Newbie data usage tracking on VZW

Discussion in 'HTC Rezound' started by AndyS, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. AndyS

    AndyS New Member

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    My son (15 yo) just got a Rezound for Christmas from his grandparents. This is his first cell phone of any kind and we're having a little trouble helping him manage his data usage. My only smartphone experience is with blackberries on unlimited plans so I'm new to both Android and limited data. He has 2gb available on his plan and he blew through that in Jan. like it was nothing. According to the bill, and the My Verizon Wireless app, he used over 3gb but the usage monitor on his phone reads only 348mb for the same time period. The next cycle was similar but not quite as drastic. Almost all of his usage is at home or church and both places have good Wi-Fi. He is very careful to turn his mobile network off anytime he doesn't need it. Also, he doesn't seem to use the type of apps that normally kill data. No radio, no streaming video, no online gaming, no social media or "location" apps. I can understand a discrepancy between the phone widget and VZW, but the phone is only reading 10% of what they are billing!!! That seems rediculous to me. We have tried calling customer service and even gone to the retail store with the phone to try to resolve this, all to no avail. So I have some questions about where to go from here.

    1- Is the Android/HTC usage monitor that bad? and is that typical for other smartphones too?

    2- Is there any way to get more details about data usage from VZW? (ie. what is using data and how much)

    3- Is there a better data usage monitor that has details like the widget but is more acurate so he can manage his account better?

    4- The rep at the store said that leaving the Wi-Fi on when you are moving about burns up data "looking for networks" even if the mobile network is turned off. Is that true?

    5- Why do they make this so hard? The poor kid just wants to not blow up his granparents bill and there seems to be no easy way to determine what he's doing that is using up so much data.

    FWIW I would like to try to do this without rooting or ROMing. I'd rather not muddy the waters until we figure this out. I would really appeciate any help you all can offer. This has been a little stressful for him and he has enough to worry about already with school and other responsibilities.

    Thanks in advance
    andy
     
  2. acejavelin

    acejavelin Member

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    1. The Android monitor isn't bad, it just isn't all that accurate for some people. I have noted that my VZW usage and the embedded app usage are significantly different in the past, but others have noted it is fairly accurate, not sure how to correlate that but really the only one that matters is the VZW Widget because that is how you are going to be billed.

    2. No, to my knowledge they do not keep any type of data usage by type (it's all IP, they might be able to see the difference between an RTP stream and a web page, but they don't monitor those differences)

    3. Not that I am aware of, and accuracy is actually irrelevant here, you need to know what Verizon things you are using, so using the VZW widget and updating it daily is the probably the best method.

    4. I call total BS... the rep that you that has no clue what he is talking about. The 2GB of data is only on Mobile Networks, you can use 2000GB on WiFi and it has nothing to do with your 2GB plan. If mobile data is off, then you will not be using anything of the 2GB. Now, leaving the WiFi on well you are moving about CAN burn up your battery usage, although it is no where near as significant as it was in earlier phones, I leave mine on all the time and the battery impact is minimal.

    5. It isn't hard, I have three teenage boys in the same boat, 2GB a piece, they were taught early how to monitor it, connect to WiFi, and other saving tips, and not one of them has gone over once in almost two years. Of course, threatening to move them back to a flip-phone for a month if they went over didn't hurt.

    This is just another part of teaching responsibility and control of actions, he simply has to learn to regulate usage.
     
    #2 acejavelin, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  3. AndyS

    AndyS New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Mostly confirmation of what I was thinking already. My only major concern is that I have been tracking what he does on the phone, and there's no reasonable way he could have used that much data. The reason I was looking for a better usage app is to try to help him figure out where the data went. Hard to explain but he's not a "regular" kid. He is very consciensious when it comes to other people's money. This isn't about being more careful or following the rules. He's really trying and we just don't know what he's doing wrong. He's actually tried to give the phone back 2 or 3 times out of frustration over the bill because he doesn't want to cause a problem.

    Thanks again
    andy
     
  4. kodiak799

    kodiak799 Gold Member

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    He's found a way to mask his porn surfing. Problem solved.
     
  5. AndyS

    AndyS New Member

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    Kodial799 there's a small part of me that almost wishes it was that easy...but this is a boy who stuffs the Soma catalog into the middle of the stack if it's on top when he goes to the can. I think actual porn would burn his eyes out.

    andy
     
  6. acejavelin

    acejavelin Member

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    The highest usages of data are usually streaming media of some kind, Youtube, Netflix, Pandora, XM-Sirius, or other audio/video streaming app or tethering... Regular web browsing, email, Facebook, Google+, Maps, etc. in reality don't use too terribly much data.

    It is possible that there is a rogue app sucking data in the background, but that is unlikely... If you think there is really a problem here, consider a factory default of the phone and start clean, adding apps slowly to see if/when data usage jumps.
     
  7. AndyS

    AndyS New Member

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    I may try this in the next couple days. We are watching the VZW app real close to get a feel for what might be triggering it. If that doesn't turn something up soon I think I'll try a reset.

    Thanks
    andy
     
  8. andeejo

    andeejo Member

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    My two kids have never gone over, however, I get a text from Verizon whenever it gets close on the data or the minutes. Somewhere along the way I set it up to get the warnings. It's very helpful. The one time my daughter came close, she said she used you tube more than normal.
     
  9. AndyS

    AndyS New Member

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    We do get the alerts but thanks for mentioning that. It has been somewhat helpful to know he's getting close but there isn't any discernable pattern. He does use You Tube some and has done a little radio listening but will only stream these things within the coverage of our home Wi-Fi and is very careful to have the Mobile Network off whenever he isn't specifically using it outside of Wi-Fi coverage.

    Does anyone have experience with Green Power Premium? He had been using the free app to try to help with battery life. We upgraded to Premium the other night because it has better management tools, more options, and also has several tools for managing Network connections. They are more geared toward saving battery life (not a bad thing) but if the network isn't burning battery it isn't burning data either. It seems to be working well so far but I was curious if anyone else had used it and maybe had suggestions or comments.

    Thanks again for helping with this
    andy
     
  10. AndyS

    AndyS New Member

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    Thanks for the replies and suggestions. I would say that this is tentatively resolved. We still have no realistic idea as to a cause, but his data usage has gradually decreased as we have integrated the Green Power free and subsequently the Green Power Premium apps. This has taken a little tweaking and guessing but I think we're close. He's 10 days into his billing cycle and is at .162gb of data. This number reflects his actuall style of usage much closer than the previous bills did. I will keep you all informed as things become clearer.

    andy
     
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