 PM | Updated 03/08/2018 09:39 AM

Wow, went from $4.99 per quarter to $6.99 a month. So $7 a month for 200mb of data, should I cross post this on hot deals? :slight_smile:

I guess Freedompop's business strategy is to sneak in fees and such for people who do not check their credit card statements. Very similar to those music club scams decades ago. Same old tricks.

Yeah, the free plans are pretty clearly a 'loss leader', and the intent was always to upsell the customers to some additional service or plan. (For example, voicemail isn't included with the voice allotment unless you pay extra-- and at least for me voicemail is essential for something to be considered a usable phone line.)

To me, no problem with a structure that is set up to encourage upselling, as long as it is done with a reasonable transparency. But it always appeared that the upsell products were overpriced, which leads to resistance to purchase, which leads to upsell product price increases to maintain the needed revenue-- which leads to the few folks accepting the upsell products footing the bill (and overpaying) for most of us who don't pay for additional services.

Thanks for the explanation, KentE! Very relieved that I don't need to panic! My usage is pretty low so even with the lowered allotments I should remain within limits.

From CS rep
The $6.99 is a necessary charge as mentioned in the link I provided below. Without this charge, the Auto Top-Up feature will be turned back on at the end of the month.

Yep, so the new FP policy is $7/mo for 200mb of 'free' data. So even if you pay the $6.99 to turn it off, then cancel the 'service', when the new month comes around, auto top-up will be re-enabled.

I think that was the plan all along. (At least, the plan after they instituted the "safety mode" charge.) Being able to sign up for safety mode, disable auto top-up, and discontinue safety mode without further charges worked, but probably wasn't intended to.

If Safety Mode is really critical for some, perhaps with iPhones, hotspots, or children's phones, that $7/mo might be better off going towards a more traditional plan elsewhere.