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Thread: DISTURBING NEWS about new FreedomPop Taxes & Surcharges

  1. #1
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    DISTURBING NEWS about new FreedomPop Taxes & Surcharges

    I don't know how long the current "Taxes & Surcharges" terms have been published on the FP website, but I think they just added/changed this info last month. Here are the details as shown on their website on 11/13/2018:

    Taxes & Surcharges

    Stated prices for the Services do not include applicable sales taxes, surcharges, fees or other government or regulatory charges, which may include without limitation, mandatory surcharges for federal and state Universal Service Fund contributions, state and local 911 fees, and cost recovery surcharges. We charge applicable federal, state and local sales taxes, surcharges, fees and other government charges on all purchases made through our Site. The amount of these taxes and other surcharges is subject to change and may vary from time-to-time and by geographic area. We may also become subject to additional regulatory requirements in the future which may require us to charge other additional amounts.

    Our charges may also include administrative charges, and we may also include other charges related to our operational costs. We set these charges; they aren't taxes, they aren't required by law, they are kept by us in whole or in part, and the amounts and what they pay for may change.

    All applicable taxes, surcharges and other amounts billed to you will be viewable through the My Account feature (or other feature made available to you) on the Site.
    I have highlighted the disturbing part in red because I do not remember reading this part before, and the way I interpret it, this seems to give FP the right to charge all accounts not only the mandated governmental fees, but also some new "Administrative Charges" which could apparently be for anything -- and in any amount -- they feel like charging.

    Here are recent FP Forum posts (in October and November 2018) by Customer Service in response to customers who are apparently irritated by FP's failure to alert them before FP charged their cards for these new fees:

    October 9:
    Your recurring bill has been updated to include required taxes and regulatory fees as mandated by local, state and federal agencies. Please note these will be identified as Regulatory and Recovery Fees on future billing statements and are not refundable, per agreed terms.
    October 10:
    It seems the $3.39 charge belongs to a recovery fee implemented to your bill because we need to include required taxes and regulatory fees as mandated by local, state and federal agencies. Please note these will be identified as Regulatory and Recovery Fees on future billing statements.
    October 16:
    Please be advised that your recurring bill has been updated to include required taxes and regulatory fees as mandated by local, state and federal agencies. Keep in mind that this will be identified as Regulatory and Recovery Fees on future billing statements and will be applied to your account on a monthly basis from now on.

    However, in my opinion the following thread, published just yesterday, is the most disturbing thread in the FP Forums that I have seen to date. It clearly shows that FreedomPop is already charging the new "Administrative Charge" described in the terms quoted above:

    November 12:
    Customer asks:

    I have the Basic 200 with Global Free 100 and Pro 500MB (4G/3G) -- with a charge of $0.00. This month a new Admin Fee of $1.88 was added. I was not informed of an increase in price for the Free Plans. Can some one explain the reason for this new unannounced fee?
    FreedomPop responds:

    Hello, we certainly understand this came off as a surprise to you.

    The Administrative Charge is applied per line, per month by FreedomPop to help defray various costs incurred by FreedomPop, including, but not limited to: charges we, or our agents, pay local telephone companies for delivering calls from our customers to their customers; fees and assessments on our network facilities and services; property taxes; and the costs we incur responding to regulatory and legal obligations. The Administrative Charge appears as a separate line item under FreedomPop Surcharges of your invoice. This charge is not a tax and is not an amount we are required to collect from you by law. The Administrative Charge and the components used to calculate this charge are subject to change from time to time.

    Even though no notification took place, this is stated within our terms and conditions at https://www.freedompop.com/service_plan_terms.htm under the Taxes & Surcharges section.

    Note that the parts in blue and red type above have been repeated, word for word, in a number of recent forum threads where customers were surprised to learn that they had been hit with the new Administrative Charge without any warning or notice. Therefore it seems that FP is once again up to its typical game of charging customers for things they were not aware of, then pointing to their Terms and Conditions as an excuse to justify these new charges.

    Here's another FP response to a disgruntled customer:

    As with all major carriers, we've added a nominal administrative fee to your monthly bill to recover and help defray costs incurred for increasing customer support services, offset higher payment processing fees, and other expenses related to fraudulent usage monitoring on our networks.

    The bottom line here is that there is no "free" service at FreedomPop any more!

    Not only will they charge supposedly mandated governmental fees, but they will also tack on this new "Administrative Charge" which could be for any amount ... and change every month without notice or customer approval.

    I wonder how many people who have been keeping multiple SIMs active on "free" plans will cancel those accounts when they start getting charged for these new "Taxes & Surcharges" on each and every active SIM? Getting hit with an extra $2 or $3 per month is not that big a deal with only one SIM, but for folks who have ten of them, that's an extra $20 or $30 per month (and possibly a lot more!) which could easily be put to better use at a MVNO that offers real cellular service -- without all the games.

    I have two FP SIMS, both on free accounts at this time, and so far I have not yet been charged any taxes or surcharges, nor have either of these new charges appeared in my billing page after I login to their website. But now that maintaining each of these SIMs is going to cost me money every month for as long as they are active, I think I may just cancel/deactivate the one that has a $15 top-up balance, and ask them for a refund of that balance. Then I can use that $15 to pay the new charges for a few months on my other "free" account.

    I will also search Target and Amazon for future discounts on their 3-month and 12-month prepaid SIM cards, and maybe get rid of my free plans altogether. After all, prepaid cards are (not yet anyways) charged any of these fees ... and with prepaid SIM cards FP cannot charge your credit card, unless you're foolish enough to give it to them of course.

  2. #2
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    Wow. Just like my FP Global SIMS are still active and without charge, none of my FP AT&T SIMs have been charged anything yet. So apparently, FP is still selectively doing this. I'll keep an even closer watch now. If I get charged, I'll be cancelling all my free FP accounts.

  3. #3
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    I'm getting charged 87 cents per sim right now. It's still tolerable but if they keep raising it, I might drop them altogether.

    Sent from my iRulu Geoking Max 3 G36 using HoFo mobile app

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    They started charging that admin fee a while back on one of my GlobalSIM accounts. It's like their system is being controlled by a malfunctioning computer. It's really hard to trust them, specially if you consider their annual plans(who knows when they start charging stuff along the way or change the conditions of the service).

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    Me too. RIP.

    Looks like FP is joining RP in the trash heap.

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    Looks like FP is joining RP in the trash heap.
    I just wish RingPlus and RedPocket were named differently because then we might not use the same abbreviation for both of them. Nowadays when I see RP I think RedPocket rather than RingPlus.

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    I think Freedompop will survive provided they don't lose their agreement with AT&T. Free service, probably not.

    Actually, those 1 year prepaid plans for data only is a fantastic bargain because it's AT&T. They would have died long ago if they started pulling these tricks with Sprint service.

    Sent from my iRulu Geoking Max 3 G36 using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    None of my FP AT&T SIMs have been charged anything yet. So apparently, FP is still selectively doing this.
    One FP Customer Service comment I read in their Forum this morning suggested that they might implement these new charges company-wide starting in January. So if complaints about FP jump exponentially after New Years, I think we will know why.

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    Yesterday the FreedomPop prepaid 3-month LTE SIM was $19.99 but today it is $2 less at amazon.com:

    https://www.amazon.com/FreedomPop-Le.../dp/B0792FNBZL

    Buy one and you'd get 1GB data + unlimited T&T for only $6 per month ... with none of the drama and uncertainty that comes from being on the "free" plan with all its unpredictable fees and charges.

    And actually, the 12-month prepaid LTE SIM is ridiculously cheap at only $44.99 or $3.75 per month:

    https://www.amazon.com/FreedomPop-Le.../dp/B0792D3LLZ

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by owkaye View Post
    I just wish RingPlus and RedPocket were named differently because then we might not use the same abbreviation for both of them. Nowadays when I see RP I think RedPocket rather than RingPlus.
    That's why RingPlus was "supposed" to be R+, so as not to be confused with Red Pocket.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audigy View Post
    They started charging that admin fee a while back on one of my GlobalSIM accounts. It's like their system is being controlled by a malfunctioning computer. It's really hard to trust them, specially if you consider their annual plans(who knows when they start charging stuff along the way or change the conditions of the service).
    How would FP start charging anything on their prepaid plans? There is no CC on file to charge, correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    How would FP start charging anything on their prepaid plans? There is no CC on file to charge, correct?
    They can just shut your access until you add a CC.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by owkaye View Post
    Yesterday the FreedomPop prepaid 3-month LTE SIM was $19.99 but today it is $2 less at amazon.com:

    https://www.amazon.com/FreedomPop-Le.../dp/B0792FNBZL

    Buy one and you'd get 1GB data + unlimited T&T for only $6 per month ... with none of the drama and uncertainty that comes from being on the "free" plan with all its unpredictable fees and charges.

    And actually, the 12-month prepaid LTE SIM is ridiculously cheap at only $44.99 or $3.75 per month:

    https://www.amazon.com/FreedomPop-Le.../dp/B0792D3LLZ
    Yes, that is a great annual price for 1GB/mo of AT&T LTE. It was only better once, when BB was selling it for that price on their eBay store when eBay was offering a 15% off coupon, making it $38.24. I'll probably buy one or two more if I can catch it if/when it makes it back down to that price.

    Actually, as of right now, Best Buy eBay has those two plans for the same $17.99 and $44.99. So now we just need a new 15% or 20% off eBay coupon!
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/FreedomPop-...t/192706340969
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/FreedomPop-...t/192530921373

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShredFred View Post
    I'm getting charged 87 cents per sim right now. It's still tolerable but if they keep raising it, I might drop them altogether....
    Are these charges being seen on free or paid plans? LTE or Global or Sprint?

    I have free LTE and a Sprint plan and have not seen any charges yet.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Are these charges being seen on free or paid plans? LTE or Global or Sprint?

    I have free LTE and a Sprint plan and have not seen any charges yet.
    Free lte plans. However I do have $3.99 rollover on each sim.

    Nothing on the sprint plan.

    Sent from my iRulu Geoking Max 3 G36 using HoFo mobile app

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