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Topic # 150314 18-Jul-2014 11:24
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Over the last six weeks my prepaid balance has unexpectedly gone down, by small amounts, usually 20c or 40c. I can verify this by taking screen shots from the web portal.

However, when I view my activity in the web portal, there is no activity that should generate charges.

In the most recent case, it went down 40c overnight, and my phone doesn't show any activity, I haven't made any calls or called voice mail. I've sent 6 texts which are shown against my text pack, but I've seen it go down with absolutely zero activity.

My phone is an HTC One, running android 4.4.2. Mobile data is turned off. The data usage app shows zero bytes of data usage during the relevant period, but on occasion Telecom seem to think that I've used some data:



I'm guessing the charges may relate from this, but have a few questions:

1. Why would I  be charged 40c, rather than $1 for 10 MB which is the charge for casual data usage?
2. Is my phone responsible for this, or is telecom measuring this incorrectly?

I'm interested to see if anyone else has noticed this. The total amount isn't enough to contact customer service (about $3 over six weeks), and at this stage I would let it slide, but I really am quite curious as to views as to whether this is the phone using data under the hood when it shouldn't, or whether Telecom is incorrectly charging me.

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  Reply # 1091345 18-Jul-2014 12:22
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Premium SMS?




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  Reply # 1091372 18-Jul-2014 13:01
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Definitely not premium SMS. In this case just person to person, and they are being deducted from the pack balance.  I first noticed it because I took a screenshot due to the unexpected graph showing casual data a usage, and then saw in the screenshot the next day that my balance had gone down, with absolutely zero phone usage (no text or calls or voice-mail). The only data being used is via WiFi, and mobile data is switched off.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1091376 18-Jul-2014 13:04
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There are some apps that can send SMS without you knowing, and could be trying to activate something. Whatsapp and Viber are examples of apps that do this.




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  Reply # 1091385 18-Jul-2014 13:20
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ajobbins: There are some apps that can send SMS without you knowing, and could be trying to activate something. Whatsapp and Viber are examples of apps that do this.


Could be a possibility. I don't have those specific apps, and I'm generally pretty careful with app permissions for the small number of apps that I do have installed, but I will check to see if anything has permissions to do this.

Is there anyway to find out? Would this activity be logged on the phone anywhere, or can an app send an SMS without any trace?

I've never seen any activity in the telecom web portal when I've checked, but it has gone backwards since they updated it a couple of months ago and is fairly useless for viewing activity on prepaid. It used to show last 12 transactions, but now has a dropdown with only one choice, "View last 1 days", which actually seems to mean "today" rather than "last 24 hours".



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  Reply # 1097083 28-Jul-2014 13:25
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Just in case anyone is interested, I have some more evidence to show that this is due to data charges, not premium SMS. My balance was accurate for about a week, but then went down 60c last Wednesday, 40c on Friday and 40c today. For both Friday and today it did show that this was the result of data charges:



So this is 40c for 00.00MB of data, and I saw the same result on Friday, but the first time I saw it on Friday it was 20c, and then it increased to 40c during the day.

As I said above, mobile data is switched off in the phone, and the data usage app in Android is not showing any usage. It could be a bug in Android, which is actually using a very small amount of data even though it is switched off, but I think it is more likely that Telecom are not measuring the data usage correctly. In any case they are not providing a very compelling case to backup the charge in their activity monitor, as to most people 00.00Mb means that no data is used, but they might be saying that it is 0.004MB and they have rounded down. Does anyone know how they charge casual data? As far as I can tell, it is $1 for 10MB as soon as you use a byte, rather than in increments of 20c which is then capped at $1?

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