AT&T: Why can't they measure data usage right?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Peter K., Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Peter K. macrumors 6502a

    Peter K.

    Nov 6, 2012
    SoCal / Philly
    I put this is the iPhone section, because half of my problem involves my iPhone 5 and because this is the section where people seem to talk about carrier issues, too. I am having problems with AT&T accurately measuring my data usage in a timely fashion, on two devices (iPhone 5 AND Novatel Liberate MiFi).

    Actually, this is the first month that I've had a problem with AT&T's data usage measurements on my iPhone, but I have had the problem with the Liberate for the entire time I've had it (4-5 billing cycles).

    Currently, my iPhone's cellular data usage meter, which is accessed through the Settings sub-menus reads over 4 GB for the month (I am on the grandfathered unlimited data plan, so this is fine). However, AT&T's website (along with the mobile app) says I've only used 1118.xx MB. It has displayed this exact number for approximately 10-15 days.

    Although I have "unlimited" data, I have been throttled and do not wish to experience that again; therefore, I do ration my data use a bit. What really irks me about this is that I've been told, several times, by AT&T that their information (i.e., website and app) trumps what my device says; keep that in mind for the issues with the Liberate.

    The data usage measurement issues for the Liberate MiFi are much worse, IMO. In this case, AT&T's measurement is ALWAYS 25-30% LOWER than what the device reports. BUT (a HUGE "but"), when the bill comes it charges me for the amount that my device reports. Also, the website and app NEVER display the "accurate" information, even at the end of the month; only on the bill. Obviously, I know now how to avoid being charged for overages, but I still question: which one is actually correct? And how do I know if I am actually getting the 5 GB, for which I am paying $50.

    So, anyone else experience these and/or similar issues?

  2. coolio93 macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I call BS on these companies. It seems like they try make you feel like you are under and still have more data to use, but when the bill comes - BAM. You have overages. One of the main reasons I switched to T-Mobile. The 4G is comparable to the fastest speeds I've gotten with ATT and I pay much less than I did on ATT (No overage fees).

    Att and Verizon may provide great coverage, but when it comes to stuff like this, they are THIEVES.

    Btw I've called in about this issue and CSR claim that it takes "24 hours" for the system to update but this has NEVER been the case with me.

    OP: Sorry for the rant lol. I realize you have unlimited data, but I am just trying to show that I have had this problem too.
  3. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    Get an app that tracks data from the App Store. The app will be even more accurate than the cellular data tracking in settings.

    Second, it could just be an error on their end. Mine has never been inaccurate and always updates within 48 hours.

    Instead of using their app or website just dial *3282#. This seems to have a more accurate and up to date reading.
  4. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    When I transfer money between my bank accounts it often takes 24 hours before all the computers are updated and it reports this fact back to me. That makes sense to me. Now, AT&T is getting data from thousands of cell towers across the country and has to combine ALL that information before getting it back to you. (It's not like you sit at home all day using one single tower.)

    Given all that, I'm surprised to see that you find this curious and, even more than that, the other poster here thinks its a conspiracy!

    No, it just takes time. To get the most up-to-date info, track it as it goes out, on the phone itself.

    Exactly. I use Datawiz
  5. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    I've found that *3282# is way more accurate than the online website.
  6. coolio93 macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I realize what you guys are saying, but its hard to say that its not a "conspiracy" even when the usage does not accurately reflect amount of data used DAYS that time (depending on where you are in your cycle), the bill has come in and you are hit with overage fees.
  7. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    People think its instant and within seconds. Then its the carriers fault when they rack up tons of data.
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Of course it is. Personal responsibility is unknown these days. Just take a look at this thread.;)
  9. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    People amaze me every day:D
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    To some degree, I can understand where people are coming from. Can you imagine if your gas tank warned you it was empty only after you were running on fumes? For a lot of people, data is a hard concept to understand. How much facebook is 2GB? How much email is 2GB? Facetime? Texting? Etc. You get the picture.

    I am not saying that I blame the carriers 100%. But surely the carriers realize that this is a hard concept for some to understand. Surely, if you go over, say by 50mb, for the month, the carrier could waive the fee, right? At the end of the day, I feel like most carriers do (almost) nothing to help users stay within their allotment. And why would they, when going over translates to money in the bank?
  11. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Easy answer.

    You and other customers going over your limits means more cash in the pockets of AT&T. There's no incentive for them to make your data easier to monitor. Have fun with that.
  12. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    Yep I call BS too.
  13. moldy lunchbox macrumors 6502a

    moldy lunchbox

    Sep 9, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    I dial *DATA# whenever i want to know much data i've used. But I normally don't need to worry about going over.
  14. bushman4 macrumors 68020

    Mar 22, 2011
    This is probably the best way to check it. Check it twice a day if your a heavy user. At least you'll know how much you've used.

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