Data usage and family member

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by bruinsrme, May 5, 2016.

  1. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    My brother is going through some tough times so I offered to flip the bill for a S5 for his daughter and to add her to my plan.

    I have a 30g plan which I though was a rather large plan.
    Between the other phones and using the hotspot for work I still had roll over ever month.

    Introduce the niece.
    On a regular basis she uses at least 5 gig a month Some months as high as 9gig. I have paid overages since she has been on the plan.

    I decided that she was going to be limited to 4gig a month. Her mother, I don't really care for her, texted me saying she called att and they said she had plenty of data left. She is too stupid to understand how shared data works.

    Is 4 gig a month reasonable for a 16yo?
  2. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Out of curiosity, how did someone who isn't the owner or authorized user of an account call and find details of the account/plan?

    Perhaps it would be best to use some sort of controls that AT&T might provide to restrict the amount of data on that line so that there wouldn't be any questions about that.
  3. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    That's typical. My brother (who's 14) uses up all our data on our plan and goes over constantly. He uses Snapchat, Instagram, and pretty much all that photo and chat stuff. The file sizes being sent out are huge, and these kiddos all have their pretty big circle of friends who are also sending them huge photos.
  4. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Dude, what exactly did you expect? Why did you offer this in the first place? Without any stipulations? What exactly did you expect? 4Gb is pretty easy to go through.
  5. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    First of all, I would change the password to your account, and add/change the security passcode (my at&t/profile/security passcode). Choose extra security on, that prevents anyone even at an at&t store from accessing your information without your unique code. Maybe the mother knows someone who works for at&t (or a salesman who works for an authorized retailer) and had him/her access your account.

    As for the data use:
    Under myat&t overview, you can select the phone number you want and turn off all data to/from that device while on a cellular connection.

    Of course, I would talk to your brother first, and let him know that is your plan if she goes over the specified amount (4 gigs a month, who cares if that amount is reasonable, you are paying 100% for the cell phone.) Make sure to tell your brother text/calls will still work, so she can still make emergency calls to her dad and others on the phone even with the data disconnected. (My guess is that is why people give their children phones, so they can get a call in an emergency.) My daughter just turned 6 months old, so it will be a long while before I have to think about this stuff.....

    Finally, deal with your brother, not the daughter, or the daughter's mother (you didn't say if they were married, divorced, etc.) It's up to her father to explain to her that you are helping him while he is in tough financial shape, and if she wants to use your plan, she must follow your rules.
  6. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020


    Jan 31, 2015
    4gb is a decent amount. I use about that much per month with mostly email, text, GPS, and web browsing. I do very little streaming video or audio over the cellular network.

    Impose a limit if possible. Tell her to use wifi when possible and limit streaming services. You are doing her a favor, it's not ridiculous to impose limits to your generosity.

    Lastly, if your niece is not aware of her excessive usage and your EXPECTATIONS surrounding her data usage, she cannot reasonably comply.

    If she doesn't comply with your imposed limits or is unhappy with them, then that's more than enough justification to suspend your generosity. I'm by no means assuming she is ungrateful.

    I'd say ignore the mother, as this arrangement has nothing to do with her. Just be honest and say that you can only allocate X gb per month
  7. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    6 or 7 gb is more realistic for a teen. It's generous of you all the same to pay for it in the first place, though.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    No, kids don't use cell phones to call people, they use snapchat, instagram, and everything else that chews up your quota.
  9. bruinsrme thread starter macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    The access to my account info was perplexing.
    I have a passcode set.
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Did you have a convo with your brother? Something like can you make sure she don't burn data?

    If not then you should have.

    As for the cap.. Without the above convo then any cap would be seen as unreasonable.
  11. bruinsrme thread starter macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Well aware.
    I rarely look at the account details. More time than not I do the *3282# just to see where the usage is.
    When she is at 6 gig 8 days in I looked at the details.
    I grew curious. When I brought the fact 50+ meg files were being downloaded during school hours I was outwitted by parents not understanding data consumption and a 16yo telling them she wasn't downloading during school hours.
    Last month I turned off data at 4 gig.
    This month I did the same.

    I am thinking about paying the $5 a month for the ATT service to manage it for me.
    --- Post Merged, May 6, 2016 ---
    yes several.
    me talking to him about gig LTE and so on is like talking to physicist I work with explain the intricacies of the magnetic lines of force being applied to the beam of the linear accelerator.
  12. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Then the cap is warranted. I would direct them to the below website and leave it with them. As for contacting your provider I would contact them and kick off.
  13. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    you can see how much data you have used right from the phone can't hide that.
  14. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    You should definitely set a limit for your niece.
  15. wlossw, May 6, 2016
    Last edited: May 6, 2016

    wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    My son uses 15gb plus per month... It's all the social crap (snap chat, Instagram, Facebook)

    Oh and they "listen" to music on YouTube which is the worst data. Hog of all...
  16. Phil A., May 6, 2016
    Last edited: May 6, 2016

    Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    It's a difficult situation:

    On the one hand, 4GB isn't very much for a teenager (my daughter, who is 17, uses far more than that a month).

    However, on the other hand, you have donated part of your data allowance to your neice (not to mention the cost of the phone too!) out of the goodness of your heart and it's a very generous gesture that should be appreciated, not abused
  17. bruinsrme thread starter macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
  18. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
  19. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I wouldn't say that. Just have to say that the cap on the plan is X amount, spread over y number of devices means each person can use z amount of data. Once that limit is reached, data is turned off for the device. This shouldn't have to have been explained, it should be expected that each person is considerate of the others on the plan and manages usage.

    Android has built-in controls for managing data usage, it also has warning and a limiter, though the niece would be able to defeat all that unless parental controls are used on the device.
  20. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    For a family going through a tough time, a smart phone for a 16 year old is as un-essential as it gets. I suggest she gets a part time job to pay for this entitlement.
  21. bruinsrme, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016

    bruinsrme thread starter macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Totally agree, I have agreed to cover 3 more months at 4 gig per month.
    After that I am through

    I truly find it amazing how unappreciative and sense of entitlement my niece is.
    She definitely gets it from her mother.
  22. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Get her a pay as you go plan. Not one with a monthly fee but one where your minutes, data and texts last a year. 1,500 minutes/texts and 4GB data should be ample for one year for essential usage. If she can't manage it then she can figure out how to pay to refill it herself.

    Let her know she can extend her data by connecting to hotspots wherever she is at. I'm sure a large part of her problem is she doesn't care or think to look for available Wi-Fi. After paying for data refill herself she'll certainly learn that lesson.

    Personally I'd only give a teenager a bog standard $20 bar phone and a 1,500 minute/text prepaid plan to last them a year. Which is more than enough for necessary usage. Anything else is a luxury which they can get a job to pay for.

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