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All my data (5GB) used up in one timestamp, 24 hrs after plan renewal

kdcald
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

I had some irregular data usage on my account this week. All 5GB of my data was used up in one timestamp according to my account's data usage history. Here's the timeline:

  • Feb 28, 1pm: My plan renewed (according to a text)
  • Feb 29, 12:48pm: Timestamp on my data usage history for 5049.382 MB of data
  • Feb 29: 2pm: I received a text saying I've used 95% of my data

I've been with Public Mobile since July 2019 with the $40 per 30 days plan and have never used up all 5GB of my data in 30 days. 

 

On Feb 29 at 12:48pm, I was walking my dog and wasn't using my phone and didn't do anything out of the ordinary with it that morning or the day before (such as any updates or downloads). 

 

I have an iPhone 7 and the data usage history in my Settings isn't really helpful since I haven't reset the statistics since July 2019. But even then, nothing seems to stand out as an irregular jump in data usage. I also currently don't use a third-party data tracking app, so no help there. I use most of the data-saving tricks on my phone, such as turning off background refresh for apps and turning off data usage comletely for some.

 

Has anyone else had this happen to them? Anything else I can check to diagnose the problem? I expect from Public Mobile's perspective, it's likely a problem with my phone or my activity. But the amout of data that was used, the fact I have never used 5GB of data in 30 days before, and the fact that I wasn't using my phone at all at 12:48pm on Feb 29 makes me wonder if something happened on Public Mobile's end. 

 

All comments or suggestions are welcome. 

 

Thanks!

23 REPLIES 23

@kdcald 

Unfortunately the evidence you presented (timestamp of data usage & text regarding 95% usage) indicates that your phone did in fact consume this data.

 

Please make sure the wifi assist option is disabled on your phone.

 

If you need more data, there are several options available including:
- Purchase data add-ons (note that these are fairly expensive)
- Make an immediate plan change.
- Asking Moderators to renew your current plan early. Make sure there is enough money in your account to do this.

kdcald
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Yeah, this seems like the mostly likely culprit to me. But going through my settings yesterday, I had updates or syncing on data turned off for major apps and activities (Photos, app updates, etc.). 

 

And iPhones do have a wifi assist setting and I have it turned off (and had it turned off on Feb 29). 

kdcald
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thanks for providing those options. 

 

Wifi assist is disabled on my phone (and would have been on Feb 29). 

 

I understand that the evidence points to me/my phone using that amount of data, I just have no idea how or why it happened since there's no evidence on my phone pointing to what used that data. I really want to prevent this from occurring again. 

LovesToPM
Mayor / Maire

@kdcald Btw I have never seen erroneous timestamps on my usage history.

 

  • Feb 29, 12:48pm: Timestamp on my data usage history for 5049.382 MB of data

The only thing I can add is that if your were connected to LTE, this would have been a slow burn of your data (speed is throttled at 3Mbps).

Otherwise if connected to 3G, the data consumption rate would be much quicker.

 

darlicious
Mayor / Maire

@kdcald  That is a lot of data to be used in just over an hour. That is if the time stamp reflects that start of the usage versus the end of the usage. I would have a moderator look into the start and end of it to provide some insight into what could have occurred to cause it.

srlawren
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

@darlicious wrote:

@kdcald  That is a lot of data to be used in just over an hour. That is if the time stamp reflects that start of the usage versus the end of the usage. I would have a moderator look into the start and end of it to provide some insight into what could have occurred to cause it.


@darlicious @kdcald bear in mind that data usage in the usage history page is updated only twice a day: once around noon eastern, and once around midngiht eastern.  The amount of data shown used at each of those updates is for the time since the previous update, all summed up.  So in effect, the 5GB was used in some period of up to 12 hours since the last update.  

 

@kdcald since you use Instagram so lightly, I'm going to say that it may have been the major contributer here--guessing a large chunk of the 6.5GB was in that one morning. 

 

I have seen apps malfunction before (the Facebook app did it to me a few years ago, and a shopping list app called Listonic did it on my mom's phone a year or so ago as well) and sit stuck in a loop downloading the same app data over and over and over.  It's rare, but it happens.  And in the case of Instagram, if that app data was stories and videos rather than just photos, the usage could add up very quickly.  Did you happen to notice your battery was unusually low at the end of that morning, by chance?  That would also be a sign that something is amiss.

 

What can you do?  Start by rebooting your phone right now if you haven't already since discovering the issue.  Although I'm not a big fan of closing apps I use regularly these days, since you only use it for a short period daily, I'd recommend closing the app when you're done with it for the day.  I'd also recommend you get in the habit of rebooting your phone at least once a week, as this can clear out spontaneous issues like these before they can even happen.

 

The other thing is to of course start resetting our phone's data meter when your plan resets. Yet another "fun" iPhone quirk where you must do it manually.  On the other hand, with PM's non-standard 30 day cycles (rathre than calendar monthly), even Android users need to adjust manually, but at least they won't find themselves with several months of usage showing at any time.


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@srlawren  Thank you for the insight on how the data usage is recorded in the twice daily updates. I'm still curious what the time stamp represents in the usage history. Since it varies does it mean the first usage of mobile data during the 12 hour period? So if the time stamp is 4:15 pm would represent the first time you used mobile data and the usage recorded would be all the mobile data between 4:15 pm and midnight?

@kdcald  Given what @srlawren has shared....try checking your battery usage for Instagram and then your other possible app culprits. If Instagram represented a large portion of your battery usage that would be more evidence that Instagram is responsible for the data usage.

@iPhoneUser  Do you have any experience with how an iPhone behaves relating to the high data usage issue here and any advice you may be able to offer going forward? Thx

scorpio17
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

In addition, when you change the period for data statistics on an android phone, your data usage is adjusted accordingly. Not sure about iphones. Maybe some apps could help.

 


@srlawren wrote:


The other thing is to of course start resetting our phone's data meter when your plan resets. Yet another "fun" iPhone quirk where you must do it manually.  On the other hand, with PM's non-standard 30 day cycles (rathre than calendar monthly), even Android users need to adjust manually, but at least they won't find themselves with several months of usage showing at any time.


 

srlawren
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

@darlicious wrote:

@srlawren  Thank you for the insight on how the data usage is recorded in the twice daily updates. I'm still curious what the time stamp represents in the usage history. Since it varies does it mean the first usage of mobile data during the 12 hour period? So if the time stamp is 4:15 pm would represent the first time you used mobile data and the usage recorded would be all the mobile data between 4:15 pm and midnight?


@darlicious the time stamp is just whenever the update was posted to your account's usage history.  I can only speculate, but I would guess that there is a batch job that is scheduled to run at 00:00 and 12:00 (Eastern times) and update all active accounts by rolling up the data usage since the last posted update, and posting the update. 

 

Things take time to process, and since everyone's usage varies from period to period, the amount of time it takes to process each customer's updates varies, and thus the time of day when it actually gets to posting moves from batch job execution to batch job execution.  This is similar to how you may have seen some customers posting in the community about what time in the overnight processing that their renewals processed, and how it can vary from cycle to cycle.  


Large batch roll-up processes like this are by their very nature variable in duration.  I wouldn't try to read anything else into these timestamps personally.

 

That said, this is all speculation (based on my two decades of experience as a professional business systems software developer), so take it for what it's worth, which is about $0.02 CAD.


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iPhoneUser
Model Citizen / Citoyen Modèle

@darlicious wrote:

 

@iPhoneUser  Do you have any experience with how an iPhone behaves relating to the high data usage issue here and any advice you may be able to offer going forward? Thx


You so funny. For the past few months, for the first time ever, I have had data included. I rarely use more than 80 of my 250. So experiences......no. But since I leave my data OFF to preserve it I also found ways to minimize “stuff” on the phone that you may not be aware of that is sucking up your data. See below. 

 

1. Turn off Cellular When Not Use

Just turn off cellular data when you are not using it. It can help save cellular data. Or you can use 3G network instead of 4G.

 

2. Turn off Cellular Data for Some Apps

There are some apps that can consume a lot of mobile data, so you can disable those data hungry apps to reduce cellular data usage.

Step 1. Go to Settings app > Tap Cellular.

Step 2. Toggle off the switch next to the app you do not want to use on mobile data.

 

3. Restrict Individual Apps

Most of the apps have their own settings to restrict data usage, so you can go to the specific app to have a check.

Take Facebook for example. Open Facebook app > More tab > Settings > Account Settings > Videos & Photos > Under VIDEO SETTINGS set Auto-play on Wi-Fi Connections Only.

 

4. Disable Background App Refresh

When the Background App Refresh is on, the apps can update and download in the background even when you are not using them. It will use your cellular data as will as drain the iPhone battery. If you do not want the apps work in the background, then just turn it off to save your cellular data.

Go to Settings app > General > Background App Refresh > Turn it off.

Also Read: Top 16 Tips to Save Battery on iPhone >

 

5. Turn off Stream High-Quality Music

Open Settings app > Tap Music > Turn off High Quality on Cellular. You can also choose to turn off Use Cellular Data.

 

6. Disable Auto-Downloads and Updates on Cellular

This method can really help reduce cellular data usage. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Turn off Use Cellular Data.

 

7. Turn off Wi-Fi Assist

Your iPhone will use cellular data automatically if the Wi-Fi connectivity is poor. It can help you browse the web smoothly, but it will consume a bunch of data. Go to Settings > Cellular to disable it.

 

8. Disable Location Services

You can turn off Location Services when it is not needed to save your cellular data. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Turn it off.

 

9. Turn off Cellular Data for iCloud

If you often use iCloud to transfer data, then you can go to have a check whether you have set it to transfer files using cellular data. Go to Settings app > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Scroll down and turn off Use Cellular Data.

 

10. Send Low Quality Images via iMessages

In the latest iOS, you can choose to send low quality images via iMessage, which can help reduce cellular data usage on iPhone.

Open Settings app > Tap Messages > Scroll down and turn on Low Quality Mode.