FreedomPop Review (2020 Update): Truly Free Cell Phone Service

I have younger kids, but I suspect I only have a couple of years before being pestered for cell phones. Though my intention is to keep my kids cell phone free until high school, this is probably not a fight I can win. I see kids only a little older than my own hooked to their phones, and it’s only a matter of time before they want one too.

Is there a free cell phone service that would be a good fit for families like mine? What if you don’t want to sign up for a long, expensive contract just to have a phone?

FreedomPop runs on the Sprint network and offers a totally free cell phone plan with 500 MB of 4G data, 200 voice minutes, and 500 texts. There’s also upgraded plans available that feature higher data amounts and unlimited talk and text.

FreedomPop is not the ideal service provider for everyone. But it offers both totally free and pretty darn cheap options to fit a number of different budgets. Here’s what you need to know about their offerings, their pricing model, and their customer service:

FreedomPop’s Services

FreedomPop gives customers a wide range of cell phone service plans, including free, paid, and prepaid options. They have something to fit everybody’s budget.

The Free Cell Phone Service

FreedomPop’s big claim to fame is its completely free cell phone service. There are two options with FreedomPop free plans.

The first is for CDMA phones, which offers 500MB of 4G data in addition to 200 voice minutes, and 500 texts. Keep in mind sending and receiving texts will eat up your data.

The second plan is strictly for GSM phones. This free plan offers 200MB of 4G data, 200 voice minutes, and 500 texts.

In addition to being completely free, FreedomPop does not require any contracts and there are no cancellation fees or any of the other don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out fees customers often have to bear with other mobile service providers. The company uses a combination of both Sprint’s and AT&T’s networks. Check out FreedomPop’s coverage area:

freedompop coverage

You’ll probably recognize that both 200MB and 500MB of data are pretty low for any regular data users–including anyone who likes to stream music from their phones or anyone who has a teenager under their roof. FreedomPop specifically states that their free service is meant for light users. Which means being able to check email and browse Facebook rather than watch YouTube videos.

What happens if you go over your data allotment? That’s where things can go a little awry with your FreedomPop bill if you do not remain vigilant. Once you get to the final 100 MB of data usage in a given month, FreedomPop automatically charges you $20 to “top up” your plan.

Users receive an email notifying them of the imminent charge. Allowing the opportunity to disallow the charge before it hits their account. You can also opt-out of the auto-charge entirely on the FreedomPop website.

Purchasing and Earning Additional Data

Users taking advantage of the free service can increase their data in three ways without having to use the top-up option:

  1. You can pay $0.025 per additional MB of data that you use on free plans. This option is potentially pricey. Your account will automatically be charged this amount if you go over your data usage once you have turned off the top-up option. You can receive email alerts that you are about to overspend your data, but those alerts cost an additional fee per month.
  2. You can invite friends to join FreedomPop through a program called Freedom Friends. For every friend who signs up and sticks with the service, you receive an additional 5 MB of data per month, per friend. Up to 10 friends (50MBs of data.)
  3. You can complete offers, take surveys, and download software in order to earn free data from FreedomPop. These offers, surveys, and downloads come from services like Netflix, FreeCreditReport.com, and online games and newsletters.

Paid Cell Phone Service Options

There are two main service options outside of FreedomPop’s free phone plans: monthly plans and prepaid plans.

Prepaid Plans

freedompop plans

If you need more than what’s offered with the free plans, you can also pay monthly for upgraded phone services. Available monthly plans include:

Premium 2GB LTE Unlimited: You’ll get 2 GB of data, along with unlimited talk and text for $24.99/month. You can get this lower by prepaying for longer terms–all the way down to $9.99 per month with a 12-month plan.

Premium 5GB LTE Unlimited: This plan comes with 4 GB of data, as well as unlimited talk and text, for $34.99/month. You can get this plan down to $14.99 with a 12-month plan.

Premium 10GB LTE Unlimited: This plan comes with 4 GB of data, as well as unlimited talk and text, for $59.99/month. If you prepay for 12 months you can get this plan down to $19.99 per month.

There are no overage penalties with paid plans through FreedomPop. Additional data can be purchased for $0.02 if you go over your paid plan limit.

Other Phone Plans From FreedomPop

If the above plans weren’t enough, FreedomPop also offers specific phone plans for families and businesses.

Families looking to save money can bundle phone services together. The family mobile phone plan comes with:

  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Shared 4G data for all family phone lines up to 25 GB each month
  • One single bill
  • Online plan management
  • Group and MMS messaging

If you’re looking for a cell phone solution geared towards families, FreedomPop may be the solution.

Businesses can also take advantage of FreedomPop plans too. This may be especially helpful for small businesses or startups looking to save on overhead costs.

FreedomPop doesn’t have detailed pricing published for its family or business plans. Reach out to FreedomPop’s customer service for more details and eligibility.

Buy a Phone/Device from FreedomPop or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

When you join FreedomPop, you can either buy a phone or device directly from them or bring your own Sprint-compatible device. FreedomPop offers a large array of phone, tablet, and device options. Some of these are refurbished name brands and some are FreedomPop proprietary devices.

No matter which way you go, it’s easy to navigate signing up on FreedomPop’s website.

As you go through the process, you’ll need to check availability in your area. If you are using your own phone, it needs to be an unlocked device. FreedomPop will help verify your phone is eligible and set up properly to use with their services.

You’ll also need to download the FreedomPop App as most of their services flow through it.

Customer Service

The FreedomPop website is not the most user-friendly site I have navigated. You might find yourself somewhat confused as to what your options are, particularly if you, like me, wouldn’t know the difference between 4G and LTE if they both bit you.

Several reviewers have criticized FreedomPop’s site for being difficult to navigate and unclear when it comes to additional fees and costs. Unfortunately, you can only sign up for FreedomPop’s services via the website.

However, in addition to the site, there is a customer service line for current customers who are experiencing difficulties. As with many cell phone service providers, the customer service side may not be as good as the technology. But many reviewers maintain that patience pays off with FreedomPop’s customer service.

Related: How to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill

The Bottom Line

FreedomPop is a truly free mobile and data service, which is nothing to sneeze at. Their business model does require frugal users to keep careful track of their data usage in order to ensure that the service remains free–but honestly, that seems like a small price to pay for staying connected for zero dollars.

Considering the fact that FreedomPop requires no commitment or contract, and levies absolutely no cancellation fees, it is an excellent option for anyone looking to lower their cell phone costs. FreedomPop could be the answer you’ve been looking for when it comes to kids and teens wanting their own cell phones.

Sign up now for FreedomPop.

FreedomPop Review

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About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is an award-winning writer, author, money coach, and retirement expert. Her four books include The Five Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, Making Social Security Work For You, and End Financial Stress Now. Learn more about Emily at EmilyGuyBirken.com

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  1. I’m a paying customer. Terrible service, slow customer support. Don’t waste your money on this crap phone service. I need my phone to answer calls and texts. Not reliable.

  2. They started charging 24.99 a month. I had to cancel my credit card to get charges stopped!

  3. Xyz from Financial Path. says

    amazing, who knew I could get that for free!