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Posted May 20, 2011
10:01:22 AM
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Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

I would like to know what I can do about being charged for data usage while I am on Wi-Fi.  I have Wi-Fi at home, but every day, my bill shows data usage at times when I know I am at home.  In the beginning, the usage was showing up between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.  And usually it is not just a small amount.  The last one I noticed was for over 20,000 kb.  I was told that the Smartphones update everyday (I have an iPhone 3GS), and that wouldn't be so bad, if it was just a small amount.  But last month, I was charged an extra $15 for going over my Data Plan.  I have the 200MB plan.  AT&T did remove the extra charge when I explained to them that the majority of the usage shown on my bill was at times when I knew I was at home, and in the case of the late night usage, I was actually in bed asleep.  I live alone, so I know no one else was using my phone.  I tried turning off the Cellular Data option under Settings while I was at home.  But now the usage is showing up in the morning when I turn it back on while I am still at home, but before I go to work.  Can someone please help me.  This has gotten me to be afraid of even using my phone at all for fear of going over my Plan again because of the usage that is going against me while I am connected to my Wi-Fi network.  And, yes, my phone is showing that I am connected to Wi-Fi when I am at home.

I would like to know what I can do about being charged for data usage while I am on Wi-Fi.  I have Wi-Fi at home, but every day, my bill shows data usage at times when I know I am at home.  In the beginning, the usage was showing up between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.  And usually it is not just a small amount.  The last one I noticed was for over 20,000 kb.  I was told that the Smartphones update everyday (I have an iPhone 3GS), and that wouldn't be so bad, if it was just a small amount.  But last month, I was charged an extra $15 for going over my Data Plan.  I have the 200MB plan.  AT&T did remove the extra charge when I explained to them that the majority of the usage shown on my bill was at times when I knew I was at home, and in the case of the late night usage, I was actually in bed asleep.  I live alone, so I know no one else was using my phone.  I tried turning off the Cellular Data option under Settings while I was at home.  But now the usage is showing up in the morning when I turn it back on while I am still at home, but before I go to work.  Can someone please help me.  This has gotten me to be afraid of even using my phone at all for fear of going over my Plan again because of the usage that is going against me while I am connected to my Wi-Fi network.  And, yes, my phone is showing that I am connected to Wi-Fi when I am at home.

Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 20, 2011 2:11:10 PM
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first, when the screen is off wifi turns off and reverts to the mobile network.
second, usage is collected all day and reported in one chunk. so 20MB of usage posted at midnight means you used 20MB since the last report.
all usage is correct, there isn't no error in this. you might need a bigger data package for your usage.
first, when the screen is off wifi turns off and reverts to the mobile network.
second, usage is collected all day and reported in one chunk. so 20MB of usage posted at midnight means you used 20MB since the last report.
all usage is correct, there isn't no error in this. you might need a bigger data package for your 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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May 20, 2011 3:03:34 PM
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Thanks for your reply, but now that brings up another question.....if usage is collected all day and reported in one chunk, then why are there multiple usage charges per day instead of just one charge?  Also, I have been searching other posts, and one said that after 15 minutes on battery, wi-fi is dropped and reverts back to 3G.  If this is true, does this mean that I have to either turn Cellular Data off, or stay plugged into an electrical outlet?  If in an AT&T hotspot (such as McDonald's), is wi-fi dropped after 15 minutes?  Can one be on wi-fi for ten minutes, idle for a while, back on wi-fi for another 10 minutes, and so on and so on, or is it dropped 15 minutes after I walk in my front door regardless?  Sorry, I don't mean to be asking what some might consider to be stupid questions.  I'm just trying to fully understand, because evidently what I thought I knew, is not the way it is!

Thanks for your reply, but now that brings up another question.....if usage is collected all day and reported in one chunk, then why are there multiple usage charges per day instead of just one charge?  Also, I have been searching other posts, and one said that after 15 minutes on battery, wi-fi is dropped and reverts back to 3G.  If this is true, does this mean that I have to either turn Cellular Data off, or stay plugged into an electrical outlet?  If in an AT&T hotspot (such as McDonald's), is wi-fi dropped after 15 minutes?  Can one be on wi-fi for ten minutes, idle for a while, back on wi-fi for another 10 minutes, and so on and so on, or is it dropped 15 minutes after I walk in my front door regardless?  Sorry, I don't mean to be asking what some might consider to be stupid questions.  I'm just trying to fully understand, because evidently what I thought I knew, is not the way it is!

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 21, 2011 12:12:52 AM
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wifi turns off if not actively using the phone. you can disable the mobile network. the reports aren't always once a day, if you reboot your phone it will usually also generate a report.
wifi turns off if not actively using the phone. you can disable the mobile network. the reports aren't always once a day, if you reboot your phone it will usually also generate a report.
*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.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 21, 2011 5:35:43 PM
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Same question here...

 

I recently upgraded to a Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) and enjoyed using it for about two weeks. I woke up last Thursday morning to a SMS message from AT&T that I had gone over my data. I have been on WiFi since I got the phone and can prove it from my bill--usage had not changed.

 

I called AT&T and the rep explained that I indeed did not get a "warning SMS," only got the "you've gone over" SMS which was peculiar. I didn't know if it was a problem with the phone or with AT&T--the rep suggested returning the phone as it could be an issue with the phone. (As an anecdote, I've had no other issues with the phone)

 

I returned the phone on Friday and went back to my regular phone. I plan on upgrading again in the future but have reservations as no-one at AT&T can answer some specific questions regarding data usage. I've had no other issues with AT&T, customer service has been bend-over-backwards helpful and empathetic.

 

a) Why is all data labeled as "sent," and how can I disseminate between data that was sent FROM the handset vs. TO the handset (downloaded)?

 

b) There does not appear to be an odometer on Windows Phone to calculate data usage. How can I be sure that the data is being accurately counted?  (same thing happened on my wife's iPhone several months ago, she was billed for 3X the amount of data that her phone counted as much less...)

 

Here is a screenshot from my bill showing the leap in data usage.  At 9:07PM, my phone was on it's charger and I was asleep so it was not actively being used.

 

 

Same question here...

 

I recently upgraded to a Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) and enjoyed using it for about two weeks. I woke up last Thursday morning to a SMS message from AT&T that I had gone over my data. I have been on WiFi since I got the phone and can prove it from my bill--usage had not changed.

 

I called AT&T and the rep explained that I indeed did not get a "warning SMS," only got the "you've gone over" SMS which was peculiar. I didn't know if it was a problem with the phone or with AT&T--the rep suggested returning the phone as it could be an issue with the phone. (As an anecdote, I've had no other issues with the phone)

 

I returned the phone on Friday and went back to my regular phone. I plan on upgrading again in the future but have reservations as no-one at AT&T can answer some specific questions regarding data usage. I've had no other issues with AT&T, customer service has been bend-over-backwards helpful and empathetic.

 

a) Why is all data labeled as "sent," and how can I disseminate between data that was sent FROM the handset vs. TO the handset (downloaded)?

 

b) There does not appear to be an odometer on Windows Phone to calculate data usage. How can I be sure that the data is being accurately counted?  (same thing happened on my wife's iPhone several months ago, she was billed for 3X the amount of data that her phone counted as much less...)

 

Here is a screenshot from my bill showing the leap in data usage.  At 9:07PM, my phone was on it's charger and I was asleep so it was not actively being used.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone 4S

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May 22, 2011 12:01:15 PM
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data is always listed as sent as its always requested by user or the users choice in apps
data is always listed as sent as its always requested by user or the users choice in apps
*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.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 22, 2011 2:24:37 PM
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Is it data that is sent from, or received by the handset?  There is no differentiation between the two on the ATT site.

Is it data that is sent from, or received by the handset?  There is no differentiation between the two on the ATT site.

Sent from my iPhone 4S

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May 22, 2011 7:42:47 PM
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it simply doesn't.
it simply doesn't.
*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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May 22, 2011 8:24:17 PM
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Ok--then I take particular issue with how AT&T is counting data, and it will certainly factor into whether I remain a customer or not.

 

If AT&T cannot disseminate between what data is being sent or received from the handset, then how can they obtain an accurate count of exactly what data is being used. There is no accurate count if there is no transparency in how the count is being obtained. They might as well say that MB count for data is arbitrary and leave it at that since they are not giving accurate information on their website.

 

The more I have looked into this, the less and less I like what I am hearing. After nearly 3 years with AT&T, I think i will move my family onto another carrier when our contract is up.

 

Ok--then I take particular issue with how AT&T is counting data, and it will certainly factor into whether I remain a customer or not.

 

If AT&T cannot disseminate between what data is being sent or received from the handset, then how can they obtain an accurate count of exactly what data is being used. There is no accurate count if there is no transparency in how the count is being obtained. They might as well say that MB count for data is arbitrary and leave it at that since they are not giving accurate information on their website.

 

The more I have looked into this, the less and less I like what I am hearing. After nearly 3 years with AT&T, I think i will move my family onto another carrier when our contract is up.

 

Sent from my iPhone 4S

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May 22, 2011 9:01:10 PM
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Edited by pamelaz on May 22, 2011 at 9:34:00 PM

This is a huge problem. I've been complaining to AT&T about this for months. You get different stories depending on who you talk to, but basically yes, about 40-50MB of data on my plan is simply for updates. They always occur around 2-3 am. I know I'm home, sleeping and at home am always on WI-fi.

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

This is a huge problem. I've been complaining to AT&T about this for months. You get different stories depending on who you talk to, but basically yes, about 40-50MB of data on my plan is simply for updates. They always occur around 2-3 am. I know I'm home, sleeping and at home am always on WI-fi.

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 23, 2011 2:12:57 AM
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the systems sends a report of all data used since its last report and usually does so in the middle of the night. doesn't mean data was used at that time
the systems sends a report of all data used since its last report and usually does so in the middle of the night. doesn't mean data was used at that time
*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.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 23, 2011 6:54:49 AM
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Thank you for the information.  However, I fail to see the sense in that tactic of data counting, furthermore, there is no transparency in how AT&T is counting the data, where it is coming from, when it is being used, etc.

 

If a time/date stamp is going to be listed, it should be the time when the data was accessed.

 

If a MB count of data is going to be listed, it should be the amount that was used at that particular date/time.

 

If it is listed as "sent," it should be designated as data sent "from" or "to" the phone. Otherwise, remove the "sent" label altogether and use "total data" instead.

 

I challenge someone from AT&T to tell me how their method of data counting is "customer friendly" or "focused."

Thank you for the information.  However, I fail to see the sense in that tactic of data counting, furthermore, there is no transparency in how AT&T is counting the data, where it is coming from, when it is being used, etc.

 

If a time/date stamp is going to be listed, it should be the time when the data was accessed.

 

If a MB count of data is going to be listed, it should be the amount that was used at that particular date/time.

 

If it is listed as "sent," it should be designated as data sent "from" or "to" the phone. Otherwise, remove the "sent" label altogether and use "total data" instead.

 

I challenge someone from AT&T to tell me how their method of data counting is "customer friendly" or "focused."

Sent from my iPhone 4S

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May 23, 2011 2:57:17 PM
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sent from the phone would mean uploading a picture, video or music or game data like scores. other than that everything is sent to the device.
sent from the phone would mean uploading a picture, video or music or game data like scores. other than that everything is sent to the device.
*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.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 24, 2011 11:06:52 AM
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I've got verizon and data reports the same way. At least At&t lets you track everything.

I've got verizon and data reports the same way. At least At&t lets you track everything.

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May 25, 2011 8:08:43 PM
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Have you tried on Win Phone 7 -

 

Settings/Phone Update: CHECK the "Notify me when new updates are found.".  UNCHECK the "Use my celluar data connection to check for updates" option.

 

Have you tried on Win Phone 7 -

 

Settings/Phone Update: CHECK the "Notify me when new updates are found.".  UNCHECK the "Use my celluar data connection to check for updates" option.

 

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May 25, 2011 8:36:34 PM
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I had it turned off via Cellular, as well as Feedback via Cellular.

I had it turned off via Cellular, as well as Feedback via Cellular.

Sent from my iPhone 4S

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May 26, 2011 11:48:50 AM
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you might check your applications :example facebook always updates when someone posts to your wall. just saying check your applications on the one that are set for continous notifications through the settings... might help

 


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

you might check your applications :example facebook always updates when someone posts to your wall. just saying check your applications on the one that are set for continous notifications through the settings... might help

: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 26, 2011 12:01:42 PM
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I didn't have or use Facebook. The phone only had two e-mail accounts (Gmail and Hotmail) and a Calendar (Hotmail). AT&T couldn't give me an explanation, if it was received or sent data, and when it was being used.

I didn't have or use Facebook. The phone only had two e-mail accounts (Gmail and Hotmail) and a Calendar (Hotmail). AT&T couldn't give me an explanation, if it was received or sent data, and when it was being used.

Sent from my iPhone 4S

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May 28, 2011 7:35:00 AM
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ACE - Master

JuanGuapo wrote:

I didn't have or use Facebook. The phone only had two e-mail accounts (Gmail and Hotmail) and a Calendar (Hotmail). AT&T couldn't give me an explanation, if it was received or sent data, and when it was being used.


E-mail accounts could potentially contribute to phantom data usage because the servers are constantly scanning the phone for new e-mails you may have received. And when Wi-Fi is not turned on, guess what it uses? The 3G mobile data network. If your phone has the capability, I would suggest to turn 3G data off when you are not using your phone at night.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy




JuanGuapo wrote:

I didn't have or use Facebook. The phone only had two e-mail accounts (Gmail and Hotmail) and a Calendar (Hotmail). AT&T couldn't give me an explanation, if it was received or sent data, and when it was being used.


E-mail accounts could potentially contribute to phantom data usage because the servers are constantly scanning the phone for new e-mails you may have received. And when Wi-Fi is not turned on, guess what it uses? The 3G mobile data network. If your phone has the capability, I would suggest to turn 3G data off when you are not using your phone at night.

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*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.

Re: : Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 28, 2011 7:47:14 AM
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Wild Banchi wrote:

JuanGuapo wrote:

I didn't have or use Facebook. The phone only had two e-mail accounts (Gmail and Hotmail) and a Calendar (Hotmail). AT&T couldn't give me an explanation, if it was received or sent data, and when it was being used.


E-mail accounts could potentially contribute to phantom data usage because the servers are constantly scanning the phone for new e-mails you may have received. And when Wi-Fi is not turned on, guess what it uses? The 3G mobile data network. If your phone has the capability, I would suggest to turn 3G data off when you are not using your phone at night.

 

Thank you, I appreciate your advice and reply.


However, wife's iPhone 4 had this same exact issue a few months ago. She received a SMS that she was going over her data yet her phone was on WiFi, and maintained so both at home and at work. When it did finally go over 200MB, we looked at the odometer on the phone itself. The data charges on AT&T's side did not match the odometer on the phone, there was a sizeable difference in data between what the phone reported and AT&T reported.

 

When i called AT&T about it, they denied that the data was being billed inaccurately until I mentioned the odometer on the iPhone 4. They credited the overage when I told them the phone did not match the data count on AT&T's side, no questions asked.  If you were to look at her data bill since last July, the data all hovers below 100MB yet for that one particular month, it went over for no clear reason.

 

Lastly, when I experienced this data billing issue with my Windows Phone, I never received a SMS from AT&T until after the phone had gone over the 200MB threshhold. I received the "your phone has gone over, we are charging you $15 extra" message, then two days later, I received the "your phone is approaching the 200MB limit." The former was confirmed by AT&T customer service and notated on my account.

 

As an anecdote, Windows Phone will only download the last 7 days worth of e-mail (not all unless you specify).

 

There is no other rational explanation except that AT&T's billing system for data is inaccurate. I will not purchase another smartphone on AT&T's network until they either offer a competitive unlimited plan (thereby removing data billing issues) or there is more transparancy in how data is billed (ex. accurate timestamps, sent data vs. received data, etc.)

 

I posted on this at length on my blog (link) with a copy of the data listings on the bill so I don't know what further I can add except what I have already mentioned.


Wild Banchi wrote:

JuanGuapo wrote:

I didn't have or use Facebook. The phone only had two e-mail accounts (Gmail and Hotmail) and a Calendar (Hotmail). AT&T couldn't give me an explanation, if it was received or sent data, and when it was being used.


E-mail accounts could potentially contribute to phantom data usage because the servers are constantly scanning the phone for new e-mails you may have received. And when Wi-Fi is not turned on, guess what it uses? The 3G mobile data network. If your phone has the capability, I would suggest to turn 3G data off when you are not using your phone at night.

 

Thank you, I appreciate your advice and reply.


However, wife's iPhone 4 had this same exact issue a few months ago. She received a SMS that she was going over her data yet her phone was on WiFi, and maintained so both at home and at work. When it did finally go over 200MB, we looked at the odometer on the phone itself. The data charges on AT&T's side did not match the odometer on the phone, there was a sizeable difference in data between what the phone reported and AT&T reported.

 

When i called AT&T about it, they denied that the data was being billed inaccurately until I mentioned the odometer on the iPhone 4. They credited the overage when I told them the phone did not match the data count on AT&T's side, no questions asked.  If you were to look at her data bill since last July, the data all hovers below 100MB yet for that one particular month, it went over for no clear reason.

 

Lastly, when I experienced this data billing issue with my Windows Phone, I never received a SMS from AT&T until after the phone had gone over the 200MB threshhold. I received the "your phone has gone over, we are charging you $15 extra" message, then two days later, I received the "your phone is approaching the 200MB limit." The former was confirmed by AT&T customer service and notated on my account.

 

As an anecdote, Windows Phone will only download the last 7 days worth of e-mail (not all unless you specify).

 

There is no other rational explanation except that AT&T's billing system for data is inaccurate. I will not purchase another smartphone on AT&T's network until they either offer a competitive unlimited plan (thereby removing data billing issues) or there is more transparancy in how data is billed (ex. accurate timestamps, sent data vs. received data, etc.)

 

I posted on this at length on my blog (link) with a copy of the data listings on the bill so I don't know what further I can add except what I have already mentioned.

Sent from my iPhone 4S

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May 28, 2011 8:12:55 AM
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ACE - Master
You're welcome.

It's just too fishy that these data plans are being run up like a ten year-old with a cell phone, even while on Wi-Fi ONLY. I agree, there must be something wrong with AT&T's data billing system. Believe me, your wife and yourself are not the only ones being charged for phantom data usage. If you head over to the Apple board, there's a long list of complaints about data usage that was charged to a user's account when they never used the phone for data purposes in the first place. It's completely unfair.

I wonder if they do the same thing with the 2GB plan. Perhaps I'm just over-thinking about it, but maybe AT&T purposely charges customers with the 200MB plan for ghost data usage so that they will get fed up and upgrade to the 2GB plan so they won't have to worry about it. Which means $10 more in AT&T's pocket per month. I highly doubt that as it should be illegal, but you never know. Smiley Wink

Regarding your phone's overage, you would think that AT&T would have the decency to at least send the message "you are approaching the 200MB limit" BEFORE you actually went over the allowance. Two days late is absolutely unacceptable. I would be very frustrated and annoyed at the same time.

I followed your link and browsed your blog. It truly is remarkable how much data can be sent from your wife's phone when she is not even using it. Ridiculous. This problem is ridiculous in its own way.

I'm just happy I have a prepaid smartphone - no data plan required. That way, I don't have to worry about all these unnecessary charges to my bill and not to mention all the stress it would cause me to call Customer Service, closely monitor my usage, etc.



Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



You're welcome.

It's just too fishy that these data plans are being run up like a ten year-old with a cell phone, even while on Wi-Fi ONLY. I agree, there must be something wrong with AT&T's data billing system. Believe me, your wife and yourself are not the only ones being charged for phantom data usage. If you head over to the Apple board, there's a long list of complaints about data usage that was charged to a user's account when they never used the phone for data purposes in the first place. It's completely unfair.

I wonder if they do the same thing with the 2GB plan. Perhaps I'm just over-thinking about it, but maybe AT&T purposely charges customers with the 200MB plan for ghost data usage so that they will get fed up and upgrade to the 2GB plan so they won't have to worry about it. Which means $10 more in AT&T's pocket per month. I highly doubt that as it should be illegal, but you never know. Smiley Wink

Regarding your phone's overage, you would think that AT&T would have the decency to at least send the message "you are approaching the 200MB limit" BEFORE you actually went over the allowance. Two days late is absolutely unacceptable. I would be very frustrated and annoyed at the same time.

I followed your link and browsed your blog. It truly is remarkable how much data can be sent from your wife's phone when she is not even using it. Ridiculous. This problem is ridiculous in its own way.

I'm just happy I have a prepaid smartphone - no data plan required. That way, I don't have to worry about all these unnecessary charges to my bill and not to mention all the stress it would cause me to call Customer Service, closely monitor my usage, etc.



:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*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.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 28, 2011 9:13:15 AM
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@WildBanchi

 

Thanks. (That screenshot was for my data usage btw.) What's so strange is if you look at the timestamps, they're all at 9:06PM for the last four days of the bill, and the usage kept increasing higher and higher.... There was no difference in usage, in fact, it should have been less because that was finals week, and I wasn't really using my phone for anything except phone calls.

@WildBanchi

 

Thanks. (That screenshot was for my data usage btw.) What's so strange is if you look at the timestamps, they're all at 9:06PM for the last four days of the bill, and the usage kept increasing higher and higher.... There was no difference in usage, in fact, it should have been less because that was finals week, and I wasn't really using my phone for anything except phone calls.

Sent from my iPhone 4S

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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May 28, 2011 10:13:23 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by Wild Banchi on May 28, 2011 at 10:14:25 AM
You're right. That is very odd... Perhaps that's the time when the phantom comes out! Smiley Very Happy

Sounds to me like like false billing/data counting on AT&T's part. Tsk tsk...

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



You're right. That is very odd... Perhaps that's the time when the phantom comes out! Smiley Very Happy

Sounds to me like like false billing/data counting on AT&T's part. Tsk tsk...

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*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.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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Jun 3, 2011 3:07:48 AM
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Employee
take your SIM card out or disable cellular data and watch how it doesn't show data usage. you're using data.
take your SIM card out or disable cellular data and watch how it doesn't show data usage. you're using data.
*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.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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Jun 3, 2011 7:56:38 AM
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Mentor

The problem wasn't usage, it was billing. AT&T couldn't even tell me if it was data sent to or from the handset, what type of data, or specifically when. They just throw up a number with an arbitrary date and expect that to be accurate.

 

As I mentioned earlier, I have had this issue before on my wife's iPhone 4, which has an odometer on it or data usage. AT&T billing said she had used over 200MB of data within a 3 week period yet the odometer said she had barely used 100MB in the two months since the counter was reset. The Windows Phone did not have an odometer on it for data so there was no way to compare it to AT&T's data system.

 

Do you see my our point?

The problem wasn't usage, it was billing. AT&T couldn't even tell me if it was data sent to or from the handset, what type of data, or specifically when. They just throw up a number with an arbitrary date and expect that to be accurate.

 

As I mentioned earlier, I have had this issue before on my wife's iPhone 4, which has an odometer on it or data usage. AT&T billing said she had used over 200MB of data within a 3 week period yet the odometer said she had barely used 100MB in the two months since the counter was reset. The Windows Phone did not have an odometer on it for data so there was no way to compare it to AT&T's data system.

 

Do you see my our point?

Sent from my iPhone 4S

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Jun 3, 2011 9:20:27 AM
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Professor

100mb of data usage on an iPhone in two months is virtually unheard of. You are the exception. No carrier details data usage like you would like. Heck, when I log in and check my usage with my broadband carrier, all  get is a single value lump some usage figure. Data is "handshake" process where data is sent back and forth in given sessions. Having carriers analyze data packets and detail them would be a very costly process. You would just be back here complaining that the cost of your data plan skyrocketed. Another viable option might be to set APNs for each method of data access, but even that would induce greater costs and technical support for something like that would be a nightmare.

100mb of data usage on an iPhone in two months is virtually unheard of. You are the exception. No carrier details data usage like you would like. Heck, when I log in and check my usage with my broadband carrier, all  get is a single value lump some usage figure. Data is "handshake" process where data is sent back and forth in given sessions. Having carriers analyze data packets and detail them would be a very costly process. You would just be back here complaining that the cost of your data plan skyrocketed. Another viable option might be to set APNs for each method of data access, but even that would induce greater costs and technical support for something like that would be a nightmare.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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Jun 3, 2011 10:10:16 AM
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Edited by JuanGuapo on Jun 3, 2011 at 10:12:29 AM

Thank you for your thoughts, I wholeheartedly agree but for a different reason.

 

If AT&T had a precisely accurate billing system, it would certainly increase AT&T's costs but that is a drop in the bucket compared to lost revenue. Assuming the data metering inaccuracy is a system-wide issue, it makes AT&T more money by having lump-sum data metering as the consumer cannot accurately investigate usage to that on the bill. Accurate billing would be nothing new, it is the same as a standard phone bill calculating long distance charges. Your usage is datestamped and metered according to your usage, and itemized. In this case, your usage is simply thrown together with arbitrary datestamps and non-specific usage calculations.

 

Again, I do not know if my situation is or isn't unique but we have had twice-now issues with data billing, enough to convince us to switch carriers. An unlimited plan would certainly make this issue moot, however, if they are going to meter data, they need to meter it accurately.

 

The usage of 100MB was simply an approximation so I apologize for the confusion and for leaving that mention out. At the time we called, she had only used ~120MB of data since the phone was refreshed approximately 6 weeks prior, so that lump included the current billing month and part of the previous. However, AT&T's billing system was using well above 200MB for the current billing month. The numbers did not add up at all.

 

I've included a copy of my wife's data usage from Dec. '10 to show how low the usage is. She uses WiFi full-time at home and at work.

 

 

Data from Dec 10 to May 11

 

The issue with the data billing on my wife's iPhone happened last year and AT&T did fix her bill. We have not yet had an issue with getting AT&T to adjust the bill. However, few people would take the time to call and ask for a reassessment of their bill so my theory is it is simply cheaper to adjust the bill then to repair the billing system.

Thank you for your thoughts, I wholeheartedly agree but for a different reason.

 

If AT&T had a precisely accurate billing system, it would certainly increase AT&T's costs but that is a drop in the bucket compared to lost revenue. Assuming the data metering inaccuracy is a system-wide issue, it makes AT&T more money by having lump-sum data metering as the consumer cannot accurately investigate usage to that on the bill. Accurate billing would be nothing new, it is the same as a standard phone bill calculating long distance charges. Your usage is datestamped and metered according to your usage, and itemized. In this case, your usage is simply thrown together with arbitrary datestamps and non-specific usage calculations.

 

Again, I do not know if my situation is or isn't unique but we have had twice-now issues with data billing, enough to convince us to switch carriers. An unlimited plan would certainly make this issue moot, however, if they are going to meter data, they need to meter it accurately.

 

The usage of 100MB was simply an approximation so I apologize for the confusion and for leaving that mention out. At the time we called, she had only used ~120MB of data since the phone was refreshed approximately 6 weeks prior, so that lump included the current billing month and part of the previous. However, AT&T's billing system was using well above 200MB for the current billing month. The numbers did not add up at all.

 

I've included a copy of my wife's data usage from Dec. '10 to show how low the usage is. She uses WiFi full-time at home and at work.

 

 

Data from Dec 10 to May 11

 

The issue with the data billing on my wife's iPhone happened last year and AT&T did fix her bill. We have not yet had an issue with getting AT&T to adjust the bill. However, few people would take the time to call and ask for a reassessment of their bill so my theory is it is simply cheaper to adjust the bill then to repair the billing system.

Sent from my iPhone 4S

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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Jun 3, 2011 12:12:38 PM
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Professor

I have two lines that are smartphones with the 200mb plan, so I know with the proper settings and usage management, one can stay under the 200mb. It shows that your wife is doing a good job of managing data and with those figures, I would be surprised if she is getting charged data while on wi-fi. I don't support easing the pressure off of AT&T, or any carrier that forces data plans. My stance is, if you are going to force data plans, you should provide better ways for customers to manage data and more affordable prices.I wouldn't advocate any method that would increase the cost of data to the point where it is even less affordable. Typically, costs are passed through to the consumer. At this point, the cost of data needs to be going down, not up.

I have two lines that are smartphones with the 200mb plan, so I know with the proper settings and usage management, one can stay under the 200mb. It shows that your wife is doing a good job of managing data and with those figures, I would be surprised if she is getting charged data while on wi-fi. I don't support easing the pressure off of AT&T, or any carrier that forces data plans. My stance is, if you are going to force data plans, you should provide better ways for customers to manage data and more affordable prices.I wouldn't advocate any method that would increase the cost of data to the point where it is even less affordable. Typically, costs are passed through to the consumer. At this point, the cost of data needs to be going down, not up.

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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Apr 30, 2012 6:38:49 PM
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Edited by ShaunMN on Apr 30, 2012 at 7:06:51 PM

sitnsideways, I dont think you actually understand how the data transmission process works.  It would be completely unnecessary to "analyze" or "detail" individual packets and even if you did the information wouldnt add or even apply to the tracking process.  Every single computer that connects to any wireless network automatically tracks the packets/info that it sends and receives, and it does so for every single different connection it ever makes.  And any person can see this info simply by clicking open a few windows. Accurately providing this information to customers would not be complicated or expensive.  Att already has it, they just choose not to make it available.

 

I have been charged an overage 3 times now for massive data transmissions that a. arent possible  b. were made when I was connected to wi-fi AND had background data transmission shut off, and c. grossly out of proportion to my normal usage for the last 1.5 years.  Whats more, for the last 10 months or so I have been forced to use a phone with multiple severe malfunctions, which are caused by the Att software, which the company is aware of.  In fact, I am currently using the 3rd one of these phones despite the fact that the issue is well known, easily fixable, and I asked for a different kind of phone.

 

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

sitnsideways, I dont think you actually understand how the data transmission process works.  It would be completely unnecessary to "analyze" or "detail" individual packets and even if you did the information wouldnt add or even apply to the tracking process.  Every single computer that connects to any wireless network automatically tracks the packets/info that it sends and receives, and it does so for every single different connection it ever makes.  And any person can see this info simply by clicking open a few windows. Accurately providing this information to customers would not be complicated or expensive.  Att already has it, they just choose not to make it available.

 

I have been charged an overage 3 times now for massive data transmissions that a. arent possible  b. were made when I was connected to wi-fi AND had background data transmission shut off, and c. grossly out of proportion to my normal usage for the last 1.5 years.  Whats more, for the last 10 months or so I have been forced to use a phone with multiple severe malfunctions, which are caused by the Att software, which the company is aware of.  In fact, I am currently using the 3rd one of these phones despite the fact that the issue is well known, easily fixable, and I asked for a different kind of phone.

 

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

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