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on April 2, 2014

I ordered this from Amazon. When it's delivered, you get a Quick Start Guide. In the light blue bubble on the paper, it says that if you didn't get it directly from FreedomPop, like me, you get 2 options:

1. Activate your device online
2. Activate your device by calling

Do NOT activate it online. Activate by calling.

If you're interested to know why, read on. If not, skip to the next paragraph. By default, the free trial is picked in bright green. You can get over this by clicking the shaded out 500 mb plan all the way to the right, which is the truly free one. HOWEVER, when you get to checkout, you notice it has forced you into what's called "FreedomPop Premier." You cannot remove it from your shopping cart. It's free for 30 days, but then you pay $25 in advance every 3 months (at about $8 per month). Avoid the headaches of trying to cancel and trying to get your money back by not getting FreedomPop Premier in the first place.

Call 888-701-1353, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. If you can help it, do not call during lunch hour. EVERYONE calls during lunch hour, so you have to wait hours! I called at 9am and only waited 2 minutes.

Tell whoever picks up that you want to activate your device. They'll transfer you to a sales rep. See the video for the rest of the directions. It's a recording of me setting up my device after receiving it from Amazon and before turning it on for the first time. Just pause the parts in the video with text on them. Sorry that they're fast, I wanted the video to be around 5 minutes. I also apologize that it is a recording of a recording. After working hard to edit my original screen recording on wevideo, I couldn't download it unless I bought the application. So, I had to improvise!


You'll be charged 1$ on your credit card after this call. I called back and asked why, and was told it's to check to see if the card works. He said I would get refunded. I'll continue to keep tabs on my credit card, as should you. By the way, I recorded all my calls by video recording my web browser screen to have evidence that I disabled all of the extra features and added WIFI security on a certain day (on the screen recording, I Googled "date and time" to prove the date). I did this because I read a review of someone being charged for a feature that they had already disabled. According to him, when he called, the customer service basically just called him a liar. He could not prove otherwise without recordings.


It only works on 4G, so there's no 3G service. Before buying, check to see if you can get service in your area. FreedomPop will not tell you. You can click on "Coverage" on their website, but then it will just prompt you to give out your email and address, Then it will ask you to pick a device and checkout and give them you billing info (wtf?!).

So instead, Google search "clear wimax" click the 1st link and put in your address. If you're in the green, you're good to go, even if they say "We're sorry...we can't sell you service." That's because Clear and Freedompop both use the Wimax network. Freedompop is the one selling you service.


All in all, the device works well. I live in DC and get good reception.

It comes fully charged, so it's ready to go. Just don't turn it on until you have followed the directions above. I have read stories of people getting charged for not password protecting their device and not disabling the feature that automatically charges you for more internet after you are within 100 mb of finishing up your free 500 mbs.


I have read about people getting disposable pre-paid cards to put on-file with freedompop, so that might be worth a shot. Buy the freedompop from amazon using your regular card (amazon won't share your card info with freedompop) Then, when you call to activate your device, just give them the number on your disposable card. Just make sure you have more than $1 on it, since they test whether or not your card works by charging you 1$. It gets refunded later.

You can buy a prepaid card of any major type, like mastercard, visa, etc, from a store or online (giftcards . com sells them).

I haven't used this trick, but it might be worth a shot if you don't want to worry about any accidental charges (they can't charge you more than 2$ on gift card that only has 2$ in it!)

EDIT #2:

I have since been informed by the user Zerin that "if you don't have enough money left over in the prepaid credit card, the service will temporarily cancel until you put in a good credit card."

So it would seem the prepaid card idea would only be good to test things out with Freedompop.

In other news, I'm going on 3 months now and still no charges on my credit card. I have not paid a cent for the extra internet I get every month. I keep my Freedompop charged and turned off in my drawer, so that it can be ready when I need it. For example, right now my internet is down so I'm currently using my Freedompop to write this 2nd edit. Also, just last week my power went out due to a storm and I reported it to Pepco's website using my charged Freedompop and charged laptop. The internet speed is very impressive, as well. I'll post another edit if anything pops up, but so far so good.
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on February 14, 2014
I bought this from Gizmodo when they were having a 1 day sale where I got this for a measly $30. I planned to use it as an emergency data plan for when my phone ever gets close to getting over -- $30 seems fair for that! So I buy it, activate it, and proceed to log on to the website so that I can "downgrade" to the FREE 500MB/month plan (by default, you are on some promotional rate that costs money). When I tried to downgrade, I got a popup saying that since I was on a promotional rate, I had to call a special number to downgrade instead of just being able to do it online. Thanks, how convenient.

No big deal I thought, I'll just call the number. I have lunch from 11am-12pm at work M-F, and their phone line is only active on weekdays until 5pm (I'm generally not even home by then). So lunch is the only time I can call to downgrade. I follow the automated instructions, and am put on hold for 45 MINUTES. LITERALLY. I decide to try again the next day. 45 MINUTE WAIT, AGAIN. I am sitting there eating my lunch, listening to this god awful 'on-hold' music for 45 minutes straight. I give up and think it's bad luck, and decide to try again the next day. I am put on hold for 45 minutes again (not exaggerating, try it yourself), and realize that it must be impossible to actually reach them. I then use the option of pressing "1" to have a representative call you back... and you can be damn sure I was watching my phone like a hawk to make sure I didn't miss there call because the days were running out before I'd be charged that "promotional" rate.

Finally they call, I pick up, and they downgrade me to the FREE plan after trying to convince me otherwise. Now, here I am about 3 months later, and I am billed $3.99 for "FreedomPop Speed Plus"? What the actual F? I NEVER signed up for this, in fact, I just checked my online account and it doesn't even say I'm subscribed to this service. Now I have to call them and deal with that nonsense again to save $3.99? Hardly even worth it, but this time I'm going to call back and just cancel my account entirely because I am sick of dealing with these folks.

I'm cutting my losses at $30+tax, and regret ever falling for this crap in the first place.

UPDATE 03/20/14:
I think they have added more customer support representatives, which is great. When I called to get another erroneous charge reversed I was connected within 5 minutes (compared to 45min+ a while ago), and the rep I spoke to was very helpful and understanding of my frustration. They claimed that my account had a "glitch" and told me they would have their software team look into it. I'm crossing my fingers that I won't have to call back.

On a positive note, I can say this... my regular internet went out over a recent weekend and it was very nice to have the FreedomPop device. It worked great as a temporary fix until the cable guy could come out on Monday. I almost feel bad having given this product such a horrible review, because it was entirely geared towards their customer service (which appears to have been fixed), and the fact that my account had become glitched. I also read that they are letting people downgrade to the free plan via the website now instead of having to call in which is a huge improvement. For new customers, the issues that I experienced should hopefully not be a problem. Still, I have a hard time recommending this product after what I had to deal with.. only time will tell if they continue to bill me for services I am not subscribed to.
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on March 23, 2013
I got this unit directly from freedom pop in Jan 2013 for use when I travel. I subscribed to the 2Mb per month for $17.99. Upon receiving the device I connected my device to it and went to two webpages to test connectivity. It then went on the shelf.

About 2 weeks later, I took it out of town with me and used it while eating lunch to view a few webpages for research. No video, or audio, just plain webpages. I put it in my glovebox in my vehicle and there it stayed.

In March I noticed two charges from freedompop. One for $17.99 and on for $370. Yes, $370. I immediately called freedom pop and told them about the charge. They claimed I had used 37Gb (gigs) of data in 2 days. I asked for the dates of the usage and they were for just 3 days prior. I explained that I had not used it in over 2 weeks and the accused me of not password protecting it and leaving my network open. Fact is, the device was protected both with a login password as well as a separate wifi password of my choice. Also, the device was still in my glove box and the battery was dead. They then claimed that my MAC address may have been "spoofed", but had no explanation as to how that could have happened.

I asked for a credit of the $370 and they REFUSED!

If you use this service, BEWARE! They can say you used data that you didn't and there is no way for you to prove otherwise. They have your payment info on file and they will, WITHOUT WARNING, charge you extraordinary high amounts.
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on June 30, 2013
I purchased my freedompop (FP) gateway directly from the company 3 months ago, I thought it was a great price for the service considering I was paying 3x more at ATT.

FPservice is not the best but I like it because of the price, I constantly get 3 bars on my gateway which is great for browsing. If I choose to go online and look at a video and use my voip phone, the quality of the voice is very poor which is directly related to bandwidth contention.

I am allocated 10GB per month, and initially I would leave my computer on and I noticed large chunks of data usage at odd hours in the morning, upon inquiry I was told by FP it was due to the computer being on probably applications are polling etc.

The following month I turn the network connectivity on my computers when I don't use the internet. However upon close examination of my bandwidth usage I noticed I was billed for data usage during hours when I was sleeping or out of the house. FP supports says their billing is accurate, no further explanation was given. I installed a few apps on my laptop to monitor the bandwidth usage and I notice a discrepancy which amounts to over 1GB I send it to FP support, I am still awaiting their response 4wks later.

On a side note, FP CEO was quoted in the news saying that they make most of their fees on additional charges, from my personal experience I don't believe they are trustworthy with their billing as I have lots of unanswered questions.

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on April 5, 2013
Free? think it twice. Beware the traps I got:
My credit card was charged $10 top-up when I requested to switch back from trail 2GB plan to free 500MB plan, even I disabled the auto top up charge option.
Customer service refused to make refund because of their "no refund once charged" policy. I disputed the unauthorized charge by my bank, and My free service and my account are disabled. I requested to return my useless device for my $99 device deposit refund and got refused also! See more at ripoffreport dot com and search for freedompop.
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on June 13, 2014
WARNING - this gadget runs on Clearwire's WiMAX, which is being shut down in 2015. Freedompop says this device won't work on the replacement Sprint LTE network. So in a few months, the device will be completely useless.
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on December 29, 2012
The FreedomPop Photon is a well designed WiFi hotspot that does what it's advertised to do. It's fairly simple to set up and use. However, the more interesting part of the device is the service that it's attached to. The base plan that FreedomPop offers is 500MB for free. While this isn't much, it's still good for basic web surfing. In addition, their premium plans are priced well. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before you purchase this device.

1. If you don't use at least 5MB in any given month you will be charged a $.99 fee.
2. Auto top up is automatically enabled. This means that if you use up all your data it will automatically charge your credit card for extra data. You can (and should) disable this if you are worried about going over.
3. Coverage is very limited (for now) because FreedomPop uses Clearwire's network as a backbone. Check to see if they have coverage in your area. However, FreedomPop will be transitioning to sprint 4g LTE within a year. Although it isn't official, many FreedomPop agents are saying that they are planning on upgrading customer's hotspots that are compatible with the sprint network for free when they make the transition.

Overall, if you're fine with the few listed caveats above, you will be very happy with Freedompop. I haven't had any problems with the service and the speeds I've been getting are good (about 7mbps). I highly recommend this device.
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on September 24, 2014
This is the ONLY review I've ever written with years of membership to Amazon...with that said, FREEDOMPOP IS A SCAM! This entire company is managed by a bunch of bottom feeders and I'm doing everything in my power to connect with the BBB about this product/service.

Everything they promote says FREE internet service with possibility for upgrade; however, that is NOT what happens. In fact, without your prior consent or knowledge, they place you on a plan you don't want and never agreed to.

To demonstrate my point, I have screen shots of going back thru their "new client" setup and didn't find a single place where it would have been possible for me to approve the $19.99/month plan they said I signed off on - it's not even in the fine print. In addition, they don't even have a $19.99 plan on their website... Again, if I had screen shots, I would attach.

Needless to say, I'm young, savvy & buy many products via the web, and I even got duped by these losers...
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on May 1, 2013
Disclaimer: I didn't have a chance to actually use the Freedompop hotspot service, only dealt with their customer service and "inactivity" fees. So my review is about the latter two.

The first problem was that they charged a $0.99 "inactivity fee" because I haven't used the service. I don't remember ever hearing about that fee, and while a dollar a month is not a lot, it's still something I didn't expect.

The bigger problem is that I can't use it: since ordering the box back in Dec 2012, I moved into an area with absolutely no cell reception.

An even bigger problem is that Freedompop did NOT let me know they were shipping the box (no email, no tracking number, no "welcome to Freedompop, login to activate your account") and so the box - which was only marked with some sort of a "fulfillment center" on the label - was on the manager's desk at my old building for quite a while before I could pick it up.

My basic beef is nearly complete lack of communication, and refusal of customer service to take responsibility for it. Such as: if you intend to charge an "inactivity fee" - or anything at all - especially for the first time - especially if the customer may not be expecting it - you HAVE to send an email to the customer. FreedomPop failed here - count one.

Two, if you send a box someone ordered three months prior, you HAVE to let them know. What if they moved? No longer want the box or the service? Need to make any changes? FreedomPop failed here again, count two.

I called them today and communicated all that. They initially offered to take the box back and refund everything, but later backtracked saying it's outside of a 30-day return window, and they can only do two things: refund the $0.99 "inactivity fee" and cancel the "service". Freedompop failed here again - count three.

To me, it's pretty clear-cut: if it took them three months to ship a product and they failed to let the customer know that they shipped it, it's common decency to accept it back if the customer can't use it and it's slightly outside of that "30-day return period".

Couple that with those hideous "inactivity fees", and there very little I can say in Freedompop's favor.

Not recommended.
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on May 11, 2013
You better check your bill monthly for surprise attack on your credit card by these crooks its always something. Charges for not using the service charges for rolling over your minutes even if you don't sign up for it. And the best one is They say yes we will credit the false charges only to re-bill the next month. Deceptive business practice would be a compliment to these crooks. STAY AWAY FROM THIS!!!
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