Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

Mentor

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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

Message 16 of 30 (5,262 Views)
Scholar

: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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.
Message 17 of 30 (5,247 Views)
Mentor

Re: : Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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.

Message 18 of 30 (5,244 Views)
Master

Re: : Data Charges while on Wi-Fi


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



Message 19 of 30 (5,220 Views)
Mentor

Re: : Data Charges while on Wi-Fi


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.

Message 20 of 30 (5,218 Views)
Master

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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



Message 21 of 30 (5,145 Views)
Mentor

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

@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.

Message 22 of 30 (5,138 Views)
Master

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

[ Edited ]
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



Message 23 of 30 (5,133 Views)
Employee

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

take your SIM card out or disable cellular data and watch how it doesn't show data usage. you're using data.
Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 24 of 30 (5,084 Views)
Mentor

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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?

Message 25 of 30 (5,081 Views)
Professor

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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.

Message 26 of 30 (5,077 Views)
Mentor

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

[ Edited ]

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.

Message 27 of 30 (5,076 Views)
Professor

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

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.

Message 28 of 30 (5,067 Views)
Contributor

Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

[ Edited ]

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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Re: Data Charges while on Wi-Fi

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to post your comments and opinions related to this topic. This topic has been thoroughly discussed and will now be closed, as it is very old. 

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