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on May 7, 2013
I must admit that I was excited about the prospect of a "free" internet connection. I am a very light user and thought this would be perfect for me. However here is what I discovered after 6 months of use. Here is San Francisco the coverage was just plain terrible. Even though it showed I was in the useable areas, I found that most of the places I went I just couldn't get a connection. Also I thought the battery life, and especially stand by life was just terrible. A fully charged device if you didn't use it for a few days would be totally dead. I can't tell you how many times I would go out and grab my photon only to find it was dead and needed to be recharged. Also I discovered that the "deposit" was not really that, and if you kept the device for more then a year, you would forfeit your $99 deposit. The kicker for me came with the introduction of their new gizmo which is supposed to give much better reception (and faster) then the photon. The new device will sell for 39.95. I thought I would give it a try before I gave up on the service. What I found out is that if I swap my photon for the new device, I will lose my 99 deposit. In other words they want to charge me, an existing customer 99 bucks for what they are charging new customers 39.95. I found this unacceptable. I am now returning my photon and just giving up on these guys. I guess if you are in an area that gets good reception it could offer a value. In San Francisco I found it not even to be worth the price, and since the price is free I guess that tells you how I feel about it. Also their customer service is basically by email, and its just too much of a pain. I gave up.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 5, 2013
I'm a computer programmer and this device seemed awfully tempting at the free 500MB/month level, so I decided to give it a shot.

Amazon shipped me the device quickly.

I went to freedompop.com to activate my device and I couldn't do it due to repeated server errors. First an HTTP Status 500, then, after switching to IE from Firefox, the website seemed to be working until it was time to "process my payment" even though there was nothing due, then I got an HTTP Status 405 error. They also REQUIRE you to entire a credit card number, even if you choose all the free options.

I don't have time to deal with this so it's going back. Furthermore, the parts I did get through seemed a bit slimy as they tried to 'trick' me into getting me on a monthly plan. I also don't like it that they purposely make it very difficult for you to cancel their service.

As an example of their slimy tactics, there is a screen with a large green "Continue" button that will sign you up for a monthly plan if you click it (with only the first month free). The other option is to click the much smaller "I don't want free stuff" text link. Funny thing is though, it WILL COST YOU if you DON'T click the "I don't want free stuff" text. So, if you DO like free stuff, then you better tell them that you DON'T like it or you will be signed up for a monthly plan of questionable value (after the first free month).

If you do manage to make it through the website errors and get your device activated, then I would highly recommend using a prepaid credit card or virtual credit card so you don't have to go through the trouble of dealing with their website issues and cancelling shenanigans. Also, be VERY careful not to get "tricked" into signing up for something that you really don't want.

Now I understand that businesses have to make money, but this is not the way to go about it. Businesses should give real value to their customers without making it difficult or frustrating, and they should instill customer trust by not trying to take advantage of (or trick) the people they are suppose to be serving. FreedomPop fails at this.

Bottom line was that it was a waste of time. I couldn't even get the device activated and I refuse to spend hours trying to do so dealing with their broken website, and their sales tactics don't inspire much confidence.
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on May 3, 2013
I recently bought this item directly from the freedompop website.

Buyer Beware: Freedompop is selling refurbished Sprint Hot Spots. They are charging you full price and not mentioning anywhere that they are refurbished. Many people are reporting problems with the devices not working or connecting to coverage areas (see their facebook page) and getting response times that are over a week to resolve issues. Their tech support a minimum wait of 72 hours if you have any questions or issues. If their suggestion doesn't fix your problems, you can reply and wait another 72 hours for a response.

They currently are not replacing their broken devices because they are on back order. You are better off going with a 2 year contract with Sprint where at least you can count on getting a functioning device and have real-time support from competent techs.
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on November 3, 2014
-----THIS IS a SCAM---- Do not buy! I purchased Freedom Pop hotspot from Groupon and called in to get the device activated. After activating the account, I noticed I kept receiving emails from them stating $10.00 credit. I was shocked when I found out the credits were debits from my checking account that occurred within 6 hours of use. Freedom Pop had taken $70.00 from my account. I was furious because I have unlimited WIFI from my current company and its $50.00 a month. I called Freedom POP to complain and the rep were very rude and unwilling to help.
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on July 9, 2014
For one month of their service I was billed $84. I never watched any video at all. Just basic web browsing. This is a terrible deal. It's hard to imagine getting less bandwidth for the money from any other provider. Every time I was instructed that I was approaching my data limit and would save money by upgrading my plan, I did. Yet at the end of the month my bill was substantially higher than their most expensive 10 GB plan that I ended up in. I have no idea if their tracking of usage is accurate, but assuming it is, don't expect to be able to get service for less than $60 per month if you plan to watch any online video at all. I did not even watch a single youtube video. And good luck getting customer service to explain their outrageous charges. Freedom Pop has been a thoroughly negative and expensive experience for me.
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on August 6, 2014
I was a customer for several months, until today.

I made sure to have "Top-Off" NOT enabled to avoid extra charges, but every other month I'd still get a strange "Credit Refill". If your device is supposed to stop working when you hit your limit when you do not have Top-Off enabled, why on earth am I getting charged for going over my limit?

I ignored the $1.99 charges since they didn't happen TERRIBLY often, but last night I was hit with 11 of them in one charge. $21+ total.

Again, having "Automatic Top-Off" disabled is supposed to make our device deactivate so you don't get charged extra. This makes no sense to me.

I ended up canceling to avoid having this happen in the future. It isn't worth it, and the fact that I'd get charged for ELEVEN "credit refills" in one go is ridiculous. And they refused to refund me.
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on January 30, 2014
I bought the freedom pop device online. I was told that the first month would be free. I used it for two days. When I went to check my usage, I noticed that they had put a high volume of usage on it. I immediately disconnected and never used it again. They charged me forty dollars for one month. The following month I was charged 26.98 even though the device was not used. They don't give you the option of removing your credit card. They wouldn't even let me deactivate the account online. When I tried to do that, I was told that I had to call. I called the number listed. After putting me on hold, they disconnected me. I tried calling again and was put on hold for a much longer period. Eventually I got a recording telling me to press one to have someone call me back. I pressed one. They did call me three minutes later and I was put on hold so they could check the charges on the account. The woman on the phone told me some baloney about an extra eight dollars that was charged for features on the freedom pop. When I asked her to disconnect my service, she offered to give me a discount. I told her to delete the account completely. I didn't want to have anything to do with a company that cheated its customers.
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on January 8, 2014
Great service and best value for money if you need a 4G hot spot.
Cons: This hot spot supports only 4G. Therefore it simply does not work when 4G is not available.
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VINE VOICEon August 7, 2013
I was originally a bit scared with the all the negative reviews but I bit the bullet and ordered this product with the lightening deal sale. So far it has been working quite well in areas where 4G coverage is available. You can also check to see if your area is covered by doing a Google search on "Freedompop coverage map".

As some other reviewers have also shared, we would need to be careful with setting up the billing option in order to avoid charges due to over-usage. This could be done by going to the billing setting and disabling the automatic top-up option. And also make sure that the device has WEP password enabled so that other unauthorized users cannot get to it.

If you are an occasional user for checking emails and getting on facebook on-the-go, this product would be a good deal.

08/25/13 update

- completed one month of usage cycle. The billing record showed usage of 72 MB out of the free 500 MB free data based on occasional usage for checking emails, getting on facebook, reading news, and watching small video clip. No extra charges were applied.
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on January 26, 2014
I have been using the hot spot for more than a year, I am extremely satisfied. The hot spot is used at work place where my cellphone signal (T-mobile) is weak and don't want to mess up with company WIFI. The speed is fast enough for my iPod touch to stream stock quotes. During the year of service, the hot spot only experienced less than 5 time outages.

I also have a Samsung S II on Freedompop phone service, use it as backup phone. No issue with phone call or message. The most complained battery drain issue is improved in the latest Message app. I can get about 5% per hour.
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