Ever since FreedomPop announced its expansion of its free phone service to include the BYOSD program this week, I was initially quite excited, as I have three spare Sprint devices, two of them being Android smartphones. Here I thought I could ditch Straight Talk in the future for a much lower monthly rate for a nearly identical level of service, but it looks like FreedomPop bit off more than it could possibly chew.
I make it a point to cover things like this with the expectation that they actually work for most people once they read about the development and it’s officially announced, but it’s three days after the launch and I’m still not able to activate either my Epic 4G or the other device I have on hand. Officially, FreedomPop states that these are the initial wave of devices currently eligible for the service:
- HTC EVO 4G
- Samsung Epic 4G
- Samsung Epic 4G Touch
- Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB (!)
- LG Optimus S
- Motorola Photon 4G
- HTC EVO 3D
- Boost Prevail by Samsung
- Galaxy Nexus by Samsung
- Nexus S 4G by Samsung
I have two of the above in the Epic 4G and the Optimus S, but after 4 days of trying to activate either device at different intervals, hoping to test the service, I’m greeted with the following message:
In fact, the only devices that are being reported with successful activations at this time include the Galaxy S II and the HTC EVO/4G, making the initial announcement of the launch rather useless, as the vast majority of devices listed can’t be activated at this time. To make matters worse, FreedomPop isn’t able to provide an ETA on when the issues will be resolved, according to multiple posts on their Facebook page.
I understand the free service angle and Chris gets into detail about what it means for Sprint in the future, but the service has to actually work first before anything else can be deduced from the development. Guess I’m sticking with Straight Talk for another couple of months in the meantime while FreedomPop hopefully works things out, but this is a poor first impression to make to a potential new customer, since I’m not sure I’m willing to take a chance on the service anymore.
If you’re one of the few that does manage to activate one of the phones listed above, great, I’m happy for you. However, if you’re like me, you’re one of hundreds, if not thousands on the sidelines wondering if its even worth trying with all the issues it’s had so far. FreedomPop has an awesome idea in free phone service with BYOSD, but it’s been completely undone by its poor execution.