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Random Data Transfer Charges

Random Data Transfer Charges

Recently on my bills, I've been getting random charges for Data Transfers.
I called in, and they said it was due to the internet. Unfortunately, they can't put a block on my internet or my text messaging plan will be affected.

When I went in to the store, the person that helped me was very VERY unhelpful and seemed to not know what he was talking about. He just said not to hit MEdia Mall, Cellular Video, MobiTV, or AT&T Mall. The thing is, I never go to those or accidentally hit anything. He said, "it's very easy to accidentally hit an internet button and not know it," which is true. But I go to Task Manager very freuently to check which programs are open and the internet is never open. Just Messages, Alarm, maybe a game, and once in a while my calendar.

Someone on the phone said I should buy a MEdia package. But I really don't want to pay $19.99 a month just to insure that I won't get charged for these random things. Especially since I KNOW it's not me since it happens sometimes at 3AM when I am sleeping and not doing anything with my phone.


NO, I DO NOT HAVE EMAIL SETUP ON MY PHONE.


Message Edited by aerorocket on 05-22-2008 07:44:44 PM
29,823 Views
Message 1 of 27
Master

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

What model phone do you have?  Some models can be configured for scheduled send/receive of email.  Even if you do not have a working email settings, if the scheduled settings are active, the device will connect, try to find the server, then get a failure message.  That is a few kilobytes.
 
If there is activity at 3am, you could try leaving your phone off when you go to sleep.  Do that for a few days to confirm if your phone is actually going online automatically or not.  More than likely it is, you've just not found out what feature of your phone is doing this.  Smiley Wink
 
[Edit: I see from your other post that you had a Duo.  Windows Mobile devices can defintely be configured for automatic email retreival.  Check again.  You also said you were try to configure Hotmail settings.  The Xpressmail application included on the phone is supposed to check for new mail automatically.  This sounds like a potential candicate.)


Message Edited by asatoran on 05-23-2008 07:51:35 AM
Message 2 of 27
Contributor

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

HEY WHEN I SAY IM TIRED OF THIS..... IM TIRED OF IT.... I ALSO HAVE THE PANTECH DUO I JUST GOT IT CAUSE I LOST MY HTC 8525 WHICH IS ALSO AN WINDOWS MOBILE PHONE.... SO I GET THE PANTECH DUO HPPING THE DATA TRANSFER CHARGES WOULD STOP AFTER CINGULAR ALREADY CREDITED MY ACCOUNT BACK $125 FOR UNECCESARY CHARGES..:" THATS WAT I CALL THEM".... WELL THE NEW PHONE DIDNT HELP .....I FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS IVE BEEN LETING THE EXTRA 30-40 DOLLAR CHARGES SLIDE THAT THEYVE BEEN GIVING ME...BUT NOW THIS IS...UPSURB..... THEY SENT ME A $400 BILL JUST FROM DATA TRANSFER.....I NO FOR A FACT GOOD AND WELL I ONLY TXT.....IM MEEN IF U LOOK AT MY BILL I BARLY EVEN USE THE PHONE... I USE ON AVERAGE 120 MINUTES A MONTH IF THAT.....BUT I TXT INSTEAD.... SO IM CALLING TOMORROW TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT THIS...CAUSE IM GETTING REALLY SICK OF THIS...IM THINKIN OF GOING T TMOBILE SINCE THEY HAVE A BETTER PLAN WITH THE WHOLE TXT,M2M,PICTURE AND WEB BROWSING..... BUT THEY TRIED TO TELL ME I SHOULD JUST BY THE UNLIMITED INTERNET JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE WHICH IS $15 ....ALTHOUGH I ALREADY HAVE THE UNLIMITED TXT


Message Edited by Sentry on 07-07-2008 09:55:15 AM
Message 3 of 27
Former Moderator

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

fresh prince jr., please review your private messages which are indicated by the gold envelope icon on the upper-right hand corner of your screen. Thank you.
Message 4 of 27
Contributor

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

I smell what you've stepped in! Last month one of the phones on our plan had HUGE data transfer charges. Since it belonged to my college son I asked him if he had been on the internet. He said 2-3 times he had checked the weather when he was camping. I thought perhaps he was not being honest and didn't want to confess to such a huge usage, though he had rarely used it before that month. ATT did give cut those charges in half and I asked that his phone be shut off so he could not connect to the internet.
 
This month he again has charges of over $100 (on the phone they ALLEGEDLY SHUT OFF INTERNET), PLUS my personal phone has internet charges. This really caught my attention, because I RARELY (once in 60 days) use the internet on my phone. This month I have charges including several at 2:00 a.m. and definite sleeping times for me. Since only me and my husband live here, and we are both working professionals who SLEEP at night and work days, there is no way these charges are legit. When I contacted ATT, all they would continue to say is that there would be no charges if someone were not transferring data and maybe someone else used my phone and yada, yada...
 
I explained to them my charges were NOT legit so they agreed to remove them and then blocked (ALLEGEDLY, LIKE LAST MONTH'S PROMISE) all phones on our account.
 
Since I now KNOW that they have put bogus charges on my phone number, I am believing my son's story from last month and that ATT just charged us last month for a lot of "data transfer" crap that NEVER HAPPENED!
 
ATT's customer service attitude basically says, "Our computers don't make mistakes, but people forget or lie!"
 
If you look anywhere on the web you will find a LOT OF DISGRUNTLED data transfer stories from people who have taken their kids phones and turned them OFF, AND STILL GOT CHARGES!
 
YET ATT REFUSES TO BELIEVE ANYTHING COULD BE WRONG WITH THEIR SYSTEM?
 
Believe it or not, there ARE some HONEST people who pay ALL their (legitimate) bills. I am living proof. I have NEVER left a bill unpaid (ATT, check my credit rating),  but I feel it is so wrong to pay a bill I didn't receive any services for!
 
I will not let this rest until the data transfer charges on my past bill are removed/refunded.
Message 5 of 27

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

I am a victim of this as well. I do not receive, send, or download pictures, instant messenger conversations, or anything that requires Internet to function. I make it a point to avoid this on my phone because I have a pay-as-you-go data plan. However, data transfer charges showed up on my phone bill this month, showing transfers at regular intervals several times throughout the day, including when the phone is turned off at night.

I have been on the phone with AT&T customer support for exactly 2 hours. They are filing a High-Level Adjustment to refund me the $291.23 total of Data Transfer charges alone (note: this does not guarantee a refund). They are putting a freeze on my Internet access and multi-media messaging on the phone which should prevent charges from incurring this point forward). I am working with Sheila H in Customer Service. I spelled out the link to this forum so that she can see other people are having this problem, too (she can't send/receive e-mail or access Internet as a Customer Service rep - totally outrageous), and she has made sure to include the link to this site in my Committment Letter.

The next step is for the Committment Team to contact me and ensure that I no longer have these problems with the phone and that the charges are removed. I am optimistic because I can prove that I did not transfer any data (the phone was off, etc.). However, these things take time and since I refuse to pay the bill I will likely incur late fees until it resolved. I will dispute this as well.

If you are having this problem please contact AT&T Customer Support at 800-331-0500 and be sure to follow up with a letter to the President here:

AT&T Mobility
Customer Care


{ Information edited for secuirty purposes }

AT&T featured a promotion with a Pantech Duo, and whether it's the phone or the service provider's fault, they should not choose to associate with an inferior product.



Message Edited by Caretaker on 12-08-2008 12:48:47 PM
Message 6 of 27
Teacher

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

The problem is that everybody and their brother calls in and claims "I never use the internet"  and frankly, AT&T has to assume the charges are valid unless you can prove otherwise.  It's a sad fact, but leaving AT&T isn't going to save you from it.  All carriers operate this way.  Also, most other carriers won't even hear you out when you can suggest that the charges are not valid.  With Verizon, you get the bill, you pay the bill, or they shut you off.  They won't offer payment arrangements NEARLY as easily as AT&T does. 

 

AT&T offers ways to control these "accidental" data access charges, and if a customer isn't going to take advantage of them, why should anyone feel sorry for them?  Want to keep it from happening?  Put a block on the line.  Worried about not being able to send/receive MMS messages?  News flash:  MMS messages over a certain file size charge you for data transferred, it's a fact.

 

Rules:

  • Any Multimedia message less than 1KB in size will be rated as an SMS and therefore will be charged as such (whether taken out of the SMS bucket or charged the pay-per-use/overage fee).
  • All messages are charged, whether the message was sent, received, read, unread, solicited or unsolicited (including international text messages).
  • When sending a single picture or video message to multiple recipients, customers will be charged one message for each recipient.
  • The phone must be turned on and in a digital coverage area to receive the message. If the phone is off or out of the coverage area, the message will be stored for up to 72 hours and delivered when the phone becomes available.
  • Applicable taxes and surcharges apply.
  • For Multimedia Messaging, customers must be on a GSM network supporting GPRS transport and be provisioned with MEdia Net and AT&T Messaging.
  • Customers can visit www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/services/ to change their Messaging plan at any time.
  • Note: GoPhone/Prepaid customers can go online at http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/go-phones/.

 

These are the terms and conditions of MMS, read them, learn them, love them.

Message 7 of 27
Highlighted

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

Thank you for your post. However, the problem is that the phone is making data transfers without our knowledge or consent, and no matter how closely we read the MMS rules, it is useless if the phone is operating outside of our control. This is true of any transaction to which you do not consent. 

 

The real issue is that the Pantech Duo is a PDA, is meant to be used as a PDA, and defaults to PDA functions in the absence of any Internet blocks. It was the responsibility of AT&T to make that much clear upfront, rather than indicate anything less (such as, for example "you can get the PDA plan to secure the rebate and then cancel it" - as has been told to me and several other friends). This is a dishonest and unethical business practice. 

 

After I complained, AT&T removed the $291.23 on my phone bill and, the subsequent month, $651.69 of additional data charges. Again, these were charges incurred automatically by the phone on its default PDA settings without anyone's knowledge and which continued until AT&T put a block on the phone's Internet access on Dec. 8. After Dec. 8, no charges have been incurred. 

 

The lesson here is don't buy a PDA phone if you don't want a PDA plan. You end up limiting your service by being forced to place Internet blocks, which also block multimedia messages - something normally included on non-PDA cell phone plan. Understanding the rules of MMS will not help if your phone is operating out of your control.
Message Edited by BaMarcus12 on 01-01-2009 11:19:42 AM
Message 8 of 27
Voyager

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

I found the same problem today as I was looking at my bill online.  Unfortunately, it happened with a Pantech Matrix, Samsung Propel, and a Motorola Razor.  All of them have charges, that we never did.  So if this is a problem only with phones that are also capable of PDAs, then why is the Razor getting charged?  This is ridiculous.  I don't want to use the internet only messaging.  They have to be able to clear this up somehow, and block the function.  What a pain.
Message 9 of 27

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

I want to clarify something from our discussion: MMS messages, like photos, are included in your messaging plan and do not count as data transfers. So even if you are sending and receiving pictures with your phone, you should not be assessed a data transfer charge. AT&T technical support cleared this up today, and indeed, if you look at where MMS messages show up on your bill, they are under your messaging plan, not under Data Transfers.
Message 10 of 27
Tutor

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

I have the same issue.   There are data charges all hours of the day and night and my phone is the only one that seems to be affected by it.   100$ in data charges.

 

My husband and daughter have phones that require a data plan and they have no such charges.  My phone is the only other one on our account that is internet capable. Is there a way to fix this without being pressured into a data plan purchase (though I will admit, 15$ a month is a long sight better than 100$ in overages!)

Message 11 of 27
Contributor

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

Today I paid my cell phone bill online and was alarmed to see that the bill was $214.22. We were charged an additional $67.62 for data charges on my wife's cell phone. This is the second month in a row that my wife's cell phone had high charges for data. I looked closely at the charges and many of them were made in the middle of the night while my wife is sleeping. I know that my wife does not check here email in the middle of the night so I called att to find out what the issue was.

 

I called into customer service at 9:03 pm and spoke with a gentleman and explained my concern. I was offered to have some of these charges credited to my account as long as I locked the internet on my wife's phone. I did not find this to be satisfactory as I bought her phone specifically so that she could check email and text easier. I told him that I would rather find out what is going on so that I or we can correct the problem. He said that my only option is to block the internet from the phone and that he didn't know why my wife was using the internet in the middle of the night. At this point, I asked him if I could speak with someone who understood what I was asking for and he said that I could talk to a supervisor, but if I did his offer would no longer stand. I was put on hold for some time and then he came back to give me a better offer to not speak with his supervisor. He said he would credit half of the charges if I would just put an internet block on her phone. I told him I still want her to have internet access and would rather figure out why her phone is transferring data while she sleeps. He said that his offer no longer stands and that now I get nothing. He then said it would be another five minutes until I spoke with his supervisor. Once I finally was able to speak with the supervisor, he basically told me the same thing. I asked him if he thought that my wife and I were liars and he said that somebody in my house must be initiating the data transfers and that att has no control over it. I asked him if there was any possibility that her phone had been hacked or some kind of explanation. He said the only possible explanation is that my wife is surfing the internet from her phone in the middle of the night. I told him that I still don't think that it makes any sense and he told me there was nothing that he could do except block her phone. He then told me that my wife made text messages in the middle of the night last month. I asked him if they were incoming because that doesn't really prove anything except that people text her in the middle of the night. He said there were both incoming and outgoing. (I checked this on the bill and there was one at 4 in the morning and it was an incoming text) I told him that I will be talking to the better business bureau and other cell phone carriers because it is ridiculous that I would charged for data transfers that never happened. The phone call ended at about 9:45 unresolved.

Message 12 of 27
Professor

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

IF you have a WM phone and use the internet, BUT don't close the application and is left on a website that refreshes every so often you will incur data.  You have to go to the task manager and physically turn it off.  if you don't it'll refresh the page.  Not sure if the matrix has something similar.  I know the Matrix Pro, and the DUO (which i used to have) did that.

 

Someone has already mentioned this.  Smiley Tongue i should read better.  oh well.  good luck to you guys, and I hope you get everything sorted out. 

Message Edited by Doppler808 on 05-27-2009 03:49:17 AM
Message 13 of 27
Contributor

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

We are having the same issue. We have a total of 4 phones on our plan purchased 6/24/09, we ported our numbers from Verizon. The phones are as follows - 2 Samsung impressions, 1 Iphone 3 Gs and a Samsung Eternity. We have about $70.00 in data charges accumulated in 2 months.

For some reason the 2 Impressions have random data charges at all times of the day and night. One of the phones belongs to my hubby. He goes to bed at 10pm "sleeps like the dead" until 5:30am, yet he has data charges at 1,2 & 3A.M., just like my 13 year old. Neither my husband or daughter have email setup. My hubby had a "Barbie computer" for his email that his job provides. I quickly came to the realization that there is a problem. This is not being caused by accidental screen touching like I though (before I received the itemized bills) BTW... The phones have a screen lock as well.

I called ATT to get the charges removed and get some help. I was offered 2 solutions... 1- add a data plan@ 2X$10 per month, 2-have the data access turned off.  Neither is an option. Hubby nor daughter use their phones for email/internet. BUT...We pay $30 per month for a texting plan that includes picture messing, you loose the ability to send pictures if you shut the data plan off.

 

I was then treated as if they did me a big favor to remove $18.00 in charges. I was furious they did not offer to investigate the problem. Called a 2nd time and was told the equipment is defective. They offered to replace our new phones with similar refurbished phones.

 

I just got off the phone with a customer rep. from our local ATT store, she is now looking into the problem and getting back to me.

 

I find few things very interesting.

 

1- The 2  Samsung Impressions were bought online from Amazon we saved over $200.00 per phone vs. The ATT store price. The only additional contract term was you can not shut data capability off for 6 months. You were not required to get a data plan, but can not shut the feature off. If you do your credit card will be charged the full cost of the phone.

 

2- The phones were shipped activated with new numbers on 6/24/09. We received them 06/26/09. I called and had my daughters and hubby's old #'s ported on 6/26/09. The data charges did not start appearing until after the numbers were ported. In fact my daughter was out of town, her phone was in the box wrapped up for her B-day when the 1st data charge was incurred.

 

3- The Samsung eternity was bought from the ATT Store, it has not had any issues with random data charges.

 

I will up date and let everyone know how it all works out. The only solution I will accept is to have the problem figured out and corrected, We will not accept refurb phones if it is a hardware related problem.

If they don't figure it out I will check usage and call them everyday. I will also allow the store to take the 2 phones for 24 hours and let them see the internet is not being accessed and data charges will appear on the bill.

 

Obviously others have had the same problem

Message 14 of 27
Contributor

Re: Random Data Transfer Charges

Since my last post we exchanged one of the phones. Well we are still receiving random data charges- now on all 3 Samsung phones. I first called the 800 # and spent over an hour on the phone and got no where.  I am quite frankly tired of being told we must be using the internet. We get up at 5 AM and are not using the internet between the hours of midnight and 3 AM. Further more why would we be surfing the web on our phones while home, we all have our own laptops and wireless. I have an iphone and still use the computer when I am home. I was told to put an internet block on the phone, but we heavily use picture messaging  and pay for an unlimited plan, so it is not an option. I contacted the store which seems to me a lot more helpful... They are escalating the problem to a specialist.

 

Will update again next month

Message 15 of 27
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