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Bogus data usage warning?


Bogus data usage warning?

I'm not necessarily having a problem, but I'm slightly confused about something, so I just wanted to see if anyone else is running into this.  Basically, for the last two months, I keep getting e-mails from AT&T warning me that I am nearing my data limit.  You know, like this:

This is a courtesy notice that ******* has used 270 MBs and is nearing the data plan limit. Data usage which exceeds your plan allowance will be billed at $20 per additional 300MB.

Considering how little I use my data (it's turned off 98% of the time), I found this to be a bit shocking the first time until I checked the site and saw that I was perfectly fine.  I figured it was just a fluke, but I kept getting this message.  And now I'm getting it again.  It claims I have used 270 MB, but when I check the myAT&T app and the web site, they both state that I have only used about 34 MB of my data so far (and I only have the one phone on my plan).

So...what's going on?  Does the site see how much data I have remaining and incorrectly think that is how much I have used?  If this is the case, do I have to worry about it incorrectly thinking I have gone over my limit, thus charging me an extra $20?  Furthermore, has this been happening to anyone else?  Any help/insight would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Message 1 of 21

Re: Bogus data usage warning?

Yes, you are absolutely right about text messages vs. data, but it still points out the reporting inaccuracy embedded in AT&T systems. 


Oh, believe me, I have heard and read the data usage disclaimer many, many times. Enough to make my blood boil, because it has NOTHING to do with the problems I have seen regarding inaccurate data usage. All AT&T reps want to do is recite this data usage disclaimer like a mantra and do not listen to the real issue. After several calls, chatting sessions, and emails, AT&T has finally agreed there is a serious issue with my account - it has shown ZERO data usage since 10/9/13 and is not accruing ANY unbilled data usage in real time...which it is supposed to do. I have an open case (CM20131030_76013901) since 10/30 to resolve this but it has not yet been resolved. If I was not using my phone for all internet access I would have NO idea how much data I had used since the beginning of my billing cycle on 10/18. If I look at my account on the web or text *DATA# - it returns with zero data used since 10/18...AND I use my phone for internet access EVERY DAY. Also, SOME of the text messages show up in the details on the web site, but not all of them. I haven't changed anything on my account since July when I switched to mobile share and prior to 10/9, I did see data usage accruing on a daily basis. As of today my phone shows 4.1 GB used since 10/18 - AT&T zero.

Message 16 of 21

Re: Bogus data usage warning?

Interesting enough - I just received a call from AT&T Customer Care (11/5, 11:00AM ET) to let me know they are working on the issue but have not yet resolved it. She also told me I'm not the only one, there are many accounts with this same problem.
Message 17 of 21

Re: Bogus data usage warning?

lizzieinmd wrote:
Interesting enough - I just received a call from AT&T Customer Care (11/5, 11:00AM ET) to let me know they are working on the issue but have not yet resolved it. She also told me I'm not the only one, there are many accounts with this same problem.

Are you still having this issue?  I have been as of Oct. as well and trying to get it resolved.  I just spent an hour going around and around with an AT&T Chat rep who kept talking about how to check data and not listening to the real problem.  When I asked for a supervisor I chatted with her for a bit then she closed the chat with me while supposedly researching the problem.

Message 18 of 21

Re: Bogus data usage warning?

Oh, believe me...I have spent hours on the phone trying to get someone to understand the issue and had the same experience you describe. I nearly got into a shouting match with one rep because she just wouldn't listen and wanted to recite the delayed billing of data usage...blah...blah.,..blah....same old, same old. I tried using their facebook page to bring up the issue and also had a chat session, with no good results. It wasn't until I sent the email on 10/29 that finally got someone's attention because she also could not see any real time data usage on my account so she opened a formal issue. I have found that calling on the phone basically is just a waste of time because of what you experienced, which is the same thing I experienced. Chatting is basically the same waste of time. Email and filing a complaint with the FCC were the only methods that produced any results for me, and didn't take up too much of my time. IMO, it seems if you get the right person who will try to understand your issue, then you will get it resolved, otherwise you will only get data usage recitations.


My new billing cycle started on 11/18 and I suddenly began seeing real time feed of data usage again..and it also appears to be fairly accurate. I did receive an email on 11/5 that the issue had been resolved but I continued to see zero data usage until my next billing cycle started. I am firmly convinced that AT&T has had issues with collecting accurate data usage from at least March of this year and they knew about it. I began seeing lots of different issues with data usage being inaccurate...different issues...but all related to data usage. I finally filed a complaint with the FCC because of the multitude of issues I had experienced for months and obvious inaccuracy of data usage reporting within AT&T systems. Interestingly enough, I received a call from AT&T regarding this FCC complaint the day after I started seeing real time data usage accumulating on my account for the first time since 10/9. Another reason I am very suspicious there were known system issues within AT&T is that for the billing cycle ending 10/17 - the data usage discrepancy between what AT&T billed vs. what my phone was reporting was 1.25 GB (AT&T was reporting MORE than my phone) - which I had never seen that large of a discrepancy before. For the cycle ending on 11/17, my phone data usage matched AT&T system data usage EXACTLY....first time it ever matched exactly...was usually within a couple hundred MB - except for the billing cycle ending on 10/17. That tells me there was a known issue, and it was resolved. If it would help, perhaps you could mention the case number for my issue: [edited for privacy]   According to the AT&T executive office rep I talked to there is lots of documentation of correspondence on this issue but he was unaware of what was specifically done to resolve the issue. I'm sure someone knows...but AT&T is sure not going to tell their customers that their systems have been providing inaccurate data usage reporting for months!

Message 19 of 21

Re: Bogus data usage warning?

In April, 2014, I got the warning that my account was approaching its max.  Then I got messages that I exceeded my 1 GB limit by 10GB!  My usage (which has never exceeded 1 GB), has not changed in any way.  But I am now on the hook for major overage charges.


Customer service tells me that they can't do anything until 1 week after my billing period closes (another 2 weeks away).  I am afraid to use my service for fear that they will gouge me for usage that I am not using.

Message 20 of 21

Re: Bogus data usage warning?

Interesting indeed.because I too received an overage surprise on my April
bill. All data usage has been OK since about October 2013.until April 2014.
My billing period ends at midnight on the 17th of every month.and I received
an email on April 18th that I had used 9431 MB of my 10240 MB. I even
checked on the AT&T website to verify this, which told me the same
thing.that my previous billed usage was 9431. I sure was surprised to see
that I had actually exceeded my data usage when I received my bill a few
days later. My theory is that AT&T included data usage from April 18th on my
previous bill that ended April 17th .thus causing the overage.and netting
them an additional $15. I have found there is no use to argue with them over
data usage because they will always recite the disclaimer regarding the
delay in data usage being reported.and THAT makes me very angry.

How in the world is anyone supposed to be able to stay within their data
usage if one cannot have up to the minute accurate information regarding
that usage???? It appears that AT&T systems are not capable of accurate
tracking of data usage.illustrated by me receiving an email on April 18th
that I had used 9431 MB of data.then finding out on my bill that I had
actually exceeded my data usage. I had no clue until I received my bill that
there was going to be a data overage charge. And what about all the months
when I didn't even use all of my data.was I credited for what I didn't
use???? Heck no.but in the rare months when I exceed my allotted data
usage.I have to pay extra!!! I do believe it's time for data
rollover.especially in light of the obvious short comings of AT&T data usage
Message 21 of 21
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