iPhone 5 Data-Gobbling Bug Affects AT&T Customers, Too

Josh doesn’t think that he’s using any more data with his new iPhone 5 than with his previous iPhone 4. In fact, he should be using less, because he isn’t streaming music anymore. Only that’s not the case. His phone gobbled 5 GB of data in only 22 days. He has an unlimited plan, but getting through 5 GB means he would be throttled for the rest of the month. Just like Verizon’s customer service, AT&T tried to convince Josh that he was using more data because he was using it faster on the LTE network. While that might be the case for some less savvy customers, Josh is an experienced smartphone owner and knows how to manage data.

Just saw a story from Laura about a guy with a Verizon iPhone 5 and I just wanted to give you an exact similar story but with AT&T. I have a grandfathered unlimited data account and got my first ever “you’ve hit 5 gb of data, prepare for throttling” text 22 days into having my new iPhone 5 (upgraded from a iPhone 4). I called AT&T and asked them what gives since I haven’t changed my data usage, and have even reduced it since I bought a 32 gb phone so I don’t have to use apple’s horrendous iTunes Match to stream my music to the phone.

I was given the same exact line about how since the phone is now LTE it uses more data since it’s “more efficient.” I called BS on her. I’m no data engineer, but I am somewhat educated and an apple, and tech enthusiast. She and I went round and round about this. She asked me at one point if I knew how to use the application manager to suspend or stop active applications, I’ve never owned an android, but know those who do and am a little familiar with this function that iOS has never had. I told her that I closed all running apps, but that shouldn’t matter since nothing is going to transfer that much data in the background, running or not.

She put me on hold for about 5 minutes to speak with a data specialist about my situation, and informed me that they’ve been on the look out for this type of problem since Verizon has had documented cases of it. I had to unfortunately hang up before she returned since I had been waiting for over 5 minutes and my work required me to quit slacking off with my lovely new phone friend. All I gained before being put on hold is that my throttling is an automated thing and no matter how much she would love to help me, once it happens, it is irreversible until the start of my next billing cycle. I should have taken my wife’s advice and moved our accounts somewhere else when I had the opportunity.

Have you experienced surprise data overages with your iPhone 5? Let us know.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.