*** Update Feb 11, 2018 ***
OK, to their credit, FreedomPop did *not* back bill me for the previous month’s use. So I take back that claim (crossed out below).
What happened was that I missed a service that I enrolled in when I first signed up that I didn’t know to go look for. It was not obvious to me it was a thing that I needed to address. So Mea Culpa even though I think the site is laid out to promote such confusion. I knew this and did not exercise due diligence.
Using their mobile app today I tracked down the service and will disable it next month and see what comes of it.
*** End Feb 11, 2018 Update ***
I wanted a hotspot for my car so my Dashcam could be available to me whenever I wanted.
So I chose FreedomPop as an inexpensive alternative. For $20 (supposedly for Activation) I get an OK hotspot and a promo for 3GB free for the first month.
I knew I was intending to downgrade from the promo after a month so I put a credit on the account for $5 knowing they would not permit a zero balance when the time came.
So, here I am 2 days before the initial month expiry and find my credit has “expired” and I have a zero credit balance.
Apparently any credits “expire” around 30 days and you can activate them again by clicking a tiny link at the bottom if you know about it.
Then, moving on to downgrading, it took a bit of searching to find the tiny little “Downgrade” link located within the dialog that appears when you click your current plan.
I went through a series of confirmation dialogs, one of which asked if I wanted to add a $15 credit to my account, to which I answered “no”.
Finishing the downgrade process should leave me with a very reasonable free plan that gives me 500 MB included and costs 2 cents per additional MB. This is what I was looking forward to and expect I’d pay $5-$10 / month.
When I checked I found:
- My credits are going to expire each month so I will need to “reactivate” them each month
When I downgraded my plan, it appears FreedomPop went and back-billed me for the amount I used during the trial that’s over and above the data included in the free plan. Dirty pool there.
- They billed me for a $15 credit even though I explicitly instructed them not to.
Ironically, this is *less* shady than my dealings with the major mobile provider I used to use for my personal mobile needs.
I’m expecting my monthly usage to be in the 700 MB range which means that my out of pocket should only be about $4-$5 which is what mobile service really *should* cost.
I’m going to try FreedomPop for a few months and see if they do anything else similarly shady. I am certainly feeling a bit uneasy. They seem to be hoping people don’t read and don’t challenge them. If they just charge me what they say they’ll charge me and stop all this *gotcha* nonsense then I’ll stick with them. The surprise costs so far are low enough that I’ll just suck it up for this start month and be happy that I ended up with a $30 hotspot (adding in the back-billed charges) which is still not a bad deal.