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Posted Jan 25, 2012
3:23:39 PM
Unexplained Data Usage and Incompetent Customer Service
This morning I got an email and I text from AT&T saying that I was approaching the limits of my "data usage" plan and would be subject to the $15/200MB fee.  I immediately logged into the website and saw the on Monday night at 11:53PM my phone sent almost my entire data usage balance of data to somewhere.  Since I don't use the smartphone features of the phone (ie, I don't text, don't email, rarely use the Internet services, have my notifications and locations services turned off), I was concerned that my phone was hacked or there was a network/billing problem.  I called customer service (initially was told that my phone call would be answered in less than a minute and 10 minutes later was still on hold!).  When I finally talked to someone, I explained my concerns and said there might be a problem.  I was told "we don't have a problem we have a glitch!"  When I replied that glitch is a synonym for problem, I was transferred to a technical specialist.  
The technical specialist said that my phone had automatically updated itself.  I asked how could that happen since I make sure all the apps are off (to preserve battery life) and actually that night I had no apps because the last time I synced my phone they all disappeared (I actually reloaded several of them yesterday, using WiFi, while waiting at the doctors office - but that was the day after this midnight data dump).  She told me that when I synched my phone, it updated software and reset all my data settings, specifically the cellular data setting, meaning that my phone was sending/receiving data without my doing anything.  I said that I wanted to know what data was being sent/received, especially since there were no apps loaded on the phone and she transferred me to a "resolution specialist."  
The resolution specialist restated that my phone reset when it was synced (which I said sounded like an engineering flaw) and that she couldn't tell what data was being sent/received for privacy reasons.   I questioned how she could bill me for usage but not tell me what the usage was, and said that if there were no apps on my phone, then the data must have been updates from AT&T and asked why would I be charged (ie apply to my data usage) for AT&T updates.  She said that the updates could have come from anywhere and I asked how could that happen if I had no apps on the phone.  At that point "the call failed" after almost an hour of trying to get this resolved!  I expected her to call me back since obviously she had my phone number, but no one called back.  I was not about to call the main number and go through the whole thing again, so I tried to email customer service.
I emailed tthis story to customer service.  The first response was an explanation that "some games and applications will use data when they are used and sometimes even when they are not open" (again I had no games or apps on the phone) and that "if the phone has push notifications active this may result in an open data session" and directions on how to turn notifications off (again, they were turned off).  My response (in all caps) reiterated that none of these services/apps/notifications were being used and that I still wanted to know know what data was being sent to/from my phone that night.  The second response was a pitch to upgrade my data plan and "a commitment to review my bill and rerate if there are any overages!"   I replied that trying to upsell me rather than answer my question was completely unacceptable and that I was going to contact corporate.  The third response was "reminding me per earlier customer service responses to close my apps" (I DON'T HAVE ANY APPS) and to use an AT&T Hot Spot.
To date, no one has answered my question - what data was sent to/from my phone (that has no apps on it) that nearly maxed out my data plan.  If they can bill for it, they should be able to tell me what it is!  
Time to swtich!!!  Goodbye AT&T

Unexplained Data Usage and Incompetent Customer Service

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Jan 25, 2012 4:16:56 PM
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Mentor
There are rogue apps that AT&T installs. For example on the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II, there is an app called AP mobile (Associate Press) that will refresh and load news/data EVEN if you turn that auto update off.

This happen to me on the first month when I got the new phone. It used up 500mb of data without my knowledge. Called AT&T and Samsung to resolve the problem, but both of them played the blame game on each other.

You cannot delete this app because AT&T/Samsung install these bloatwares and cannot be uninstalled without rooting your phone.

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Jan 25, 2012 5:43:32 PM
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ACE - Guru

They won't be able to tell you exactly what the data is. All they can see is what APN was used for the data session.  What type of phone do you have? if you don't use any of the smartphone features, why not turn off cellular data completely (and not just the push notifications) from the phone settings. 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jan 26, 2012 12:42:49 PM
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smart phones (every one on every carrier) is constantly connected to the internet. you need to disable internet when not in use to properly manage your data usage
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Jun 26, 2012 2:57:41 PM
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I am having the same issues currently right now.

 

On one of my lines, the data history shows less than 1GB of monthly usage for over a one year period of the 2GB allotment.  (Conveniently) When AT&T comes out with their new 3GB data plan, the data usage now exceeds 2GBs in the month it came out, then 6.4GBs the next, and now over 4GBs the current month. 

 

After being transferred 2 times (oh and btw, I was disconnected the first time after they were trying to transfer me), the technical service representative is trying to tell me that I stream Pandora and that's probably why I go over my data usages. She kept stating that it's music streaming, but the funny part is that I don't even have any music streaming apps on my iPhone!  Horrible customer service.

 

And now this guy JFizDaWiz is trying to make another excuse (definitely out of some beat around the bush manual) telling me that I have to go into my phone and turn off data services every night? He probably claims he does it every night, but its all a bunch of ___.

 

Also, now the supervisor is telling me that they will cancel my entire account because I've received too many credits?! ABSURD! I've been with AT&T/Cingular for over 10 years!

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Jun 26, 2012 7:39:06 PM
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Download my data manager for Android or iphone it'll tell you what is using data and how much

And the turning data off thing, I do it
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Jun 26, 2012 7:40:16 PM
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Come next month be sure to let me know the results of that app so I can tell you how right I was
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Aug 3, 2012 11:43:17 AM
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My wife and I have had the same unexplained data usage problems. I recived the same run-a-round from AT&T Customer No-Service.

 

Last month I checked the data usage on my iPhone 4S three days after the start of a new billing cycle. To my shock I discovered that I had been charged with about 193 MB of usage. That was very odd because 193 MB is well above what my total data usage is each month. Immediately contacted AT&T Customer Service--twice. Each time they could not provide an explanation as to why the data usage was charged to my phone. All they could tell me was that all of the 193 MB were charged on the very day the new billing cycle started. They did try to sell me a larger data plan.

 

I thought maybe this was just an odd thing that couldn’t be explained. Kept a close eye on my data usage for the reminder of the billing cycle and didn’t have another large data charge. I still stayed well under the 300 MB plan limit even with the unexpected 193 MB of usage on day one.

 

Then my wife checks her iPhone 4S data usage on day one of this month's billing cycle at about 9 AM. She finds that she has been charged with 30 MB of data usage when she hasn't even used her phone. Again, 9 AM; day one of new billing cycle; 30 MB of usage; no active applications running. How can this be? She contacted AT&T Customer Service and once again they were no help. She made two phone calls and also spoke with one CS Manager, but no one could explain why she has been charged for the 30 MB. Anyone else having this problem? Please help us resolve this if you know what to do? Extremely frustrating to be charged for data we know we are not using. Getting no help from AT&T Customer No-Service.   

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Nov 19, 2012 9:37:57 PM
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Edited by Taylarie on Nov 20, 2012 at 5:25:48 AM

Has AT&T provided any convincing answers to anyone on this issue?

 

I almost wanted to cut-n-paste the original message from this thread as it is identical to my problem except that the data limit and dates are different. I've an iPhone 4 with absolutely no apps on it (yes I know, I'm old fashioned in the new world) and the stupid thing sends 30-50PM almost every night when I'm not even using my phone.  AT&T customer service provides absolutely no help and they gave me a hogwash story about the Wifi in my house not fast enough so my phone switches to their "faster 3G"!!!! I've been charged extra for the last couple of months for just 3-5MB over the limit!

 

AT&T's recommendation is to turn off data when "not in use" but I am not using it. The story of apps connecting to the Internet regularly for updates is rubbish; I've turned off Location services globally and for apps such as weather and maps, and other things in the Settings Menu (like iCloud backup and crap like that). Another explantion is the time on the data transmission report is 24 hours old, cumulative during the day, but then why are they reporting exact times in the report?

 

If AT&T and/or Apple does not provide any fix for this or some way to track the data usage. There are privacy issues at play here when the consumer does not want to stay connected, there is something sneaky going on between AT&T and Apple.

 

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

 

Re: Unexplained Data Usage and Incompetent Customer Service

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Apr 13, 2013 2:42:19 PM
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Edited by Phil-101 on Apr 13, 2013 at 3:20:10 PM

I had the same problem that you guys. It was so frustrating and a waste of time talking this AT&T CSR  without any help offer from them, but instead offering you to upgrade or elevate your data plan. Well, these CSR are working with AT&T, obviously they work something for the benefit of the companyand frankly not for the  customer. It is very painful in our budget adding another $15.00 every month on top of our existing plan.

 

As they said my HTC smarthphone is doing update without my knowledge to make it sure the phone is up to date and working fine to any latest application, but they rediculously charged the users for that services.

 

I am not so sure if that is really the main reason. I have spoken three AT&T CSR and they have different versions.

 

In the back of my mind Im also, thinking that AT&T billing purposely overcharging its users. Another thing this problem did not happen before it was only lately maybe less than 3 billing cycles.

 

I am thinking of reporting this unfairness thing to the business bureau

 

I hope these issues will be resolve soon.

 

npqnj

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

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Apr 20, 2013 1:15:52 PM
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Same story here as most of u folks to the letter. I can't take it any more . I owe u but goodbye art. I'll pay u as soon as I can. Thanks for nothing !

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Apr 20, 2013 1:37:22 PM
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ACE - Guru
For anyone with an android, i recommend you get onavo count application from the play store. It will let you know which apps are using up the most data. It's free. Newer android phones have a built in data manager under settings as well.

That way, the data is automatically turned off when you're about to reach limit, and see what's using up the data. My parents have never gone over using those apps, and they're on the 200 mb plans
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Apr 26, 2013 11:26:36 AM
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Edited by Phil-101 on Apr 26, 2013 at 11:42:38 AM

Sir I complelely agree with u my wife and I have had this problem and then some we have 5 phones and have been a customer for over 10 years twoyears ago we added two phones to take our 5 phones to all i phones and for a 12 and 9 year old kid at the time we did it nothing was said and we asked several times is thier phones all unlimited data and text and calling our answer on all occasions was yes they are for 4 months our kids used them like crazy and there were no problems then one day we received a text sayin both of their phones were getting ready to go over their data plan well we called them and low and behold our other three lines had been grandfathered in as we were explained and AT&T no longer offered the unlimited plan well we questioned and never got a plain simple answer as to why they can alter their plan but u can't cancel urs now for the past years our bill has gotten higher and higher from 284 a month where it always was to over 700 dollars when questioned and asked about how they are using data when I have taken the phones from the kids and removed the sim cards and put them up and there are still charges occurring they tell me my kids have found them and put them back in the phones well they would have to be safe crackers because I put them in my gun safe then we started watching all our info data and numbers and data will appear and disappear and their response is theres no way that can happen well it does happen and I've about had all I can stand they have even gave us a credit back for two months now one for 90 dollars and one for 60 now why would they do this if they weren't in the wrong or knew they have a problem I'm done I am in the process of contacting the better buisness bureau <Legal discussions are not permitted per the Guidelines>

. if nobody stands up to these people they will keep on abusing and taking from loyal customers that they don't deserve I hope people read mine and your problem and start paying attention and put a halt to this because one way or another I am.

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Apr 26, 2013 11:36:35 AM
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Amen sir these people have no explains for this and they have even went as far as say their techs don't know what they are doing and will tell u anything just to keep u quiet and have credited us back two months in a row now if they weren't at fault why would they do this it's a good thing I couldn't come through the phone on the last manager my wife spoke to because he wouldn't be chewing anything soild until he got his new dentures put in lol. Please keep telling and reporting this issue these people are getting rich off loyal customers but I'm fixing to be an unloyal one soon if something and let them send me to the credit agency I'll still go to another service and they won't ever get another penny from my family.

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Apr 12, 2014 12:46:04 PM
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I started with 4 gigabytes for a 2 line shared mobile data plan in 01/2013. I'm all the way up to 20gbs because they say I have apps running in the background which the previous customer rep turned off. Basically I use less than 10gbs

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Apr 12, 2014 12:50:08 PM
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Edited by loganic on Apr 12, 2014 at 12:51:22 PM

All AT&T is recording is when/how much data your sim card is requesting/sending

If there is an issue on the phone, there's no way for AT&T to tell. All they can to guesstimate how or why.

(Like the water company looking at your water meter)

Consider getting an app like "My Data Manager" to give you a second opinion, and a timeline.

Sometimes, phones have internal records for their usage. What kind of phone are you using?

-Alex

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Aug 2, 2014 8:46:02 AM
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well thats bull crap then huh all you guys want is money and blame the users for it right LOL..


loganic wrote:

All AT&T is recording is when/how much data your sim card is requesting/sending

If there is an issue on the phone, there's no way for AT&T to tell. All they can to guesstimate how or why.

(Like the water company looking at your water meter)

Consider getting an app like "My Data Manager" to give you a second opinion, and a timeline.

Sometimes, phones have internal records for their usage. What kind of phone are you using?

-Alex


 

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Aug 2, 2014 1:09:49 PM
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dotcum wrote:

well thats bull crap then huh all you guys want is money and blame the users for it right LOL..


Does the water company tell you how you used the water, or just how much you used?  Does the Electric company tell you how you used the electricity or just how much you used? Does the gas company tell you how you used the natural gas, or just home much you used?  Does your home internet provider tell you what web sites you visited, or just how much data you transferred through their connections (if they even tell you that)?

 

Why should a cellular data provider be any different than any of the above utility providers?  Why should a cellular data provider track the details of how you use the data and what you are doing?  If you want that, then talk to the NSA.  Oh wait, that would be invading your privacy to track that level of detail, so if they track it, they're invading your privacy and assisting the NSA in spying on you, but if they don't track it, then they're incompetent fools who can't run a business...

 

Sounds to me like some customers just want to blame the service providers and and accept responsibilty for their own actions.  I've had a smartphone with AT&T for close to 10 years and every time there has been an increase in my normal data usage, I can tell you why that was.  I can also see that over the time I have been a smartphone customer, my data usage pattern has been slowly increasing (with each new deivce or OS upgrade on my existing devices).  It only seems normal that as the content progresses, so does my usage and data consumption.  For me to blame my service provider for my usage pattern changes would only be failure for me to accept responsibility for my own actions.


Jerry B.
"GeekBoy"

--

For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Aug 4, 2014 5:55:19 PM
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Ok, how come I've used 3 gigs in two and a half weeks, and have had my data turned off and not using my phone, and my wife has used 3 and a half gigs in same amount of time, and her phone never leaves her hand? 

 

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