Has anyone else had a problem when downloading large files past midnight on the last day of the billing cycle?
Just to set the stage here. I have home fusion and on the last day of my billing cycle I had a large amount of data remaining that I want to use up(~11 GB). I watched a Netflix and then started a large download (24GB). The download started a little after 9:00 pm. I checked the speed I was getting and was able to get 4 GB an hour so I expected to use somewhere around 12 GB before midnight incurring 1 maybe 2 GB overage. I received a several text messages informing me about my data usages as follows.
At 11:49 PM I received "You've used all the data in your 40GB Plan".
Then again at 11:56 PM "You've used nearly 1 GB more than the 40GB of data in your plan".
This was expected as stated above. When I woke up the next morning I had around 9 -9.5GB of data used for my next billing cycle. This was expected as I was still downloading past midnight. The problem here is when I got my bill I was billed for 11GB overage at $15 a GB. I called Verizon Wireless 3 times and have learned some things.
They can't break down when the data was used but in 6 hr chunks. The last chunk on my bill started at around 7:30 PM so the last number for data used was data used between ~7:30pm and 1:30am. This clearly indicates to me that there is a possibility that data that was downloaded between 12:00am and 1:30 could be on the bill and that would make the usage higher. The supervisor told me that the system stopped counting the data at midnight but he could not prove this as he could not break down exactly when the data was used further than the 6 hr chunk. I would recommended not to download across midnight on the last day of your cycle and if you do keep document just in case.
Second thing that was odd. At the time I had call costumer service (because the bill comes out a few days after the end of the cycle) I had around 11GB used but when you looked at the break down it showed around 1.7 GB used. The supervisor could not explain this either. All I got was the last chunk had not updated yet and in the last six hours I must have used 9.3 GB. He also went on to explain that the text messages I received could be up to 24hr delayed.
Just to point something out here. I expected 9GB on my current months cycle with 1 maybe 2gb overage on last months. If you take the 11GB and subtract the numbers in the data usage spread sheet (the one with the 6 hr chunks) you get a 9.3GB difference and if you take the 9.3GB and add the expected 1-2GB to it you get 10.3-11.3GB. It looks like to me that the whole download went on my bill and I was being charged for data on my bill that was used in my current cycle at an elevated cost. (Good one Verizon) In the end I could not get the supervisor to see that the correct overage was 1-2 GB even though I did get him to see that there was something ODD with the numbers on my current cycle not adding up and that there was a chance that I was charged past midnight due to the 6hr time chunks.
In the end he decided that it was possible that I could of had a 1.5hr of download on the bill that was not suppose to be there (12:00am -1:30am) and gave me 4.3GB per hour and credited my account for 6GB. I still believe that I only used 1 GB overage maybe 2GB but with the 6GB adjustment that put me at 5GB overage (still paying for 3-4GB I don't believe I have used). There is also a problem with this current cycle. Now that all the data went on last cycles bill and I am paying $15 for each GB this month is still showing 9GB from last billing cycle (the 9GB I had when I woke up on the first day of this cycle) even though the breakdown does not show it. I can see another 2+ hours on the phone coming up to attempt to correct this because he could not fix it over the phone or just pay for the 40GB and receive 31GB. He just told me it would fix itself.
I know that was long but maybe it can help other customers be informed of the practices that Verizon exercises with bandwidth on their plans.
Protect yourself. Document everything because Verizon does not seem to have documents that are enough to support what was downloaded down to a finer resolution than ever 6 hrs. (Why the heck don't they setup the 6hr windows so they end at midnight?)
Chris, thank you for your feedback. We never wan to have you incur charges that are not accurate on your bill. We can always review and make sure everything is correct. I see you mentioned that you spoke with a supervisor on the account and was advised that the account should balance out in the billing. There are times when data billing can be delayed and it usually does balance out on the next bill cycle. We can definitely check on the upcoming bill to make sure this happens. We truly value you and want to make sure you have the best experience with Verizon Wireless.
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I have experienced similar cross cycle/rate issues like that, if I'm understanding correctly.
Like if I start one long continuous data season for a 2 hour movie or what not at 11:45pm on the last day of the bill cycle since the file(s) would take longer than the 15 minutes left in the month to download/stream it would bill the entire session's GB usage in the bill cycle in which the session started. If I power cycle to disconnect the session and begin a new one any time after midnight the second session would be on the following month's bill.
I agree it's good to know, to use the plan and for billing expectations, and you're right, it is technically incorrect, as it seems like it's not broken down by the billing system as far as what amounts were used exactly at a specified time, or very small intervals.
It reminds me back in the day with 'unlimited nights & weekend calling', if you made a 30 minute phone call at 8:45pm it would all be billed at peak rates, vs making two seperate 15 minute calls, the second would be off-peak. I believe they use the same set 6-hour intervals accross the board for simplification, and the data alert tools can be somewhat helpful, but would be great if the cross cycle/rate items could be clearer or be able to stop and restart billing on a continuous session.
What I mean by having the current intervals being the same for data collection and bill processing would be simpler to me than some alternatives, like I have an east coast phone number, moved to the west coast, but am visiting Chicago. All I need to know for me is when is midnight where I am locally, and when my sessions started, but it may complicate things on Verizon's end to determine when my reporting interval would end vs others- midnight where my area code is, or my billing address, or if someone moves or travels to a different time zone could it extend or shorten that intervaland all that would confuse me personally 😉
I am not sure I am understanding this reply. It sounds like to me that you suggested I go ahead and pay the extra $150 and hope for the system to correct the mistake on my next bill. How would this be accomplished? I receive a $150 credit and how do I get remebursed for the time my money is not available to me? Verizon has fees that are charged for late payments, would that be extended to me. I think not. If there is an error rest assured it was not caused by me and I don't think it is right for such a request. I do expect to be treated fair and I do expect to recive a bill for the services rendered, but being billed for data usage that was used in this billing cycle on the previous bill is not right. And I do expect that to be corrected, not told I am wrong because the system stops at midnight. Expecially when I can prove there are errors.
You are not going to accomplish what you want on this forum. You will need to work your way up the support tree and hope someone understands and can correct the mistake you feel was made. This will not be a painless journey. You will make things worse if you do not pay the entire amount and start getting late fees added into your charges and then you will be fighting a battle on two fronts.
The billing system does not report data use real time, but rather in chunks. You started a data session before midnight and that data session continued, and all the data used during that session was reported when the data session closed, after midnight. Since the start of the data session was before midnight, it is being reported on the current bill. As stated above, the voice minutes do the same thing if you start a call before midnight. That is why I say you have an uphill battle, as their billing system is reporting things correctly, according to how Verizon measures data sessions. You just assumed it was per minute and it cut over at midnight. That is how you got into this mess.
I understand where you are coming from, but I am trying to prepare you for what lies ahead.
I don't think we are on the same page here. The data log is done in set chunks. They don't start when you start using data they start at set intervals and record data used in that 6 hour period. For example, my billing period ends on the 8th. The chunk starts at 7:30pm and stops at 1:30 am. Let's say you start a download on the 9th (1st day of the billing cycle) at 12:10 am. All the data that is downloaded until 1:30 am will be counter as used on the 8th because the data chunk started at 7:30 pm on the 8th.
You are right that I assumed that midnight was the end of the billing cycle. But in my defense I was told that the billing cycle ends on the 8th. I assumed Verizon understands that midnight is the start of a new day. On top of that when speaking to Verizon on the phone they all agreed that the end of that cycle was at midnight.
I did not post this here expecting anything to be fix but that does not mean I don't want it fixed. I posted this here to alert other customers of the problem so that I can help others from falling into the same trap. Then again if this information upsets enough customers maybe Verizon would be better motivated to fix this problem and prevent it from happening in the future.
Let's see if I am understanding you correctly. You are saying that the data
chunk starts when I start using data (downloading) and last for 6 hours or
until the data usage ends. Is this what you trying to tell me?
In this explaination if I started my download at 9:00 pm and it ended at
11:00pm then there would be a chunk for 9:00 pm to 11:00pm. So if I had
started this download at 12:10 am I would not have this problem because all
the data would be on this month's bill. Is this correct in the way you are
Do you work for Verizon?
Yes, that is what I am saying. That is what happens most of the time. However, sometimes the data session stay persistent. It depends on when the cell tower you are connected detects a disconnect (such as phone going to sleep or moving to a different cell tower) or decides to send a report. Data is held at the cell tower and reported back to home base periodically, but never more than 6 hours.
I do not work for Verizon.
Ok. This does not agree with what is was told by Verizon. However, I went
back in to my data logs on my Verizon and have discovered a few instances
on 3/13 where the log was shorter that 6 hours. This does seem to be rare
and may have something to do with it being my home Internet. I do see where
the data supports your claim and I stand corrected. Thank you. So with this
new information, if I start a download at 11:59pm and this download takes 6
hours or more, all of it will be on the day that the download started?
Even, so this would mean the billing period did not end when they said it
I also have over 9 GB more data reported for this period that does not show
up in the data log. This should be the 9GB that was downloaded on the 9th
but started on the 8th. So what gives here? Is it right for Verizon to move
data from one billing period to another? This allows them to charge $15 per
GB where otherwise it would be part of the allowed bandwidth.
I guess all I can do is wait until the end of the month.