Is anyone aware of a way to get free cell phone service through some sort of hack or something? I heard stories but never seen the real deal.
No, and if something of the sort comes up, it'll be slow, crap, and likely ad supported.
If you're in the US, depending on state there are some plans where you can get a cellphone through medicaid if you are sufficiently poor and disabled. It's free but it's a basic thing that just has voice and SMS, and comes with something like 200 minutes per month.
You can get basic service pretty cheap on prepaid or pay-as-you-go plans depending on what you need. Both ways are no-contract, so all you have to do to cancel is quit paying. There are also no surprise charges since you pay for the service before you get it.
Used to be rather simple, but it's not so simple anymore. But it remains possible, I've seen it in action. Thing is, the tech is a bit well beyond our reach now, it requires some intimate knowledge with that stuff, and it take a GSM expert a lot of free time to come up with something, along with a 0day exploit, only to be patched rather quickly if it is used massively.
My brother got one and he gave it to me because he has no use for it..
I don't either, I just use it to sell amazon fire sticks with kodi installed on craigslist.
500 minutes a month.