Beta testers who ordered FreedomPop phones in November will finally start getting the phones they ordered.
FreedomPop spokesman Tony Miller told News For Shoppers that a few hundred FreedomPop phones were shipped out to beta testers yesterday (12/9/2013).
Miller said the number of phones being shipped will be ramped up throughout the week.
FreedomPop “will be clearing out most of back orders by end of week” said Miller.
The company, which now offers an innovative free cell phone service, opened its beta program in early October and quickly sold out of phones.
In early November, FreedomPop sent invites out to another batch of consumers who had signed up for their beta-testing program. Those receiving invites could purchase a refurbished HTC Evo 4G, set up to use FreedomPop’s free cell phone service, for $99.
The order form indicated that the phone would take 2 to 3 weeks to ship. But those who ordered early to mid-November saw that time frame slip by without receiving their phones. Anxiety started to build. Complaints and requests for refunds began showing up on FreedomPop’s Facebook page.
“The reason for the delay is that part of our beta is working out the device kitting and distribution kinks.” Miller told NFS. “Securing, refurbishing, re-flashing, packaging and activating thousands of phones is no small task. With our Evo 4G’s, we had a couple of unexpected issues with smaller vendors (we’ve since ceased relations with) but those ‘bad apples’ tainted the lot and we could not start mass kitting until we sorted those defective devices out.”
“80% of the back orders will end up getting their devices in 2-3 weeks” added Miller, “and we’ll be giving away a free perk to those that had to wait longer.”
FreedomPop is now taking regular orders for the phone through its website. The cost for the refurbished HTC Evo 4G is now $149.
The company has also launched a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program. Only a handful of Sprint based phones are compatible at this time. More phones are expected to be added to the compatibility list soon.
FreedomPop’s free cell phone plan includes 200 minutes of talk time, up to 500 text messages, and 500MB of free 3G/4G data.
They also offer two low cost calling plans, a $7.99/month plan that includes 500 minutes of talk time, unlimited texting, and 500MB of data, and a $10.99/month plan that includes unlimited talk time, unlimited texts, and 500MB of data.
I’ll have a full review of the FreedomPop HTC Evo 4G and their free cell phone service once our beta phone arrives. Be sure to subscribe to my email alerts to receive an update by email when I have new posts available.
Did you order a FreedomPop phone in November?
Have you gotten it yet, and what do you think of FreedomPop so far?
Leave your comments below!