• Report: #999153

Complaint Review: FreedomPop

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  • Submitted: Fri, January 18, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, February 12, 2013

  • Reported By: Austin — San Francisco California United States of America
FreedomPop
Internet United States of America

FreedomPop Misleading Service and Refuses to Refund Money for Services Not Rendered, Internet

*UPDATE Employee: Remaining Balance

*Author of original report: Response to Company Rebuttal

*UPDATE Employee: Auto top-up and credit balance clarification

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FreedomPop claims to offer 500MB per month of free internet and implies that your service will be stopped once you hit that level should "automatic top-ups" be turned off. However, the service makes it very easy to go over the 500MB limit and, due to delays in their own data reporting, will fail to cut you off. To rectify this, FreedomPop charges an automatic $10 (even if you've EXPLICITLY turned off this feature). This is highly misleading and can lead to significant extra charges.

In addition, FreedomPop refuses to refund any unused balance and is withholding funds for services not rendered. 

Oh, and they claim to have a higher rating with the BBB than they actually have (an A- versus a B):  http://www.la.bbb.org/business-reviews/Internet-Services/FreedomPop-in-Tarzana-CA-100115567

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/18/2013 10:59 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/FreedomPop/internet/FreedomPop-Misleading-Service-and-Refuses-to-Refund-Money-for-Services-Not-Rendered-Inte-999153. 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 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Remaining Balance

AUTHOR: FreedomPop - (United States of America)

To help clarify - what the agent said was correct. While you still have the device, we are unable to partially refund any amount from your credit balance. However, if a device is returned and there is unused balance, we are more than happy to refund that as the customer is unable to use it.
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#2 Author of original report

Response to Company Rebuttal

AUTHOR: AustinJ - (United States of America)

1) Response on outstanding balance does not match with what company has told me directly
The employee states that: "We will refund any unused balance upon returning the device, however we do not refund partial amounts from a active user's credit balance."

In my communications with FreedomPop customer support I was told: "I can't withdraw funds from your available balance at this time. I do suggest that you use up the remaining balance before cancelling." 

That message suggests that any unused balance will be forfeited. Which is it?

2) FAQs are not presented to buyer before signing up for the service and describe a materially different service than is presented in marketing materials at signup
I will concede though, that if I had read every word of the terms of service upon signup, I would have learned the same thing that I learned in the FAQs, namely that the service as presented was not the same as the one I was actually signing up for. 
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Auto top-up and credit balance clarification

AUTHOR: FreedomPop - (United States of America)

As stated in our FAQ, "Why was my account charged with auto top-up disabled?":

"Even if you have the Automatic Top-Up Feature disabled, your account may still be topped-up if you surpass your monthly data allotment in the time when our system is unaware of your exact data usage due to a delay in reported data usage. Your account is topped up to pay for the prepaid data used, instead of charging your payment for multiple charges of just a few cents... With the top-up feature disabled your account will only be suspended and your service interrupted if your credit balance is below $2 and your data usage surpasses the 100MB threshold but does not exceed the monthly data allotment long enough for data usage to be reported to our system."

Under our FAQ, "What happens when I disable the Automatic Top-Up feature?":

"When you disable the Automatic Top-Up feature your account will be suspended for the rest of your billing cycle if you surpass your free data allotment. However, if you exceed your free data allotment in a single session and exceed your free data allotment, your account will incur overage charges."

This feature and the $10 is to provide uninterrupted access and to prevent disconnection from the service. Furthermore, it is in the user's best interest to monitor their data usage.

There's a variety of ways you could monitor your data usage which include:

Downloading a data monitoring application for a mobile device or computer by searching Google.com some would include ("SurplusMeter" for Apple, "ShaPlus" for PC's and "My Data Mgr" for mobile devices.)

We offer a service called "Usage Alerts" which cost $1.99 a month.

If you own or use an iOS device we offer an app called "FreedomPop" which is downloadable through the iTunes App Store.

You should regularly log into your account to access your data usage details at https://www.freedompop.com/acct_usage.htm

We will refund any unused balance upon returning the device, however we do not refund partial amounts from a active user's credit balance.

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