Life has improved so much over the years with many terrific technological advancements. Using Skype or FaceTime to actually see the person you're speaking with, or connecting with old friends on social media are just a couple amazing things you can do with your smartphone. Also, for the first time ever, this season you can stream every NFL game online.
On top of all of the entertainment options, your smartphone can be a great resource of information. Many of the things we use our phones for are data hogs and could cause the monthly phone bill to be higher than expected. However, one major mobile phone carrier could be in trouble for overcharging customers for data.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is investigating Verizon Wireless over billing issues. An FCC spokesman says the investigation began after a number of consumer complaints. Consumers say that Verizon is charging for data overages that could not be explained.
The most egregious example was recently reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A Florida woman received a shocking monthly bill that was over $9,100 dollars.
The woman's normal monthly bill was $118, which included four gigabytes of data in her plan. That drastically changed this month when Verizon charged her for 569 gigabytes of data use, costing $8,535. Verizon ended up waiving most of that bill and says they resolved the issue to the customer's satisfaction.
This isn't the only example of head-scratching complaints. Once customer says she's being charged for data even though she uses a flip phone that has no wireless data connection. Other Verizon customers are reporting increasing data usage on their phone despite not changing the way they use data.
The true cause of spiking data usage is not known yet but Verizon says it could be consumer error.
A feature called Wi-Fi Assist might be behind the problem. It switches phones to a mobile network if the Wi-Fi connection isn't strong. Click here to read how this feature added almost $2,000 to one family's cell phone bill.
To turn off Wi-Fi Assist, just go to your Settings menu and tap Cellular. Once there, scroll down to the bottom of the list of apps and tap the toggle button until it's in the Off position. (See screenshot below.)