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iPhone and data use charges - WiFi vs cellular data links - update from AT&T

23620 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Sep 1, 2013 9:55 AM by INNRCHLD RSS
  • benb1 Calculating status...

    I had this problem a few months ago and it just started again. According to the Apple Store person I talked to it's a software issue, and they have seen this before. The only way to stop it is to wipe your phone and install a fresh version (not from backup) of the iphone software.

     

    Here are/were the symptoms:

    1) Phone runs hot

    2) Battery runs out quickly

    3) Huge data transfers logged by AT&T

    4) Network statistics (on iphone) show constant send/receive (reset my network statistics, navigate away from the page, them IMMEDIATELY back to the stats page; even with ALL apps turned off, the phone was sending/receiving data by the second, constantly, all day long - >100MB per day

     

    The first time around I blamed AT&T first, AT&T blamed Apple, and Apple blamed AT&T, until one of the Apple store guys said, essentially, "Yes, I've seen this and the only fix is to wipe your phone. There is a bug we haven't found yet."  I called AT&T back, apologized, asked very kindly for a credit to negate the overage charges; they obliged.

     

    I suspect there is a bug somewhere that interacts with Facebook and/or Find my Friends, and/or the Maps app. The other thing I did that might have triggered it was turning Airplane mode on in the middle of a file download over 3G. This action soon "crashed" the settings app. Similarly, just recently, Facebook and Find my Friends both crashed.

  • asfdj Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Here are/were the symptoms:

    1) Phone runs hot - Nope

    2) Battery runs out quickly - Nope (36 hours on standby)

    3) Huge data transfers logged by AT&T - Yep

    4) Network statistics (on iphone) show constant send/receive - Nope

     

    You're describing a situation where the phone is actually recording high data use, and behaving as if it's constantly moving data. In that case, yes - you should identify the cause (stuck email in outbox, bad activesync profile, etc) and fix it.

     

    That's not what seems to be happening in this case. The phones are cool, not recording high data usage, and have extremely good battery life. It's just the AT&T numbers that are high. As I mentioned in another thread, AT&T has now acknowledged an issue. It's just not fixed... yet.

  • uzbek Calculating status...

    These data transfers are NOT merely daily usage postings, what are we in 1990s? These are actual data transfers, but the question is, what is being transferred? Obviously AT&T is not open about this and doesn't want you to know what is being transferred. I'm not sure why Apply is not transparent on this issue, since I am guessing they are the ones that use this collected data. Someone with a little more technical knowledge should be able to see where this data is going.

     

    When I look at my bill, those nightly transfers do have a usage code (whatever is your data plan in your case) which counts against my data limit. If these were merely daily usage logs then I would only see one line on my bill for each day, which is NOT the case. I can see multiple data sessions, and I know during which sessions I actually used my phone, but then around 11PM-1AM I see huge 10-40MB data sessions.

     

    Apple and AT&T, this is not cool. I would like to pay for data that I actually use myself.

  • SallyD59 Calculating status...

    Hi,

     

    I started having problems this month with data too.  We're on wi-fi at home, when I'm at work I don't get a signal and don't use it there for internet anyway.

     

    I was only averaging 38MB a month up until this month - suddenly I'd exceeded my monthly tariff of 100MB in just 3 weeks.  I contacted 02 my provider, and they said I ought to do this and that - and it would bring the usage down.  It hasn't.

     

    Like so many other's, I've ended up doubling my monthly subscription just to ensure I don't incur any extra charges. 

     

    I've disabled or deleted a lot of apps from my phone to try and control the amount of data flying around;  but now I'm at the point of sending my 4s back - no point in having this kind of phone if you're scared to use it to its full cpacity in case you get heavily billed for it.

     

    To go from 38MB a month to way over 100?  I smell a rat, something has gone wrong somewhere - and this has been passed onto the consumer, and we end up having to pay for it, it isn't right or fair.

  • u.l.b. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've had the SAME problem that benb1 mentioned on both my and my wife's iPhones at different times this year. With hers, she went from 200 MB/month to 3 GB/month with lots of huge downloads showing up at times when NOTHING should have been happening, usually at night when the phone is home with WiFi.

     

    Around the same time she was getting frequent strange error messages about her Google account (mail or calendar, can't remember which). I deleted her Google account and then re-signed in and the problem was gone from that day on.

     

    It happened recently with my iPhone 4 and continued for a couple weeks without me noticing. I just got an iPhone 5 and checked on my usage, saw the huge downloads, then realized they were happening regularly since before migrating to the iPhone 5. This means the problem was present through all three device/OS combos I had last week: iPhone 4 with iOS 5, iPhone 4 with iOS 6, then iPhone 5 with iOS 6.

     

    It seems I've stopped it, though, by going in and disabling every type of account that syncs (email, calendar, contacts, etc) and then re-enabling them all. I did not delete them, just disabled all aspects (mail, calendar, etc) in each one until all were shut off. Then went through and re-enabled everything.

  • u.l.b. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Folks...

     

    My wife and my phones have had a sudden huge data usage problems, too. In both cases I fixed it by "re-booting" every single networked/syncing account and service.

     

    I had a feeling my wife's data usage was related to her Google account that seemed to occasionally throw up error messages when syncing. I removed her Google email and calendar account and then added them back. Her data usage went from insane levels to normal instantly. Note that this was on her iPhone 4 on iOS 5.

     

    When I recently had a similar problem on my iPhone 5, I disabled every email, calendar, contacts, bookmarks, etc, account and then re-enabled them all. Note I did not delete any accounts -- I just went into the accounts section and disabled all of the various services associated with each account. I also disabled all push notifications and other similar settings. Once I had every single thing disabled, I went back through and re-enabled them all. I went from absurd data usage to normal levels immediately. I was using 100-500 MB/day and am not around 10 MB/day and I never disable the cellular data connection nor turn off LTE.

     

    My suspicion is that some account that syncs gets "stuck" in some way. I am convinced that in our cases, doing the above steps has solved the problem. Neither of us has had a problem with data usage since.

     

    I also wrote about this here:  https://discussions.apple.com/message/19791735#19791735

     

    I'm curious if others have any luck with this.

  • u.l.b. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oops... That post was clearly intended for a different discussion...

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4348072?start=15&tstart=0

  • web62 Calculating status...

    My daughter has an iPhone 4S.  She received a text 2 days into the billing cycle informing her she had reached 65% of her usage.  Then she only used it at home with WiFi and it jumped to 90% over the following two days! 

     

    I have an iPhone 4 and I hadn't reset my cellular statistics since July and I was under 200Mb.  I use my laptop more than my phone to get to the internet suffice it to say.   I don't Tweet, use Facebook nor do any pushes to my phone. In any event I reset the cellular statistics then went and checked email while verifying the transaction and data traffic went through my router and WiFi vice the cellular network.  I had neither recieved  or sent any email but the iPhone reports 1KB sent and received under Cellular Network Data.  I checked these statistics 15 minutes later without so much as checking my email, getting a text message or making/receiving a phone call and the numbers had jumped to 2KB sent/1KB received.

     

    Both my daughter and I recently upgraded to ios6 so I'm guessing its more a software problem than a hardware problem even though there are some arguments out there blaming iPhone5 hardware.  I know my iPhone4 is 2 years old and my daughter's 4S is brand new.  I plan to go back and restore the phones to ios5.  If this doesn't fix the problem I'll take the phones back to AT&T and demand new ones.   My understanding is that while Verizon allows you to set data limits on your phones free of charge, AT&T does not so I don't know of any other way I can be proactive in limiting these data charges.  I just know I'm not about to pay another surcharge to limit my data plan (yes AT&T allows you to pay for a service to limit data usage) due to a bug in ios6 or bogus overages being charged by AT&T! 

  • CocoFang Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same problem with large data usage as soon as I upgraded to iOS 6 on my iPhone 4s. Though I have perfect wifi at home, every evening around midnight there would be a big data "send" about 100-200MB. Killing all apps in the background did not help. Talked to ATT multiple times did not resolved the issue, my 2GB limit drained in 1 week and I am now on 1GB overage limit...anyways I am sure the story was the same as for most of you on this thread.


    The good news is the problem is fixed. I visited the Apple genis bar about a week ago, they told me that it looks like some kind of error on the phone perhaps a glitch during the upgrade, because I was at the Apple Store with wifi, my DataMonitor app (love that app!) showed cellular data usage with the little red location pins idicating that the usage occured right at the store! Without spending too much time diagnosing the issue, they restored my phone to the original factory state and re-installed iOs 6. They warned me not to restore from a backup and observe the data usage in the next few days, guess what happened, I accidently restored from an old backup but that did not seem to matter becuase since than my data usage had been back to normal!  Yes I still see occational data usage of 0.3MB when I am at home if I had left my celluar data on, but that maybe due to sporadic weak wifi so I am not too worried about it.

     

    Besides the restore, I also think the following settings may help prevent the data usage:

    1. In settings/General/Cellular, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and turn off every single entry under "Use Cellular Data for". These are appls that will use data behind your back

    2. In settings/iCloud, scroll to Document & Data, turn Use Cellular Data off

    3. In settings/FaceTime, scroll to the buttom and turn Use Cellular Data off

    4. In settings/iTunes & App Stores, turn off iTune Match, turn of Use Cellular Data, etc.

    5. In settings/Music, turn off iTunes Match

    6. In settings/Mail, Contacts, Calender, change methods in Fetch New Data, configure your email push/fetch in the "Advanced" tab based on your need, i.e. set to Fetch hourly, etc.

     

    well, you've got the drift, basically go into each and every place in settings, sometimes a few levels deep there is a hidden setting that allows the use of cellular data, you'd better check all appls to make sure the Data is not set to "on", which is the default setting in iOS 6, unless you really want that particular app to use cellular data.

     

    It's been a week and I've only used about 30MB which is less than my normal usage, but with a few days left until my next billing cycle I am not about to push the overage to another GB. 

  • bcones Calculating status...

    Just going through the same rigamorole w ATT. Having gone through all the possible "turn off cellular data" options, I'm wondering if Safari isn't the culprit, at least on my end. I added a couple of websites to my Safari reading list on my MacBook, then discovered them on my iPhone. Still having a hard time believing it was 68MB worth, but we will see.

  • Johnh43 Calculating status...

    I had same problem/AT&T.  Go to settings > general > turn "off" cellular.  If you want to use internet when away from a wifi hotspot, turn it back on.  When you have wifi available, turn it off.  Hope this helps.

  • Johnh43 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had same problem/AT&T.  Go to settings > general > turn "off" cellular.  If you want to use internet when away from a wifi hotspot, turn it back on.  When you have wifi available, turn it off.  Hope this helps.

  • Johnh43 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had same problem/AT&T.  Go to settings > general > turn "off" cellular.  If you want to use internet when away from a wifi hotspot, turn it back on.  When you have wifi available, turn it off.  Hope this helps.

  • Wzamm5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No offense John, but whats the point of turning on and off cellular data.  The phone's not working right if you have to do that.  AT&T and Apple need to fix the problem.  We consumers shouldn't have to jump through all of these hoops to fix the flaw in the phone.  If your on WiFi, then you should not be using cellular data! Period!

  • Johnh43 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree with you you.  Turning off cellular when not needed is a quick-fix, not a cure all. I hope the carriers or ios6 can correct the problem.  It is ridiculous to pay for data when you are on wifi.

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