Skip to main content
Accessibility Resource Center Skip to main content
Have a phone you love? Get up to $500 when you bring your phone.
end of navigation menu
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Unexplainable Cellular Data Usage - UNRESOLVED
dtocci113
Member

My Verizon plan has 4 iphone 6's with on a 10GB monthly data plan. We have had this setup of the 4 phones and 10GB of data for 5 years. Only once did we exceed 10GB cellular data usage and it was explainable due to one of the phones being on a long trip watching sports.  I check our data usage a few times per month just to be safe.  Two of my phones belong to my college kids. They are well trained in minimizing data usage.

Yesterday at 12:30pm I check the cellular data usage. We had 3.3GB left with 6 days to go. Great.

At ~1:30 (Sept 1st) this morning mine and my wife's phone received a Verizon text that only 10% of the data was left, so only 1GB left.  At 1:55am another Verizon text stating we are out of data.  It was at this point my wife heard the phone receiving text messages.  At 2:26am another Verizon text for 1GB overage.  I logged into MyVerizon to find my daughter's phone was racking up the data usage. We can't reach her, it's 3AM and we learned later she went to sleep at 12AM.   At 3:07am another Verizon text of 2GB overage (each time it costs us $15.).  I started to call Verizon but customer service number had no answer. I reverted to online Chat.  At 3:32am (just 25mins later) another Verizon text this time its for 3GB overage....I'm thinking how could a phone use 1GB of data in 25 minutes !!.   The Verizon online rep helped me suspend the cellular data on my daughter's phone at about 4AM.   The cellular data for this phone remained until I could reach my daughter.  My daughter's normal location is western part of N.C..  When this started to happen she was located in Charlotte, NC., both regions have good Verizon coverage.  She recalls most of her time on 9/1 spent on wifi via the college campus.

8:30AM I reach my daughter to confirm her phone was barely in use all last evening and she went to bed at 12AM.

So, I did this test..... un-suspended the cellular data

1) 8:30am Enabled her cellular data  with her phone powered off.  1hr later; no data usage increase.

 2) 9:30AM - Phone on, cellular usage off, wifi off bluetooth off.  Reset the Cellular data usage  to obtain a clean baseline of all usage by all enable apps.  After 45mins: no data usage increase. 

3) 10:15AM - Phone on, cellular on, wifi on, bluetooth off.  After 15 minutes no change in data usage.

4) Made no changes and continued to monitor.

5) At 11AM noticed 0.017GB used by my daughter's phone.  Continued to monitor.

6) At 11:30AM more high usage returned.  0.6GB (or 600MB) used in 30mins!!!

7) Suspended cellular service once more on the phone.

I called Verizon to discuss. The rep was nice and could observe the 600MB of usage. I explained to him this is an anomaly. We have never had this issue before.  The bulk of the usage was under category of Social Apps.  He stated it could be an app like Facebook , Snapchat, iTunes doing updates or sending notification.   I argued that maybe that was happening but it would not take 600MBs of cellular data in just 30 mins.  I unsuspended her cellular data and the rep called my daughter.  He wanted her to remove and re-install the major social media apps on the premise one of the could be malfunctioning.  Huh?  He also had her disable Wifi assist feature.  We now have 4 overage charges ($60 total) and no confidence the issue is resolved.  My daughter will be uninstalling/reinstalling the apps over the next day but if this where an issue caused by a rogue social media app I'd think it would be somewhat a known issue. 

Any ideas folks??

0 Likes
Re: Unexplainable Cellular Data Usage - UNRESOLVED
Weth
Sr. Leader

The phone will tell you which app used the data. You just also look there. Verizon only has general categories, but the phone will keep track of which app is using data. It certainly sounds like a rogue social media app that continued to use data in the background. When you find the app, remove it and then reinstall it if she still wants to use it. 

Do you have a plan that has safety mode? You should have that on all the time. If you don’t have a plan with safety mode, why not? WIth the plans that Verizon has, they have ones that protect you from unintended overages as you have gotten. 

0 Likes
Re: Unexplainable Cellular Data Usage - UNRESOLVED
dtocci113
Member

I should also make clear that viewing the Cellular usage by each app found no app even coming close to 600MB....if we added up the total cellular usage across all apps for the time between 11am-11:30am it was under 20MB..maybe less..I didnt write it down.

0 Likes
Re: Unexplainable Cellular Data Usage - UNRESOLVED
dtocci113
Member

Also, up until now, after 5yrs, I havent the need to set hard limits on each phones cellular data.   To do so you must invoke the Verizon Smart Family at $5 per mth per phone.... that's additional $20/mth just to implement data restrictions.   Thanks, Verizon. 

0 Likes
Re: Unexplainable Cellular Data Usage - UNRESOLVED
Weth
Sr. Leader

How about system services. 

How did you break down the data usage for half hour? Apple doesn’t do that natively. 

I have investigated many a friend and family with similar unresolved data usage and always able to track it down. 

Go to Settings/Cellular. Reset Statistics at the very bottom. Confirm the setting of wifi assist and iCloud Drive. Now for a period of several hours, usually 30 minutes is too short. 

There is high confidence based on experience it is a rogue app that was using background data. 

0 Likes
Re: Unexplainable Cellular Data Usage - UNRESOLVED
dtocci113
Member

Yes. We did exactly what you said, reset the cellular counters for all apps.  When the 600MB usage occurred the cellular counters cumulatively did not even come near 600MB...was somewhere around 20MB.  Go figure.  Going to Verizon store tomorrow and see if I can recreate the problem while there.

Until then, I have cellular turned off...using only wifi on that phone.

0 Likes