att data overages

Hit With AT&T Data Overage Fees? Here’s the Scam & the Stupid Fix

You’re Being Charged for AT&T Data Even While Connected to Your Own Wifi

I’ve been an AT&T customer for roughly ten years and on an iPhone user for the last six. I’ve probably been hit with overages more months than not.

Like most, I pay for a home internet connection in addition to my $100+ monthly iPhone bill. I’d come home, wait for the 4G to turn into that upside-down party hat, and start streaming away. I’d be chromecasting pandora while uploading Vines and thinking those blinking lights on my router were doing all the work. After six years of paying overage fees, I realized that’s not true.

data overage charges

Recently I’ve been working from home. When I got hit with my normal data overages last month, I started to wonder… there’s no way I’m using 4GB of data during my daily walks to Yogurtland.  I’m connected to my paid wifi network for 90% of my day, but still getting hit with penalties at 2x my data plan.  I contacted AT&T.

Chatting with the company, I realized AT&T uses my data plan even while connected to my own wifi.

Come to find out, the only way to avoid this is to manually turn off and on your “cellular data” every time you walk through your front door and then do the opposite when leaving your wifi range.  Seriously – To avoid AT&T data charges, this is what you have to do multiple times per day.

Turn off cellular data

Maybe I’m the only dumbass that didn’t realize this.  If so, I apologize for being a dumbass.  But, I’m guessing that there’s a bunch of people out there paying overages for this reason.

The extra $10 or $20 per month isn’t that big of a deal. But, the sneaky way that they’re squeezing this out of me has me considering other providers.  In what I’m interpreting as an admission of guilt, the AT&T rep actually credited my account for my last overages because I wasn’t aware of this practice (see below).  If you weren’t aware of it either, maybe you should give Rana a holler and get your account credited as well.

Here’s the conversation.

Thank you for your patience! Your AT&T Representative will be with you shortly.
Welcome! You are now chatting with ‘Rana Collins’
Mike: Hi Rana
Mike: Quick question about my data usage
Rana Collins: Hi Mike!
Mike: When I’m connected to my home wifi, is it using my data plan?
Rana Collins: It’s a pleasure to have you on the chat today. I’ll be glad to help you out with the data usage.
Rana Collins: Did you turn off the cellular data every time you hook your device to wifi?
Mike: No, I always assumed it automatically uses my wifi when connected to my wifi to support data. Is that not the case?
Rana Collins: Please make sure that the cellular data is turned off so it will not consume the data and for you to save battery as well.
Mike: So that’s something that I have to manually do every time I get home and want to use wifi… even though it automatically connects to my home network?
Rana Collins: You’re absolutely correct, Mike.
Mike: Is there no setting that I can use to have it only rely on wifi when I’m connected to wifi? It seems like a huge inconvenience to have to open up my settings and toggle that every time I step foot in and out of my door.
Rana Collins: Let me take a deep dive on that.
Rana Collins: Kindly stay online Mike.
Mike: Thanks Rana! Take your time.
Rana Collins: 🙂
Rana Collins: Mike, thank you for waiting.
Mike: no prob
Rana Collins: Sorry for the delay.
Rana Collins: I reviewed the settings of your phone and looks like you really need to manually turn off the data.
Mike: That explains my overages, haha.
Mike: Ok – I guess I’ll do that until I figure out a better way.
Mike: Thanks for your help, Rana!
Rana Collins: I understand that your not aware of that Mike.
Rana Collins: I really want to resolve your concern
Rana Collins: Let me check what we can do about those overages.
Mike: Thanks so much!
Rana Collins: You’re welcome! 🙂
Rana Collins: Mike, thank you for staying online.
Rana Collins: Sorry for the delay.
Mike: no prob!
Rana Collins: We can definitely take care of the overages.
Mike: That’s great – I appreciate it.
Rana Collins: You’re welcome!
Mike: You’ve been very helpful. Have a great day, Rana.

Next time you curl up with your iPad for a hungover “Bearing Sea Gold” marathon, make sure your “Cellular Data” is off.

att scam

UPDATE – June 22, 2015:  AT&T just got hit with a $100 Million fine for scamming its users. According to the ruling, AT&T has been “throttling” your data, even if you’ve paid for the unlimited package. In a typical 30-day billing cycle, this practice would start on Day 13. At that point, they’d cut off the data you’d already paid for. While this isn’t directly related to the above post, it does show that shithead companies do shithead things. For those below who have commented saying something similar to, “AT&T would never scam their customers and it’s the fault of you lazy, complaining, ignorant customers, words, words…” please take note of the judge’s decision. For details on the AT&T Scam and Fine, click here.

Comments 210

  1. AC

    The issue has everything to do with problems in iOS. I was having the same problem with a Verizon iPhone. AT&T has no control over whether or not your iPhone is using cellular data at any time. If you do a web search you can find many discussion threads on the apple support forums complaining about the same thing happening.

    1. Post

      I’d guess that AT&T has a little more than “no control.” It would surprise me very much if Apple invested their company’s future into developing a product that was 100% reliant on a provider that was not involved in the development. Maybe you’re right and Apple was like, “Hey AT&T – surprise, our new iPhone uses your service.” I doubt it though.

      1. htc one m8

        I was with Alltel since 1991. When data came in the 2000s I got 2gb. I neverrrrrrrrr got near or went over that data. In my car I played Pandora all day long without issue or overage. We were forced into AT&t in March 2015 from buyout. My first bill was $400 for two phones. We never payed more than $140 for two phones with 2gb data on each with Alltel. After first bill I set my data to cut off at 2gb. I made it to half the month then had to go rest of the month without data on the road. This mean s no txt. As iPhones send mms messages. All I got was hundreds of download messages links. These links would not download on WiFi either. They only receive when on mobile data. By time I got data back messages had expired so they would no longer download. So phone is useless for anything other than calling. Yet I’m paying more and getting less. Thennnn you get the message were charging you $10 for and extra 1 gb if you go over and you cant choose to disable that option. This is a scam. Alltel did not do this and my wife had iPhone and I had the first HTC one. This is a scam for AT&T to eat up your data then charge you and tell you they are helping you out. I’ve called AT&T on it, I’ve messaged this website to everyone I know, I’ve tweeted, posted on fb etc. Sent to news, radio you name it. I suggest you do the same.

        1. Michelle

          I have been fighting with ATT for sometime. I have 10 g and never even came close to using all of it with 4 phones. I have been with them when they were cingular. My sons iphone has been sucking up 6 out of the 10 g. and its been shut off . so how can his data be shut off and still be charging me. Im done with ATT . Time to move on. We have been fighting them now for over amonth!.. something is wrong . Never had this before EVER. even the customer service has been horrible . How sad they used to be awesome. loved them! not no more!…

          1. R. Ebitz

            ATT’s charge for overage on peoples GB usage is a corporate policy set up purposely to have its customers think they have used this much GB, up to this date, when in fact ATT holds back applying the correct amount of GB usage at any given time, for possibly a three (3) day period.
            So if you log in and check your GB usage, it’s false, ATT is holding up posting GB used on your account, so that the end of your billing period they then dump the GB amount they have been holding on to your usage and bingo your over your allotted GB and ATT will demand a fee.
            What a nice company they turned up to be. On their behalf, somewhere in all of their legal spew this up to three (3) day hold-back is stated, however ATT will not say when the hold back is applied to your usage, nor will they say why your account in not up to snuff, like your phone call records. Looks like ATT really loves the ten million customers paying for over use charges each month, do the math.

          2. Margie Drescher


            I have been fighting with them over 2 months. My daughter is in Korea. The first month was fine – we had an international plan and se used her own building’s wifi. After the first month, the dropped her off the plan. Out os sheer coincidence I wen into the AT &T store to look at a hotspot. When they looked up my account, the salesperson said how much is your usual monthly bill? I told him about $300.00 – he said I owe $5650.00! What happened was they dropped my daughter off the reoccurring plan – we told them she would be teaching there for over a year. They credited me for all but $600.00 which was 2 weeks – I wasn’t aware of it. That is an injustice too. But wait to you hear this. Her phone worked fine for a few weeks when I got a call and said I owe $14,000.00 for data overage! My daughter was on her company and home wifi. How could this happen? AT&T gave me every excuse in the book – wifi isn’t strong enough, we can’t guarantee wi-fi. I asked where was my text or email alert – they couldn’t answer. And if you don’t pay they cut you off and ruin your credit. Now she just doesn’t use her phone – only her computer at work. I am writing the BBB, FCC and the Attorney General’s office. This is outrageous!

          3. Michelle

            Hello. To be perfectly honest- not really. First they told me there was something with my internal antenna, then I was told the newer phones use more data than the older phones (which makes sense). I think I complained and annoyed the crap out of them to true point where they gave me a ‘bonus’ and doubled my data for free. BUT now they are offering unlimited data again- they said after your gigs are used you get put on the slower network. To be honest when I was grandfathered in before I switch plans – that’s what happened also. So don’t let them talk you out of it like they tried to us! Good luck!

          4. Angela

            I am experiencing the same problem, although it only happens when I get a bunch of rollover data! The boom we go over and then it uses the roller and we go over again and I have to pay this time! I guess that’s there way to recoup their money!!!!!

          5. Mary

            Hi Michelle, Did you ever find a resolution to this? I am going through the same thing with my son’s phone. We have cellular usage turned off most apps and we are still seeing data being used for those “turned off” apps. Any insight from your experience would be helpful…even though this was awhile ago for you. Take care, M G

          6. Ruth

            I’m having a problem with them charging me like $80 because I went over my TALK MINUTES??? I thought I had unlimited and had NEVER had an overage charge. I looked at my itemized bill and there are tons of numbers that called ME that I don’t know but AT&T says THAT counts toward my minutes!!! Customer service has been HORRIBLE. One rep hung up on me!!!! I hope the minutes i’m on hold with them don’t count toward my time!!!!!

          7. Annie Anderson

            I’m going to contact a class action atty immediately.
            I have XFINITY wifi. Cell service-ATT.
            On 10/12/17 store mgr told me I wasn’t connected to my WIFI. That is 100% not true & am at home 98% of the time & always check to make sure I’m wifi connected.

            This Mgr said not our problem, you didn’t have your wifi connected! Can’t do anything about your problem or bill that went from $65.00 to $165.00 for last 2 months.

            Good riddens ATT!!!
            Xfinity now has mobile service!!!

        2. marie

          The same exact thing happened to me one month att told me I used 17gb of data in one week I don’t care if your streaming Netflix 24/7 your not using that much in one week. I switched to a different carrier and I had been a loyal att customers for 15 yrs.

          1. Tom Howland

            I just got hit with this bullshit last month, AT&T said that I used 91 gigs in 3 days. Now they shut my phone off and I can’t use it at all…………anyone know what do I do next?

    2. dee

      Thank you AC ..people are so quick to put blame on other people and companies without looking at themselves. The wifi connection is a great source for data however if your provider data is stronger it will connect to the stronger connection also if the data for wifi is lost it will use data. Therefore if you have the ability to turn off the data to avoid charges why not.. LAZY is what it is or you just like to complain.

          1. Krmells

            I think that’s the point. It shouldn’t be possible; but the charges keep coming!! All apps “hard-closed” (not running in background), phone on wifi, and somehow my son’s android had used 10gb extra. No. There’s something hinky going on.

          2. Stacy

            Having the same problem with home wifi. We supposedly used 6 GB overnight while sleeping. They have also reported we used 455 GB in 9 days and charged me $70 in overage fees. I’m currently dealing with this. They can’t figure out what’s going on. We live in the sticks so I know a neighbor isn’t using our wifi, I can’t even use it in our yard lol. Our nearest neighbor is too far. So every month I have to call to have overages removed. They remove them but it’s still a hassle as a customer to have to call in every month.

        1. Laura

          Did you ever figure out if a specific app was using data? We’ve had a similar issue and were told it was the phone. Actually two phones, one an iPhone and one an Android. We could not get AT&T to understand we turned the phones off and took the batteries out for a full twelve hours. And the data meter still ran. We made a complaint to the FCC and nothing happened.

          1. Can't wait for my contract to end

            At$t says I used over 90 minutes in 24 hours on my new iPhone. (I realize this is not a data issue as presented in this thread ) I can see on my phone I have only used mobile to mobile for over 48 hours and ZERO minutes. I called at$t and got NO WHERE, NO INFO OR PROGRESS on this issue. I have been a customer since before AT$T bought Cingular. Last month they said I used all my minutes and all roll over and charged my $ 20.0 overage. I have NEVER done that EVER in all these years with a cell phone. I can not account for that or the 90 minutes in the past 24 hours. I upgraded my phone last month and that is when all this insane minutes usage started. I hope I can find avsolution online very very soon.

          2. Margie Drescher

            Have you ever received a reply from the
            FCC? Have you tried the BBB or Attorney General. Our overage in Korea was for$ 14000.00 for data overage while on wifi at work and at home.

      1. Trevor

        Umm, No. I have 50MBpS download and I still got hit with overages, even when I was sitting right next to my router. 4G “LTE” can’t even manage a 5th of that.

        1. Jonathan M

          Not true, 4G speeds with AT&T average about 4mpbs. AT&T ‘s LTE speeds are approximately 10X as fast as 4G. Which would be as high as 40 to 50 mbps.

          1. Rob

            Any @$$ that keeps acting as proponents for carriers like at&t and Verizon and calling people lazy..for starters…go f##k yourself!

            Why the hell should you be required to turn off mobile data while connected to wifi? Wtf even bother having the phone connect to wifi if that’s the case? Seriously, AT&T reps, stop commenting in here, you’re embarrassing.

        2. marlena

          I just got off the phone with AT & T.
          this is the 2nd time within 1 week that while i am sitting 5 feet away from my router and my laptop, that my data just jumps to almost my max for the month and it’s only been 5 days into the new month.
          i set my limits so i don’t go over, phone was connected to my wifi at home when all of a sudden i get a message saying i went over the set limits i set up.
          i went into setting to check and it showed that it jumped like 500 MB in 2 minutes while connected to my home wifi.
          last week it happened too. but when that happened i was sleeping and my phone was off. woke up and saw that the data had jumped to max and it was 1 day before the end of billing cycle. so i turned that phone off since i was maxed out and did not want to pay for extra… it was only 1 day anyway so no biggie. but still the phone was shut off and it jumped like 700 MB overnight.
          i think i am taking this to best buy and having them undo my update for the samsung and i am calling back at & t on monday.
          i refuse to pay for this data that i did not use. when i called tonight, the girl even called me on my landline as proof that i am home where i have wifi. she checked my phone remotely and could see i was connected to my wifi too.
          i am so mad right now.

          1. Ian

            I am having the same exact issue on my iPhone 6+. I had my phone connected to wifi for two days and I essentially did not leave the house. Day 1 I received a warning, “you have exceeded your 15gb a month data plan (we’re on a big family plan), we will issue you an additional gigabyte for $15. I was careful to not use my phone at all, though I did leave it on in case I got a call. I woke up on the 3rd day and I received the same message. I was connected to WIFI the entire time and I was not using my phone. How did a gb of data zip by before my eyes without me or my family using our devices? (This happened many times between March to early June, 2015) We probably paid around $150 in extra GB’s in the last 3-4 months. What ever they did, it worked because we increased our monthly data from 15 GB to 20GB. THEY WIN!

      2. Michelle

        Actually if you want to know something really interesting. It’s At&ts way of scamming. I recently got rid of my grandfathered in unlimited data to 3G bc historically for the past 4 plus years I have never gone over a gig. Suddenly. I’m surpassing 3GS. I called customer care and they told me to turn my cellular data off but why have I never had the problem before?! Because my plan was unlimited. Makes no sense. My data runs exactly every 3 hours even while I’m home on wifi. It never did that up until this month conviently after my plan has changed.

        1. Can't wait for my contract to end

          Thank you for your post. My situation is similar but with minutes. I did not give up my unlimited data so it seems they are going after my money through false minutes. I can’t wait til this contract ends . I am done with AT$T. Here is my story. —–At$t says I used over 90 minutes in 24 hours on my new iPhone. (I realize this is not a data issue as presented in this thread ) I can see on my phone I have only used mobile to mobile for over 48 hours and ZERO minutes. I called at$t and got NO WHERE, NO INFO OR PROGRESS on this issue. I have been a customer since before AT$T bought Cingular. Last month they said I used all my minutes and all roll over and charged my $ 20.0 overage. I have NEVER done that EVER in all these years with a cell phone. I can not account for that or the 90 minutes in the past 24 hours. I upgraded my phone last month and that is when all this insane minutes usage started. I hope I can find avsolution online very very soon.

          1. Brandi

            Yep u are so right I even asked them not to allow additional data but noo I left att n have net 10 now I know what my bill is monthly no surprises this went in for 2 years on 3 phones. I even got charged $1200 for two phones that they said I hadn’t returned when they made me give them the numbers off my receipt from post office bcas I was late returning them n thus was the only way they’d turn back on my service then the next day it was off again n they claimed it should have never been turned on they’re all idiots

        2. Christie

          We had the same issue as you did. Our data plan was being charged every 3 hours no matter what on the Iphone 6. After 5 hours at Apple, a new phone, new sim card and 3 hours on the phone with AT&T, we FINALLY got an answer….location services was on and the apps “weather” and “ways” were ALWAYS updating, even if we were in wifi.

          1. Candice

            Me too! Some how I used 75% of 8g in less than two days after my cycle started. They wouldnt help me, so I’ve shut off my data connection for the last 4 or 5 days. WiFi only. Just checked my usage and it shows every 3 hours on the dot I’ve used data. Ridiculous!

          2. Post
        3. Mike

          This is exactly what happened to me. I chatted online with Riomar the rep and he told me they when we moved from Unlimited to Mobile Share, the phone now automatically updates all apps every three hours. Apparently over cellular even though I am connected to WiFi. How or why this happens, he couldn’t say. Only that, it is the way it is. His solution: turn off cellular data when I’m connected to wifi. I’m done with these guys after more than a decade.

        4. Melissa

          My husband and I switched to At&T a few months ago from Verizon. The reasoning was because my husband works a lot from home and the signal was horrible. He had to go to a closet in the bedroom in order to have a conference call. While we get a much better signal now at our home, the overage charges are insane. Our first month we got hit with almost $90 in overage fees. My husband told me that it was my line and to essentially shut everything down and use my work phone if I needed to call anyone!! I couldn’t believe it. I had been with verizon for 15 plus years and never had data issues. I am glad that I found this blog. At least I know it is not our usage, it is At&T. This is horrible business practices and a horrible company. I so wish we had never switched.

      3. rick varner

        So let me get this right, your saying it’s our fault they are robbing us, when you turn on WiFi and it says your connected to WiFi router it should use it not connect and use cellphone data,further more not telling people they have to disable the cell phone data connection while at home connected to home int, is crooked and applies tactics of deceit, is that the kind of service provider we as consumers, if your ok not having all the facts and pimped for your money, then that says a lot about how smart you really are

        1. Mike

          It is definitely a scam, but you can fix it by turning off your personal hot spot. My bill went down to just $117 this month compared to as high as $359 in the past. As a responsible provider, ATT should make their data usage more clear to their clients, but as we know, they are making wayyyy more money by keeping silent. And now that they have acquired a satellite tv provider for $49 billion (I wonder where that money came from !) anyone with Directv better hang on to their wallets because you can bet they will figure out some way to pull the same type of scam there as well.

      4. Hank

        Sorry, Dee, but you’re just wrong. AT&T is well known for these things and has been ever since it was hostily taken over by SBC.

      5. Migueel

        Hey Dee, not it isn’t laziness. When I want the ‘stronger’ data signal of my Cel carrier, I specifically TURN OFF my wifi so it will switch over. This murky BS of using cel data while we thing we are using wifi is simply dishonest… or disingenuous at the very least.

      6. Your momma

        Hey its not laziness… they areven ripping off customers like me. So your stupid enough to say someone has a wifi connection that provides 150 mbps that at&t signal will trump that? Then I’m highly misunderstood… when at&t is lucky enough to provide 10mbps if your lucky. All and all if your stupid enough to suggest that we aren’t getting ripped a new ass then why are all thelse customers upset over the same exact thing. BTW not a single provider automatically switches from wifi to 4g lte besides at&t.. I can’t stand at&t and to be frank with ya.. I think you work for them because you stand by them mister brown noser. Don’t be stupid people we all need to get together and anti up on this company they run a shitty operation.. they are getting rich off of us because we are stupid enough to pay there fake ass overage charges. Tell me where to sign a petition or where to go because I’ll do anything to set the record straight with them. I spent 6000 last year for services. And that was only 4 phones and 30 gb plan and got overages every month and I was stupid enough to pay. Which at the time thought nothing of it but started looking and reading and everyone is experiencing the same thing I’m going through. People avoid the jack wagon above please because I am. Search and find every revenue to get this company in check.

      7. Atta

        DEE TALKS LIKE a paid (work at home for great pay & make your own hours) AT&T or corporate PR, shell, TROLL. SORRY, but the fraud and scam has been proven. Nice try, but LAZY is when you literally sell your soul SO you can sit on your ass and make money doing something so effortless.

      8. Lisa

        Wow lazy can you explain this bought 2iphones recently & not even 10 days went by when my 2gb of shared data was all used up and we have wifi at home we use 90%of the time. I called att because of data gone & they explained turn your cell data off on phone. Noone bothered to tell me this at store😡…so i turned data usage off. She also explained had to go to att app & turn off data usage in there as well. That wifi wont work if its weak & att will still kick in if i dont do on both phones. I was like what!!!i dont hve time for all that toggling!att is scammers!!!they overage charge u regardless unless u directly turn off on bith website app and phone☹️…I also explanied that later on soon agterwards i was getting no sim card pop up & att tried to blame apple so i called apple and apple blamed att. 1st step took both iphones6s to att crp & they plcd new sim crd & reactivated them. 4hrs later they did same thing. Att suggested take to apple. I took both phnes too apple. They replcd & guess wht soon afterwards same thing😡… Apple states it att service how can 4ipgones be defected…im sick of it now i hve to wait till my 3rd billing cycle to cancel & pay my etf just to get away from att !!!its a hassle. My life is not abt att nor fo i hve all my time in the world for them. I am a wife & mother for goodness sake,,too bzy for worrying abt all that toggle & hvng to assure it by going onto website 2-3-4xsa day to turn off and on…there has to be a better way. Im not lazy im just Opposite of that.. I tried putting in complaints but noone listens Att just doesnt care becuase once they hve you they got you! BEWARE PEOPLE STAY AWAY FROM AT&T

    3. Chris Rico

      Okay, so I’ve figured out the “Cellular Data” off technique, but even then, some text messages wouldn’t send, apparently because my wifi wasn’t enough to stand alone, now that’s full of ridicule…
      Sincerely, an upset loyal AT&T customer!

    4. Terry Booker

      I have been over charged over $3000. They keep telling they would fix the problem but they have not. They have charged me over $300 for data overage. No way. I have 32 lines with 120gb plan. I get a notice telling me I have use 90 percent of my data at about 8 am and about 4 pm I am over my data and I still have 11 more days to go.

    5. Linda Rembaym

      Am I using up my data when I’m connected to Wifi watching Showtime at home I do not have unlimited data!! Cannot get the same answer twice. Any help would be most appreciated

  2. joe

    This isn’t just an iPhone issue, I’ve been fighting this for 6months on different phones, G2 HTC one and Nokia 1520

    1. Post
  3. MA

    This has scam written all over it. AT&T is playing dumb in order to take a little cash off the top. They literally have me as using 1gb/day on my IPhone 5s while on wifi. When I was with Sprint on an IPhone 4, I used 1gb a month. Yet, no one is able to tell me why my data is being registered differently between the two companies. It’s price gouging and it is an illegal practice.

  4. Dharti trivedi

    This post really helps. I m frustrated with Att and apple. I am paying for something that I do not really use. The interesting thing I noticed is the celluar data option is turned on after I manually turn it off. I do not know when that happens.

    1. Post
    2. Alissa

      I don’t think there is any “Scam” going on, I think the issue is that IPhone/other smart phone users simply don’t know what the difference between “cellular data on” and “Wi-Fi on” as far as the usage of data is calculated. The same thing applies to the IPAD, all you have to do is go into settings and select “Wi-Fi” , even in your own house, and I can tell you will not to charged for data usage. It is not AT&T’s fault or anyone else’s for that matter, that Iphone/smartphone users are unaware how their device works. Come on people, take some personal responsibility. If you buy a device, learn how the device works, there is a users guide right on the IPhone that can be referred to. I’m not trying to put anyone down, I am simply pointing out that we all need to be accountable for our own stuff, and stop blaming others or making excuses as to why you don’t know something.

      1. Post

        I’m all for people taking personal responsibility. But, I’m also for transparency. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of At&t users don’t know that they’re still paying for data while connected to their personal home network, which they obviously pay for as well. If people did know this, it could potentially impact their buying decision, which is why I think it’s hidden. Alissa – do you read every word in the terms & conditions that you accept? If At&t included a line in there… let’s call it line 4,231 that allowed them to sell your email and phone number to third parties, would you find that an acceptable practice given that it’s included in their T&C? Companies should be held to some standards of decency, in my opinion.

        1. plf

          AT&T representatives don’t even let you read your contract, they have everything on an Ipad so they can scam you and then you’re stuck with something you didn’t sign up for. I’ve been charged overages on my plan since switching to AT&T in June and continue to be ripped off. Everytime I call about it all I get is an apology or a promise of it being taken care of twice within the last week & will show up on my statement within 24 hours. Yea right! Still waiting on that to happen. Apparently AT&T don’t invest a lot into their training programs. Tell the customer what you think they want to hear and don’t worry about it once you get them off the phone. I am one unhappy AT&T customer and I’m sure there’s a lot more.

        2. Elizabeth Lowenhar

          It’s hidden, for sure. My son lives on campus at Ball State. They are completely 100% wifi. I walk on the campus and my phone connects to their wifi. He lives there and went from very little data usage to his phone using 80% of our data plan. Ummmmm. That’s a problem. Same thing happened with our daughter. She’s here at home, but her phone is turned off all day at school and she cannot use it at work. She also plays tennis. Hard to use all that data when you have your phone turned off from 8am-10pm. But, yet…they say she does. My kids are diligent about hard closing apps. ATT acts like I have 5 year olds. I’m not happy. Suspiciously, this all started when they each got the IPhone 6. Coincidence? I think not.

          1. Disbelief

            I can’t believe how many overage charges have racked up in the past 3 months alone! My average bill is 500.00!

            I have 2 phones with unlimited data and 1 phone with 3 gigs of data all to themselves. Another phone’s data has been off for 5 months or more and the last for the past 2 months. Nothing has changed! No decrease…. only additional charges. Are they angry that I restricted data on 2 phones? Is this retaliation?

            There is NO WAY the 3rd phone is sucking up an additional 100+ dollars of data a month. I’d rather buy a steak dinner! This user works 8 hour days and comes home to check social media, email and then listen to an occasional youtube video and sports updates. Does anyone have any evidence on how much streaming sucks up? He isn’t watching movies. Only youtube snipets and music. No real change in behavior after the other two phones were manually restricted by me!

          2. Mary

            Our problem started when we added our grandson to our plan. He purchased an iPhone 6 from the At&t store. On the way home, it started downloading all kinds of apps. We had what we thought was a 2 GB plan. Come to find out it was a 1GB “promotion” that went away when we added the phone and got a “better plan” . So, when we were offered an addition 1GB at no additional cost, we of course, sad yes! Well, that was July and we have paid for overage every month since with the exception of last month. We had one day left on our cycle and of course, we went over. We were charged $15. and 1GB was added. When the plan updated (at midnight) I looked for the remaining 1GB I purchased and surprise, that goes away! So, if you go over and they add the GB, you loose whatever you didn’t use at billing. How is it that you can purchase something, pay for it and have it taken away? At least they credited me for that one, but never again. I had unlimited data and was talked out of it by a fast-talking rep who assured me that the plan I switched to was going to save me money. Stupid on my part. They partially switched me back, but no unlimited data.
            It never happened to my husband and I with our 2GB. /we never went over and never worried. Now, it’s almost an obsession with us. “Watch the data” Our Grandson (21) is phone savvy and has turned off everything he can and it still uses almost all our data. He did notice one evening that our wireless wasn’t connecting to his phone and when he checked, it was not in his phone at all.
            He re-connected but he is still using 3/4 of our data which is now 6BG/mo.
            I wish we could switch, but he would either have to surrender his phone or pay it off and that’s just not possible for him right now.
            Oh, and we’ve been a customer since 1992!!!

      2. Klfields

        Actually, it is the representative’s fault…they should be the ones to clarify how the devices work and what to look out for and be mindful of. But, as in any other business, its greed and ignorance. Not telling the customer how they should go into Settings and toggle a certain button to avoid overages is entirely on the Sales rep or atleast Customer Service. Its sad that AT&T screws people over like this and this is not a matter of accountability or responsibility, unless you are referring to the Sales rep who does not do their job entirely so the company can make more money off of its customers! It is horrible and wrong. mjirout, great article! Thank you for exposing this! My husband and I are currently dealing with over $1000 in cellphone bills due to this exact same problem. This helped a lot, thank you.

        1. Post
        2. Brandon

          I go to a At&t store 30 minutes away from where i live, and every time i trade up to the newest phone i always ask them personally how do i turn off data so i never have to worry about it being used up. and i always get a straight answer they show me where to go, what to look for and on my way out before i even leave i turn data off completely. no over charges nothing so i can just use my wi-fi network at home without having to worry about over charge fees. however i am sorry this happened to you, i know i’m late to the comment party. However next time if you do get a new phone, ask them to show you how to turn data off completely, it sure as hell has been helping me cheers mate.

      3. James

        I disagree with you.

        I am not a dumbass as you seem to contend. I have had smart phones for years and I know the difference between data types and different connection methods.

        I landed last May in Doha Qatar. I connected to airport Wifi and checked email and Facebook between flights. Mind you I have DATA ROAMING turned off. It has been turned off since I obtained this latest phone in September of 2012.

        Since that 2012 date this phone has spent months overseas from Hong Kong , Singapore, China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, UK, and never a single data charge, but not so on this trip in May of 2014.

        By the time I landed in Bahrain a few hours later AT&T had notified me that I used in excess of $300 of data in the past hour.

        What? How? Not only was I on WiFi I have INTERNATIONAL DATA ROAMING TURNED OFF!

        I was forced to buy an International Rip Off Roaming package ($30 for 120mb) to avoid the $300. The CSR pointed out that I did not understand how the system works and I must have had data turned on. He even said even if you are on Wifi it does not mean all data goes through the Wifi. WTF?

        I spent the next 4 weeks in Saudi and then flew to China. I figured while I have the package I might as well use it to access FB through the phones hidden internal proxy. Well as you would know it I suddenly went over my 120 just a day before the billing renewal. That was strange coincidence, so I thought. I was watching my data usage and it sure did not seem to be that close, but I thought oh well crap happens.

        Well in mid August I returned to China on business and thought I still have some of my current billing period international data left and I might as well use it. I used up to about 100mb and switched off the DATA ROAMING because I also just moved cities and the hotel has Wifi.

        Almost a week since roaming was switched off and remained off I suddenly get hit with overages for international data. How can that happen it has been off for almost a full week. I called and complained and the CSR kept saying well maybe I am sending pictures. Or maybe I am receiving pictures.

        Now that frustrated me to the point of exploding on the phone with this CSR and placing him in the blast zone. I said I first of all I did not send or receive any pictures and second of all DATA ROAMING IS OFF.

        Once again the CSR mantra was maybe I did not know how to use my phone properly and maybe I am sending or receiving pictures even if I am not using the Internet. He was contending I am dumbass.

        Well the rep received my full wrath and between all of the F-bombs I told the CSR even if I received the Mona Lisa if DATA ROAMING IS OFF it should not come in and I should not be paying for it.

        Finally I had to hang up because the contention of AT&T is that I do not know what I am doing and it is not their fault. I contend it was either their fault, the phone, the Android OS, and or a combination of up to all three.

        Has anybody else had this same experience? I am looking for others so we can take this to the next step.

        Last question Alissa are you an AT&T CSR?

        1. Post
        2. Kelly

          Hi James! I am dealing with this same issue right now! We have always had no problems when traveling internationally. Then a few weeks ago while in Canada, we get a notification that we have significantly went over on our data. Mind you we paid for international services and had only been in Canada for a few hours when we received this message! We ended up turning off the phone right away and still received a bill for $300 in overages! I called, but the CSR said there is nothing she can do about the charges. She cannot credit me for data that we used… who was going to pay for that usage if we did not! I was shocked at first because no CSR had ever spoken to me the way she did. I asked her to have her manager call me after she repeated many times that only her manager could adjust charges. I get a call tonight from her manager. I was told that she would not be taking the charges off because AT&T has changed their policy. They will no longer be adjusting charges on bills whether it was the customer’s fault or not. She even went on to explain how bad the economy is and I need to understand that they are in the red right now because of everyone leaving them to go to T-Mobile. She said that things are changing at their office and customers will no longer get the benefits that we have gotten in the past. She went on to say that if that does not fit into what I would like out of my carrier, I have every opportunity to leave because they do not need my business!! We have numerous accounts that are on AT&T, but I believe tonight they just lost every one of those accounts!

        3. Ginger

          I had the same issue just yesterday. The representative thought she could deceive me and was speaking to me as if I was some kind of idiot. I finally went off on her after being told that my statements were not valid and could not be true. I’ve been having billing issues with my data since I got my 5s every month I have to call because of these mystery charges. I’m always on Wifi so it’s hard to believe that even if they do have these hidden data usages with cellular data on that I am using 2GB of data or 4GB of data. In one instance I had cellular data setting off and I received notification 3 days after my cycle had began that I had used up 90% of my 3gb already. That’s ridiculous. They try to scam me by offering to upgrade me to the 10GB which would increase my rate by $55. I ended up going off on the lady and told her that her claim of them being valid charges are one day going to be refuted. That T-Mobile just got their ass busted for “valid charges” that were proven fraudulent and that the same thing will happen to ATT. She didn’t even know what to respond.

        4. Brandi

          I didn’t have trouble with data roaming but I too had been made to feel like a dumbass by them multiple times, every rep contradicts their self n you get 5 different answers from 5 diff people . They always blamed me for overages on all 3 of my phones I wanted the $10 charges stopped n they said I had no choice I’m so much happier with net 10 I can rest knowing I won’t Wakr up to anymore $400+ phone bills

          1. Kristy Salvas

            Wow that is exactly my story… it’s out of control. and they do contradict themselves every time. first it’s because I have a phone that’s 4g now. Then it’s because I should of known to shut my cellular data off, when I’ve had them for over 7 years and never even went over 3gigs or had this problem. I only switched from an iPhone to an LG G3. which if that was the case, you’d think they would tell you in the at&t store when you purchase the phone. Instead they scam you and make it sound good. you supposively get more data for less a month but then have the problem I’m having with getting $240 in overages just for data! Can’t wait to switch over to prepaid!

          2. Keisha

            Omg, this is my current situation. Did anyone of you has had any progress? They keep on saying that I am the one who used the data while my cellular data has been turned off the moment I stepped onto the plane. And then they blamed my family members for manually turning them on when no one in my family even knows my password. Like what the hell? I’ve been out of the country for a few times in the past few years and was never charged for it and then suddenly I was just charged for it and now no CSR is even picking my phone up.

        5. Scott

          I have always hag success dealing with customer service. Yes, it is a lengthy process, but I have ALWAYS received a credit when I requested one.
          Coverage is 1-2 bars of signal strength because we are located between 2 towers.
          I complained, was told I could purchase a microcell home unit. I explained that I already pay for coverage, and that AT&T is responsible, or I would have to switch to another company. I was credited for the Microcell. I did not drop any F-bombs.
          That is probably key to success.

      4. S.S.

        As of sept 2014 This data plan just recently did this to me I’ve been an iPhone user ever since the first iPhone came out I have never had this issue before
        I have the unlimited plan I could leave my wifi and cellular data on at the same time and have never gone over any gigabytes. Now as of September 2014 my bill says I have gone thru 30 gigabytes within three weeks (for me) it’s physically impossible to do this. Something has happened since the ios8 came out

        1. Brandi

          I had the SAME issue recently. I called and asked about it after seeing this post and she said it has always bee that way… but magically the last 3 months my bill has progressively gone from using 10GB to 30+GB for 5 lines. This is so deceitful! Is there not something that can be done? A class action lawsuit? Imagine the amount of money they are bringing in because everyone is being forced to up their data….

          1. Tammy

            I agree, now we are using up the 30 GB – which is virtually impossible unless your on 24/7! Its a damn scam is all it is!

          2. law abiding citizen

            Dude pay your damn bill , do you call your light company and say you didn’t use electricity ? Do you call water and sewer and say you didn’t flush your toilet last month ? Customers are the same in that sense , they all want something for nothing if you didn’t use data you wouldn’t be on a plan that has 30 gb period . Turn off mobile data and switch to a basic plan you’ll save tons of money , and use your $900 iPhone for a paper weight

        2. Kristy Salvas

          Actually that’s the problem I’m having and I have an android. it’s only since I’ve got the LG G2, plus switching to the next plan where I’m supposively going over 30 gigs as well!! It’s absolutely crazy…because I’ve done nothing different. You get these new devices and can’t even enjoy them..

      5. Kristin

        I have to disagree with you. I turn off my cellular data and use my wifi when I am at home – every day. Yet, on every 3 hour intervals (starting at midnight, 3am, 6am, 9am….you get the picture) data is pulled on my phone throughout the whole time my cellular data is turned off. I have 3 other phones on my plan and they also have the exact times data is being pulled from their phones. This isn’t a coincidence. This is data gouging.

        1. amanda

          They told me that it was their system updating, and it updates every three hours, and that it isn’t the exact time of use of the data used just when the system updated. Which I think is a crock.

        2. maureen

          This is what happens with my daughter’s iPhone. 3 hour intervals, on the hour, massive data usage, and her Cellular service is ALWAYS OFF! The first time it happened I turned of cellular to keep her from going over her plan. She went over anyway and these intervals of data usage are IN OUR HOUSE, ON WIFI, with Cell Data turned OFF. IF that isn’t a scam I don’t know what is. This is ridiculous and ATT has got to be held accountable.

        3. Dawn

          We started having that problem with our work cell phones. It started in November – they are all Samsung Rugby’s. Not sure what the deal is, but AT&T was not able to tell my why these phones are pulling data at 3 AM. I got curious and noticed the same thing with our personal cell homes at home – all iPhones – which all automatically connect to our wifi. My husband and I are grandfathered in the unlimited plan, but my son has being see a huge jump the past two months. It is very frustrating.

        4. kristyr

          I was having the same thing on my daughter’s iphone 5c, so I called at&t to find out what was going on. They really had no explanation and sent me to apple store. Apple had no clue and reassured me it wasn’t them. So I called back to at&t, spoke with several people and was told by one woman she would look into it and call me back. She actually called back that evening and said she wasn’t sure what was going on but it was taken care of. A month had gone by with no problems and then it all of sudden started happening on my son’s iphone 5c but quit on my daughter’s. Something isn’t adding up!

        1. Shirin Tolle

          How can ATT do this? How do they manage to pull data from phones that are off? Its more like their billing system.

      6. Kristy Salvas

        Yes it is at&t’s fault!! I’ve have had them for over 6 years and had iPhones the whole time using them the same amount we do now… but all of a sudden when we get new Android phones, with a crazy amount of data instead of just a few gigs.. we are supposively using all of it AND going over without changing a thing. I just received $240 data overages this month on top of my $280 bill!! It’s completely crazy and I’m in the process of paying my bill off and transferring my numbers to another provider. I have tons and tons of people that say I’m so crazy to be paying what I pay but not even be able to use or enjoy these new devices we got. It’s unbelievable if u ask me but yet Noone to complain to that cares!! Ur just SCREWED! can’t wait for them to go bankrupt after losing all of their customers!

        1. Kathy Harless

          We are having same issues with our provider Appalachian Wireless charging for data overage while connected to wifi. They’re blaming an update APPLE did and APPLE is blaming our provider. Who can we contact to get them to investigate this for customers?

      7. Post

        Alissa – I’m not sure if you’ve seen yet, but AT&T just got hit with a 100 Million dollar fine – jury is out… they were actually scamming their users. Validation feels so good.

        1. John

          Yes they got fined but it’s still happening.

          We have a five fine family plan. On my daughter (apple) and I (note 4) are having this problem. It never happened before. Never. Now for the past month we’ve paid about 4 overage charges of 15$ clams each.

          There’s certainly something fishy going on.

      8. susan

        We have four iPhones. My son and daughter have identical habits. this month, for the first time ever, my daughter’s data has gone through the roof. We are going over even when I turn off her data on the AT&T website, managing the account. This is not operator error. What til it happens to you!!

      9. Terry

        You are telling me it’s my fault that I’m being charged for data It looks like to me AT&T changed the rules in the middle of the game Only once in 7 years have I gone over my data use but now with AT&T new changes I’m using data that I have never used before and I haven’t changed what I’m doing. It’s AT&T who has changed the rules

      10. Margie Drescher

        My daughter is in South Korea and racked up $14,000.00 when she was strictly on wifi – now tell me how that happened? I will tell you AT&T started a plan called wifi assist and they say if your wifi isn’t strong enough cellular data kicks in. At&T did not announce this either. Now my daughter took her sim card out of her phone and still is on wifi and no more overages.
        It is a scam pure and simple – we had to pay because it was our business line – but Im still fighting it. If they don’t fix and refund, I’m writing the FCC, BBB and the AG.

      11. Michelle

        Alissa. This is NOT necessarily true. There can be internal issues-like your antenna. I have had an iPhone since the beginning and never had an issue until I bought the 6 and switch my plan out of unlimited data. I work in IT. I am capable of resolve parts inside the phone. Not saying some don’t know how to use the phone but you can assume everyone on this thread have no idea how to work an iPhone.

  5. Kelsey H

    I honestly dont think it has anything with turning off the cellular data, Ive had an issue with my phone saying i only use 5gb of data but the website saying ive used my full 10 gb plan. They say its because the phone (samsung) and the external app that i use to track my data is off. And they’re predictions are correct. They have to be of course, because they are the ones charging everyone extra, The thing about it is, That they have this new data plan, I switched from a 7gb plan to a 10 gb plan which Supposably cost less. (i never went over 7gb) I use the same amount now as i did then. But now with this new cheaper plan that gives me more gb im technically paying more for overages. Which is a scam, You know why they are doing it? Because they can.

    1. Carol

      I have the same thing happening to me! I just changed from a 6G plan to the 10G plan and only ONE of the phones on my family plan is using huge amounts of data at timed intervals. 12am, 3am, 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm… you get the gist. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Data chunks upwards of 730MB are being downloaded at a time. Anyone know what this could be?

      1. KAREN

        I’ve switched to the Mobile Share Plan twice in the past year. We use an avg of 3gb per month. The first Shared Plan was 4gb and of course we were close to overage charges. I switch to the Shared 10gb on 7/21/14. This month we went over. Our 3 month avg now is 7gb. I have contacted AT&T as well about the updates every 3hrs 24hrs a day, which only occur on the Shared Plans. They said it was the phones….yeah right. I also have downloaded the data to a spreadsheet. As I was talking to the rep at AT&T I was looking at the data usage online and noticed that the times changed form 12, 3, 6 & 9 to 2, 5, 8 & 11. I asked the rep how that happened and she could not explain it…I downloaded the change in times too. Low and behold the next day the times were back to 12, 3, 6 & 9. Something is wrong. We have never gone over 3.5gb when we had the individual data plans. We also have turned the phones off and somehow they still update at the same time. I would also like someone to explain what is happening.

      2. norman wheeler

        To Carol
        I just off the phone with AT&T on this matter of Data overages, I realize this thread is old but AT&T positions all these problems as if THE CUSTOMER IS DOING SOMETHING WRONG. I’m not going to go into the long version but what I found out so far, is when AT&T does system upgrades and you are not connected to wifi….it goes on your data plan. That is exactly what your situation looks like Carol. A single day in the month when repetitive large blocks of data are sentt, mainly between 12am and 6am. If you happen to have a busy schedule or your leisure time hobby isn’t checking into the details of your plan, you may not notice the daily data usage So when something out of the ordinary happens and THE CUSTOMER brings it to AT&Ts attention, the AT&T will dance around the issue unless you are persistent. If AT&T is doing upgrades to THEIR system, they should Never charge customers for their system usage. I am still working on this , I’ve opened a case with AT&T tech support. Bottom line, this is the kind of activity , that creates class action lawsuits.

        1. Jamie

          Will you get in contact with me through my email I keep having this happen on different phones and know 100% something is wrong. I would like to know what steps you all took, I am ready to take this to the next level, customers are being scammed.

          1. Suzie Glenn

            Same problem I have never in my life gone over 30 gb on 4 lines EVER until I came to AT&T
            Every damn day I am getting the message of you have gone over the extra 1gb your next bill will be charged 15.00 EVERY DAY something has to give
            They won’t do payment arrangements but they are quick to shut your phone off then charge 40.00 reconnect fee
            Plus when you change plans your PRORATED so your next bill is extremely high…

  6. Kelsey H

    And then I just called them, And Ive had the data restricted off of their website from all devices on my account. And I am “still using data” and then i said how is that possible i blocked it on the 14th, Well now they don’t know.

  7. Angelia hannah

    I don’t wan t burst anyone’s bubble but its not a scam. Your phone is a smart phone, they rely on data to function. They maintain a certain speed to function. The phone actually explains that it uses data when the data is on. Its not just Apple, it’s Android and even Windows!!! They’re called smart phones for a reason. Just because you see a pretty, shiny phone and want to play with it consequences be darned doesn’t mean you should go around slamming every company! Its your responsibility to understand the phone, stop placing blame because you don’t want to take responsibility, its just sad. I have Verizon, same thing. Phone uses data on WiFi, if I wanna stop it I turn the data off, I’m not gonna get online and start trouble because I realize I would sound like an idiot for not reading the phone’s instructions. Blame yourself, buy a flip phone if its too tough to handle.

    1. Post

      Angelina – “scam” is a subjective term and, in my opinion, warranted. As implied, you think I’m an “idiot” – also subjective… certainly I’ve been called worse. You also suggest that I’m not sophisticated enough to responsibly use a smart phone. When it comes to mobile technology, I’d estimate that I’m more educated than 99% of consumers. This isn’t to brag – it’s my job. I’ve started a software company with over 1 million mobile app downloads and am on my mobile device more than a 15 year old girl. Point being, if this comes as a surprise to me, I’m assuming it would be an unpleasant surprise to most. Do you really read the terms and conditions of every technology item you purchase? I bet you’re a fun date 🙂

      1. Kristy Salvas

        Don’t worry about people like that.. we’re the ones paying 4.. $500 phone bills and barely even use online. It is a scam no matter how you put it. we never like that before. and was on the Internet more if anything!! Didn’t EVER go over 3 gigs but now almost hit 30. Kinda weird how they don’t tell you you have to do anything different once you get a new phone. You pay for more but get less.

      2. Jamie

        Has anyone got any reprieve on this. Any of you commenting that don’t know what we are going through have no business on this thread. We are informed consumers and smart enough to know we are not using 1 GB in a day while on wifi or how about 15 GB in less than a week? Usage is being drained, it is obvious but the At&t reps basically try to say the problem must be the phone while Apple points you to the carrier. Please email me at with any information on your own experience, findings, or even just to let me know the same thing is happening to you. It is time someone steps in and straightens this out.

    2. maureen

      sorry, but you are completely incorrect and you shouldn’t be condescending in your comments. this happens with cell data turned off and connected to wifi. there is absolutely know reason people should be charged for data when they are connected to wifi, especially after taking the time and dealing with the neusance of turning off their cell data. this is not “causing trouble” this is a problem. the public is being ripped off and someone needs to speak out to change it.

    3. Dawn

      I think the big problem here is, that these surges in data are sudden. For example our work phones have never come to close to going over in the shared data in 2 years and BAM! All of a sudden it is out of control……

    4. Post

      Angelia – I’m not sure if you’ve seen yet, but AT&T just got hit with a 100 Million dollar fine – jury is out… they were actually scamming their users. Validation feels so good. I’d love to hear your reaction to this now.

  8. Dan

    Scam is 100% correct. If I am at home connected fully to my wifi, which is Verizon, how am I using AT&T cellular data? Network engineer here so please tell me where I’m wrong? My packets are going through my Verison router and traversing the Verizon network why am I paying AT&T? I had the same issue and the customer service rep at AT&T just kept telling me it doesn’t matter if you are connected to wifi you are still charged AT&T data. This makes absolutely no sense.

    1. Post
      1. Robin

        The thing that has come as a shock to me is that we have had the same phones, haven’t changed a thing in the way that we use them and never had a data overage until we went to the “shared” plan for the 10g of data. Now, every month we have been hit with the charges and then sometimes daily they are adding another g at a cost of $15.
        We have been told the same thing about turning off the celluar data, which if the phone and network is so “smart” then why can’t it figure out that it is connected to WIFI. I don’t claim to be technically savvy, but think that it is more than a coincidence that the overages have begun at the same time that AT&T has promoted the family shared data plan.

  9. lindsay

    this is exactly why i go android all the time because u have to go through alot to turn data off constantly and what not with the less assessable iphone that most of the time dont even connect through bluetooth accuratly i had the same exactly problem when i first got the htc one and i was furious come to find out that they specifically have apps on the phone that run constantly even if you dont use them that need internet , i know my!friend josh has an iphone and his got hacked somehow

  10. Chris Overage

    My daughter had iphone 4 and I samsung s5 and a tablet on our 10 data plan. Use to have 4 and never went over our data while having a shared plan with two phones. Got tablet Got alot more data just for tablet use. However Dont use tablet and now all of a sudden that last two bills my daughters went over our 10 data half way thru the billing cycle. she used 9 out of the ten. Got herself a new but not the latest in technology motorola phone and it happened just as you sd above. I am on my phone on net downloading stuff playing music tons of apps 3xs what she has and yet her phone sucking data and how 65% to 95% to overage in 3 minutes on that crap phone she has it is impossible for it do anything that fast lol.

    My data has been .4 – 6 during these times I have my data on all the time. At least they could have said it was my phone going over the data plan.

    How do we get our money back for data I know is not being used. I was going to hire someone tech savi to look at phones and go to at@t and force them to show me in person why this was happening and have someone there on my side who can debate it for me. but starting to feel like I am just paying more for less and getting a large of amount of invisible data that we will never see or be able to use.

  11. L R

    Something happened to me this month. I jumped from 1GB/week to 1GB/day(5GB/month is my limit, which I rarely exceed). I have an iPhone 5s and iPad 2 with the latest iOS and an AT&T plan.

    Possible Culprits:
    (1) The way my devices automatically toggle between wi-fi and cellular; they’re now on cellular more than wi-fi; this started a month ago, both at home and at work. Perhaps a problem with iOS?
    (2) My Xfinity/Comcast wi-fi router seems weaker lately, so my devices may be switching to celluar; it helps to manually turn wi-fi off-and-on from my device.
    (3) Recenty updated apps are now using more data (e.g., Facebook’s new video feature use more data; Spotify has been using more data; photos and videos use more data now that devices take higher resolution photos)

    Possible Resolutions:
    (1) On my iPhone, I went to Settings > Cellular>Use Cellular Data For: I turned off cellular for Chrome, Facebook, Spotify, and Podcasts. These were my data hogs. And this setting won’t interefere with calls, texts, or mapping.
    (2) I completely turned off cellular for my iPad. It usually just sits on my bed on wi-fi. But lately it’s been pushing cellular data while not in-use.

    And I’ll call AT&T to see if they can recommend anything. I was in Vegas last weekend, so I was expecting to use more data than usual (cellular was faster than the hotel’s wi-fi). But I wasn’t expecting this to happn at home and work. Really strange. I get text alerts from AT&T, but the usage happens so fast!

    1. Post
      1. norman wheeler

        I believe you are the originator of this thread and some of the replies tell me why AT&T and other mass merchandisers pull the crap they do on their customers. Statistically, many/most either don’t discover it, listen to the bs feed, or let it go. Like I noted (as many have)AT&T would like you to think you are doing something wrong …..and they will try to explain and straighten it out “FOR YOU”. What I discovered is simple dishonesty on the part of AT&T. They are using large blocks of data during system upgrades and possibly other reasons, and allowing it to increment on the customers data plan. They should proactively delete it during the nights that it happens, but they don’t They will tell you, “You should put your phone on wifi as much as possible and other crap….to throw you off and again imply, that it’s your fault. I’m going after them

        1. Jamie

          Please count me in ! I can be reached at and I am fed up. I have been dealing with this for 2 years. I am computer savvy and there is no reason I should use 35G in 8 days. First I was told it was my daugher’s phone so I turned it off then it was mine all of a sudden. There is a big scam going on

  12. Dan Byer

    This definitely not normal behavior. I’ve been an ATT customer for 10 years and an iPhone user since release day 7+ years ago and I have never seen cellular data use while connected to WiFi. I never do any manual switching between cellular and WiFi and certainly would never think to do so. I’m WiFi covered +90% of an average day so the only time I even think about it is if I’m travelling and I just turn off all my autodownloading and updating stuff.

    The only reason I stumbled on this site was trying to figure out how to combind my currently separate iPad and iPhone data plans. That iPad is, by the way, also free of the problems you are describing.

    You might try disabling all cell data for all apps on your phone and then turning them back on in halves to see if you can find the culprit. The ATT website has not-quite realtime data monitors that might help you track when the trouble comes back. It’ll take a some days of experimenting to fix it, but I guarantee you this is not normal behavior.

    1. Post
  13. Frank Provasek

    I landed here searching about the $10 per 50 GB overage charges on AT&T DSL, but my answer might prove helpful.

    Those advanced Directv Genie boxes, if you have the Genie feature enabled, finds other shows “you might like” and uses the customer’s Internet connection to download to the Directv’s hard drive. I just blocked Directv on my router set and my usage droped by 50 GB a month.

    And all that Directv data, plus Netflix, Skype, interactive gaming, VOIP, on your home network /WiFi gets priority from your router under the QoS and WMM settings. These phones may be falling back to the cell network if the WiFi priority puts them at a suboptimal level.

  14. Shelby

    Ok, this helps a lot. But when you have Cellular Data turned off you can’t get phone calls, so is there any way to fix that too, because I can not pay this phone bill anymore!

    1. Post

      Shelby – check it out from Apple’s page: “Cellular data is used for data communication in cellular networks. It doesn’t affect your ability to make or receive phone calls or to use Wi-Fi networks for Internet connectivity.”

  15. T D

    I am having the same issue. My family rarely went over our data limit – only a couple of times when we were without wireless for extended periods of time. Strangely enough, after we changed our data plan to the new “Value Plan”, we go over three and four times every month. I am paying more now than I did on the old plan. This has also happened to other friends after they switched to the value plan and were told by the representative that based on current usage they would never need more than 10 GB of data. I know how to use my phone and I turn the data off when I am at home. However, when I check my data usage there is always data coming through my account all during the night when I am asleep, my phone is on WIFI, and the data is turned off. It seems to me that the word “scam” fits perfectly!! By the way, before we changed to this new plan, I never had to turn my data off when I was on WIFI.

  16. HT

    For the last 4 days, both my and my husband’s iphone uses data (ranging from 3kb to 47,755kb) at exactly 12 AM , 3 AM, 6 AM, etc.- every 3 hours the whole day even though we are connected to wi-fi. AT&T told me that my wireless connection is probably unstable and she gave me the same line about turning off cellular, which I have since done. But this is NOT a solution. The thing that really gets me is that she acted like I was an idiot and that this was an isolated incident unique to me. But now I’ve read tons of similar comments on the internet, so I’m guessing AT&T is completely aware of the situation and unwilling to deal with it. MY QUESTION: has anyone switched to other carriers with better results?

    1. r

      Wow! We are having the exact same problem! I called AT & T tonight after being notified that we are nearing our usage as well. She didn’t have an answer except to say that we needed to close all of our apps and pages before we got off our phones each time. She said that when the phones go black it will automatically click off of wifi and use cellular (which made no sense to me). She did not tell me about turning off the cellular though. I tried to find out why each of our phones were suddenly using data at the exact same times (just like yours it is at 3, 6, 9 and 12 all day). She didn’t know. I played with the phones a bit and decided to log off our icloud accts. My son and daughters phones were still logged on at 9pm – I looked at our account and their phones used data but my husband and mine did not. Hmm, we’ve never had an issue with icloud data or ANY data overage until we also switched to the family share plan. I have another son who is on his own plan (no family share) and he is NOT having a problem with data every 3 hours. He is also on unlimited data (which is not longer offered by AT&T – you were grandfathered in when they stopped – I had 2 lines on unlimited until I switched to the family share plan which saved me around $50 per month. Now I wish I hadn’t switched)

      1. Tricia

        It’s not Icloud, my boyfriends Android is doing it too, every 3 hours on the dot. The young man at the warranty center said the phone shows its facebook using the data and said the billing department should know what happening at 3, 6, 9, and 12. The billing department said they can see data used but not how its being used. They did refund the overages though.
        Major inconvenience!! They just keep sending you to the next guy to get rid of you.

      1. LaVerne Yarmola

        On Verizon’s data detail page, I clicked on “data” and was able to view and print out a spreadsheet showing everything. Since October 6, 2014 my daughter’s iPhone 5 has been using large amounts of data every day at 5:20 AM, 5:20 PM, 11:20 AM, and 11:20 PM. I spoke with five or six Verizon reps who gave the same lines everyone else is getting. I was asking for the fraud department, as I believed my daughter’s phone was hacked! She hasn’t changed anything and has never gone over on data usage (usually very low).
        Thank you for the post, Michael–very helpful!

        1. LaVerne

          My daughter figured out that a “fashion game” app that she has had for quite some time was the one hogging data at the aforementioned times (even while on wi-fi at home and at work). We don’t understand why it suddenly started to do this, unless it is related to new updates to the app as a result of the new iOS on Apple.

  17. horshack

    I’m having similar issues with never using more than 4 GB of data since the very first iPhone. Now, (with no changes to my time on wifi) I’m at 17.5 GB of data.

    I do have the unlimited data plan, grandfathered in , am still on the iPhone 5, using the latest version of iOS8, and now all of sudden this phone has a huge appetite for data. Regardless of how poorly AT&T is handling CS calls, maybe this is an OS issue and not a cellular carrier/network issue?

    To that end, has anyone tried turning off iCloud Drive’s “Use Cellular Data” feature? Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Use Cellular Data at the bottom of the screen. Because of “r” and “HT”s comments it has me thinking this is something on Apple’s end and not a carrier or device issue.

    Other than iPhone users turning off iCloud Drive, I wonder if Android users are seeing these same intervals of data consumption. and are folks on other networks seeing this same pattern of data consumption?


    I recently decided to go with another carrier after years of paying over $100 a month for talk text and 2 gb data. I called ATT first and they turned me over to retention. The other carrier was offering unlimited talk, text, and data for $50 a month. ATT said they could do 2 GB data and unlimited talk and text for 50. I said ok. A day later I got a message saying I was over my 1 GB data and a 20 dollar charge for 500mg would be added. I called and they played dumb. I threatened to leave and hung up. I usually come close to the 2GB data so, only actually getting 1 I was not surprised I went over jut that I was Blatantly lied to. It get’s worse.. After my call and my new billing cycle I received a message that I went over 1 GB data in 16 hours. Checked email a couple times and that was it. I have since gone through a GB a day even with not using my phone at all. Scam and I have left ATT after years. Never will use them for anything.

  19. Laura

    I DO smell a rat! We have been with ATT for years. At the beginning of last year we had the unlimited plan. In February of 2014, we switched to a family share 10GB plan. Prior to february 2014, our average usage was about 5-6GB. After……You guessed it! Only had 1 or 2 months since where we didnt get charged for extra usage. This IS on ATT. If they changed something in their OS, they needed to inform users. I was not informed. And, I find it very inconvenient turning data on and off all the time. I spend enough time with my nose in this phone. Certainly don’t want to add to it.

  20. Lizy

    Thank you for this post. So helpful… AT&T is ridiculous. I can’t believe they are scamming their customers like this. I am so leaving them as soon as my contract is up.
    Does anyone know if there is a better/more honest carrier out there?

  21. cecilio

    I left at&t for exactly this reason years ago. Something is way off on their data system. I would hardly ever even check email and would “go over the limit”. Everyone in my circle of friends had warned me what a scam at&t was. I left for Verizon and now my kids are old enough to be on my plan so I have 5 phones on the family plan and never come close to the amount of data that at&t said I was using by myself.

  22. Joel

    I am also running into issues since switching to the 10GB Mobile Share Value Plan on AT&T. Over the past few days I’ve used about 2 GB of data which is literally impossible. I haven’t streamed videos or streamed radio or done anything that would uses lots of data. It is a total scam and I can’t believe that AT&T is getting away with this. We used to have 4 GB of data available and would never go over, I would use less than 2GB each month. Now I am using this amount in only a few days? Total scam and I have a feeling AT&T is going to get investigated because of this.

  23. David Blackburn

    There is a common theme here, AT andT, they told me I was in the USA using data when I was in Hull UK sitting on a ferry boat in dock 90 minutes before departure with a perfectly good 3g signal from my UK provider, their service is not meant to kick in until the ship leaves port and is at least two hours into the sailing , and, incidentally I was not warned about any of this by the ferry company
    There is rather too much coincidence involving AT and T here, reading some of the previous comments

  24. Joel

    An update to the comment above: I have noticed the data charges at 3 hour intervals on my bill also. I figure that AT&T wants everyone to pay more for their family plans so there are bogus data charges during the day. I just upgraded to the 30gb plan because we were about to go over 10gb. Complete and utter scam and I am thinking about switching carriers.

  25. Theresa

    I’m running into the exact same issue, and AT&T was NO help at all. What a line of bull they fed me. We never used more than 2GB per month (just my son and daughter have smart phones), and we went from 2GB to 7GB to over 11GB in 3 months time. Of course, it was the same time we converted to the 10GB family plan. Like everyone else, the data on my daughter’s phone is coming in at 12, 3,6,9, etc. AT&T said this is because they report it in blocks, and that the usage was prior to this – but they don’t know when. They kept blaming my daughter – she must be downloading, she must be not closing apps, yada yada yada. Complete bull! After finding so many identical complaints (and the same, party-line responses by AT&T), I can’t believe they are getting away with this! My daughter downloaded data manager, so maybe we’ll be able to figure out what’s hogging the data, but she’s in a house with wifi, or on her college campus, also with wifi, so she should not be getting these charges! Arrrgghhhh. I wish I could move to another carrier. I did google though, and it looks like Verizon customers are having the same issue….

  26. D S

    My daughter received a punishment. I placed restrictions on her iPhone 5 she has no access to the internet or mobile data. NO ACCESS. Yet upon review of her phone usage there are large amounts of data listed at 12, 3, 6, and 9 repeatedly for every day she has been restricted. No access to data restricted with a password. She is able to phone and text. Again this is listed as int/md.

  27. m88

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  28. china

    I am having the same issues, I have the Iphone 5s with ATT and had the 2GB plan because it was cheaper than the 1GB. I never went over and never had to toggle between turning my data off and on. I added my grandson in Sept and we got the Value Plan 10GB for his Iphone 5c. When we got signed on with me, he was using so much data within a day, I was becoming nervous and called ATT 5 times in a week trying to see what to do,. His phone is eating up the data even when he’s at school and not even using his Iphone. We have turned the data off and it used up 1.1GB in several days and he’s connected to Wi Fi. So we turned the data on to see if this helps. In one day he used a lot of data and even though his data was turned off and we were with family for Thanksgiving plus he never used his Iphone. I was trying to see how to control this and called ATT and was told you can manually turn the data off completely to avoid overages by logging into your ATT acct. Once you do that the data will only be used for WiFi connections only. Oh and because I was misled in my monthly rate I had to switch to the 6GB and may have to shut his data off completely on the ATT myaccount page. This is too confusing and frustrating.

  29. china

    From ATT

    Ways to manage your wireless usage
    We know you want to keep your monthly bill predictable. To help avoid overages, we’ll show you ways to track and manage usage throughout your billing cycle.
    Open all
    Use Wi-Fi to conserve cellular data usage
    Connecting your device to a Wi-Fi network doesn’t count against your cellular data plan allotment. Once you join a Wi-Fi network, your device will attempt to connect to it whenever the network is available and in range. Your device will revert back to a cellular data connection when the Wi-Fi network is unavailable.
    To find instructions specific to your device, visit the Device How-To Center and select your device. Look under Device Instructions > Connectivity options > Wi-Fi to find out how to connect to Wi-Fi with your device. Select an available Wi-Fi network to connect to from the list.

    How to stop data usage
    Disable data usage by device
    If you have an AT&T Mobile Share plan, you can disable data usage by Wireless number/device on your account. Disabling data usage per line can help prevent data overage for that billing period. Find out how to disable AT&T Mobile Share data usage by device.
    If you don’t have a Mobile Share plan, call us at 800.331.0500 or 611 from your AT&T wireless phone or visit an AT&T store.
    Turn off your cellular data connection
    To conserve your data plan amount, turn off the cellular data connection on your device. All data usage will be disabled on that device until you turn it back on.

    1. Jordan

      This is just genius ! Pay for a service and a feature and get nothing for the money! What a profit deal for AT&T !

      FOLKS – everyone here – repeat after me – CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT TIME ! This all speaks to AT&T taking responsibility that they have changed how they are metering and reporting data usage on their customer’s plans. So many of you have not changed your phones, many of you have turned off your phones, removed your batteries for days yet you are still seeing data usage. Some of you have gone so far as to block your data usage and STILL see data usage that is not even related to texting or phone calls. This all speaks to incorrect billing and is a major audit violation on AT&T’s behalf. Time to take action and force this company as well as any others stealing from their consumers and put this to rest by their taking responsibilities for their actions. There is literally NO way possible for this many people to have suddenly changed their lifestyles in just a few months. However, how AT&T is calculating and reporting their monthly usage metrics can change that quickly. Basically you are paying for “keep alive” and standard data traffic that your basic phone talks to the cell towers now. This is not “APP” data. This is not you sending pictures as you would have a text message in your phone’s log that corresponds to the same period of time (actually within seconds of the same message), but you will not find this. AT&T claims the date/time stamp on their ATT.COM site is two days old data. Who would believe this to be accurate and true? Come on, two days old data? What kind of auditor would believe that since this same data is used for billing purposes? Folks, this is illegal activity. So, for all the people here that are saying the issue is people need to take responsibility and stop blaming the carriers, you need to wake up. You soon will see the same issue very soon and will get charged for data over usage too, then let’s see what your reaction is going to be. Time for a consumers to stand up and speak up loudly. Go to your local government representatives and demand they start an investigation before your “coverage” plan consumes your bank account too..

    2. marysue murray

      With all due respect, I believe that AT&T has no idea of the consequences these data surges will cause. I have had AT&T for at least 15 years. I have never even seen a data usage charge on my phone until my January phone bill. The amount of data used started out small, 18 kb here then it increased to 20 kb and then it went down to 7KB. But then they slowly increased and occurred every 3 hours starting at 12AM, 3AM, 6AM etc until yesterday my phone used an entire GB in 24 hours. AND only within those 3 hour intervals. I had even updated my phone via wifi in my home and that didn’t show up. Something is very very wrong here, and I hope you will take this issue seriously because I am not the only one that is paying attention to this.. many people are catching on.. Do what you have to do to solve this or else AT&T will quickly have a very bad reputation.

  30. JohnKB

    Sorry to be a lazy person about this, but here’s a copy from my gripe on the AT&T forum earlier today. There’s is zero explanation and excuse for my data being used when the Cellular Data is off.

    Copy and Paste:
    So, here’s my problem. I have an iPhone 5c, got it in early September ’14. For all of October and first half of November it’s been a charm. Recently, though, the nightmare has begun.

    Over the Thanksgiving holiday, somehow my remaining 2GB of data were mysteriously burned up, even though I was at home on my WiFi. Once the text came that I had hit 100% of the data, I started to get suspicious. Within 48 hours, the additional 1GB that AT&T so loveling charged me for was also used up. I tried turning off Cell Data on all apps, even deleted most of them. Nothing worked. Once the SECOND data overage was so gracefully added (and charged) to me, I decided to contact AT&T on the website chat.

    Sidebar: A whole new issue ensued with that little nugget of sunshine. The lady I was connected to argued with me for over an hour about the four data charges on my current bill. Four entries and she kept saying things like “Let’s do the math” and “I understand your frustration, but your bill clearly shows…” and she would add up the four entires and try to explain her position. The whole time she argued with me, she kept adding the entire bill up in MB. BEHOLD! They were in KB. And I had to convince her of her own mistake.

    That didn’t even solve my issue. While I was listening to her babble on and repeat herself, I started looking up causes. Of course, one potential cause being that my data usuage had been hacked. The resolve: reset the phone. So I wiped it all out and went thorugh a fresh set up. Immediately I turned off the celluar data and connected back to my home WiFi.

    So, using the *DATA# option, I have been obsessively monitoring the data. When I went to bed last night, my overage usage was showing 1,038MB used. When I woke up this morning, it had jumped to 1,048MB. So i turned the stupid phone off for 3 hours. Right now, this very second (and with Celluar Data still off), my usuage is showing 1,111MB.

    AT&T is not helping resolve the issue. They won’t interrupt the data service to my phone. They just keep charging me for another GB.

    So, anyone thinking about using AT&T for cell service, beware the risks.

    Be prepared to be met with resistence and accusations about the mysterious data usage being your (the customer’s) fault. Don’t bother trying to use the website chat, as they clearly have hired incompetent staff who use copy and paste, illogical methods of trying to make you (the customer) feel stupid, and clearly can’t read the difference between a KILOBITE and a MEGABITE.

  31. karen

    My problem is every time I Increase my data, we go over, example last month my usage was 23MB, so for free they double my date to 40MB, (telling me we will NEVER go over that), guess what ! we are currently over, now at 44MB. It’s become a joke because every time we increase the data, we exceed our usage. Crazy, of course AT&T puts the blame of me, you cannot tell me they are not doing something on their side.

  32. Tracy

    I have been a loyal customer with AT&T for over 10 years. Over the last couple months there service has been really bad. I added an iPhone 6 plus and since then I have been charged overages. The first one was only 15.00. Yesterday around noon I got a text message stating 90% of my data had been used. Then about 15 minutes later I got another text stating that 100% of my data had been used. Throughout the day I received numerous e-mails stating that I have used that additional 1gb they are adding another GB and another 15.00. So far I have been charged almost 200.00 in overage charges and I still have 19 days left in my billing cycle. When I called AT&T last night to complain and ask for a courtesy credit they told me that effective about 3 weeks ago they no longer credit people courtesy credits.
    Of course they no longer credit people but they can sure charge people an arm and a leg. I refuse to pay for these overage charges and am looking for a new carrier. This is absolutely absurd.

  33. ZeRp103

    It’s a scam … I just switched from Tmobile to ATT before a proper research … I used to use 500 MB per month on T-Mobile because I am using wifi at work and home … now 7 days with ATT same plan … I already used 1 GB … and after I call and chat with them … turn out that all wifi that we used at work and home is charged … they are saying that their LTE with 1 bar this is hpw much I have at home and work … is stronger than my 5 bars wifi … so IT’s a ripp off … I will try to get out of contract if possible .. definetly 1000% rip off SCAM

  34. Kim

    The same thing is happening to us. Never used over 10 MB over a 3 month period and now that we switched plans I’m already over this month with 10 days left in my billing cycle. What’s particularly strange in our case is that our wifi at home has been having connection issues the past week or so forcing us to use cellular. Go over our data limit and the wifi is magically working again. We’ll likely use our additional 1 MB or whatever they just sold us before the weekend is over. I took your suggestions and turned cellular off to a lot of my apps.

  35. Ana

    Thank you so much for this. I was going crazy trying to figure out what was going on and how come my 6g data plan was running out in a month when I’m always using the school Wifi, now I know why.

  36. jonathan

    I have a 40 gig plan and I’m getting overages 6 days after my cycle starts. When I had 10 gigs it said I used 35 gigs of data a month and they charged me $400 in overages. So I Switched To A 40 Gig Plan And Drasticaly Cut Back On use. And im still getting overage texts charging $15 a gig. I called them and they don’t do anything. I even turn my data off and I get charged every few hours! This is bullshit!

  37. Roni

    It is important that cellphone users understand the entire workings of their phones.

    Everything that uses data:
    1. Sending and Receiving Pic/Vid messages
    2. Emails sent and received (with attachments)
    3. All those SHINY apps you have on your phone
    4. streaming music & videos (HD uses HIGH amounts of data)
    5. surfing the web
    6. Social Media posts
    7.downloading games/apps/songs

    How the data works:

    pics/vid sent and received in text messages cannot send over wifi; only via your cellular data.

    If ANY apps or browsers are open via your cellular data and you walk into your home or wherever you have wifi and connect to wifi… those apps and browsers that are ALREADY connected to cellular data will not disconnect; it has to be manually closed; if not it will still run in behind your wifi connection

    Those connects to cellular data you all are complaining about that occur in the hours you are asleep is due to those apps ALWAYS updating themselves… so when they trigger that automatic update, they are going to connect to your cellular data:


    Because those apps don’t have permission to connect to your SECURED , PASSWORD protected wifi… If you wifi connection drops intermittently (all internet providers connections drop from time to time so dont act like it doesn’t), your device will connect to cellular data if it is ON… and when your wifi connection picks back up the cellular data that connected is still running in the background. THIS is why cellular data can connect while connected to wifi.

    It is recommended to turn your cellular data off to prevent these things from occurring.

    IF your cellular data is TRULY turned off, there is no way it is using cellular data AT ALL.

    Information sent from your phone to your wireless carrier; whoever it is, verizon, AT&T Sprint, etc…. is delayed… so if you call your provider at 6 pm…. and your data usage is at 3GB: that is an ESTIMATION as all of your network usage is not immediate nor is it reported back to your provider in REAL TIME…. so you can disable your data, you can turn it off in the settings…. but that wont stop the rest of what was used BEFORE you turned it off from being reported to your carrier/providers system…..

    THUS the importance of taking all the recommendations they give you and implementing them. Turn the cellular data off when near wifi, Turn your cellular data off when your receive those usage NOTIFICATION’s your provider sends at 75% or 90% of the usage… don’t wait until you receive a notification of 100% of usage….. turn it off or disable it before the 100% notification.

    IF your carrier’s are sending you notifications (which they do), giving you recommendations, etc… Also log into your online accounts and view the usage, view the alerts that are sent: DON’T ignore it…. do what they are advising….. they are HARDLY scamming you. They can’t be scamming you if they are telling you the things to PREVENT overages on your accounts.

    Take responsibility for your actions, be honest about what you are and are not doing. And stop yelling and telling the agents off when you call in on the phones, its not their fault and I should say MOST of them are really trying to help each and every customer that calls in about their accounts, listen to them, ask questions, take that information and use it for POSITIVE gain, don’t blame them, say they are lying, or call them scam artists, they are not trying to treat like you are idiots… they are just answering your questions. They are only providing you with information, the working of the phones, plans, and how things work; they depend on you the customer to tell them EVERYTHING as they cannot see your phone.

    REMEMBER they don’t know you, they cant see your devices, and they don’t know your knowledge or job titles.

    1. John

      What you state is all well and good. But I’ve been on the att network for years and this stuff is happening to my daughter and I overnight. No changes. Just more perceived usage. We know how to use our fones.

      Something is not right in Denmark.

  38. tom

    This is a totally SCAM. We all need to fi l e a Lawsuit against AT&T.

    I am having the same issue since December 2014. I have switched my 4 lines from Sprint and at Sprint I’ve never passed the 7 GBs mark using all four lines.

    In December AT&T overcharged one of the lines to 11GBs.

    In January, 8GBs in a different line.

    Now, in February another line, 9GBs.

    90% of the time the phones are connected on WiFi.

    This is a SCAM and we all need to file a claim on FTC.

    In 2011, they lost a case similar to this one.

  39. Darren

    Just some more observations.

    I’ve had the same problem with data listed throughout this thread. Using an iPhone 4, on Consumer Cellular which is on ATT’s network. I use almost zero data usage but need data usage turned on because it seems to help with getting iMessages when I’m out of WiFi range.

    I get small data usages at 12 noon and midnight. Daily. Normally .05 to 3Mb per phone (two phones shared plan). Nothing to worry about…

    After leaving one phone in the car for the weekend, data usage went up to 5, 12, 68, and 35Mb at noon and midnight.
    Phone was in the car, untouched for two days, but out of WiFi range. Cellular Data turned on but only Calendar app was set to use Cellular Data.

    Other shared plan phone was in WiFi range with Cell Data ON. Cal, Contacts, and Reminders only were cell enabled. WiFi connected, phone was not plugged in. Still used data at noon and midnight but only tiny bits, .05 – 2 Mb.

    I don’t think it’s a conspiracy but it does suck. Imaging if phone were lost and the battery lasted more than three days…

    I’ll be switching cell data off when I leave the room. Does anyone know an app for that?

  40. Pink

    I felt I really needed to say something before I run out of time today. I will continue to read the posts as time permits. However, the several comments that I did make it thru did not point out. .. maybe it didn’t happen for them .. but it might be useful for some, hopefully even one person can benefit?
    I KNOW AT&T tells customers or potential customers that the little button for cell phone data & wifi when both are on it will NOT effect your chosen data plan. I’ve been told consistently that it’s automatic. Which i have clarified with customer service, 3 supervisors, & 1 district manager. They have all confirmed that we are suppose to leave both buttons on & when our phones detect wifi it will automatically connect to it & our data plans are not effected at all! We are not charged for any use when using a wifi connection period.
    Yet my mother & I have consistently been charged for data overage use. When my mother called them they told her it was for downloading things like mobile apps from Google just one example. Yet my 80 year old mother rarely, if ever, uses her phone & most off the time keeps it off since she has a house phone. I had to make her promise me she would turn her phone on whenever she goes anywhere. Note, she rarely leaves her home. On the other hand, like the gentlemen that posted this article to begin with, I too, spend the majority of my time using home wifi & that little button is off. On occasion I forget but never really trusted AT&T wholeheartedly to begin with so I keep a note in the home I’m at to check that button. Since I started turning that button off we have repeatedly for sometime now been charged for” data downloading” overages.. Yet there IS NO WAY I’ve downloaded as much as we have been charged for. We even changed plans so that it wouldn’t be an issue, per the suggestion to my mother of an AT&T branch manager. As of last month mother was still asking me that same question. Have I been on wifi & am I still downloading things from the internet?
    I was injured at work so I’ve been off. Then randomly after 5 months of being paid while off they stopped paying me yet insisting they were still sending my checks. Long story short, I lost everything after 4 months of telling my landlord it’s in the mail .. U can only say that so many times b4 they think she’s nuts!!. I’ve been homeless living in my car. My mother got me this phone so that I could change things for myself & remain in contact with my mother. Its only been recent that I have a home to stay in, not my home but a home. That could change any minute. I’ve learned to survive out of dumpsters. I got used to not having use of much of anything. I’m totally aware that I should be the one taking care of my 80 yr old mother. So having the use internet & a phone is like gold! Or like a shower that removes the ugly from that day & it makes one feel like new person just stepped out of it.
    Let me be clear, I have no addiction to anything on line rated or not. I look for potential jobs that will permit me to take care off myself, & if I’m way way lucky my mother & my dog too! I study things to help me learn so that I can choose to do them to survive instead of things the dumpsters offer. Or other street opportunities that are so readily available or requested being a woman. In addition, I am trying to find out all the info I need to one day fight back and maybe reclaim some part of what I lost all bcuz I was injured while doing my job, on the job, a federal job that I had for 12 yrs. None of that do I download except in my brain. Perhaps I bookmark it for another Good day. There had been a few times when I accidentally selected a pdf file that automatically downloaded until I caught on. Now I avoid them. Even still the 2 or 3 times that’s happened with should not still be a consistent issue!
    Anyway, for what it’s worth .. Hug up your moms, remember that just bcuz the person in front of you may look all put together, or like a scary nightmare from a thrift store, they too could be me, waiting to see what life offers in that dumpster close by, don’t be afraid to say hello it helps remind us that were not alone & don’t let companies take parts of life away from you. Its just not worth it.
    I read recently that AT&T had already been sued once for this & they lost .. Has it not costed them enough. .. LOL, On second thought, they are the almighty AT&T what am I saying? They were clearly not sued enough if it hasn’t hurt them where it counts!
    & no it wasn’t AT&T that I used to work for. I have nothing against them except for ripping off people that work hard at whatever it is there doing in their life!

  41. Tom Whalen

    We will be discontinuing doing business with AT&T as soon as our contract is up this year. Each month our account gets charged data overage fees despite the fact that our phones are used mostly at home, on a WI-FI connection, AND we live out in the country where there IS NO cell signal. AT&T is ripping their customers off.

  42. R Ebitz

    Horrible way ATT customers are being handled. When you call 611, ATT forces you to listen to their ads. The ATT employees do not speak and or understand English very well any more.
    I questioned why was a charge of 1.8 GB was deducted the first day of a new billing month without ever being on line.
    After 40 minutes on the phone at 611 and even speaking to a supervisor I was just told my phone used 1.8 GB no other explanation. I also went the a corp. ATT store the same day, and was told the same thing, we don’t know what your lap top did or what your apps on your phone were doing, you just used up 1.8 GB, go away.
    Us customers have no way of reconcilement how ATT loges or measure our usages, we are just told you used that much. This seems like a pure rip off, add up fee of $10. to $15.00 for over usage, on 70% of customers a month for how many millions, that’s big bucks. GREED, PURE GREED
    Also how about the apps that are allowed, by both the internet servicers and phone companies, they know these apps eat up your usage and they love it when customers download them, more $$$ for all concerned. Again GREED
    Play the game, call and complain about how your paid for GB’s are despairing and why you can’t find out anything more than what is told to you, by them. Every phone call is logged, we need a log of every internet charge.

  43. Gayla

    I’m having the same problem and it has nothing to do with a cell phone. I have had unlimited forever and now all of a sudden I get this lame usage charge of $20. I have a feeling we are all this so called 2% they say that are using too much internet, what happened to unlimited, I should be grandfathered in also.

  44. Mike

    ‘Just got rocked again for data overages from AT&T. I’ve been with them since 2000 and had established consistent data usage since purchasing one of the first smart phones – the Palm Treo – back in 2003. Data usage was in the 3-4 gig range until two months ago when ATT started billing me for 20 gigs last month and 22 gigs for this month. There is NO WAY that I’m using that much more data especially since phone usage/habits haven’t changed and Iphone settings haven’t been changed, no new apps added, etc.

    Reading all of the threads, the above theme amongst the authors is pretty much the same – sudden claims in increased data usage by the billing dept of ATT. My call to ATT today for a resolution to the matter fell on predictably deaf ears. Instead, they offered to sell me a higher limit data plan. How nice.

    Instead, I’m gone. Sprint has some great deals right now and coverage by Verizon in my area is very good. I’ll play one against the other and go with whoever gives the best deal. ‘Should have this wrapped up by tomorrow morning. The blatant games ATT is playing now nationwide with their data billing is the best way I can think of to alienate and piss off large groups of its customers. Until now, they were a decent provider, but with their new ”guess your data usage this month” billing game, only those who don’t mind getting ripped off each month would stick around.

  45. Kyle

    Just upgraded 2 phones from ATT.
    First off the rep that helped us originally said the price was 209 which was cheaper and bumped our GBs from 6 to 10. So we agreed to the “210$” plan not knowing that we’d be getting a bill that was almost 290$. I’ll be calling tomorrow and seeing what the hell happened.

    Also my new 10gb plan started yesterday, my phone was on wifi all day but somehow I managed use 1gb of data in one day. I don’t understand how I could use 1gb in a day when I’m on wifi?
    I always notice that about 1 or 2 days before my billing cycle I get the 90% of your data has been used message, and now after reading this I really do believe this is a scam.

    Is there nothing we can do about this?

  46. Nancy

    Thank you so much for this! I got hit with overage charges twice in one week, and I called them today. They applied a credit to my account!

    Agent: Hello! How may we help you today?
    Me: I have a question about my data usage
    Celine-C: Hi! I can help you with your data usage inquiry. May I please get your name and wireless number to better assist you?

    Me: When I’m connected to my home or work wifi, is it using my data plan?
    Celine-C: No it’s not. But I recommend you turn off your cellular data whenever you are connected to WiFi. This is to make sure that your device will not revert back to a wireless data connection when the Wi-Fi network suddenly drops the signal strength or disconnected.
    Me: ok i didn’t realize this was the case, i was getting data cahrges at 3am while I was sleeping!
    Me: ive been hit with overage charges two times in the past week!
    Celine-C: Oh I am sorry to know that. That may be running apps in the background. All of our smartphones and iPhones are designed that the data are turned on. In case that we did not end the data session when we checked our email applications, Facebook, news and weather applications and even internet browser in our phones, data will still be transmitted to your device throughout the day (late night usage) and our data plan will be consumed.
    Me: even on wifi?
    Me: id idnt realize i had to manually turn off the cellular data when i walked into a wifi zone like my house or my office
    Me: i just assumed that if the wifi signal is showing on my phone, that it was using wifi
    Me: i have background app refresh turned off
    Celine-C: Yes, since if the signal strength slows down, your data will automatically be routed to your cellular data connectivity. We should check the connection type periodically to ensure they are connected to Wi-Fi when expected. But giving assurance that our data plans will not be used while connected to wifi network, we can turn off the cellular data
    Me: oh well, i wasn’t aware of this. i assumed it was automatic. can we do anything about the extra data charges on my biil?
    Celine-C: Let me check and see what we can do here.
    Me: thanks
    Celine-C: You are welcome.
    Celine-C: Thank you for patiently waiting. All right, since you are being a valued customer of AT&T, I will go ahead apply a one-time courtesy credit of $25 for you now on your account.
    Celine-C: Kindly stay connected.
    Me: thank you so much, i appreciate it
    Celine-C: You are welcome. My pleasure assisting you.
    Me: are we all set?
    Celine-C: Yes, I have now applied credits on your bill. Please log out and log back in online to see updated balance of $178.44
    Celine-C: Let me know if you see it. Thanks!
    Me: yes i see it. thank you so much and have a great day.

    1. Lacey

      My son has had an iphone for two years and we always had 2gb data and never had any overage issues. About 4 months ago, we started getting overage charges for data. So we paid the extra money to go up to 10gb and I stopped letting him use anything but wifi at home- we turned off his data. He was in school every day and not allowed to take it with him. I constantly checked his phone to make sure his data was off, sometimes I’d check it multiple times in one day. I also turned off all notification and “push” notifications, except for text messages and fb messages. We STILL got overage charges! Last month it was over $500 just for his phone in data charges, and his data was OFF completely, even outside of the house, for well over a month. At&t looked at his phone and immediately said it was because of all his games, yet they couldn’t explain to me was how it could be his games when the last couple of months we have had the data turned off completely, in and out of the home (specifically because we were trying to narrow down the problem). Not only that, but while the data was turned off, he was getting phone calls from random numbers, and multiple calls from his own cell phone number. That seems very sketchy to me, yet AT&T had zero answers for me regarding that also. You’d think they would do SOMETHING to help, but they were useless.

  47. Cindy

    I hate att I have 30 a month when I was with Verizon we had 6 or 8 only went over 3 times in five years. Now with att N 30 we go over every month. Tired of talking to them. $180 a month in overages done with them as soon as contract is up.

  48. Dan

    I had unlimited talk, text and data. With purchase of new phone and their review of 2 years of service, they encouraged me to drop down to the 2g plan because I wasn’t getting close to that amount, most months using actually less than 1G.
    HERE’S THE KICKER!!! Suddenly every month since the switch, I’ve used all the data, always with just 1 day left in my billing cycle. So they charge me another $15 dollars for the extra 1G
    I need to get thru the last 24 hours of my billing cycle. I use .1G or 1% of the data they just charged me for, leaving .99 G or 99% remaining, HOWEVER they DON’T roll over any over usage data you buy if you exceed your plan, the same data I just paid them for the day before is suddenly gone. They only rollover remaining data from your set plan. SO THEY GET MY $15, I get 1% of what I paid for, leaving 99% for them to charge to another unsuspecting sucker.
    It just seems strange that for years I never came close to using 2G of data, according to them, but now that I’ve switched plans, I conveniently find myself in an overage situation always with 1 day left in my billing cycle. Horrible way to treat loyal customers. It’s just a scam to compete with other companies that offer roll over data. They never tell you that any overage you may buy doesn’t qualify for rollover. And any balance you do rollover is taken away if not used in the following month after its accumulated.

  49. dave

    Haha, I just copy and pasted large parts of your customer service conversation and they decided to credit me the charges as well! It sucks that I have to turn off cell data everyday now but at least I know where the problem is… I guess we’ll see about that though.

  50. Blake

    Now this sh*t is ridiculous! I’m contributing to the Family Plan me and my parents are on. We just got notified that we were going over data usage and we have always been connected to the wifi. I’m a heavy user and used about 7000 mb despite the wifi connectability. Now seeing I have to disable the mobile data is pretty frustrating. I just wish the fools would have said something in advance instead of me having to find out this way. Dumb b*st*rds.

    1. Kristy Salvas

      Got that right. It’s sad. I’ve had them over a decade myself. I finally got mine to a decent place after all that but it’s definitely a lot of work and can’t listen to music or anything at work anymore which is very disappointing.. seeing that I pay SO much every month for my phone bill! You would think you’d get more for paying so much more, but instead you get soo much less!! Sounds like a scam if you ask me! Can’t wait till everything’s situated for me to transfer to prepaid with unlimited data and no overages. You would think they’d want a better name and more people using them but instead they’ll eventually lose every single customer and go bankrupt instead! Good luck

  51. James

    I have been following this thread for a long time (since about mid 2014) when I was first billed for data usage overseas when I had my data roaming off. AT&T kept blaming me for the data use (I actually had a screenshot the data roaming being set to off while the 4G icon was active when I was overseas).

    I have had AT&T for more than a decade for the very reason of using their service overseas because way back when Verizon and Sprint phones could not be used overseas. So I am well experienced with the ins and outs of data and voice roaming and all of the other quirks overseas.

    Anyway enough of my history why I am here (I have an old unlimited data plan domestically so most of this does not affect me). I did have an experience though today that many of you might be interested in. I bought an Android tablet (wifi only) this weekend and set it up using my Google account that I use for my phone. No harm there.

    It asked if I wanted to backup my photos automatically and I thought why not. My phone crashed last year and I lost some photos, so I thought this would be a good idea for both devices. I enabled this on Sunday or Monday.

    Today being Wednesday I noticed my phone was extremely warm and wondered why. Within 1.5 hours it had used over 3gb of data with Google+. I am assuming this was doing the photo backups? Not sure.

    The reason I mention this is because some of the other posts here wondered how it would be possible to use so much data in short periods. I thought it was not possible also until today.



  52. Lisa

    I am one of the “not so smart on data usage” people. We have the Netgear Unite internet box at home – we live in the country and this seems to be a good fit for us for high speed. We have 30gb of usage/month and ALWAYS seem to go over. We have 2 smart phones (on our billing it shows that we ea use less than 3gb/mo however the Netgear box shows over 30gb ea month; hence the overage charges!). Anyway, my question is this (and the gal I chatted w at AT&T had no answer for me; surprise) what can possibly be draining that much usage each month? My boys use our home computer for browsing and maybe a few Youtube videos but they are very careful what they do since they know the usage sucks down so quickly. As a matter of fact we were at 27gb just 15 days into our billing cycle. What can we do to stop this? I use my iphone 4 in the evening just for facebook and pinterest basically. You all seem very tech savvy on here and my husband and I are at our wits end w this! thank you for any feedback!! Lisa

  53. Terry

    i just read the problem is with the iPhone last upgrade Even when you have wifi on the phone with go to cellular You have to go into setting and manually turn off cellular. Apple is suppose to fix this ,not holding my breath and why would AT&T want to have it fixed

  54. JoAnn

    I didn’t read all the posts, but I am doing what mjirout suggested and I am turning off mobile data whenever I have WiFi (home and work etc.) I won’t know till the next bill if this is going to help data usage but I can tell you this, something has been eating my battery like crazy lately and since I stopped using Mobile data when I don’t need it, my battery seems to be lasting longer

  55. Robert E.

    Yes I have been billed for overages of GB on my HTC, I use it for a hot spot Wi-Fi, after many hours of trying to find out how to stop it, I found out to stop all apps that are running. Now that being said here’s what ATT does to force you into overage use.
    ATT GB usage you see when you check your account is not true, ATT can and will hold up to three days usages, this then forces their customers to think they are below their limit. At the end of your billing cycle, ATT then piles on the data usage they have been holding back and BINGO you are forced into an overage, great way to get around everything and be legal, hey ATT has a lot of attorney’s on retainer, they just set around and think of ways to blink us customers for more $$$.

  56. John

    I had tried T-mobile and Verizon and when poor tried Boost. Boost had horrible phone connection, dropped calls and the GP was ridiculous. Constant GPS signal lost announcements even in the middle of the city.

    I switched to ATT. I immediately noticed a much better signal strength. I started watching Youtube and looking at Pinterest the same way I did with all the others. Imagine my surprise when my phone went through ALL of its data in less than 2 weeks. NONE of other other phones had that problem. Verizon would sometimes warn me about 3 and a half weeks in that I was getting close to my limit but the ATT phone cut me off data completely in 2 weeks. I had to purchase extra data jut to get messages. It really sucked. And considering the lawsuit against them I now know why. There was no way that looking at the same sites and the same videos on the same phone should have used up so much data ONLY USING THE ATT service.

    I quit using them and haven’t had a problem with data since.

  57. Eunice

    I’m so disappointed in AT&T, and possibly Apple. The price gouging we’re undergoing is shameful. The responsible parties know who they are, and intend to ride this wave until they’re legally prohibited from doing so. Meanwhile, I’ll ‘play the game’ and beg for a reversal of an overage charge or two, turn off my data (yeah, right – most of us are here because that ISN’T working, or we weren’t properly notified to do so in good faith), and switch my service back to Sucky Sprint. As of today they’re buying out the contracts of any that switch to them, so I’ll hang my head defeat, kick a few rocks, and head back over to Sprint, wiping a single tear from my eye.

  58. Tage

    we have had iPhones since nine years and go the unlimited plan for both phones. some time ago we also got an iPad and had to sign a different contract for it. then later we added a MiFi box to the same data plan (separate from the phones). today we found out that ATT had canceled our unlimited plans some time ago, and we are now being charged overage fees on the 3GB we signed up for the iPad and MiFi. even if they are not connected to cellular data.
    according to ATT this is because our phones have been using up the data even if the Ipad and the mifi gadgets are both disconnected from the ATT network. how can it be that our phones are now on the separate 3GB limit, we have never signed any contract to give up our unlimited data plans for the phones… it makes no sense but we are going to look for alternative providers, that is for sure.

  59. Ted W.

    Hi Mike, wow dude, while reading your very helpful and detailed account for overage charges my ADD kicked in and kept me wondering how vulnerable we truly are. I would never ever go back to AT&T and I never even had a cellular plan with them. We are with Verizon and we’ve noticed not only text messages warning us of being charged additional fees, but also investigated to find out that they are miscalculating to get you to upgrade. Our cycle ends tomorrow and after being logged in to check the usage we are just below 10 gigs. Mind you, I never would have thought I’d be coming even near that obscenely large amount of data usage. My first computer didn’t even have that much and I had that piece of crap for years…good lord, the time we spent back then just to hear “You’ve got mail”…lol, what were we thinking?

    Anyway, to get back to your article, I’m certainly surprised and shocked to see how much money we are all having stolen by most providers because who wouldn’t think you’re phone would do the actual “switch” to Wifi automatically? Anyone denying that and calling you names is simply put a dumbass, and a know-it-all that probably changed their settings after reading your story.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write and share this with the world, you’ve opened my eyes and I know now and realized that we too often “trust” and blindly believe and pay so willingly! Thanks to you, I’ll have some more investigating to do, but I REALLY appreciate you! Thank bud.

    1. Post
  60. Sandeep Reddy

    Fucking ATT – samething happend to me today. I was on wifi and they used up my data. I never had this problem in my entire life. Fucking ridiculous between the other stuff we go through everyday in life, this is just time consuming and frustrating even thinking about it. Assholes they should be busted

  61. Julia Singleton

    I have received excessive data usage charges from AT&T ever since I switched to a IPhone 6 cellular phone. I typically never used more than 1-2 Gb per month, now it is over 3Gb. I switched my plan last month to have 5Gb coverage, now phone is “using more than 5Gb”, and additional purchase of Gb is necessary. I don’t stream videos or music. My usage was never more than 2Gb for years. Now consistently every month, I have been charged data overage charges. I just put a complaint in to FCC. Is there another “governing body” I should complain to?

  62. Cheryl

    I’m highly suspicious. The last three bills have had overages and I’ve been changing strategies not to use my AT&T iphone for any wireless data activity unless emergenices. Instead, I use my non-AT&T iphone6 at home and at free wi-fi. I was shocked therefore to discover a $60, three overages posted to my last bill. This is the third billing cycle of and the last three overages and no text mail alerts. When I called AT&T was downright confused and once again credited my account after a long bit of research.

    I’m doing an experiment not using my AT&T account phone for any data usage unless absolutely necessary so we’ll see if they accuse me of data overuse for my next bill. If so, I’ll know for sure AT&T is scamming people with unlawful data usage overage fees.

    They likely may do this because it’s a gray area people can’t prove to them and it causes people like me to have to call in and get a credit.

  63. Robin C.

    And remember, there is no way to pursue a class action law suit for any scamming ATT does when it comes to bilking its customers. Thank you Supreme Court for now allowing corporations to insert a clause in their agreements that prevent anyone from pursuing a lawsuit en masse (no lawyer will take on a mega corp for just one person). Think it’s a coincidence so many customers have legitimate complaints against ATT and they go unresolved while ATT just continues finding ways to get more and more money from its customers in unwarranted ways?

  64. zma

    Thank you for writing about this. There is a second toggle that seems problematic. Go to Settings>Cellular and scroll all the way down. There is a toggle that is called Wi-Fi Assist.
    What it does: “Automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor”. ‘Poor’ is a relative term. I shut that one off as well.

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  66. Cindy Tobin

    First of five phones has been switched to Cricket! Will have all five switched over as soon as the contracts are up. Feeling foolish that we stayed with ATT for so long.

  67. Captain Obvious

    I am a fairly new ATT customer with an iPhone 6, who recently made the move from TMobile to ATT. I never encountered any data overage issue with TMobile, however I did experience throttling.

    The past few months I received texts from ATT warning me of near max data. I though it was odd, called ATT and asked them what the cause could be. I was informed that data “can still transfer even over wifi, if the wifi signal is poor.” They told me a work around for this is to “simply shut off data while on wifi.”

    Hmmm…I thought. That’s when I chose to get to know my phone a little better and started digging into my iPhone 6.

    iPhone has a number of options that allow the user to control incoming Data. I suggest everyone here get to KNOW YOUR DEVICE!

    On IPHONE:

    In Settings tap Cellular. Here you can turn On/Off what apps use cellular data. Turn off all but the important ones to you.

    Also, if you scroll to the bottom of the screen there is an option called WiFi Assist. According to the description it runs apps on cellular data when a wifi signal is poor. I’m sure you’d want that turned off too.

    As much as I hate to say it, this is a classic example of technology outsmarting the consumer. Or perhaps, the consumer not taking the time to learn their device. ATT also should know this too. Obviously their employees aren’t entirely in the know either.

  68. April

    I feel completely manipulated by ATT, having just discovered the same problem here at home. Yes I just assumed that when the wifi symbol appeared that the phone would be switching over on its own.
    I spoke with a rep from ATT today and she told me that “when apps are being opened and used while using data, they continue to use data for the remainder of the time the app is open. Whether in use or in background. The phones do not switch to wifi on their own and continue to use data even while phone isn’t in use due to the apps in the background.” I was upset and confused of course and she told me the only way to avoid this is to close all my apps down when I arrive home and reopen them under the wifi.
    After telling her how ridiculous that was and that they should really notify customers, she hesitated and agreed in a very awkward, almost apologetic way. Clearly I’m not the first to call and catch them.
    I’ve started this today and am hoping for some good results. If not then I’ll try your suggestion next.
    It’s just criminal what they’re doing. My daughter uses her phone here at home with wifi 95% of the time and they’re charging me for almost 6GB for her alone.

  69. Kendra

    This is funny! I have been struggling with data usage on my iPhone 6 with Verizon for a while. I have a data usage app and have been monitoring every day. A few days ago I decided to turn off cellular data while at home to see if my phone would stop using data over night even though I’m connected to wifi from around 6PM to 6AM every day. Seemed to work the first night.. Use used 0 data. The last two nights I have used around 30mb of data with cellular data TURNED OFF!!! How is this possible? I am going to do another text tonight after resetting my data “statistics” in my phone. I’m very curious what could be using data with cellular data turned off.

  70. Lisa

    I was at home i have xfinity Comcast, high speed Internet I have a MCell Tower that came from AT&T I’ve downloaded data tracker, mark the spot for drop calls on my I phone 6. just downloaded Xfinity TV on my I phone 6 I watched a little news one day and a movie late that night I got texts from AT&T saying my data was 75% and 90% and that I used up my data every time I was on xfinity all while I was at home using xfinity wifi… I called AT&T that morning to find out how could my data be used up I been at home on my wifi (time Fram of 24hour)??? I also called xfinity wifi technical support to check my speed and if my speed has been at its highest speed they said it was and that me watching moves on my I phone. my wifi connection was covered, that there is no reason why I would of used any of my data they also said that AT&T should Credit me. So question why is it that I don’t have any data this mouth AT&T why did you still my data ? Why are you lying to your customers . Messing with there Credit/ creat scores and causing them stress and chest pains.

  71. Tara

    It isn’t the carrier that is causing you to have those overcharges. It is your phone’s design. iPhone makes it a pain the buttocks to manage cellular date as the only to access it is through the settings. Most androids like LG and Samsung have an easy access to disabling data through the notifications tab; with an effortless swipe downwards, you can press a button that’ll disconnect you from data in matter of seconds. Androids have gotten extremely user-friendly over the years as well. Try changing your phone instead of blaming AT&T. Hope this helps.

  72. Angela Malone

    I just think I ve been messed over enough by at&t at least three times a mth I find myself on the side of the road because my unlimited data is not even enough to open my bank app I can’t transfer money to the correct account to get gas . Don’t matter if I pay my bill or not cause in the end it always runs out of unlimited data and I find myself doing it over and over ..

  73. Milt Farrow

    Yesterday my internet bill again was fucked up ( charged more each month no @ 59 dollars- Their Billing theft has extended to straight internet thieving _ ( why stop at just bilking CP users we have an entire Piggy bank we can rape because we in effect have NO GOVERNMENT it is a Foreign Mercantile Corporation in bed with the rest of the Corporate Lice -Here The Presidents give the thieves a 13 trillion dollar bonus for stealing ( In Iceland they send them to jail for 72 years)

  74. Anonymous User

    Hey, simple solution! Go to settings > celluar data > Wi-Fi Assist and turn that off. Now you can keep cell data on all the time. You can also call *3282# to get data info on your device.

    1. Milt Farrow

      My Argument with ATT, concerned itself with a 4 year use of their computer internet service-from mid 2012 – my bandwith was substantially reduced, consequently not knowing why I blamed the “machine and off to the repair shop for a 90 dollar bill that did nothing ( The repairman was not able to determine my bandwith on his bench-This went on for 4 visits $360.00. Then they were screwing around with the billing- I filed formal complaint NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES DID ANYTHING they did not even investigate but just notified the company of the complaint ( like the BBB) The Government does not exist to protect the people only it’s thieving partners in the Banking an corporate world
      Wheeler of the FCC is a total fraud and so is the FCC

  75. MB

    Yep, same exact thing happened to me. Data overage charges when I use Wifi the majority of the time. AT&T using cellular data even when the phone is connected to wifi, eating thru my data. It’s pure robbery – they know many places have free wifi nowadays, but either the carrier or the iOS forces data to be used.

    It really sucks we have to turn on airplane mode + wifi to prevent this.

    I can’t wait to go back to Verizon

  76. Annonymous User2

    Why are we having to all of a sudden start turning things on and off on our phones, when this was never a problem before??? I have recently just started experiencing this for myself. In one week my data is all gone, never EVER happened before, and how I use my phone has never changed. I’m not watching movies, playing games, just calling and texting in the U.S., with an unlimited plan. Funny thing happened too, after this happened, I get a notice in the mail introducing “At&t Mobile Share Advantage”. This whole thing is a scam, and from some of the post here, it looks like At&t trolls to me to make people sound stupid. If it wasn’t broken, why mess with it?? Never EVER EVER had a problem before with usage…now BOOM, and I am not doing anything differently.

  77. Craig

    Very very very important!!! READ THIS

    If you have an iPhone or cellular iPad, make sure to disable iMessage if you are on an unlimited texting plan. iMessage IS NOT CONSIDERED TEXTING BY AT&T! With iMessage, you are using data instead of texting (MMS). You can eat up a LOT of data sending pictures and videos using iMessage.

    I have iMessage disabled on my iPhone anyway. It’s stupid.

  78. Melissa

    Has anyone gotten their issues with AT&T resolved? We ate currently going thru these exact issues. It started about 2 yrs ago when we moved less than 10 min to another town. And for the ones advocating for the company, how do you explain when my wifi goes out we can’t connect at all? No data being used when there isn’t a connection being made but still being used.

  79. james woods

    not only did att over charge on data but my wife had to go of of work because of oerations she needed her back and bother her shoulders we contacted att an they set up a 60 dollar a month payment till she went back to work well two weeks later they shut the phones off charged her late charges charged us for the phones as well as the 60 dollars an then turned the p[hones off an sent us a bill for 1800.00 dollars

  80. Leo Fabi

    This is the solution. ATT and Apple work together, therefore, they are mutually responsible and aware of this issue. I should note that I have turned off ever single, app, locational service, cellular data, analytics, use WiFi, etc. However, the “Location and Time” transmits around 2.0 GB every night. ATT is making a lot of money from this know error.

    Lets get them!

  81. TOP

    I live in Korea most of the time. I get a 1Gb plan for my phone every month for $15. When I am in range of free wifi which is much of the time I don’t use data. Usually 1Gb is more than enough. I run the same software and apps here as in Korea. I also have and “EGG” which is a type of wifi hotspot with 10Gb. Never ran out with that device even when sharing the connection with others.
    The same phone here in the States just blew through 1.3Gb in a spike on one day. The tethering data usage monitor with ATT says this happened in the back ground during tethering. The tethered device doesn’t show this data spike. So it happened on the phone that was providing the tethering.

    One big difference between the States and Korea is that Korea has lots of cell phone towers everywhere. Most are small devices to fill in gaps in coverage. The US tends to use large cell phone radios on high towers and these have to absorb all customers that come under their radio umbrella. So ATT, Verizon and the rest have to actively throttle capacity to carry all customers. The problem is they are charging so much for what amounts to bad service and not using that overage to install more capacity.

  82. Rob

    I live in a rural setting and was made aware that AT&T has a new plan which essentially is a hotspot using 4GLTE connection. The base plan is 250GB, for $60 per month. This sounded very reasonable to me so I decided to give it a try. I signed up for service on 11/23/17, the modem/hotspot equipment was ordered and arrived to me on 12/1/17. 12/2/17 I connected the device, logged in to see where I monitor my data and found that the line/billing actually started the day I ordered my equipment. In essence I was being charged for something I hadn’t even received yet. UNETHICAL and strike 1. I contacted AT&T and discussed this with the Rep. A nice guy, however couldn’t help. As I was looking into Data usage, I noticed that for no real good reason my data had already accumulated 5.25GB of use? I hadn’t downloaded anything and there was only 1 machine connected to the hotspot. Two hours later Data was at 7.8GB .. So I literally shut the device down. What I found, much like most of the people on this thread AT&T does not make you aware of the fact that your internal DNS is being consumed as data. This means that every print you send to your wireless printer, every family movie you watch from one computer on your network to another, AT&T is charging you. Upset by this I couldn’t sleep so approximately 8 hours after I disconnected the device I checked my AT&T usage again and found that even though I had disconnected my hotspot all together, AT&T was still racking up Data usage… this time it said my consumption was 10.2GB. Which leaves the question.. how exactly am I consuming data when the equipment is packed up in the box (battery disconnected) that it initially came in? I consider myself to be reasonable so I just checked my data again to see if it climbed anymore… and it did this time it says 10.5GB.. How is this possible considering I’m using my existing ISP? I’m not sure how AT&T get’s away with this.. but judging by a lot of these threads.. they seem to get by on cheating people. Tomorrow this thing goes back to them and they can keep their service. I will never do business with them again.

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