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Unusual MediaNet Volumes


Unusual MediaNet Volumes

We have a 200MB plan for my wife's phone and we've never come close.  This past month we went over the limit so I called AT&T to find out why.  They do not have the ability call up any history of what causing the large MediaNet usage!  We can see that there are three particular times when there was a huge volume of data exchange (downloads of some srot I assume).  There was a 42MB, 60MB, and 47MB download but two of these occurred at 2:30 am or 3:30 am.  I know that the phone was not in use at this time.  When I spoke to the AT&T rep she said that her supervisor stated that every night the phone communicates with AT&T and may download updates.  This can't be right.  That would mean that, of the 200MB plan, approximately 147MB was for AT&T updates - and they go against my data plan!!

Anybody else have a similar situation?  What did you do to figure out what's causing the massive download?

Thanks in advance.

Message 1 of 16

Re: Unusual MediaNet Volumes

This sounds familiar. We also have very low data usage on most months....between 34 and 36 MB. Last billing period, we chalked up 196MB, which I credited to being out of town for three days and using the phone fairly regularly, and frequently without the benefit of a reliable Wi-Fi signal.


But here's the kicker....we've been back for a week, and during tha that time, our "current data usage" shows 95MB. We're on our home Wi-Fi constantly, so nothing we do at home should show up on the data use log, and yet even yesterday, we logged another 5MB. I have no idea where that came from. But -- here's another kicker -- when reviewing our data usage from our current billing period, I see several entries from the previous billing period. Odd.


I phoned AT&T customer service and the guy provided some helpful insights. He said even if you're on Wi-Fi, the phone may choose to transmit or receive data over the 3G signal if it's stronger than Wi-Fi. (I had no idea.) He suggested we disable 3G while we're at home, and I did that.


But this morning, after seeing another 5MB show up, I disabled the Cellular Data switch as well. So now we're on Wi-Fi and regular ol' cell phone network only.We'll see what happens with that.


I don't know if our data usage from our vacation is still showing up on our record. (AT&T's site states that it can take several days for wireless data usage to be logged.) If that's the case, then I just need to be careful when we travel.  But it's frustrating that AT&T was not able to give a straight answer to this.


As for the answer the AT&T rep gave you, that sounds a little bogus -- especially if you're on Wi-Fi at home. You may want to disable your data switches to and monitor your data use for the next few days, just to see what happens.


The 200MB plan has worked beautifully for us since we got this iPhone, but now something has gone sideways with it. And I sure hope it gets solved soon.



Message 2 of 16

Re: Unusual MediaNet Volumes

Tarl wrote:



I don't know if our data usage from our vacation is still showing up on our record. (AT&T's site states that it can take several days for wireless data usage to be logged.) If that's the case, then I just need to be careful when we travel.  But it's frustrating that AT&T was not able to give a straight answer to this.





Typically when you travel (or if you tend to roam off at&t's native network even while in your home area) the data reporting can be delayed by up to several days.  At least in my case that is the only time I've really noticed any significant delay in the on-line account data reporting - generally it is easily within 24 hours.


So if you were traveling around the cutoff point for your last billing cycle, this can also explain data records from the prior billing cycle not being captured until the current period.


There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 3 of 16

Re: Unusual MediaNet Volumes

Mine is about the same. I get the same runaround from customer service.

Message 4 of 16

Re: Unusual MediaNet Volumes

I had the exact same thing happen this month, I had a 43 MB charge at 2:30 in the morning, and a couple more on other days at around 9:30 in the morning.  I know the phone was not in use at any of these times and besides that I was at home so the phone was using wifi so even if I was downloading everything I possibly could it wouldn't be charged on my data plan... I called customer service, and the person there basically took 35 minutes to tell me that I need to remember to lock my phone!.......  I really wish I could get a semi intelligent response from someone at customer service because I am going to be really irritated if this keeps happening.

Message 5 of 16

Re: Unusual MediaNet Volumes

I think ATT is having a considerable problem with:


1. Software

2. They're having trouble keeping up with the demand on their data bandwidth. They can reduce the amount of data used by their customers by making us believe that we are somehow using data that we are not. The numbers on the data usage summary are erroneous.


Just my opinion.


[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

Message 6 of 16

Re: Unusual MediaNet Volumes

Your device also uses some data while it is communicating with the network.

Message 7 of 16

Re: Unusual MediaNet Volumes

Well it just stinks. Whatever the problem is.

I don't want to have to worry about my next email being the one that triggers the purchase of the next 200MB.

Message 8 of 16

Re: Unusual MediaNet Volumes

AT&T needs to stop counting involuntary data that it uses to communicate with the network towards the limit, including what happens when a device is on Wi-Fi. They also need to stop counting data uses while browsing their downloadable content stores. The last carrier I was on that charged tiered data did not count browsing the selection of ringtones, wallpapers, etc. towards the data limit.

Message 9 of 16

Re: Unusual Media Net Volumes

I got a response from ATT. I was instructed to turn off data in the phone settings. I am pretty sure this will work. If I want to use the Internet, I have to turn in on and off again when done.


If data is left on the phone will consume 150mb per month. When ATT says a minimum of a 200mb plan is required for smart phones, they don't bother informing the consumer that the phone will consume most if it.


I believe my problem is solved, BUT ATT should get rid of the built in money makers like phones connecting without the consumers consent. Or at least give an upfront bit of advise to workaround their consumer rip-offs.


Message 10 of 16

Re: Unusual Media Net Volumes

Exact same issue on my daughter's iPhone.  She's already at 186MB out of 200MB halfway into the billing cycle.  When she got the phone, I agreed to foot the bill for the 200MB plan but if this is really not under her control I may have to upgrade her to 2GB just to make sure she doesn't get caught going over when it's really not her fault.  I was just on the phone with Customer Service this morning for 30 minutes and they were -- shall we say -- less than helpful.

Message 11 of 16

Re: Unusual Media Net Volumes

same thing for me data charges when phone is not used. at a lost.

Message 12 of 16

Re: Unusual Media Net Volumes

these large amounts of data blocks are typically entire days of usage.

your phone sends a report either when the phone is powered off/on of all the usage it used since the last report was sent. if the phone is not powered of it usually sends a report in the middle of the night when the phone is idle for so long.


also on the issue of "I'm always on wifi at home", when the screen turns off so does wifi. your phone would need an option to disable that, which not all have.


Android can, iOS 4.2.1 apparently does (haven't been able to confirm yet) and not sure about blackberry honestly.

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 13 of 16

Re: Unusual Media Net Volumes

This happened to me as well – One day 300 MB of data was used, at 12:49AM – while I was sleeping, in my house which has a total blanket of WIFI --- I called to find out because as with these other customer I too only used about 160MB total in a month for the past year.  So after dealing with 5 different customer service people over the course of 2 days, these is the different run around I got …


200 MB is not a lot of data, would you like to upgrade to the 2GB plan – ugh!! Did you not hear me?? I’m disputing the 300 MB in one sitting charge not asking for an upgrade.


I don’t know what happened that’s not my department – well get me to someone that can.


I see your data history, but there’s nothing I can do it’s the computer says you used – really computers don’t make mistakes.


You probably don’t remember using that much data or maybe someone picked up your phone and did it – What?? are you kidding me, Yeah I just leave my expensive phone laying around for anyone to run off with  – I know what I use my phone for, my history shows how I use my phone.


I know it has the time stamp of 12:49am on the record, but you can’t trust those, they are are not correct. – Really?? How can you bill me for data you can’t prove I used???


One person didn’t know the different between 3MB and 300MB – I had to keep telling them that 300000kb is 300MB.


Lastly, I got --- I’ll put in a case for you, and someone will call you back when its resolved – which it was resolved and no phone call was placed to me, when I asked about it, was sent to a higher department?? Okay which one is that can I have their number, No let me transfer you to different department.  – Why would you transfer me to a different department when my case is in another? Ugh! Forget it just transfer me …..


Then after an hour – I freaked on the lady, wondering why a company can treat a customer of 11 years this way …. Then she just wanted to get me off the phone and credited my account $15.00…. But what if this happens again, my original question of you have to prove data usage?? She said --- You can call back ….




I think it bogus, why now is this happening all of a sudden …. Bad business practices by ATT

, but what can you do … Going to have to turn the phone off before I go to bed now so the gremlins don’t take my phone and watch porn …

Message 14 of 16

Re: Unusual Media Net Volumes

Data is not like texts and talk. Usage does not show at the times it is used. Typically it shows much later and several sessions in a given time slot will be lumped together as one block of usage, so 100mb of usage at 2:00 in the morning could actually be all the data used between 6:00pm and 10:00pm. 300mb of data is quite a bit of data, so I would only expect to see that amount only if AT&T had the reporting system down for 24-48 hrs or if there was usage by streaming- music or video.

Message 15 of 16
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