For the mom who gives us everything - Mother's Day gifts that connects us.
The new iPhone 15
S

New Member

 • 

7 Messages

Friday, January 1st, 2021 3:36 PM

iPhone SE 2020 issues

Hey guys, first time posting in this forum.

I recently added a new line (10 days ago) with an iphone SE 2020 for my niece.

She has never gone outside -- quarantine after an overseas trip. And she has been using WiFi to make international calls using WhatsApp.

I have been billed for international calls (~ $500) for her talking to someone using WhatsApp! Also she has consumed more than 2GB of mobile data in just two days even after we turned off cellular data in her iphone SE 2020 device!

I have 4 other lines and we use WhatsApp to make international calls and no issues with our iphones (6S, Xs, XsMax, Android). We have been doing this for over 6 years and no issues so far.

The AT&T reps that I spoke to in the local store here in Austin, Online Chat or calls could not figure this out. 

Also AT&T app or the account website shows this iPhone SE 2020 device as unknown.

We also made sure that the WhatsApp uses only WiFi data for calls and data -- same setting in all of our devices.

For now, I have turned off cellular data in the ATT website on this SE 2020 iphone device but this defeats the whole purpose of having a smart phone.

Please let me know if I am missing anything.

Thank you!

-- SpiceWood_ATX

ACE - Expert

 • 

64.7K Messages

3 years ago

Sorry to say but that is a well documented bug with WhatsApp in that the app will place the call over the cellular voice network. The fact that it’s never happened to you doesn’t matter. The only way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to put the phone in airplane mode to prevent use of cellular, then turn WiFi back on. 

New Member

 • 

7 Messages

3 years ago

Thanks for the quick response.

  • It's not just WhatsApp. Even the web browsing using WiFi on this iPhone 2020 SE is counted towards mobile data. Even if I turn off the cellular data on this device & use wiFi only, the data is counted towards mobile data.  I have checked this multiple times
  • If WhatsApp is using the cellular voice network on all the phones, then we can say that it's a WhatsApp feature. But as I said, this only happens in iPhone SE 2020. And this would mean that it has to be something in this device.

New Member

 • 

7 Messages

3 years ago

I plan to take this SE 2020 to the Apple store and will post the update here...

ACE - Expert

 • 

64.7K Messages

3 years ago

Even if I turn off the cellular data on this device & use wiFi only, the data is counted towards mobile data

That should should not be possible. Remember, your account data usage log is not real time. The time stamp is when the usage was reported, not when actually used. Actual usage could be from many hours to days earlier. So if if that’s how you are determining data is being used with cellular data off, not necessarily. Whether or not your WhatsApp issue is the device or not, I can’t say. I only know many customers have reported the same issue of being charged for WhatsApp calls on many different phones for many years and on all carriers.

ACE - Professor

 • 

3K Messages

3 years ago

If one of the parties has a bad/slow connection then there could be charges. Take a look at section 4 in the link below  

https://myline.com/whatsapp-international-calling/

New Member

 • 

7 Messages

3 years ago

Thanks again for all the useful inputs.

Slow connection/BW is ruled out. I have 400MB/s WiFi with pretty good connectivity across the entire house.

I even tried calling via WhatsApp to the same international # many times that my niece called (niece has the iPhone SE 2020) and I do not see this issue.

Also, ATT website does not recognize this iPhone SE 2020 device:

I am not sure if this is related.

Still looking for clues...

New Member

 • 

7 Messages

3 years ago

I have also blocked international calls on all the phones as a precaution.

ACE - Sage

 • 

117K Messages

3 years ago

Blocking international calls apparently does not work using a third-party app like WhatsApp. 

 There are conditions under which WhatsApp calls are free, and if they are not all met the calls will be charged as long distance. The person she is contacting also must be using the app on Wi-Fi or data or it's going to go as a cellular phone call.

   As the others have written this is a well-known bug. If your daughter is going to continue to use WhatsApp to make phone calls she should remove her SIM card.  

Not finding what you're looking for?
New to AT&T Community?
New to the AT&T Community? Start by visiting the Community How-To.
New to the AT&T Community?
Visit the Community How-To.