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Just got stiffed on my Cell bill...

acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So I just got my monthly cell bill and just about shat a brick when it was more than double what I usually pay. I checked the details on the web-billing application my service provider has us use and it tells me that I downloaded more than my data cap (which is 500mb per month) on the first day of billing so any data at all I used that month was billed at like $0.15/mb.

The only time I'm rough at all on the data usage is days where I tether my phone at work when my testing box needs the ethernet cable, and even then it's just reading newsfeeds/pa forums and avoiding anything like streaming videos/audio. I'd estimate on those days I'd use a maximum of 100mb of data. Evenings and weekends I don't even use data on my phone at all. My problem is that on my bill it shows me downloading l 526mb over a 5 hour period starting at around 5:30.

This is the first time I've ever had to dispute an erroneous charge on a monthly bill before and I'd like advice on how to get to the bottom of this. I'm afraid if I call them up without a strategy here it'll just be my word vs their log files word and they'll just tell me to shove off.

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Posts

  • RderdallRderdall Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I have a friend who is having this exact same problem. They haven't increased their data usage at all, and out of the blue last month, got a bill with data overages that were astronomical. I'd be interested to know what your service provider is (theirs is Telus, in Calgary AB). I don't recall if they were able to recover the money they paid on the bill, but I told them to try and get their provider to clearly indicate to them what that data was, so they can determine whether it's legit or not.

    Who knows, maybe they browsed something by accident? I know I had a phone call charge on my bill for like $30 once. Turns out I pocket dialed a friend in London England. It caught her machine, and my pocket managed to leave a 5 minute message.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Get an itemized list of that data because that is highly suspicious. Short of browsing facebook, you'd need to be sitting on the phone for days to hit 500 mbs. For instance, I used my mobile phone for netflix one night, may data useage? 200 MB this month. I doubt you're doing that much browsing if you're just doing forums and feeds. That's a lot of text and images.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • AtomBombAtomBomb Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I had some users that were issued a cellular broadband usb hookup with a 5gb monthly cap. Most of the came in under a gig, but one person hit almost 10gb. Turns out that a failed windows update was causing a particular update file to get downloaded over and over again. Probably not an issue if the PC you tether to normally has wired access, but it is possible that something decided to update over your cellular connection.

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  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    My provider is Bell. The annoying thing about looking at the billing details is there's like 20 pages worth of data that's simply like 0.00x mb with less than a minute duration. I looked at all the data charges and including the bogus charge I hit just over a gig of usage, I'm totally fine with paying the legitimate usage overage fees, but $80 worth of overage is just crazy.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Yeah that's a bit much. You may have plenty of luck with just calling them up and contesting it. Claiming there's no way you could be doing that much traffic with a smart phone.

    Use your regular usage as a guide.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Call up customer service and complain. Tell them you don't know how the usage got that high but it wasn't you. If they press you further, threaten to switch providers.

    The potential loss of a customer (especially a long-time one) is worth more to them then a single month of overages.

    Terrendos on
  • AtomBombAtomBomb Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    From talking to various phone company reps, it seems the standard policy is to give you 1 "wtf is this shit" or "I didn't know about this policy" credit per account.

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  • rockmonkeyrockmonkey Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    AtomBomb wrote: »
    From talking to various phone company reps, it seems the standard policy is to give you 1 "wtf is this shit" or "I didn't know about this policy" credit per account.

    I've ran into this several times with several different companies for various things. If you otherwise have a long standing account with no previous issues the rep almost always gives you a one time freebie and then make a notation of it in your account so that you can't abuse the freebie repeatedly. I usually don't even get a chance to argue or really contest an issue before they try offering the 1 time pass.

    If you really think it's their error and you want to contest the data records, then by all means, do it.

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  • xThanatoSxxThanatoSx Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Terrendos wrote: »
    Call up customer service and complain. Tell them you don't know how the usage got that high but it wasn't you. If they press you further, threaten to switch providers.

    The potential loss of a customer (especially a long-time one) is worth more to them then a single month of overages.

    Eh.

    As someone who's taken more of these calls than he wants to think about, the "threatening to switch" tactic really doesn't work. It's something a customer service rep hears multiple times a day and very seldom does someone actually carry through with it so you get a bit numb to the threat. Especially if there's an ETF involved.

    Approaching it from the aspect "This usage is unusual and I don't recognize what it might be based on the time it happened - can I get some clarification?" is a much better approach.

    Also - was anyone else potentially using your phone during that time frame? Generally when I've researched these types of issues, it's turned out it was something like Youtube where usage came from and some additional probing turns up that someone else did have access to the phone.

    xThanatoSx on
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