awesome presentation of evidence! i would remind everyone to also look around in the account usage details via the website account. ive found some shady stuff going on ! the info goes by calender date and mine goes from january 2012 to feb and then back to january!
i was told by verizon techs unless the battery was removed there could still be data transfer also there is an 80 page report by the department of justice detailing data breaches via verizons data network, also since im not an electronics expert i dont quite know how to explain it but one of the 3 devices i had to return actually functioned for several hours with the battery removed! the screen and the led remained on!
Assuming we are still talking about the MiFi 4510L:
The MiFi 4510L uses an E-Ink display. The great benfit of E-Ink is that it does not require power to provide an image. This is why E-Ink was originally designed to work with E-Readers like the non-color/non-tablet Nook and Kindle. You can go for days on a single charge where a similar color tablet can only go for hours due to normal power consumption habits of that technology. E-Ink is also easier on the eyes because it does not require a backlight to view where as a LCD/LED screen does.
You can easily reporduce this feature by pulling the battery on a MiFi while it is booted up. The screen will freeze and remain frozen for a long time until either the battery is reinserted or the device rebooted.
For more info on E-Ink:
I appreciate the explanation of what circumstances constitute "data usage" when a computer is on, however no-one seems to be able to explain how data is used when (a) the computer is off or (b) the mifi is "off" - there seems to be many many people (myself included) who have been hit with usage charges under these circumstances. Nowhere in the users manual does it say "WARNING: Turn off the unit when not in use" or does it explain how this thing works. Mine never really turned off - I shut it, it would go back on! I noticed the thing flashing even when the computer was off - didn't think much of that, becase my modem would do that. It wasnt until I got hit with a whopping $800 bill that I finally not only pulled the plug but the battery too. Apparently this thing is using data regardless if the computer connected to it is on or off. Does that make any sense??
I'll take a stab at your questions.
To understand how data is consumed, both while the devices are on and off, one needs to understand how VZW reports on data usage. Data is logged at VZW in intervals called sessions. A session can be a few minutes or many minutes long, we dont have a true definition for how they work but they appear to be dynamic. Whenever the session ends the data is sent back to Verizon for reporting. Those sessions will not be visiable to the user until after a short delay. A session does not necessarily end when the device is powered down, it may continue until it is determined to be no longer needed. Even though the session has not ended the actual data transfer should end when the device is powered down.
With that being said, VZW could give the impression that your device is consuming data while the device is powered off. However, any mismatches between session times and actual consumption should be relatively close. You shouldnt have a session sneak into your log several hours after consuming the data, it should be more like 20-30 minutes behind. When logs and device behavior do not match then VZW tends to swap out the device as defective as the solution. However, VZW will still try to stick you with the bill as we have seen in multiple threads. Most can use those log mismatches as leverage to terminate thier contract early without fees or at discounted rates.
Now, the state of being powered on and off is another topic. Each device has its own behavior and features that determines when the device is powered down, charging, powered on or anything in between. With the MiFi 4510L we need to look at the colored LED light to know what state the device is in. The MiFi is off when the LED light is off. Since E-Ink displays can be deceptive the LED light should always tell us if the device is powered on in any way. If you leave your device plugged into a wall charger then there is a posibillity that it is not truely powered down or that a step was missed while attempting to power down.
Lets stir the pot a little more...
News from the FCC seems to be fitting to this thread:
It seems the gov't is trying to regulate online data usage and monitoring. Not sure if its a solution to the problems posted here but it is a step in the right direction.
Hello and "Thank You" for your (very informative) reply! I am in dire straights right now over this (because of the dispute over the mifi usage charges, which I refused to pay, they have disconnected ALL my wireless services at the moment) I feel like I'm in a lost battle but I'm not backing down and quite frankly cannot pay $800 for less than 2 months of internet...I signed on for this to save money!
1. I got this to replace my satellite internet for my home computer. I was told it worked the same way as a modem.
I do not use it for travel, i attached it to the computer, plugged it in and that was that. (I've since read yours/other threads that this is NOT a good replacement for home internet...I based my decision on what the sales rep said)
2. Initially, I just left it connected (battery in, but also plugged in) and left it alone regardless of whether or
not the computer was on...
(I never had to shut my modem - if the computer is not on, it's not doing anything)
3. I noticed that even with the computer off (i.e. no one connected to internet), the unit would be flashing various colors. I tried turning it off as per the manual (which is VERY basic). The thing didn't shut off...even after it appeared to shut off (no lights whatsoever), it would mysteriously come back on - flashing lights, between yellow/pink...it looked like it was "doing something" even though the computer was off. I figured it must be just like a cell phone, modem, dvd recorder, or any such electronic device....that it goes into some kind of "standby" mode, but you're only using it when your talking/texting/recording, etc. I didnt give it much thought at first.
4. Untill I got the first month's bill - 37GIG OVER and the customer service rep said I was already 9GIG over and I wasn't even a week into the next billing cycle. I explained this was TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE - I am hardly even home and/or on the computer - no-one else is here...my job is far away and I am sometimes gone for days. At that time I could count on one hand how many times I had even been on the computer, and my internet use is a little browsing, checking email, facebook, etc.
5. I had them "suspend" the service that day since I wouldnt be home for a few days...I had to unplug it and take the battery out to be sure it was off. Havent used it since. No-one could explain to me how this usage was possible, nor admit that there could be a problem with either their equipment or service. They insisted that "it was used and you have to pay".
I've gotten a different story with each person I spoke to...I have logged more than 20 phone calls and countless hours with customer service reps, tech support, and gotten nowhere, other than now I have no cell phone, no "home-phone connect" (which was supposed to replace my land line) - and each month the bill is getting higher...now they are sticking me with all kinds of cancellation fees, late fees in addition to everything for a grand total of $1500.
6. I appreciate the technical explanations of how these things work - but any advice as to how I can possibly resolve the issue of being wrongly charged for this so-called "phantom usage"? From the get-go, this service was misrepresented, and
it's scary how each sales rep/customer service/tech person gives you different information. Any advice is truly appreciated.