So first off there really is no difference between preferred status and free play status aside form you have access to three or four more things. Further more, is that a lot of the restrictions placed are down right ridiculous.
Restrictions like these:
-Most emotes are blocked, this I don't understand.
- Credit cap, putting a credit cap (not to mention a pretty low credit cap) is absurd. Its like putting a cap on how much air you can breath. Seriously you can't buy much cool items like the cassus fett armour or varactyls with 350k or anything on the gtn unless its lowgrade gear.
-having to wait a period of time between each message you send in general chat, now this is just annoying and doesn't make a lick of sense.
-Increased vendor and modification removal prices, not only do you have a low amount of money because of the credit cap but now they are increasing prices so you run out of money faster!
-Xp reduction, your reducing my how fast someone can level now?
That only list some.
Come on Bioware, put on some reasonable restrictions and remove the boneheaded ones.
It is not a free game, nor is it a public service of some sort. It is free to play at a very basic level so that if you enjoy the game you will spend money either by subscribing or buying perks.
EA/Bioware is not a charity, it is a publicly traded company that is in business to make money. IMO, making the game really pleasant to play as a free player wouldn't help fund the game nor make EA/Bioware money.