funny I have iphone for over 2 years and never used much data, today i got a message
Our systems have detected that you are nearing your data plan limit. Your base plan has a monthly allowance of 2GB. Any data usage which exceeds your plan allowance will be billed at $10 per each additional 1GB."
why all of a sudden i am going to be using so much data when i never did before. something is fishy...
This problem is not only a ATT problem. I'm living in Switzerland with Swisscom as operator. As I received a message this week that I used all my 500Mo data (that for sure I did not), I completely checked the bill.
It appears that quite everynight at exactly 00:00:00 many data were transfered...
The biggest transfer was on 01.01.2011, 00:00:00 : 1'126 Mo were transfered ! Hoepfully, at this time I had an unlimited data transfer plan.
And now since January, I have 3.88Go of datas that are only those "night transfers".
I passed two full days trying to find an answer on internet, but this topic is the most complete.
I called Swisscom : they can not cancel the data fees as it comes from my phone and it is "my" responsibility.
I called two apple support people : no one has ever heard about this problem.
Then I linked them to this topic and I hope they will maybe have a look.
09:24 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 100123KB
Rec'd a text from AT&T that I'd hit 65% of my 200MB usage limit. 100MB of the 130MB used was reported just this morning, on the 28th day of my billing. Who knows whether the time stamp means anything; I happened to be up in my attic using the compass app to aim a new TV antenna. The AT&T CSR tells me that sometimes when WiFi capability is fully used the iPhone also uses cell data. (Told me this comes straight from Apple; I haven't yet found that.) And oh yes, maybe the compass app uses cell data only. (After the call I turned off everything but WiFi; the app works fine. And in the attic I'm all of 15 feet from my router.)
Like so many others I'm reading about, I find charges sometimes reaching 4MB in the wee hours of the morning. I'm turning off 3G and Cellular Data on my 3GS until Apple, AT&T or whomever gets this figured out. (Doesn't seem to me like rocket science.) I'm almost always in range of WiFi, but what a pain to have to fool with settings to keep from being overcharged.
Wow... Just rec'd another text from AT&T saying that now I've used 100% of my data plan allowance and I'll be being billed another 15 bucks. So, at the beginning of today I'd used less than 30mb in 28 days. Then a usage posting of 100mb at 9:24am and now another usage posting of 69mb appears at 2:43pm and, at 11:10pm I get the text. And I've hardly used the phone.
Glad to hear there's a class action suit being filed against AT&T re: data charges. Sign me up...
HERE IN CANADA WITH ROGERS I AM NOT HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM WHEN I CLOSE THE APPS BY DCLICK NO DATA IS RUNNING BUT IF YOU LIVE THEM OPEN THEN I NOTICED SOME APPS ARE RUNNING PLUS IF YOU WANT MAKE SURE NO DATA IS RUNNING PUT THE FHONE ON AIRPLANE MODE IF THE DATA IS RUNNING THEN BRING BACK THE FHONE TO THE APPLE STORE AND ASK FOR REFUND HIS THE FHONE LOCKEED TO THE PROVIDER MAY BE HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE DATA TRANSFER? AM NOT SURE BUT I WILL INVESTIGATE I HAVE 4 I FHONE 3 ARE LOCKEED ONE IS NOT( NOW I CAN PUT IN PLACE THIS IDEA.)
Hopefully the new DataMan PRO app mentioned in the post above will help folks track back data usage and in challenging their carriers "internal billing processes."
Thank you for contacting class action lawsuit against AT&T.regarding a
The lawsuit to which you refer falsely alleges that AT&T over-bills its customers for data activity. It further alleges that this data activity is occurring in the middle of the night when customers are asleep. AT&T is vigorously defending itself against these false claims and will continue to help its customers understand how data activity is processed and billed.
Customers are charged for all data sent or received. In most cases, this means the data that is needed to complete activity such as e-mailing, downloading applications, browsing the Web, downloading a video, or streaming music. However, this can also include data activity that is programmed to run in the background on your device, such as real-time updates to your applications-- like weather updates, sports scores, or your stock ticker-- which are regularly kept up to date so you have the latest information.
There is no such thing as "phantom data." The data usage on your bill reflects all the data you use during the time that your smartphone is connected to the network. The data usage on your bill reflects all the data you use during the time that your smartphone is connected to the network. AT&T captures your data activity nightly to create a bill record in our systems. This will appear on your bill to be a late night "charge," but in fact, the time stamp reflects the time that your device established a connection to the network, not the time that you sent or received data.
In response to your email, I have reviewed your last four bills for the wireless telephone number referenced in your email below, and I have determined that you were not charged for data overage charges on any of these statements. These bills are available at your online account, where you can review or print additional copies as needed.
Again, we thank you for this opportunity to assist you. Should you have additional concerns or questions about this issue, please reply to this email and address your response directly to me. If you need to contact us again regarding a new issue, please send us a new email via the contact link through your online account. As always, thank you for choosing AT&T!
I received a message about nearing my limit also. This amazes me because most of the time (all the time at night) my devices are using the wifi signal at my house. I'm going to start turning my phone off when I go to sleep. This is ridiculous.
You haven't read the thread you posted to (not surprising, considering how long it is). But you are mistaken on two points (which are discussed extensively in the thread):
- The data transfer that appears on your bill at night was not transferred at the time it is stamped on the bill. That is the time accumulated data collected by switches throughout the day is reported to the billing system.
- The phone does not use WiFi when it is asleep. Any data transfers when the phone is not active (meaning with the screen lighted) goes over the cellular network. WiFi is turned off when the phone is asleep to conserve battery.
This is very interesting perspective on another forum "How a law firm tested "phantom" AT&T smartphone data use posted by "yorthen"
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Since there seems to be a bit of confusion about how the charging is performed I’d like to give a short description of charging in a 3GPP packet switched network (which to my knowledge is what AT&T uses).
As data travels between the UE (User Equipment – the phone) and the internet it will pass through several different nodes, several (or all) of these nodes will generate CDRs (Charging Data Records). These CDRs will be compared against each other to make sure that everything is OK. Normal policy for operators is that if they detect something wrong with a CDR it (and possibly earlier and later CDRs) will be discarded. This means that the operator will lose money and the user will get some data usage for free, but the alternative is that the operator might charge for something the user haven’t done which is a big no-no (can turn ugly if brought to court).
The last node between the UE and the internet is called the GGSN, which is responsible for authorisation and charging of the data packages, and thus also the main source of changing data. At minimum a GGSN CDR will contain the opening time and closing time of the CDR (the times for which the information in the CDR is valid) and the volume (number of bytes uplink and downlink), and the reason for closing the CDR. Common reasons for closing a CDR is time-limit or volume-limit, that is that the CDR has been open for too long (usually 5-15 minutes) or that too much volume is included in the CDR (amount varies with the speed of the connection, can be a couple of KB to many MB). The volume is the total volume of the data traffic including IP-headers and all.
In addition to this information more detailed information can be included which is up to the operator, but it could typically include information such as volume (and time) per service, where a service is defined by the operator but it could be Skype, Netflix, or BBC news. A service could also be the aggregation of several services that for charging purposes are considered equal (such as free services). The way that different services are detected is by packet inspection, or when needed deep packet inspection (yes, it is heavily used in mobile networks). Sometimes operators defines a number of different services but still only charges for the total volume to be able to get statistics of network usage.
The CDRs seldom contains timestamps for individual events since normally there is no single event to record, just the signalling to setup a connection to a web-server is 3 packets, sending the HTTP request to get a page is one packet and getting the page with all the content can be tens of packets so there is no single event which represents getting the page.
What kind of makes it possible to get timestamps for specific events is the fact that the UE is normally not connected to the internet, when you need some data it has to set up a connection and get it, and when the data is received it will disconnect again (usually after a timeout). This is done to preserve both the UE’s battery and to reduce the resources used in the radio network. Each of these connects and disconnects will generate a CDR.
These CDRs are sent to the billing system and I suspect that this is what is referred to with "AT&T captures your data activity nightly to create a bill record in our systems." Why they cannot use the timestamp in the CDRs I do not know, but billing systems are large and complex with lots of wrinkles and oddities.
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