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FreedomPop Changes Cash Balance Policy

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I don’t have any FreedomPop accounts right now, so it isn’t a huge surprise that I completely missed a minor change in the terms of service (TOS). Not a big deal, right? Except this minor addition might end up costing you a little bit of money if you’re not aware of it (and it’s kind of my job to say on top of this sort of thing. Oops). Basically, FreedomPop has added a line in their TOS which gives an expiration date of 90 days to all cash balances on all accounts. And once that 90 days is up, you simply lose any unused funds.

Here’s what the TOS states:

“…If you do not use your Account Credit for a period of 90 days, FreedomPop will place your Account Credit on inactive status. Account Credit on inactive status is not refundable.”

Prior to this change, account credits, or cash balances were there indefinitely (or until you used it). The biggest slam in this minor change is that users are reporting on SlickDeals Forums that they were not told of this policy change, and Prepaid Phone News writer Dennis also said he was not informed when his minutes expired in September. That’s just sneaky and/or bad business on FreedomPop’s part, in my opinion.

Currently, FreedomPop is one of those more unusual MVNOs in that they are a ‘freemium’ Sprint MVNO. With the purchase of a FreedomPop device, you will automatically get 200 VoIP minutes and 500 MB for (you guessed it) free. You can, of course, enable the Automatic Top-Up to automatically add funds if you come within 100 MB of your monthly plan limit or simply purchase an actual prepaid plan. These top-ups and paying for overages are how you get a cash balance, so there isn’t a huge likelihood that users have lost a ton of money–but money is money in this day and age.

So, in short, if you have a FreedomPop account and you have a cash balance, be sure to double-check and see when it expires. If you have an expired balance, you can send a ticket to support@freedompop.com to request that your expired balance is restored to your account or send a private message to FreedomPop on the SlickDeals forum. The balance can not be refunded, but should still be available to you. A message from FreedomPop stated that the change is new, and that an easier method is in the works.

For now, casual users’ best bet might just be cancelling the automatic top-up and only paying for exactly what you use to avoid throwing money into FreedomPop’s pocket needlessly. I understand they need to make money, and giving away free service is pretty awesome. But being transparent is important too. Here’s to hoping they’ve learned their lesson from the public response.