iPhone WiFi bug leads to giant cell data overages
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, November 23, 2012 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Friday, November 23, 2012 8:01PM PST
A bug in the new Apple iPhone 5 software is causing handsets to consume huge amounts of data without users knowing it.
Derek Finnamore was astonished when he was charged $180 in data overages on his latest cell phone bill. Finnamore says he rarely uses the device outside of free Wi-Fi zones.
“I had apparently used 3.61GB of data in October, more than any other month in my previous three years of iPhone use, and many times greater than my previous monthly average,” he wrote in an email to Steele on Your Side.
He disputed the charges but was told by Fido that the usage was legitimate. But Finnamore wasn’t convinced. He started tracking his data usage through an online application and noticed that his phone was using the most data when he was at home – connected to his free Wi-Fi.
It only took Finnamore a few minutes of searching online to find many people discussing the huge increases in data usage since the launch of Apple’s iOS6 update.
“I then went into my data history and took 30 day averages of before and after I installed iOS6 on my iPhone 3GS. My starting average was 29MB/day and my post-iOS6 average was 137MB/day,” he said.
Initially it was just Verizon customers in the U.S. who were affected by the operating system glitch.
But Gary Ng, founder of the blog iphoneincanada.ca, says the glitch in the new Apple operating system was causing extra data charges in Canada too.
The bug appears to have been fixed in the latest iOS6 update released by Apple a few weeks ago.
Fido credited Finnamore $75, but did not take responsibility for the data overages.
A post on a Fido technical community forum said the Wi-Fi bug doesn’t exist for its customers:
“Fido has confirmed that there is no issue. The data issues (where Wi-Fi connected phones are using mobile phone network data) reported in the U.S. do not apply to our OS version.”
Fido encouraged its customers to use the “Fido My Account App” to track usage directly from their phone. It told iPhone 5 customers who were concerned about data usage to contact Apple directly.
On Apple’s advice, Finnamore reset his phone back to factory settings and hasn’t had any further problems.