Freedom Phone Samsung Galaxy S4

Hi Woot! Great to be back here to follow up on last week’s offer for our top smartphones bundled with our 100% free phone service. I’ve add our top FAQs below (along with a link to a more expanded set). I’ll also be around to answer any questions in this thread or through PM!

** 1. Is FreedomPop really free?**
Yes, by activating on the 100% free, you’ll be able to get 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data for free each and every month. Just buy the phone and you’ll never have to pay another phone bill again. Upgrading to unlimited talk & text is only $10.99/month.

** 2. What network does FreedomPop use? **
FreedomPop uses Sprint’s 4G LTE and 3G networks. Calls and texts are made through FreedomPop’s VoIP messaging app, so you must have a data connection in order to send/receive calls and texts. Go to www.freedompop.com/coverage3g4g to view the full coverage. As a way to save your free data allotment, you can also connect to any local WiFi network, such as the one in your home or work.

** 3. What do I do after receiving my phone? **
After you get your FreedomPop phone, please go to www.freedompop.com/activate. Enter in the MEID of your phone, along with your desired email address to be associated with your FreedomPop account. Follow the steps to get fully activated. You will select your FreedomPop phone number during the activation process.

To see an even more expanded FAQs, please check out this page of the FreedomPop Community Forum! Hope everyone has a great day!

Wooters, I’d strongly suggest reading comments from prior sales of these phones to see how much past purchasers have been enjoying their FreedomPop experience… :wink:

http://electronics.woot.com/forums/viewpost.aspx?postid=6684232&ref=el_cnt_odet_dsc

Readers can also view our FreedomPop Forum (forums.freedompop.com) to see a broader spectrum of our users + more reviews.

I’ll still be around to answer questions and PMs all week long for those who seek assistance.

I bought a Galaxy S4 in November thru Woot and the phone is in great shape and it and the coverage work as advertised. HOWEVER, it is NOT free forever. After 30 days I started getting charged $19.99/mo for 1 Gb of data per month. The free option is no longer there. I’ve since downgraded to 500 Mb/mo for $10.99/mo. I can live with that, but it is NOT free. Check the fine print. Woot’s write-up is misleading, if not wrong. If anyone from Woot or FreedomPop can show me how to go back to “Free” I would greatly appreciate it.

I am not from Woot or Freedompop but am a happy Freedompop user.

In order to downgrade your plan to “free”, you will need to log in to your account online, and once logged in, you click on MY ACCOUNT --> PLANS

On that page, you will see boxes that say “My VoicePlan”
and “My Data Plan”.

Also, you will find a line of text immediately below the blue text where your data plan is named. It will say something like “Details and Plan Management” – The text will be black in color and the font size is fairly small. Click that “Details and Plan Management” line and that will take you to a page that outlines the details of your data plan. At the bottom of the rounded box on that page,
there will be a link that says “To downgrade your plan, click here”.

Click that link and you should be able to follow the instructions from there.

If you have any difficulty, there are support people on the Freedompop forum that are very helpful.

Q

The steps that Qwalla listed above are spot on. Please PM me if you need some help or confirmation that you’re placed on the Free Plan.

If you’ve been around at all, I posted a rather forceful denouncement last time. I think it worked its way up FP command. My #1 complaining point - that the Unlimited plan did not reach the 128 kBps speeds advertised - magically resolved itself. I can now stream mid-def Youtube video. So that, at least, is no longer an issue.

BUT EVERYTHING ELSE IS STILL VALID.

TL;DR before I begin, because this post is SUPER long: these people have stolen untold hours from my life due to the issues with their service. If everything works for you, great! You’ll have free/low-cost service that can’t be matched by just about everyone. But that’s if everything works. Read on and gauge the chances of that happening.

I’ve bought more low-end stuff from these people. Some LG Volts, an S3, a Moto E 2nd gen (my current phone), an HTC EVO 4G LTE.

The Moto E is the most tolerable. All FP did was root and install a custom ROM for their carrier software. It’s mostly stock 5.1, but it still has issues.

  • The 500MB thing is false advertising***. You can only use ~395MB, because there must be a minimum 100MB free on your account and I’d leave a bit more than that to be safe. If you go over 400MB EVERYTHING stops working. Voice, text, data. You have an Angry-Birds-playing brick and nothing more. You can’t even call FREEDOMPOP from the freedompop phone to hand over a credit card.

***Yes, you can add a credit card and have a $10 auto top-up parked on you account; that way you get the full 500MB. But they need to be clearer about this and provide more options for topping up through the phone.

  • EVERYTHING is an add on service. I get these people need to make money but COME ON. $2/mo for MMS and media messages. $3/mo for voicemail. $4/mo for the tethering option. Any carrier that doesn’t let you use tethering for free is the spawn of the devil in my book. No, clever though you may be, you can’t use the Hangouts app to send SMS messages with your carrier number and avoid the FP software. There are apps that USB tether via debugging, but they require special software and a Windows device.

  • Signal drops randomly and mercilessly, sometimes for minutes at a time, and it doesn’t discriminate between where you are and what time it is. Data sometimes plain doesn’t go through (even if it has a 3G signal); it shows the little exclamation mark next to the signal bars. You need to toggle data on/off a few times to bring it back to life.

  • Call quality is SHIT unless you, in rare cases, get full bars of coverage. It constantly tries to use your WiFi to make calls, so when you’re at Starbucks and 50 people are torrenting pron off the network, don’t be surprised if the call quality is unusable. Unless you have fan-flipping-tastic Sprint coverage you need the Premium voice plan - which lets you sue the regular voice network as opposed to the VOIP crap - for an extra $4 per month. This was true across dozens of square miles in Atlanta and across ALL my FP devices.

AND EVEN THEN, the “Permium” package is implemented halfassedly on my Moto E. Outgoing calls go through Premium (shutting off data in the process), but incoming calls don’t. I get refunds as a result of this but it’s still unacceptable.

I (had) a Freedompop S3. They do their own firmware mods on the phone, and there’s a LONG list of shit that was broken on mine:

  • Videos around 720p & above stutter and don’t play back smoothly. The full HD videos taken by the DEVICE ITSELF don’t play at all. My 1GB RAM WXVGA tablet can play two(descaled) full HD videos at the same time, for reference.

  • Tethering is disabled via Bluetooth and USB (mine work but sporadically, for some reason); the Wifi Hotspot - that you have to pay monthly to use - turns off every few minutes…

  • …because the data connection CONSTANTLY drops nearly as often like I said above. It pops right back up in a dozen seconds but if you’re playing online MMO games or streaming it kills the experience.

  • the latest Stagefright SECURITY UPDATE for the device can’t be installed. The outsourced overseas coders who made this shit f***ed up somewhere.

  • Customer service…does not suck as hard as it used to. I’ll give em that. They will still transfer you 3-4 times in a call, with NO communication between departments so you have to explain your issue every time. Getting my phone replaced once was a nightmare, I had to literally call 5-6 times and escalate before they sent out a shipping label. And even then it took MORE than a month to get a new device. I begged them to hold my credit card and send a new device out ahead of time but they would not budge. They said the devices were on “backorder”. Funny how, when I called from a different phone number and was “interested” in the same phone, they had one to send me with priority shipping!

  • Oh, and your warranty still only applies to the original device purchase date, so if you replace it - and they eat up a month of the warranty getting you a new one - tough luck if you have any more problems after the 90-day window.

Oh yeah and I’m not even done.

Get this: I don’t get a 4G LTE signal on my E! “Customer” “service” suggested I reset the device. I tried explaining to the dumb butts that resetting the phone will not do anything AT ALL to the radio firmware/software. It was sold as a 4G LTE phone, so that’s false advertising too.

The LG Volts have the tethering features physically carved out of the firmware. Not only is there no menu, but I tried installing shortcuts to the “switch” in the OS directly, and it’s gone.

THAT BEING SAID - I am currently paying $25 a month for 1.5GB of LTE, ahem, 3G, and then unlimited data with unlimited minutes & texts. You won’t find that anywhere else.

I ain’t tech savvy enough to put stock Android on my device and go to a different Sprint MVNO, but if you wanna, these are nice refurb devices for a good price. That’s the one redeeming quality.

Here’s my experience with Freedompop. I got a refurbed Samsung Victory 4G LTE from Freedompop in a Woot! sale in September, 2014. The phone (still) works fine.

As I recall, getting the phone initially set up was non-intuitive, to say the least - a bit of a guessing game. And it wasn’t free, unless you only used it over wifi and didn’t plan on getting any voicemail. It was not very expensive; it just wasn’t free.

However, the main problem was that the phone was very flaky when it was away from any wifi signal. It dropped calls left and right. No matter how good a deal you’re getting, it’s not worth it if you can’t use a phone as a phone.

So I switched service providers. Freedompop disconnected me at my request. Sprint referred me to Virgin Mobile. Reconfiguring the phone took some guesswork and a few customer service calls.

I can attest that the Virgin Mobile customer service reps I talked to were knowledgeable (although not necessarily about switching from Freedompop) and very patient.