Forum Thread

Problems with FreedomPop service..the phone is fine

topaz 1,032 494 June 14, 2016 at 01:25 PM
Since we are VERY light users of any phone, we thought this would be the perfect phone for us.

Last December I paid $109 for a Samsung Galaxy S4. Worked beautifully other than a few places in far south Texas where there was no coverage.

Where I live near Dallas coverage is solid, as shown on their map. About a month ago I discovered I could no longer use this phone outside my home network. I went thru all the steps to reset it and upgrade/update, etc. Still wouldn't work. I finally called their tech support...OMG...I got some little man with a thick accent and I had to make him slow down so we could half way communicate.

Every few minutes, he would tell me to wait a minute. I would sit a few minutes and finally ask if he was still there. He always sounded like he just woke up. Then he would tell me to do all the things I had already done and that I had told him I had already done. After about four or five times of this, he never responded again so I finally hung up. I don't think he had any idea how to fix it.

My son, an IT person and great with electronics, sat down with it and could not get it to work except with this home network. A box popped up, as I had seen before, and it tells you to click here for PREMIUM VOICE SERVICE. My son clicked on it and now I have service. Then I find out that it will cost me $3.99 a month to use that service...seems it has something to do with the Sprint network.

I wanted a phone with FREE service PERIOD. Now my free service is $3.99 a month. I can't help, but wonder if this is their way of punishing those of us who hardly ever use the phone. I realize $3.99 a month is a tiny charge but for someone who will not receive a social security check for most of this year (they overpaid me for six or seven years and are taking it out of nine months of this year), these tiny amounts add up.

I have emailed them for support in hopes I can get someone who knows what they are doing but has anyone else had this same problem where they take away your service and find a way to charge you?

I had been recommending FreedomPop to everyone before this and one friend, for sure, went with their service. I cannot recommend them ever again because I would feel badly if my friends got the same bad service I got.

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#2
Have you updated PRL/Profile in settings?

Also, you say "LIGHT" phone usage. How light? How many minutes/texts/data do you typically use?
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#3
As EyeBaller said, definitely check for PRL/Profile updates, and as your son probably knows, there are mobile data/APN/roaming settings to also tinker with. He may make use of the FreedomPop diagnostic app to see where any issues are.

HOWEVER! I think most people don't know, when you initiate service with FreedomPop, they automatically sign you up for a paid plan/features. What customers experience in the first month is a FREE TRIAL of those features that, if not opted out of in the customer's account, will begin to charge after a month of receiving/activating your device.

You probably had better service initially because of your free month/trial of Premium Voice, which is a premium feature that allows the phone to conduct calls over the Sprint VOICE network. FreedomPop's free service just provides data -- meaning, by default, your text and calls happen over Sprint's DATA network. The voice network is more widespread and dependable for calls, and that paid feature that was added gave better network quality because you were then able to go beyond just data and use Sprint's "full" network.

My first suggestion is to make sure you can get into your FreedomPop account on their website. If you haven't logged in before, look for the password FreedomPop sent to your email when you signed up. If you don't have that, you may need to chat with support. Getting into your account online is important so that you can see exactly what plan and features are ticked on, and you can easily turn all the paid options OFF so you don't get charged.

The next thing is the premium voice -- the $3.99 feature most likely gave you that better connection. You can definitely turn this off in your account, but understand that when you revert to FREE -- service is dependent on data, and is generally not as reliable for calls. If you're looking to save money and deal with the free network quality, I'd suggest looking for WiFi wherever possible, which should give you way better service quality. FreedomPop calls and text are really just an APP -- it all works over the internet. It's use of Sprint's network is generally to provide you data for when you aren't on WiFi.

If I can be of any assistance with your FreedomPop service, feel free to send me a message.
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#4
Quote from EyeBaller View Post :
Have you updated PRL/Profile in settings?

Also, you say "LIGHT" phone usage. How light? How many minutes/texts/data do you typically use?
I doubt I normally use more than 30 minutes of my talk time, 75 texts & 20 MBs of data. If I am home, I used the home network and many places I go have hot spots I can use.

This afternoon, I found a new tech support number (888-701-1353) and got a very nice young lady who not only spoke English, but she knew what she was doing. I cannot tell you all she did but she did a lot. I have no idea what PRL is and can't remember if that was something she did or not.

I really do like my phone and hope it is fixed for good.
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#5
Quote from topaz View Post :
I doubt I normally use more than 30 minutes of my talk time, 75 texts & 20 MBs of data. If I am home, I used the home network and many places I go have hot spots I can use.

This afternoon, I found a new tech support number (888-701-1353) and got a very nice young lady who not only spoke English, but she knew what she was doing. I cannot tell you all she did but she did a lot. I have no idea what PRL is and can't remember if that was something she did or not.

I really do like my phone and hope it is fixed for good.
If you don't get it working right, you could consider moving over to RingPlus for free service too. It runs natively on the Sprint network so you get much better reliability for phone calls when you're off your wifi network.
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#6
Quote from OmenBoy View Post :
As EyeBaller said, definitely check for PRL/Profile updates, and as your son probably knows, there are mobile data/APN/roaming settings to also tinker with. He may make use of the FreedomPop diagnostic app to see where any issues are.

HOWEVER! I think most people don't know, when you initiate service with FreedomPop, they automatically sign you up for a paid plan/features. What customers experience in the first month is a FREE TRIAL of those features that, if not opted out of in the customer's account, will begin to charge after a month of receiving/activating your device.

You probably had better service initially because of your free month/trial of Premium Voice, which is a premium feature that allows the phone to conduct calls over the Sprint VOICE network. FreedomPop's free service just provides data -- meaning, by default, your text and calls happen over Sprint's DATA network. The voice network is more widespread and dependable for calls, and that paid feature that was added gave better network quality because you were then able to go beyond just data and use Sprint's "full" network.

My first suggestion is to make sure you can get into your FreedomPop account on their website. If you haven't logged in before, look for the password FreedomPop sent to your email when you signed up. If you don't have that, you may need to chat with support. Getting into your account online is important so that you can see exactly what plan and features are ticked on, and you can easily turn all the paid options OFF so you don't get charged.

The next thing is the premium voice -- the $3.99 feature most likely gave you that better connection. You can definitely turn this off in your account, but understand that when you revert to FREE -- service is dependent on data, and is generally not as reliable for calls. If you're looking to save money and deal with the free network quality, I'd suggest looking for WiFi wherever possible, which should give you way better service quality. FreedomPop calls and text are really just an APP -- it all works over the internet. It's use of Sprint's network is generally to provide you data for when you aren't on WiFi.

If I can be of any assistance with your FreedomPop service, feel free to send me a message.
Thank you...you guys cannot imagine how much I appreciate your help over all these years.

You have explained a lot I didn't know. FreedomPop has NEVER charged me a dime over and above the cost of the phone. The premium voice is free for a month. I might go ahead and use up the month and then drop it and see how it does. I can always go back and when I think about it, $3.99 isn't so bad. I was just mad that I thought they were forcing me to do it. For five months, all was fine and suddenly this.

Since this is my first smart phone (always TracFones before) I still have a lot to learn, but now that I have it I could never go back.

Do you have to keep updating things all the time with all smart phones?

Thanks for the help.
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#7
Quote from EyeBaller View Post :
If you don't get it working right, you could consider moving over to RingPlus for free service too. It runs natively on the Sprint network so you get much better reliability for phone calls when you're off your wifi network.

I have never heard of this service. I have soooo much to learn. I will look them up.

I just cannot get my head around that service. So if I want the max, the top off is $37, but if I never use any of that $37 does it stay there forever OR do they charge a new $37 on a regular basis? If, for the cost of $37 you have that kind of service FOREVER, why wouldn't everyone had it? I need to read it some more and look up some reviews.
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#8
Quote from topaz View Post :
I have never heard of this service. I have soooo much to learn. I will look them up.

I just cannot get my head around that service. So if I want the max, the top off is $37, but if I never use any of that $37 does it stay there forever OR do they charge a new $37 on a regular basis? If, for the cost of $37 you have that kind of service FOREVER, why wouldn't everyone had it? I need to read it some more and look up some reviews.
Right. Their $0/month plans require an initial top-up (credit) to your account to cover overages in case you have them. That amount stays on your line until you use it up. It can also cover misc fees like swapping phones or porting your number. The higher the plan allowances the higher the top-up.

They offer a few plans consistently but every week or so they offer "Flash Promos" that include higher allowances but are only open for a short period of time to sign up.

Just be aware, when you make an outgoing call instead you hearing a ring, you will hear music or an ad, the person you are calling doesn't hear it. That's how they are monetizing it.

Almost all the flash promos are posted in the hot deals forum so plenty of reading there.
This wiki covers pretty much everything (probably a bit too much..)
http://slickdeals.net/f/8525775-ringplus-cell-service-info-faqs-quick-start-wiki

I have a freedomopop free plan and now a couple of ringplus lines and the ringplus service is definitely more consistent if you have good Sprint cell service. Freedompop calls over LTE on older phones have been very unreliable for me.
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