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Mysterious Data Usage

S3W
Miembro

Hello, all you forum people.

I'm trying to get to the bottom of some weird data usage, hoping somebody here might have some insight.

A couple of nights ago in the middle of the night, I received a text that I'd been charged a fee for overage.  I was using my phone at the time, but just listening to recordings on the Voice Memo app, which shouldn't use any data.  I was away from home at the time so not connected to wifi, so I assumed that some app running in the background had used a small amount of data, and pushed me over my monthly limit.  No big deal.  However, when I got home and checked into my usage, I had several large data spikes from that time:

12:25 am - 1.007 GB (my phone was in the pocket of my coat in a different room at this time)

2:22 am - 0.48 GB

2:23 am - 0.48 GB

2:24 am - 0.15 GB

2:25 am - 0.73 GB

I have a 2-3 year old Iphone 6s.  I've burned myself with accidental data usage in the past and so I'm pretty meticulous about what I let my phone do without wifi.  Any download-heavy app (Apple Music, dropbox, the app store, etc) is set to wifi only.  Everything that I use to stream (Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.) is set to wifi only.  I have some social media that runs in the background, but not very much- no Facebook, no Snapchat, no Spotify, no Twitter.  I do have Instagram at the moment.  App updates are wifi-only.  Automatic software update is off.  Wifi assist is off.  

I'm not too worried about the actual charges (a helpful Verizon rep gave me an account credit after I explained the situation), but I am concerned about what my phone was doing without my knowing in the middle of the night!  I know and understand that Verizon can't look into what specific app was using data.  Unfortunately, I haven't reset my data counter on my phone recently (I just learned about that), so I can't discern a culprit from looking through my device either.

I guess all this is to say - I can't figure out what could possibly have used almost 3 gigabytes of data in a matter of minutes.  My two siblings and I typically use 8 GB over the course of an entire month on our family plan (this has pretty consistently been true for 2+ years), so what happened that my phone would somehow eat up almost half of that in one night, despite all my precautionary settings, when I wasn't even using it?  

 

I'm all ears if anybody has ideas!  Conspiracy theories welcome.  I'm kidding, but only sort of.

Etiquetas (3)

Re: Mysterious Data Usage

Community Manager
Community Manager

I too would be concerned about usage occurring in the middle of the night, S3W. I am glad you were able to speak to a representative by phone and get an account credit.

I appreciate all of your efforts in your data management, and would be happy to help offer some additional clarification. When you view your usage we do attempt to show you the usage as close to real-time as possible. However there are situations where this usage can be delayed in reporting to us. In an effort to help determine if this is one of those cases, I did have some questions.

Has this issue happened since that night? You mentioned you were not at home or on Wi-Fi at the time; do you recall what applications you were using prior to this time?

JosephE_VZW
If my response answered your question please click the _Correct Answer_ button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

Re: Mysterious Data Usage

mama23dogs
Líder Sénior

First to clear up, it’s NOT usage.  Usage is not reported back to Verizon (or any carrier) live.  The usage can take 3 to 72 hours to report back to your account.  The usage occurred during the previous day.  

I use the checkbook analogy.  You can write checks all day, they clear the bank overnight after being deposited.  Only then is the money deducted from your bank account.   If you write checks for more than your balance you get an overdraft notice.   

Just like your checking account, you have a register to keep track so you don’t go over.   Your phones each track data usage live.  You can add up the live use on each phone at the end of the day and see where you stand.  

The option to turn on the safety or chose an unlimited plan is always the other option.  

 

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Re: Mysterious Data Usage

S3W
Miembro

Hey Joseph.

This has fortunately not happened since that night (2 nights ago).

I was with friends most of the night and not on my phone, but I believe that I listened to a previously-downloaded podcast earlier in the evening, used google search once or twice over the course of the evening, and listened to several voice memos later at night, as I mentioned.  I don't believe that I used anything else, other than maybe a couple of apps running in the background.  Any time before that, I was at home and on wifi.  

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Re: Mysterious Data Usage

DavidG49
Miembro

We've been trying for 3 years to figure this out. My wife and I each have Motorola Droid Maxx phones.  At repeatable and predictable times of the day (e.g. 8:25 AM, then 11:25 AM, then 2:25 PM, then the same times in the middle of the night) her phone (on WiFi nearly all the time) would log a data burst of 25-200 MB, sometimes multiple times in the same day!  In lllooonnngggg and repeated calls to the excellent VZW customer service folks, this has been elevated several times to a Level 3 tech, who will listen and think about it, then promise to call back with a solution.  Mysteriously, those return calls have never happened.

Now, more recently, her phone has stopped this anomalous behavior, and mine is doing it.  I have spreadsheets with highlights of the data bursts and times, to find these patterns.  It distorted our data usage, to where we kept more expensive plans just to avoid the charges and having to spend non-returnable personal hours on the phone with new techs each time explaining the issue.  It's still never been resolved.

David in Tennessee

Re: Mysterious Data Usage

Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank you for getting back to us S3W,

 

We know that this is very odd and we want to turn this around for you. There are a few other possible apps that may use a lot of data at once. Have you used the Amazon suite application before? Do you have it downloaded? I did see that you mentioned Amazon Video, but the suite may be something different that can cause some data issues. I will include a link below to it so you can see if that may be the culprit.

https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/amazon-app-suite-faqs/

 

Another option would be the texting/messaging application you are using. Unlike texting, Messaging apps incur data. Examples are: iMessage, AIM, BlackBerry, Messenger, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc. You said that you let some social media applications run in the background and the messaging portion of that application may be part of the issue. 

 

I hope that all helps and this is turned around for you very soon. Please get back to us if this helps.

 

FranklinM_VZW
If my response answered your question please click the _Correct Answer_ button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

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Re: Mysterious Data Usage

JCTJ
Miembro

I have nearly the exact same problem as DavidG49 (and the OP). I have dug and dug and found nothing. My wife's phone used just over 2 GB of data (!) at 2-something AM despite her being asleep and the phone being in WiFi range with full reception (4 bars, or "full fan"). All the digging in the world got me nothing. I meticulously went through the phone and could not stop them or figure out where they were coming from. Later - well after all my attempts to figure it out were made, the problem simply went away. This was on a iPhone X.

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