200MB data plan -- not enough for a new mom at home?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ericg301, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. ericg301 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 15, 2010
    #1
    So my wife has been at home--on maternity leave--for the last 3 months and is only leaving the house 2-4 times a week. So imagine my surprise when we got notified that she was close to her 200MB data cap. She connects to WiFi at home, and when she's out with baby, I know she's not doing anything that's more data intensive than the occasional text message. Even at home, all she does is update her Facebook, check email, and play Bejeweled. She takes and uploads baby photos/videos, but that's at home via WiFi too. I've double-checked all her network and WiFi settings to confirm that she is connecting.

    I called AT&T this morning to get to the bottom of this. Their response: because she doesn't leave the house for days at a time, when she does and connects back to the 3G network, the phone is downloading all the "updates" since the last time she connected. My response? Why should those updates--not data that we're actively using--count against the cap? If calling AT&T support is free call, then shouldn't the phone "calling home" via a data connection be free too? Just to be clear--these aren't app updates or data use, but normal carrier updates. The suggestion? Have her turn off WiFi and connect to 3G once a day. A very un-Apple-like solution.

    Does this make sense to anyone else? With WiFi at home, and WiFi at work (when she goes back), I don't see any reason why she needs more than the 200MB. I'll closely examine the data use on the bill (when I get it in a few days), but this is nuts.
     
  2. IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #2
    Total BS from AT&T. I'm at home on wifi for days at a time, and I'm typically nowhere near 200 MB--closer to 100. My usage patterns are pretty similar to your wife's. Is she streaming music while she's out, maybe? What did usage look like on the previous month?

    200 MB isn't a lot, don't get me wrong. It's easy to go over. But with her kind of usage, she shouldn't be close to going over most months, so long as the heavy stuff like uploading photos and that is being done from home.
     
  3. ericg301 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    looks like she averaged around 100MB a month, going back to April
     
  4. Syk macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #4
    Hope this doesn't come out wrong but when she leaves the house, the phone goes back to 3G mode, if she has facebook or some other things running in the back ground they could be using data also.

    Also there's the slim chance she did some web browsing while in the Dr office with the new baby.

    I didn't think carrier updates were OTA.

    Check and see what times you were having data spikes. I think you can do that via AT&T website
     
  5. ericg301 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 15, 2010
    #5

    Apps don't use data in the background unless they're VOIP, music, or GPS, right? Just because her Facebook app is "frozen" doesn't mean that it's using data.

    And sure, she probably uses a bit here and there while she's out...but again, with her being at home 95% of the time, she shouldn't be close to the cap.

    I'll check on the usage patterns and back to ya'll.
     
  6. ericg301 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Also, just an annoyance -- the AT&T "you're getting close to your limit" text messages are sent out at 3am. Nothing good ever comes from a 3am text message.
     
  7. Syk macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I was just tossing some things out there. I don't know.

    Good luck
     
  8. ericg301 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 15, 2010
    #8
    Looks like her phone is using large amounts of data in the middle of the night, every couple of days:
     

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  9. warrmr macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #9

    Dont quote me on this as I may be wrong.

    I read in a similar thread a month or so back that the data useage at midnight on AT&T is because thats when the log the days useage.

    so for example you use 8mb at 3 in the afternoon and then another 2mb at 8in the evening. AT&T put that on your bill as 10mb at midnight that day.

    Try this to prove AT&T are talking BS.

    At the end of the billing cycle reset your call and data timers in settings. Turn off Cell Data and use wifi only. Then tell your wife only to turn on cell data when she wants to use it. Then compare the iphone useage from the settings against AT&T quoted useage.

    That eliminates background apps(unlikley ) and the phone "phoning home"
     
  10. ericg301 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 15, 2010
    #10
    Yeah I'm catching up on those threads now too. But even if the "phoning home" is simply transferring all of the day's data back to AT&T/Apple, it's still too much. Our cycle resets in a few days...will try your suggestion.

    In the meantime, I bumped her up to the 2GB cap to prevent any overages.
     
  11. Syk macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #11
    My only problem with doing this it leaves open the chance of forgetting to turn it back off. When you're at home you Wifi will be the main choice but when you're out and about depending on what app you have, you may get a notification, check it then decide to log on and see what else is going on while not thinking about it but then you wont be getting your txt messages I don't think.

    Really I think AT&T started their data plan too low. 500mb should have been the cheapest. 300MB at the minimum
     
  12. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
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    USA
    #12
    Well ATTs suggestion was bogus anyway. If I read correctly - they suggested going out and getting the updates once a day vs once a week?

    Any "updates" (which is dubious at best) will be the same size whether she downloads them once a day or once a week. If she needs 5 updates - each a meg - that's 5 megs. It doesn't matter if she does it all on one day or spreads it out over 5.

    So that was a BS excuse/solution right there.
     
  13. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #13
    I think you might just have wifi dead zones in your house and the phone goes into the 3G and she keeps using it w/out realizing...
    you could also just pay for the 2GB plan until the baby is born and have one less thing to worry about then go back to the 200MB plan...
     
  14. jluce50 macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2008
    #14
    My wife has similar usage patterns and she never get's anywhere close to 200mb. She's usually under 50mb. Something seems fishy...
     
  15. ericg301 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #15
    My baby girl is 2.5 months old already :)

    No dead zones...I have a 1800 square foot house. Not huge by any means.
     
  16. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #16
    Text messages don't count as data.

    Look the 200MB plan is really for people who people who are too cheap to pay for the 2GB plan, people who are on WIFI almost all the time and when they go out only use basic email and don't browse the web. I guarantee your wife is viewing pictures on facebook or looking at rich websites that aren't pure text. That stuff adds up real fast and it's really no surprise she is almost over the limit.
     
  17. ericg301 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Nope--sorry dude. If you've ever had a newborn, you'd know that there's no way she's looking at "rich websites" while she's out of the house. If she's out of WiFi range, she's running errands and has little to no time to use anything data-intensive on her phone. And text web pages and low-res Facebook photos don't add up "real fast" anyway.

    And, it's not a matter of "being too cheap to pay for the 2GB" plan--it's a matter of paying for a level of service that best fits my wife's needs. At home 98% of the time, on WiFi, does not warrant at 2GB plan.
     
  18. marksman macrumors 603

    marksman

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    #18
    Yeah it is not necessarily the size that matters. Could be inteference issues etc.

    There are all kinds of reasons this could be happening. The least likely is that AT&T is just randomly billing you for data that was not sent over their 3G network.

    I would check coverage in your house with your wife's phone in the areas she most often uses it. Move around a bit, settle for a while, make sure signal is not being lost.

    Suggest she do NOTHING on it except use it as a phone when she is outside the house for the time being and see if that cuts down on things.
     
  19. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #19
    This isn't 1995 anymore, almost every signal website is rich today. Google homepage is ~300KB, Macrumors homepage is ~2MB by itself, like-wise with Amazon. So a couple clicks here, and there, and look, your already at the limit.

    Fact is what you consider warrants a 2GB plan is completely false as proof by the fact that you had to upgrade.
     
  20. Hmm macrumors regular

    Hmm

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    Apr 11, 2002
    #20
    I must be missing something but, even if she's looking at rich websites when she's out of the house, why would the bills be showing the large downloads happening between 1:00 am and 3:00 am? Are they awake then? I mean, yeah, you've got a baby, but unless she's driving her around at 1:30 AM, streaming lullabies off Pandora, I don't see where the data would be coming from.

    Maybe check the phone if you happen to be up at that hour to see what it might be doing.
     
  21. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    Ok - did you just post without reading the thread? I'd give you some latitude if the thread was more than a page or two. Sorry - but it's a pet peeve of mine. As already mentioned

    "I read in a similar thread a month or so back that the data useage at midnight on AT&T is because thats when the log the days useage.

    so for example you use 8mb at 3 in the afternoon and then another 2mb at 8in the evening. AT&T put that on your bill as 10mb at midnight that day. "
     
  22. BeyondtheTech macrumors 68020

    BeyondtheTech

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #22
    200MB is a joke. They should have made the data packages 500MB and 2GB, with an option to have no data plan at all (good for people who are always in a Wi-Fi area).

    AT&T's old BS about preventing overages can easily be remedied by turning off Cellular Data in Network Settings as easy as they're able to toggle Internet Tethering, or preventing cellular data usage on a deactivated iPad 3G or one that has gone over its limit.

    Why a class action suit hasn't be initiated by now is beyond me. Sorry, had to rant.
     
  23. Dracokyaku macrumors newbie

    Dracokyaku

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    Aug 9, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    Just out of interest, have you installed any baby monitors and the like in the babies room? many of them will operate on the 2.4ghz frequency range and can interfere with a WiFi signal.
     
  24. gtmac macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #24
    Agreed I am a heavy user and rarely go over 200 as everything is wifi.
     
  25. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #25
    Congrats Dad!!! What Dracokyaku says it's true! check to see if the baby monitor is causing interference, the same goes for microwaves and some cordless phones!

    The best thing she could do while in the house is just go to: Settings>Network>Cellular Data OFF on her iPhone and presto, no more data charges until she decides to leave the house (in which case she would do the same steps, just turn ON the Cellular Data to get it back working!
     

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