• Report: #1053994

Complaint Review: FreedomPop

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  • Submitted: Sun, May 26, 2013
  • Updated: Sun, May 26, 2013

  • Reported By: MDPaolino — 02861 Rhode Island
FreedomPop
245 Manton St #17 Internet, Rhode Island USA

FreedomPop Creative Billing Internet Rhode Island

*Author of original report: Absolute BS!

*UPDATE Employee: Billing Explained in Terms and FAQs

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First and formost i just want to say this wreaks of sprints "creative" billing practices all over it.
It feels very much like the company is operating a boiler room operation.

 A very similar thing has happened to us.

When we initially signed up for the service we purchased the usb stick device and was initially on the monthly 2gb plan. That plan is 17.99$ for the monthly service and we paid 15.99 initially for the device itself. Shipping was free.

This is where the first billing "error" accured.

Mistakenly freedompop billed us twice for the 17.99 plan which was later credited back to us. At that point we also got his with a overdraft fee from our bank. It was late in the month and me and my wife had just got done paying the bulk of the bills. Freedompop made up for it by giving us 200MB's of additional free data. Great!

Then i realized not only had we been charged twice but a third charge of 17.99 had accured. I disputed this with freedompop vigorously. The declined they made any such charge. I sent them a screenshot of our billing statement and let them know we got another overdraft fee. I was furious. They said they would look into it.
To this day i still haven't heard back from them about this.

Now, All was well and good with the service plan charged until we switched to the 500mg plan which is supposedly "free".

There is a auto-top up feature that can or can not be disabled and convienently for the company is not advertised Note I had to call and ask them about it. We turned this feature off when we switched after getting hit once with a 10$ top up "fee" for going over.

Then a month later we got charged again.

At this point we called and emailed freedompop and asked them why we would be charged such a fee even after that feature was turned off. They explained to me after a user goes over *90%* (nine as in nancy) of their alloted data usage they incurred a 10$ topup charge which allots to a 10$ on their account.
Initially i was ok with this fee. Until i had realized we had been double billed yet again.

Now this happened not once durring the coars of us having the service but 3 times thus after. Each time we asked the customer service representatives to make certain the auto-top up feature would be properly disabled.

Not only this. A surcharge for other services was also double billed to our account in the ammount of 5.97 which was credited but we still incurred overdraft fees from our bank.

What angers me the most is that the "Recent Transactions" >> View transactions list in our freedompop's account overview shows as us being *CREDITED* 5.97 more than one time.

Now enter today. May 26th. Me and my wife have a wedding to go to and our account is currently suspended with no clear explination from the company. 81% of our allotted data usage has been used. Our credit card account tied with our freedompop account is in good standings and each call, tweet and email from the company over the last 4 days has gone unanswered.

It saddens me that a company would prey on people this way.

Either they are incredibly negligant and bugs have plagued their core billing services (which im not buyin) or they are trying to rip people off.

Please note i would be happy to share any additional information with anyone else having similar issues with freedompop including any class action attorneys.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/26/2013 11:58 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/FreedomPop/Internet-Rhode-Island-02861/FreedomPop-Creative-Billing-Internet-Rhode-Island-1053994. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Absolute BS!

AUTHOR: 245 Manton St - ()

Everything freedompop has said in this rebuttal is a complete fabrication.

We are appalled and furious!!!!!

On not one , not two, not 3 but 4 occassions have we asked for the automatic top up feature be turned off!!!.

And yes while freedompop DID refund the second charge of 17.99 a second overbill charge of 15.99 also does exist. Which we have NOT yet been refunded!

And YES we did copy/paste those charges from our account and then sent them to freedompop.
They say they do not exist here is the proof.

And i will be MORE than happy to paste a screenshot here.

Legit Charge #1
http://puu.sh/39coJ.png

Overbill charge
http://puu.sh/39ctE.png

Legit Charge #2
http://puu.sh/39cw4.png

Overbill Charge
http://puu.sh/39cxR.png

Those where from when we first opened our account.  That 4th mistaken charge of 15.99 was NEVER REFUNDED!
Should i go into all the other duplicate charges we incurred as well or would you guys like to remove the foot from your mouths ?

Now onto other matters.

Not only have we gotten over billed from freedompop over 5 times (that i can count). The chargebacks, overdraft fees and processing fees have totalled well over 100$!
Their phone support is almost none existent. Every call to them ends up going to voicemail as of may 31.
And these are the same guys that are going to provide phone service ?

I won't be touching that with a 10 foot pole!

I am fit to be tied with this company!  Please for the last time. We do NOT want automatic top up activated on our account!!!!!!!!! Like we have asked by phone,email and on twitter.

How many times do we need to ask this!?


TURN THE AUTOMATIC TOPUP FEATURE OFF AND PLEASE FIX YOUR BILLING SYSTEM!

 

Thank you!

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Billing Explained in Terms and FAQs

AUTHOR: FreedomPop - ()

Marie and David,

We have explained all of this in your many support tickets with us, but are happy to do so again here. We will post a timeline of our communication with you to clarify:

JANUARY 17th
You call FreedomPop asking for help downgrading your data plan from the 2GB Trial to the Free 500MB plan. You downgrade your plan.

JANUARY 20th
You are charged one time for $17.99 due to an autobill bug with our free trials from that time period. This one time erroneous charge is immediately refunded once we see the mistake and your autobill is fixed. Can you please provide evidence that you were mistakenly billed twice in this event? You said yourself on January 24th that the second $17.99 charge you saw was the refund being given to you. "Looking at this more in depth i may have mistaken the reversal as a charge." You state in this report that you provided us with a screenshot of a bank statement indicating these other $17.99 charges, but I have reviewed your entire ticket history and cannot find a screenshot.

I do, however, see that on March 15th you copy/pasted some information to us and, in that ticket, stated that there was no third charge. As for the second charge, we asked you to confirm if that was a pending charge that had been cancelled and/or the refund that was posted. Please send an actual screenshot if you would like us to investigate it further; we cannot find a ghost charge based on copy/pasted information alone without any sort of actual confirmation of a charge that we cannot find in any of our systems.

JANUARY 27th
You mention that some earned data from our partner promotions and offers have not rolled over. Occasionally there is a delay or bug with these 3rd-party entities confirming with RadiumOne that data has indeed be earned, and we apologize for their issues. As an apology for RadiumOne's mix-up, we credited you 250MB of data to make up for it.

FEBRUARY 20th
You call in asking about automatic top-up charges. You had previously disabled automatic top-up on February 17th, after being topped-up by $10 that same day for coming within 100MB of your 500MB data limit. Without top-up disabled, $10 in credit is automatically added to an account when it approaches its data limit in order to ensure that data service is not interrupted. Pat explains this situation to you and then refunds the $10 to you in full on February 20th. In this phone conversation, you mention the still-not-confirmed second $17.99 charge again and say that you will be sending us a scrrenshot that I still cannot find.

MARCH 15th
Your account is disabled due to your previous credit card having been closed (according to the information you provided us). As we explained to you in your support ticket that day, you were not charged for using 90% of your data limit. Can you please provide evidence of you being told that, with auto top-up disabled, you will be charged $10? When top-up is disabled, a top-up only pushes through when you surpass your monthly data allotment before our system, which has a 3-hour delay due to Clearwire, can report the data usage. Your usage for February 20 to March 20 was:

Provisional Allocated: 1.87 GB 
Provisional Used: 1.68 GB 
Pay-as-you-Go Used: 91 MB 
Total Used: 1.77 GB

That is 91MB of data over your data allotment, so that would be in excess of 100% of your data allotment. It is in this same conversation that you copy/paste the information I referenced earlier. Pat asked you for more information on the charge as we could not see it in the system. There is still no screenshot.

Can you please provide any evidence that you were double-billed by us again? There is one $10 recharge that was a result of the automatic top-up for your exceeding your data limit. There was also a ONETIME $10 charge, which was you manually adding $10 credit to your account in your efforts to get your billing back up-to-date. This was refunded. There was also a $0.72 prorated charge for you upgrading to Speed Plus, which was also waived. Can you please provide evidence of being charged twice by us here, outside of your manual top-up and upgrade to Speed Plus?

MARCH 21st
During a call with us, we explain the top-up situation to you once more. You also mention some concern with partner promotions and offers once more. Despite us still not receiving a screenshot, the unconfirmed $17.99 charge is brought up again. This is the following phone exchange regarding that:

David: "We got overbilled by you guys like two or three times. I'm kind of upset."
James: "I do understand that. At this time I do want to resolve the issue with you, so in terms of that, is that, you know I'm trying to find a resolution of what we can do to satisfy you as a customer."
David: "Okay. Well here's what you can do. Add 250MBs to my account and we'll call it a day."

After this conversation, James credits 250MB to your account as you requested. 

MARCH 27th
Our social media team credits you 113MB and 90MB due to issue with partner promotions and offers.

Further conversations in April and May are held to explain this automatic top-up feature and what happens when it is suspended. As we told you in your ticket to us at the end of May, your service was suspended because you have disabled automatic top-up and crossed the top-up threshold. In order to prevent you from being topped-up, as you requested, your service was suspended. You made a onetime charge to add some more credit to your account, which we refunded to you as a courtesy, and we added another 150MB for you to use.

FreedomPop is devoted to getting everyone online - free access for all, everywhere. However, there is a limit to how much free data can be given out: 500MB per device. Beyond that, we offer discount at prices that are incredibly cheaper than other mobile data providers. As we give away an enormous amount of data on a daily basis, we must protect ourselves and our ability to give away this 500MB. If users use more than 500MB, they need to pay for it at very competitive rates. We were in beta back when you experienced the erroneous $17.99 charge, and that issue has now been resolved. Our partner, RadiumOne, does occasionally have issues with its promotions and offers and, as our granting you data every time you have a problem with them indicates, we are usually more than happy to try make up for any issues users are having with them. We remain committed to our mission of free access for all.

Please feel free to follow-up on any of these issues in a ticket. Thank you.

 

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