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Raw Data: FREE Android Phone + Unlimited Data, Text & Voice Only $40 per Month

The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

I posted about Raw Data back in November of last year and the comments were quite mixed (as I fully expected). However, I have made the decision to post about this offer again based on the feedback that I have received from current Hip2Save users. In fact, Raw Data recently administered a Customer Satisfaction Survey among Hip2Save users and found that over 90% of the users claimed they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the service that they received from RawData.

If you have been on the lookout for an affordable cell phone plan (or maybe you have been considering upgrading your plan to have more text and/or data options or to snag a better phone), then you’ll definitely want to take note of this post. Seriously… this is one heck of a deal!

Raw Data, a research company that focuses on media consumption, is currently looking for panelists to help them understand what people watch on TV, listen to on the Radio, and browse on the Internet. If you qualify to be a Raw Data panelist, you’ll snag a FREE Android Phone AND unlimited everything (data, text AND voice!) for just $40 per month including tax! Yep… just $40 a month for all of that!

How does this work?

How is Raw Data able to offer a free phone and such a cheap cell phone plan?
The free cell phone provided by Raw Data contains an app that transmits fingerprints to their servers, and this tells broadcasting companies and advertisers what you listen to on the radio and what you watch on TV. If a commercial comes on and you change the channel, this tells them their advertising is ineffective, annoying, or boring. Raw Data is paid by advertisers to perform this research.

Isn’t this an invasion of privacy?

Raw Data’s cell phones are trained to recognize just TV and Radio, everything else is ignored. The phones are not listening to your conversations. The RawData application is programmed to match up with different ‘finger prints’ that occur every 3-4 seconds in different forms of media broadcasting, IE: television, radio, etc. No actual audio is ever transmitted.

Benefits of Being a Raw Data Panelist:

* FREE Android cell phone (you will also have the option to upgrade to an iPhone or a different Android phone for a small fee)
* Unlimited Text Messages
* Unlimited Data
* Unlimited Mobile to Mobile on any network
* Unlimited Land Line Minutes
* Note that you will be required to sign a 2 year contract (however, this same plan would typically cost you $99+ with another carrier!)

What does a Panelist do?

* You must keep your cell phone charged
* You’ll also need to make sure your cell phone is exposed to that TV or Radio when you are watching or listening
* RawData will occasionally text message questions to participants to learn what/how you think or feel about anything from elections to fast food
* Note that the RawData app will run in the background whenever your phone is turned on (RawData will text or email you directions on how to install the app once they verify that you have received your phone and that it is working properly).

What if I join Raw Data and then later decide that I do not want to be a panelist any longer?

You can leave the Raw Data Research program at any time. When you leave, Raw Data will no longer subsidize the cost of your phone plan, so you will be responsible for the market rate of your plan and the termination fees.

Interested in learning more/signing up for this program?

Head over here to begin taking a survey to see if you qualify to become a Raw Data Panelist. The survey is divided into 6 short chapters that collect information about your education, hobbies & interest, lifestyle etc. As you complete each chapter, you will be notified instantly if you qualify to move on to the next chapter. If you qualify to become a panelist, you will receive an email with a link to provide payment information. You will NOT receive your phone until you have completed the survey and RawData has verified the payment information. If at anytime throughout this process you have a questions, you can call 855-RAW-DATA (855-729-3282).

SPECIAL NOTE: At this time, The Raw Data program is not available at the $40 rate described below for current Sprint customers. If you are a current Sprint customer, you can contact Raw Data at 855-RAW-DATA (855-729-3282) for more information about the rates available to you.

Are you a current RawData user?! If so, please share your experience with us in the comments below!

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67 Hip Readers Commented

  • Max says:

    Has anyone here used this program? I am a bit confused, will this affect my current phone plan?

    • Samantha says:

      I had just talked to one of the reps there and they had stated they take over your contract and you pay a cheap price depending on the phone you own(if your with another carrier or if you want to go with them.

    • Evans R. says:

      This is a plan that want effect you sprint phone it is not on the sprint contract, it is a good phone plane i use it for 1 years now no problems everything is unlimited work great. you by pass the cridit check .

  • Angela D. says:

    I just filled out the form for me and my husband. The application was easy, and it seems to work with your current carrier – excluding Sprint. We both qualified for Iphones, and that would lower our monthly cell phone bill by $50/month if it turns out that we can both do the program!

    • Angela D. says:

      Note: It does not ask for any payment info at the end of the application. They said they would send an email with more info, which I haven’t received yet – but it’s only been a few minutes.

  • Katie says:

    Love it! Just wish my phone replacement deductible was lower.

  • Dawn says:

    Oh wow, I didn’t realize it works with your existing provider – this seems like a great deal!

  • Jamie says:

    “As a panelist, you will be asked to carry a Smartphone, respond to text message questions, and install software on your computer to track what websites you visit. All of this information will help RawData understand how you interact with TV, radio and the internet.”

    They even want to track your website visits through your computer. Seems like a nice deal, but a little invasive.

  • Andrea says:

    I signed up the first time this was posted and I really like it. Allows me to have a cell phone while on a budget. In November I’ll be able to upgrade to the iphone 4S for $10 more per month.

    I don’t get very many text messages and they only require a short reply, often only a number. I.e. if you prefer Cake send 1, if you prefer ice-cream send 2.

    I think you’re also required to install something for online browsing on your PC (at least that requirement was part of the last deal), but that app isn’t ready yet and they said they’ll email me when the install is ready.

    The only issue I had was that the phone I got was defect. Since I was new to smart phones I wasn’t sure how well the gadgets were supposed to work, but eventually I contacted them and said that this can’t be right. Video never worked, voice recognition never worked, internet took forever (guess that’s 3G and won’t change with a different phone), phone calls took forever until they connected or until the dialpad came up, music would only play for 30 secs, then stop and the touch screen only reacted 50% of the time. They sent me a replacement phone and it works awesome. Aside from slow internet all issues have been resolved.

    The only thing that’s still up in the air for me is that the replacement phone does not have the rawdata app installed. When I contacted them they said they are working on a new application for the Android and that they’ll let me know when it’s ready. So I’m not sure if the app that’s always running (except during calls) is interfering with the other phone functions. If that were the case then I would stop the service, but otherwise I really like RawData and they have been very responsive and not invasive at all.

    FYI – a little message pops up when you make a phone call, telling you that the app is turning off during your phone call and then pops up again when the call is ended to let you know that the app is running again.

    Just my experience :)

  • kelly b says:

    I have been a user since nov of last year. Its very non-invasive on my end. Love the interner on the go. I get great service…unlimited mobile roaming and data. Amazing phone…great customer service. My only complaint is they took away shortcodes. Example. Text coke to 5959 to get a q for. 50 off. I can’t do it. You can’t get the target mobile q’s sent to your phone. You can’t get daily balance updates from your debit card to your phone. I miss my target q’s. All in all…great deall for a data phone. If you are huge into the shortcodes…take a pass on it.

  • Heather says:

    I don’t really like how the security deposit works. At the end of 2 years you send the phone back and you might….. get it back…. it seems like a lot of $ up front…. I’m not really sure on this one

  • Jenney says:

    I’m on my 3rd month of belonging to Raw Data. I have wanted an iPhone forever, but am too cheap to pay for it! My bill is $55 a month TOTAL!!!! I have unlimited talk, text, and data. I did have to pay $215 up front as a security deposit, but now the phone is mine to keep (assuming I fulfill the 2 year contract, which I will!) The app isn’t available/working in my area (southern Indiana) and they said they will contact me when it’s up and running. So far I’m really liking this deal! I looked into it the first time Collin posted it back in November and I was on the fence until April. I’m so happy that I joined! I <3 my iPhone!!!!

  • Jenn says:

    When you switch your phone providers are you then subject to the cancellation fees that apply to the current provider or does Raw Data cover the cost to switch? Also, how did you keep your same number?

    • Stacie says:

      YOU will owe any fees if you are in a contract- Sorry – When you want to switch the number send the number to Raw Data and they will do it for you- once the number is moved over you can safely cancel you old phone/provider.

  • anthonyjets says:

    I was accepted, but I didn’t get the email yet. Anyone else in the same boat?

  • Melissa Boyle says:

    I’m currently a raw data user. No issues, great customer service, cheap plan, nexsus s phone!! This is legit and helped us save on phone bills!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I have had them since Novemeber. I love it! I got a free phone, unlimited everything and its only $40/month. It just runs silently in the background, and will disable itself when you get or make a phone call. About 1-2x month you will gets texts regarding random stuff, but thats no biggie either. All & all positive experience.

  • Chelsie says:

    What happens if you have a family plan?

  • Sarah says:

    I recently started using tmobile $30 4g monthly plan. It works awesome for what I need and I got a nice android phone. I got it at walmart and get 5gigs of 4g data which is awesome. I also recommend trying virgin mobile because you will be able to get an iPhone 4or s at the end of the month for 30 a month if your on auto payment.

    No need to let a data company steal your information. It’s not worth 40 unlimited everything.

    • katie says:

      I just signed up with the same plan about 2 months ago. I love it. I bought my Samsung Exhibit II from Amazon for much cheaper than what Tmobile was selling it for, and for only $30 a month for service. It only comes with 100 minutes, but I dont talk that much on it anyway, and you can rig it to use google talk for free if you do need more minutes.

  • sara says:

    What happens if you lose or damage a phone? I don’t see anything about insurance…I’m guesing they would make you pay the security deposit again for another phone. That scares me since iphones get damaged so easily.

    • RawData says:

      There are insurance options available, each phones options are unique. It would be best to call and we can discuss the insurance options for the phone you would be interested in.

      Our office number is 855.729.3282 (we are open 9am – 5pm Mountain on weekdays)

  • Jarrod L says:

    I to signed up last nov, its quite the hip deal, everyone knows that when you dvr your info is recorded, or when you fast forward or pause your on demand movie they know, your gps in your car is a beacon too. So why is this any more intrusive? Plus you get a great phone at a reasonable rate and unlimited everything, all you have to do is a few simple requirements to save a bundle! The app shuts off when you make calls and you can pause it at any time as well. Plus they have 25$ referrals every now and again.

  • Meeka says:

    I signed up last Nov and I am sure glad that I did. This is a great program and it has really allowed me to save on my phone bill. They have great customer service and have always responded in a timely manner. FYI it doesn’t steal your information so you need not be paranoid :)

  • Lee W says:

    How long can you be a panelist? If there’s a 2-yr contract, could you conceivably be a panelist for 2+ years and have the bill subsidized by Raw Data?

  • Kristen says:

    I was approved and received my email yesterday. I am a sprit customer so its a little more money but I already have one of the phones they use for the program so all they do is take over my contract for the remaining time and I’m free once the contract is up. I’ve been with Sprint for over 10 years and I’m a little worried it will confuse my relationship with them. If I want to renew when my contract is up am I still technically a customer of theirs or will I be a new customer? Could anyone who has Sprint give me some advice, what they have experienced, and if it is really legit and worth the money you save??

  • Cindy says:

    I have MetroPCS, no contract & I pay $40/month includes my tax too (unlimited minutes,text, web). For $50 you can use a 3g/4g android phone. I’ve had it for several years.

  • Sveta says:

    We have been with Virgin Mobile for over 1 year and love it! It is true that you have to buy your phone, but it pays for yourself in no time; $30/ month with unlimited data and text, 300 min talk. Perfect! We told about it to few of our friends and they switched and love it too. No invasion of privacy!! So, what’s next are you ready and willing to sell?

  • CRa riva says:

    I have this and I cant say enough good things about Raw Data! Upgraded to Galaxy Ii best phone ever puts iphone 2 shame. Thanks Hip 2 Save!!!!!!!

  • Susan says:

    I was in need of a new phone and carrier last November when I saw your post about Raw Data. I currently bad a blackberry through Verizon and my bill every month was unbelievably high. Signing up through Raw Data was so easy and simple and my bill every month is always the same very low amount. So far I haven’t had any issues or problems. Occasionally (maybe once a month at the most) I receive a survey question which usually just requires a yes or no reply. I choose to buy the Galaxy S II and I couldn’t be happier, thanks hip2save!

  • Tammi says:

    how do you know if you qualify for the program I have not received a e-mail but finished the questionnaire ! how long should I wait?

    • RawData says:

      Tammi – Thanks asking. I checked with our operations team, they just ran a batch. You should see the email in the next little bit. If you don’t see it soon or are concerned you are always welcome to give us a call – 855.720.3282.

  • Kristen O'Riordan says:

    Is it always sprint? I’m excited to learn about this and can’t wait to get my email!

  • Rachel Brumbaugh says:

    Is this still available? I submitted my survey and it said I will be receiving an email? i am very interested in this, I enjoy doing online surveys and such already.

  • Alan says:

    signed up…but no email.

  • Meagan says:

    I have been a RawData customer for almost a year now, and I’ve loved it! Obviously if you take the free phone option, it isn’t always the best phone, and there are issues, but for being so inexpensive, it’s really been great for me! My husband and I were paying $180 a month before switching to RawData, and now we pay less than $80 a month. However, we will be switching to an iPhone in a couple weeks, and so our bill will go up by $15 per line, which I don’t mind at all! And now, with the new customers, instead of getting your cell service through Sprint (Which wasn’t the best, but for the price, I could never complain!), new customers now get service through Verizon, which gets much better reception. Another good thing for people considering RawData to keep in mind, I would suggest not switching over until your current cell phone contract is up, as RawData does not pay your early termination fees, unless you don’t mind paying for them yourself. Also, the apps they require you to have on your phone slowed my (free) android phone down quite a bit, but not enough for me to want to get rid of it. So honestly, if you’re looking for a great deal, this is it! You won’t find anything cheaper than this that works this well!

  • crystale says:

    i have been with raw data for about 6 or 7 months and have not had a problem with the service bc i knew it was on sprints towers when i signed up so i knew what to expect BUT what i dont like is that the rep at my last job did not explain any of the ins and outs to me, nor did Cody at raw data. i asked her if i wanted to cancel i cld at any time and she said yea u wld just pay 25.00 for the fees and then i asked her if i cld switch phones at any time and she said yea , you just pay the price of the phone and theyll switch your number over. well not so…i called raw data the other day and spoke w/aaron (who had a bit of a ‘tude) and was told i could not switch my phone until after my two years with them and if i wanted to switch now thru them i wld pay the retail price (about 600 something for the galaxy 3) and then switch and thats only if your bill is paid up to date (which is understandable). then i inquired about the verizon phones and of course i cldnt use a verizon phone under sprint towers ao i wld have to cancel my current “plan” and pay the new setup fee to switch to verizon. kinda sounds like the way the companies do it…not so prepaid or non – contract as i was told but i must say im not really complaining bc paying $55 a month for unl everything w/an iphone 4s is a deal. i just didnt like how it wasnt fully explained to me the “small print” i guess…

  • andrea says:

    did anyone else get a message about Verizon service ending July 25th? What’s up with that? They said they are not taking any questions and I’m due back a deposit in the beginning of next year. I’m very confused. Anybody else? Didn’t know where else to go, so I came back to this old thread.

    • Jerry says:

      Yeah me and my wife got the same email in 2 days we received the same message 3 times and I know there going to refund the unused portion of bill that we paid but my question is on the security deposit can we expect that back because the condition was our acct needed to be in good standings after a year and we would get that back so by them breaking there part of the deal and our acct in good standings when can we get that back too?

      • Anish says:

        Hi. i have same issue with raw data shutting off Verizon service. I can’t port number and only was to keep my number is to move verizion account/ number under my name and sign 1 year contract for $ 80- $ 90/ month. Plus my deposit it stuck with them. Any suggestion??. I am concerned about losing my number, I just want to port to diff service provided.

      • Need Your Help says:

        Jerry do you by any chance have any screenshots or any evidence you could upload or email to us documenting anything about the deposits being returned? I’m missing it, and that’s all my credit card company said I’d need. would be super helpful. thanks!

  • Anish says:

    Hi. i have same issue with raw data shutting off Verizon service. I can’t port number and only was to keep my number is to move verizion account/ number under my name and sign 1 year contract for $ 80- $ 90/ month. Plus my deposit it stuck with them. Any suggestion??. I am concerned about losing my number, I just want to port to diff service provided.

  • Meagan says:

    They have to at least refund our security deposits, because in the agreement they said we would get them back in a year if our account was in good standing. The deposit is ours and they can’t take that. My husband and I have iphone 5′s through RawData, and we found a great prepaid deal through T Mobile, we can use our phones, they just send us a SIM card and we activate them and select a plan when they get here and then we’re all set. Straight Talk at Walmart has a similar program as well. I hope everything works out for you guys and I hope we get our refunds of our security deposits soon!

  • Meagan says:

    Just recieved word from them that they are closing for good and out of resources, therefore we will not be receiving our deposits back, at all. So for anyone counting on getting that deposit back to start service with anyone else, don’t hold your breath. It won’t happen. I smell a lawsuit!

  • Andrew says:

    Does anyone have the account number for raw data so I can port my Verizon number? ANYONE? I need help here.

    • Andrea says:

      I was told you need to call the corporate number. They can help you. I gave up and just got a new number with T mobile. I also initiated a chargeback for the deposit amount with my credit card company

      • Need Your Help says:

        Hi All,
        I’m in the same boat as you. Just got my iPhone 5 Verizon service canceled, and not getting the security deposit. For the chargeback, all I need is a screenshot or something showing where it says we get the deposit back in 1 year if in good standing. Does anyone happen to have anything like that and can upload it somewhere or email it to me? Would be sooo appreciated!! bestkittycatz@hotmail.com Thanks in advance!

  • andrea says:

    If someone has that I’d be interested as well! pibubb@yahoo.com. It was previously available on their website under https://www.therawdata.com/upgrade, but is no longer there. I submitted the invoice to my credit card company. It clearly states the deposit. I also sent them the notice on their site and that they are not taking any questions, plus a screenshot of the comments on this page to show that others have this issue as well.

  • Meagan says:

    I’m interested too! guvness@gmail.com

  • Meagan says:

    I do have an email that said that they don’t have the funds to repay our deposits. I can send that to anyone if they’d like!

  • Bummer says:

    Deposits aside, it’s really too bad that Raw Data didn’t turn enough profit. It was a great idea. I realize a lot of people were freaked out having to take their word that they weren’t completely spying on us, but since all the revalations about the NSA, it turns out that the whole time, our own gov’t was spying on us 100x worse. At least Raw Data hooked us up with great deals on cool phones.

    I will fight to get my deposit back, but honestly, that’s just because I really need the money, nothing to do with ill will. Sorry to see you go RawData :(

  • Andrea says:

    My bank posted it right away too but I’m not a hundred percent sure it will stay as a credit on my account. I’m currently in the “they have 45 days to respond” period.

    • O says:

      Pretty much the same thing happened to me. Citibank $125 conditional credit posted to my VISA credit card account on 8/10, but Rawdata has until 10/15 to respond to the case.

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