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Thread: SurgePhone free ad-sponsored service 1GB data, unlimited texts, 16 hours talk

  1. #1
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    SurgePhone free ad-sponsored service 1GB data, unlimited texts, 16 hours talk

    I saw this service mentioned elsewhere and thought it worthy of bringing up here for discussion.

    https://surgephone.com/

    Apparently it uses T-Mobile. SIM is $10, service is free but it sounds like you have to install an app that creates pretty intrusive ads on your phone, e.g. every time you change apps, or maybe when you unlock your device. I haven't found any proper reviews of it, so maybe someone here will give it a try and share their experience.

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    Thanks for good finding. Wait for review...

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    Their parent company is True Wireless

    https://gotruewireless.com/

    which is Lifeline provider on Oklahoma.

    I ordered SIM from SurgePhone via PayPal. No confirmation email yet.

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    They should just call themselves RingPlus V2, V3, etc etc

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    >Wait for review...

    Do your own review. Download the Moolah Mobile app (not to be confused with an earlier Moolah app which is now defunct), and find out yourself. You'll have to do the same thing anyway if subbing to SurgePhone.

    http://moolahmobile.com

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...e.moolahsystem

    The app is recent, with only 26 reviews thus far. Reviews unsurprisingly indicate lots of issues.

    The SurgePhone plan gives you $10 credit toward its $10 plan (960min, unlim text, 1GB) which makes it free, contingent on you installing and running Moolah app. Small print sez the subsidy is subjected to change w/o notice. But you can run Moolah w/o Surge and see if you can eke out 10 clams yerself. If you can, skip Surge.

    Parent company is Surge Holdings, which has a grab bag of different services (https://surgeholdings.com/products). It is a penny-stock company (https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/SURG). You can browse its SEC filings at (https://ir.surgeholdings.com/sec-filings).

    Business description (from latest 10Q):

    The Company’s current focus is the provision of financial and telecommunications services to the financially underserved (i.e. persons who have little or no access credit) within the population.

    SurgePhone is a new venture. Tie-up with Moolah Mobile was 3 months ago.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/surge...150000024.html

    Integrity check: Another of Surge's venture, https://www.surgeheroes.com, is targeted toward military, 1st responders, et al. It lists an unlimited-everything plan for $25 (with free phone). The fine print at the bottom says after 4 months, price jumps to $45/mo. Shades of FreedomPop.

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    It looks like CellNuvo or RingPlus, but I do not care to install this app on my old phone that I use as GPS device running Waze in the car.

    I would not recommend to use this service as main/only cell service, but it can be used backup phone or data only device. I worst case scenario I will loose $10.

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    I could see using it for GPS etc,

    Anyone have it set up yet ?
    Wanted: old barnfind VWs and Sports cars ,
    save them from the crusher , I have had my tetanus shots so rust does not scare me ,
    anything considered even parts cars

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    The ToS say that if you remove the Moolah app you will be subject to a $10 monthly charge. Still not a bad price for the plan.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocaps View Post
    The ToS say that if you remove the Moolah app you will be subject to a $10 monthly charge. Still not a bad price for the plan.
    That's a good point: $10 for 1GB, unlimited texts and almost 1000 minutes (960).

    I'll be curious to hear though whether you can run the app on a different phone from the SIM, e.g. activate the SIM and install the app on an old Android phone, swap the SIM to your main phone, maybe unlock the old phone once a day for some activity.

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    >whether you can run the app on a different phone from the SIM, e.g. activate the SIM and install the app on an old Android phone, swap the SIM to your main phone, maybe unlock the old phone once a day for some activity.

    It's unrealistic to assume that the app is tied to the phone and not the SIM ICCID. For the SurgePhone strategy to work, the SIM has to be tied to the app and vice versa, because how else would the app know which account to credit to? Likewise, Surge can determine if a SIM is active without an accompanying signal from the app. How else would it know if a user doesn't just disable the app once installed?

    The implied thinking above is that the ad app only calls "home" every so often (daily per above). That may work for dumb ads, but for targeted ads which are situation/location-dependent, eg you walking into a store that's connected to an ad network, usage monitoring is continuous. Location-reporting, a large part of ad-serving, is 24/7.

    Perhaps Surge is like CellNuvo where only dumb ads & surveys exist. Then that would require active user participation in watching the ads and filling out surveys. TANSTAAFL.

    FYI, Surge Holdings was previously Ksix Media Holdings, a digital ad agency, so it knows what it's doing when it comes to ads.

    One thing that isn't clear is whether the data used by the Moolah app is zero-rated. If not, that 1GB allotment may be smaller than you think.

    Speaking of ads, here's an interesting piece on how stores & advertisers are tracking you, even if you don't have any "ad" apps. Or how Google can track you even when you have BT disabled. You don't need to care about privacy to read about good tricks.

    http://nytimes.com/interactive/2019/...g-privacy.html

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    Hey any one knows how to register your phone number at their website, like it gives me error and says sorry not a valid surge phone number. It did let me activate the SIM card though.

    Also, the data setting which came via SMS said it is from PWG (Prepaid wireless group) which is like wholesale prepaid

    Lastly, I don’t know how to pair up the moolah mobile app with my number , like the website or FAQ had no mention on how to complete the moolah mobile app pairing with SurgePhone number.

    Anyways, it came via USPS and it had tracking, I am not sure if my chrome auto filled it but when I was trying to activate sim, it showed all my info, like if some hacker/white hat exploiter?/etc. just enters random SIM numbers they could possibly get info of people who have not activated the SIM yet which is scary.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    >whether you can run the app on a different phone from the SIM, e.g. activate the SIM and install the app on an old Android phone, swap the SIM to your main phone, maybe unlock the old phone once a day for some activity.

    It's unrealistic to assume that the app is tied to the phone and not the SIM ICCID. For the SurgePhone strategy to work, the SIM has to be tied to the app and vice versa, because how else would the app know which account to credit to? Likewise, Surge can determine if a SIM is active without an accompanying signal from the app. How else would it know if a user doesn't just disable the app once installed?

    The implied thinking above is that the ad app only calls "home" every so often (daily per above). That may work for dumb ads, but for targeted ads which are situation/location-dependent, eg you walking into a store that's connected to an ad network, usage monitoring is continuous. Location-reporting, a large part of ad-serving, is 24/7.
    I can foresee that the SIM has to be installed when setting up the app, and that the app could have permissions to read the SIM and detect it's presence. However, I suspect (this is what will require testing) that the app can't detect anything regarding the SIM (including whether any SIM is installed at all) when the phone is in airplane mode -- and yet I imagine the app would function normally. Turn on Wi-Fi for data access, leave it at home, interact with it once in awhile.

    As long as the SIM is active, it should work in another device, even one without the app installed on that device (a SIM being able to detect the presence of an app is unheard of). Surge could have measures in place to detect something like this, but the question is whether they do.

    The bigger question may be whether you're required to have a certain level of interaction with your phone to get the free service -- as you said, whether you're guaranteed that 1GB or not. I imagine it can't be so restrictive as to require the same level of interaction and ad-serving needed to earn $10 with the Moolah app. But this is what we have to wait and see on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stackkong View Post
    Hey any one knows how to register your phone number at their website, like it gives me error and says sorry not a valid surge phone number. It did let me activate the SIM card though.

    Also, the data setting which came via SMS said it is from PWG (Prepaid wireless group) which is like wholesale prepaid

    Lastly, I don’t know how to pair up the moolah mobile app with my number , like the website or FAQ had no mention on how to complete the moolah mobile app pairing with SurgePhone number.

    Anyways, it came via USPS and it had tracking, I am not sure if my chrome auto filled it but when I was trying to activate sim, it showed all my info, like if some hacker/white hat exploiter?/etc. just enters random SIM numbers they could possibly get info of people who have not activated the SIM yet which is scary.
    If you have a SIM, you have more info than anyone else here so far. Aren't there instructions in the starter kit?

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    >Hey any one knows how to register your phone number at their website

    Why do you need to register your number?

    Support # is at top of the FAQ.

    >I don’t know how to pair up the moolah mobile app with my number

    "Pair Your SIM" is in app settings. You need SIM IMEI & serial (ICCID), and your phone number. Screenshots are at the Play Store app page.

    >it showed all my info

    Probably same info you gave when you ordered the SIM. But if that scares you, console yourself by knowing that it's just the start.


    More about Moolah and SurgePhone tie-up.

    https://hypepotamus.com/companies/moolah-mobile

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    Maybe there's a workable way around the app but if not there's no way it would be worth being constantly bombarded with ads (in addition to sharing God-knows-what personal data) to save $10/month, for most people anyway. I have my doubts about how long that kind of business model would last.

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