07-29-2016 7:10 AM
Solved by: Go to Solution.
07-29-2016 7:28 AM
Well, You have the tools, monitor your usage and turn your cellular data off before you go over your limit included in your plan. Does your bank prevent you from writing checks if your account is overdrawn? No, they can't, they can only charge you overdraft fees and if you're lucky, they pay the check anyway, otherwise the vendor you wrote the check to is also likely to charge you fees for returned checks. With AT&T, they can't stop you when you've used exactly your plan limit, so they treat your account like a bank would treat a checking account. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have enough funds (or cellular data) in your account to cover your outstanding checks (data usage) when they hit the bank (when the towers report the data usage to the AT&T billing system).
- edited 07-29-2016 7:35 AM
Your only current option is: don't exceed your allowance, increase your data plan, or pay when you go over.
You have a meter for data use on your phone. On iPhone you have to reset the meter each billing period. (Windows and android phones provides automatic billing period metering)
Data reporting is not done in real time. The actual data use could have been hours, or even days earlier. Towers often report data back in 3 hour intervals during non peak hours.
Towers note when a connection to a particular IMEI/ESN (which is unique to your phone and SIM card) opens, pass to a new tower and closes. Once it closes, it sends data totals back.
The connection closes when you leave a tower's area, connect to wifi, turn an app off, turn off your phone. Think of each tower like a faucet with a measuring cup with your phones IMEI number on it. It notes when you connect, when you pass on to another tower and disconnect because you are connected to wifi, turned apps off, or turned the phone off. It is then that each tower can measure and starts sending back totals. This is of course when you are home, on wifi, phone off and asleep.
Your phone and ATT may not record data in the same way due to rounding. Your phone independently records its data use and should be within a hundred mbs of the totals reported by ATT towers. Your carrier makes an effort to include data used in a billing period in that billing period rather than start your next bill period already with a chunk missing. This often causes the complaint of "inflated use the last day of billing period."
The analogy I use to explain data use is, your data plan is like a checking account, your phone is like the checkbook and debit card. Purchases made during the day are not deducted from your checking account at the moment you write the check or swipe the debit card.
Each tower = a point of purchase.
ATT towers = debit card purchase, often recorded as 'pending' and will be deducted soon.
Partner towers = check, no way of knowing when it will be deducted. International roaming data can take weeks to be deducted.
The delay in towers reporting back to ATT computers is several hours. Partner towers take longer.
Just like your checking account, the data isn't reported back for several hours, often overnight, and then deducted from your data plan.
If you have an android phone, there is an option in settings to provide a warning and a cap. It has to be set slightly below your cap to be sure not to go over.
- edited 07-29-2016 7:54 AM
So, Verizon has added a feature to their shared plans called "safe mode". When in safe mode and all shared data is used up, your data speeds are reduced and you don't automatically get the 1GB of data charged to your plan but have the option of buying that additional 1GB of data. ATT does not normally match features with the lesser carriers but they often do with Verizon and vice versa. Based on posts on this forum, the automatic addition of data is one of the least liked features of mobile share, especially when users get that 1GB on the last day of their billing cycle. Hopefully, ATT will implement a similar feature.
07-29-2016 8:33 AM
I hope you are right. Verizon's safe mode is brilliant. There is no reason all carriers shouldn't use this now. Overage can't be a significant money maker.
If Verizon weren't an expensive soul sucker, It might be worth switching.
Far too many limits on getting phones for CDMA carriers also.
03-22-2018 12:19 PM
If you are on a plan with overage charges, you have to tell us the name of the plan and what data tier you are on. Only old plans have overage.
Since August 2016, no current plans have any overage charges at all.
03-22-2018 1:35 PM
Asking about current plans rather than posting on an outdated thread would have been the way to go.