FreedomPop advertises free 4G up to 500 MBs P/M and 100% refund of your deposit for a hotspot device to try their service.
I tried FreedomPop and, although I knew it would not work in my home location, that's not where I would use it. They did charge $99 for a deposit but I also got charged $6 for shipping. OK, common enough, I didn't complain. Simply, I gave it an honest effort, often in their mapped light green coverage area and a few expected areas that I didn't check first (including the Denver Int.
Airport and central Long island, NY), and Emailed them that I wanted to send it back. Coincidentally, a few days later I see a charge of $0.99 on my credit card so I Emailed CS. I think they hold back 3 months before they charge this. I was told I need to use at least 5 Mbs. p/m to not be charged and that I agreed to this in the Terms and Use. Sure enough, on page three of the legalese that we all read it does mention this charge. No big deal just that it should have been mentioned a little more visibly.
OK, I send it back, again at my expense, and I get a refund of $90.75! That's NOT 100 %. To be clear, it was sent back in perfect condition, even with the plastic, protective shield still on and with all that it came with in the original box. There was no issue there. I wrote them asking for an explanation and this is what I got back:
"Your device was received in good condition and the majority of your deposit was refunded. We were charged a small fee by our logistics partner to replace packaging and re-polish the device. This fee was deducted from the deposit at cost per our T&Cs and should be nominal. We are absolutely committed to making internet as free as possible, including the device. However, when we are charged a real fee, we need to deduct that from the deposit or we'd be forced to make users buy the device outright which we're trying to avoid. We hope to become more flexible with this fee as our company grows but we cannot cover it at this time"
I wrote back how ridiculous a reason that is since there is, of course, a cost to a company whether in house or a third party for returns and they should not have advertised 100 % refund. I also mentioned that I'd like to charge them for my costs but could not. This is their second response: "Thank You for your feedback. We hope to become more flexible with this fee as our company grows but we cannot cover it at this time. We promise that our devices are 100% refundable because we will issue users a refund regardless of why the user is returning the device."
It does say on page 8 of 8 in their terms and use that a small fee may be charged for returns, but one would think that's for a missing part or beat up device.
So, I wouldn't have thought that a promise of 100% refund had multiple meanings. Their idea of a 100% refund is that EVERYONE gets something back, but, apparently, NO ONE gets 100% back. So, my free try of internet everywhere all of the time cost me about $25 to get it nowhere and none of the time, at least not where I could have used it. Also, beware, if you keep the device for more than a year it's yours and they keep (for sure) at least 100%.