Report: #1084017

Complaint Review: Verizon Wireless - Nationwide

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  • Reported By: AnotherDataVictim — Box Springs Georgia
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  • Verizon Wireless Nationwide USA

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Verizon is running some kind of data usage scam. I don't know how they are doing it but they are doing it. They succeed in getting away with it, I believe, because it is difficult for consumers to unite inmass large enough group to be heard collectively. As individual consumers we are lost and will continue to be victimized. 

I have a Verizon MiFi. I am paying for 1 GB of data. I have a IPad that is on AT&T network and I pay for 3 GB data per month on it. The only time I pull from the MiFi is perhaps 1 hr per night to check email and basic web surfing because for whatever reason, in the bedroom the 3G signal is weak. Other that's that, I am using the 3G AT&T service 99% of the time. 

I use my IPad all day, doing web work, emails, occasional YouTube based tutorials....and I never come close to using even 1 GB of data.

However, in one night, after viewing 10 YouTube clips that are less than 5 min each, I get a data usage alert that I have used  77% of my data usage for the month that just reset on Sept 4th! Oh..REALLY? Give me a break.

Additionally, over the Labor Day weekend, while out of town, I get a text alert that the device that's been sitting unplugged and off on my counter in another state, for the past week, I has "magically" reached 90% of its data allowance for the month. 

I consider this a preponderance of evidence that there is some scam underway. I live alone. There is no way this device is using data when I am not there. Now, I know what Verizon will claim,...they will say..."Oh, well, sometimes it takes a while for the usage to be calculated and reported...a delay if you will..." Yeah, right, not buying that rebuttal. Why? Because even before my trip the device had been turned off. I am very cautious and aware of it because I have suspected a scam for quite some time and I keep the IPad wifi turned off and the MiFi turned off except just before I go to the bedroom at night.  Another words...I am very aware of exactly how long and how much I am using the Verizon device so that I don't get hit with a $300 overage charge. 

Yes, I have tried to talk to Verizon, as others have done, and am fed some line of bull designed to absolve Verizon and keep the consumer thinking its their fault and not anything Verizon is doing. It's not. What this issue needs is an investigative, journalistic media spotlight, and as has been suggested an Attorney with a class action lawsuit. I am careful not to go over but I am sure others who are unaware have been hit and forced to pay huge bills. I am paying for a device for 2 years, that stays off most of the time so in essence I guess I am still forced to pay, just in a different aspect. 

If the right person reads this, please know I will be more than happy to assist in bringing this issue to light on a large scale. If you are a consumer that's been victimized by Verizon, know that you aren't alone and are not imagining it as Verizon would lead you to believe. I would encourage you to sign up for this RipOff report service, be heard, share your story.

Additionally, I am going to try and set up a Facebook group where victims can be gathered together under one place. The only way to stand against these nationwide, huge companies is collectively. So, if you are a victim, pleafor speak up.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/12/2013 02:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/verizon-wireless/nationwide/verizon-wireless-data-usage-scam-nationwide-1084017. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#15 Consumer Comment

Alas" To Steve in Denver

AUTHOR: FraudinamericAH! - (USA)

POSTED: Friday, February 19, 2016

 Dear Steve, I found myself here & frustrated with Verizon Again, after another, text Again""""""” saying I have used 75% of my data allowance. On my plan , I was given 100% more data for the droid turBo on 2/16 after more of the so called Ghost Usage" I called them, & after more hooplah, hung up. (Note they will not get more $$) I don't think most Verizon customers Know ,"Verizon lost the class action suit..,, Google it". i believe this was in direct correlation to Ghost or as I call it, scam usage. I have a great WiFi signal. Unless Verizon FiOS wants to say it's no good? As soon as I received the phone, I disabled more than 1/2 of the built in apps. (I found it interesting that I had The most difficult time Force stop, NFL Mobile. Not only have I never went there. I don't know, or care to know what it is. This app popped up for 2 wks, before it finally stopped) That being said, as far as data usage goes, Verizon has told me, the Motorola droids usage counter, isn't accurate, nor was the Data usage app from Google play store..... It seems apparent, Only verizons data usage counter is Accurate. Which takes me back to the class action lawsuit they lost"... Steve, If you ever see mee taking a $20 bill out of your wallet, You can call me a Thief" P.s. to Verizon" you lost the class action suit. Was that For Overages($$$$$$) on your customers data usage?

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#14 Consumer Comment

Verizon employee

AUTHOR: frank1759 - (USA)

POSTED: Thursday, February 04, 2016


well let me start off by saying that I'm new to verizon after a 2 year break away. They claim my daughter used over 8gb of data in a 4 1/2 hour window. She maybe used the phone for 1 1/2 hours in that time frame watching netflix and playing a few games. Contacted verizon and they were scrambling for answers, one excuse after another. The new lg v10 in which we own 3 of them shows she only used a little over 2 1/2 gb for her hole cycle. Yet verizon is claiming over 10 gb used. We went to the store and showed them the phone, more excuses with no real answers. They claim it was the cloud, or back up, or system updates, she has nothing in the cloud, apps used very little updating that day and the phone was updated over 2 weeks before this data was used. I've searched and thoroughly checked everything in phone. I watched a netflix movie the other day, 1 1/2 hours and used under a half of gig and no she is watching hd. She watched a show last night for our 45 minute drive to verizon and it used.22 gb in that time frame. They're screwing people, no doubt in my mind.

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#13 Consumer Comment

Must disagree with Verizon reply!

AUTHOR: steve_in_Denver - (USA)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Beholder states:

"There is no possible way that a device with no other function than to convert cellular signal into WiFi signal can use data on its own. Something has to be connected to that signal and pulling the data, ie a computer, tablet or other smartphone."  Hmmm. perhaps. More later

Beholder rightly states that consumers need to educate themselves with respect to data usage. Be SURE that you are truely experiencing phantom data usage, and have enough knowledge to be able to reliably document it. It will help you greatly to understand something about how devices talk to each other, and what sort of data travels across a network. Add to that the problem of malware, viruses, bots, and the like, and your computer/phone could be transmitting data without you even knowing it. Don't be ignorant about how your computers, phones and network send/use data! Know every device that is sharing data, perhaps even making a list as you add/remove devices so you always know who is connected.  Short of hiring an IT guy to verify your data usage, it is your best shot at making sure that you can intellegently make your case.

Beholder may have beheld the back end systems that Verzion uses to tally data, but that doesnt mean that they record that data flawlessly, honestly, or even accurately (Search Google for 2011 Verizon class action lawsuit - Verizon lost).  Which takes me back to the first statement I quoted.

I agree that devices that simply convert data should never generate it. However, considering my own experience with Verizon 4G LTE Internet, I'm not so sure. 4G LTE Internet is a 'whole house' offering that includes a garbage disposal sized 'Cantenna" to receive the cellular signal, and passes it to a Verizon router. The router then enables connection to both wired and wireless devices. Over the months, I have watched my usage frequently inexplicably ramp up. Was I experiencing Ghost Data Usage?

My day job is IT. I am a systems engineer/archtitect that works with networking daily. I also have access to the enterprise grade tools to track data at its most geek laden level. For months I made the casual assumption that between wife, kids and cell phones, we were getting careless in our usage. I became the data police. Changed passwords, blocked access and tracked what was happening. And still the data usage did not line up.

It was time to get serious. Premise 1 - if nothing is connected to pull data, no data should flow into/out of the network. I disconnected all my data using devices. The cellular 'Cantenna' was left powered on. Router was left powered on. Wireless password changed. No devices connected wirelessly or via ethernet cable. Checked and verified.  2 days later, Verizon online data usage chart showed that nearly 1 GB of data had been consumed. Router Firmware update perhaps?  nope. Same version.  Maybe the data ghosts hooked up tiny little ghost computers?

My second test left only the cellular 'Cantenna' powered on.  At this point, the 'Cantenna' could only convert cellular signal into an ethernet signal. NOTHING was connected or powered on to pull data. I waited another 2 days to see if I had excised the data ghosts. Alas! Per Verizons reporting tool, the data phantoms were alive, gobbling up an additional several dozen MB of data.

My third test? Everthing was disconnected and powered off, including the 'Cantenna'. At This point, it should have been impossible for Verizon to even communicate with my network. But to my surprise, there was STILL a steady flow of billable data for a network that was not only disconnected, but not even powered on!

My next step is to install network monitoring equipment of the enterprise sort. This will allow me to track all data on my network - who generated it, where it is going, etc. It will take substantial time to deliver meaningful results, but at this point, I'm up for the task.  I've grown tired of reading far too many replies where consumers have been treated like idiots. If this data shows what I suspect it will, then it will be time to take it to the next level.




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#12 UPDATE Employee

Valid Usage

AUTHOR: Beholder88 - (USA)

POSTED: Monday, December 28, 2015

I have worked for Verizon Wireless through consumer customer service, technical support as well as business and government cusotmer operations. I've seen the back end systems that tally the usage and understand how the phones and other devices use the data. Most people who are complaining about data usage just plainly do not understand how it works. I could educate you all day long on how data is used, what uses more or less, but people don't tend to care. If you have an android phone, go to settings, and choose data usage. Make sure the date range matches you bill cycle with Verizon and the phone will tell you exactly what apps have used how much data during your cycle.

You would be surprised what you may find. As far as the MiFi usage, there is no possible way that a device with no other function than to convert cellular signal into WiFi signal can use data on its own. Something has to be connected to that signal and pulling the data, ie a computer, tablet or other smartphone. I've spoken to people who have gone as far as taking Verizon to court over such issues, and they lose. Mostly because again, they just don't understand data usage. If you are used to an unlimited plan and not having to pay attention to what you are doing, it makes sense.

If you want to own a smartphone or other connected device on the best, most reliable network out there, you need to take the time to educate yourself on what data is, how it is used and what uses the most. If you don't take the time to understand it, you can't complain about your usage. Since I am a current employee, I will not answer any correspondence asking me to look into your account. If you have general questions or want a more in depth explanation of something I would be more than happy to go over information with you via email.

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#11 Author of original report

its likely a lost cause

AUTHOR: - ()

POSTED: Saturday, December 05, 2015

 considering I filed this report a couple years ago and it still a problem and it's a known problem and they continue to get the money that they say you owe them irregardless of what we say I find it highly unlikely that they're going to fix the problem considering they are the largest carrier with millions of users and the likelihood of all the users standing together is probably pretty slim. people will continue to be screwed because we are the minority. I am happy to say good sense dumping Verizon a couple years ago for AT&T Internet I have not once gone over. whereas Verizon was insisting that I was a single user who hardly did anything online was consuming double-digit gigabyte of data I average maybe 1 gigabyte a month now for the past few years goodbye Verizon. I'm glad to see that more and more people are finding this Ripoff Report however I don't think it's nearly enough demand to get noticed

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#10 General Comment

Problem to


POSTED: Saturday, December 05, 2015

We have used Verizon for years and since Aug our data usage has gone thru the roof . We used to use 6 to 8 gigabytes a month but now are using 22 gigabytes a month . Have talked to Verizon numerous times to no avail .We switched to a different carrier last month and our data usage went back  to 7 gigagytes  for the month can someone tell me how to get Verizon to solve the  problem they are ripping us off with overcharges




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#9 General Comment

Verizon damage control

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (USA)

POSTED: Tuesday, November 03, 2015

I have had the same issue with my phone, the droid turbo. I managed to navigate my way through the tiers of Verizon tech support hierarchy, debunking all the typical verizon "talking points" along the way. After about a week or so of this I finally talked to a top level tech support rep and he gave me the answer I suspected, He said that this data consumption issue is a known issue and "Its flagged in the system and they are working with Motorola to get a fix pushed out but at the moment there is no ETA" (I have all this in writing btw). From there it all went south, When I got transferred to billing so they could fix my bill for the fraudlent data that has accrued, they denied that I ever spoke with a tech support and would not refund any of my overages, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE DIRECT PROOF THAT I INDEED SPOKE WITH A TECH REP AND THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE SOFTWARE!!! After about another hour on the phone with customer service, the lady flat out admitted yeah its a problem but it says you used the data so you have to pay for it (even if it is fraudlent). I asked her to send me this in writing as well but she simply refused. She could not give me a good excuse to why I could not get this in writing.


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#8 Consumer Comment

Data Usage


POSTED: Wednesday, September 09, 2015

All you people saying you are going over on data and Verizon is charging you in-correctly I find this very difficult to believe.


We have 2 - IPhone 6 Plus smartphones on a 10GB plan. We normally hover around he 7-8GB point and we are very heavy users (youtube, pandora, facebook etc). I also use the hotspot feautre on my phone occasionally.  We have never not once in 3-4 years gone over on our data.

It is a very easy concept to keep track of and in my opinnion its pretty accurate. I am a Network Security Engineer and have been one for over 10 years so I know what I am talking about.


On the IPhone and Android phones Verizon has a data widget and I have that on my phone and on my wifes phone that is how we keep track and we magically somehow "Never go over on our data".


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#7 General Comment

Verizon Wireless We have the same problem.

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (USA)

POSTED: Wednesday, August 19, 2015

 We have the same problem. Furthermore according to verizon when they sell you their services they push oh yes you can check and monitor your data through your devices but when it's closer to bill time they flip that concept and say oh no those are just estimates. Since the devices are calculating usage as it is running shouldn't that be a more precise number to use much like your mileage calculated on a vehicle as its running versus the fabricated data usage amount that verizon claims was actually used that after strange calculations its way off in total compared to the actual amount really used. In the end it appears to be a valid way to push higher data plans and lock you into extension of contracts that were not needed or wanted..

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#6 Consumer Comment

Data Overbilling - Cannot Verify Verizon Data Overages

AUTHOR: Mark C. - (USA)

POSTED: Sunday, August 09, 2015

Purchased 3 new iphones on the Verizon Network. Verizon recommended, and we purchased their their 10G data plan. There are 2 adults and 2 children in our family, (a 4 year-old and 16 year old)

We exceeded 10G after the first billing cycle, so I raised to 15G. Exceeded 15G on the second billing cycle, so I raised to 20G. Added a Verizon jetpack for trip to Florida during 3rd billing cycle and it consumed data at the rate of 1G per hour. (watching 2 movies in the car) Raised data plan to 30G and went over same day.

All of our devices automatically switch to our home wifi network when at home. We never use Verizon data in the evening or weekends since we are normally at home, and all of our data is being handled by our COX Cable home wifi network.

Checked Verizon's website to "View My Usage" and all it will tell you is % use of data type, i.e., video, audio, email, social media services, etc. No information about actual data used per connection. Impossible we could use 30G of data in 1 month, - unless Verizon is playing with the calculation used to meter actual data usage (Overbilling).

Currently we are at 35G of data on the last day of our billing cycle. Paid the bill in full last week, but data usage is not affected by payment. Overage charges still apply until billing cycle resets.

There is no way for the consumer to know how much data they are actually are using without taking the information from the service provider (Verizon). That is a license to steal.

What a scam. No way my 4 person family could use more data than my 22 person office at work, especially when our Verizon data usage applies only when we are out of the home, or about 35% of the time. This means our 3 phones use over 30G of data in about 18 days, impossible.

I took the details below from my Verizon account. It shows how our data is used, by category, in 1 billing cycle.

35G Data Usage in 30 days -

Data Categories

Video 59%

Downloads & Marketplaces 18%

Web & Apps 15%

Social Media & Networking 4%

Audio 1%

Communication & Device Services 1%

Verizon's website allows you to review your data by the device also, but will not let you drill down to usage per connection. There are many pretty graphs which gives no real information about what is happening on a connection by connetion basis.

Why can't they meter data usage the same way the telephone company meter phone calls?

How do we actually know how much data was used by a single Netflix movie? You don't.

How do we know Verizon is being honest? We don't.

How do we know what our data usage should be? We don't.

The mobile companies have changed their pricing strategy recently. They used to make their money on service contracts. Those days are gone. They will use the "Data Drain", or data to drain your bank account until the entire industry is caught and punished by paying billions of dollars in fines to the Justice Department, on our behalf, of course.

Corporate America steals it, then is forced to share the loot with Uncle Sam. Ahhhh...... the American way!

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#5 Consumer Comment

They absolutely rip people off.

AUTHOR: therealHK - (USA)

POSTED: Monday, June 01, 2015

Hello, as a Verizon customer I can without a doubt confirm that they are indeed running some sort of scam. During the unliminited data times, and even a few people I know still have unlimited, their data useage is nothing compared to those who pay for a specified plan. While having unlimited, between 3 people we barely ever used 2GB total for a large period of time (don't know exactly how long off the top of my head.) Once, we started paying for a plan, at first it was still ok for a few months, then everything went downhill. One month we'll barley use 2, then for some consecutive months we're getting 75% notices midway through the cycle. We pay for 6 GB, and go over almost every month now. Two days ago, we recieved at 75% warning at 3:02AM, I was at the shore with friends, my mother and brother were asleep. Five other people I was with got the same message, and three people my mom works with also got it. So you're telling me all of us just happen to have hit 75% of our data at the exact same time, while not even being on our phones? For almost a year now these bogus data warnings have been coming in, I have even gotten them while all 3 of us were home and connected to wifi and I was watching the data useage go up. Verizon has blamed it on GPS useage multiple times when I was taking long trips for a couple weeks. I took at 6 hour round trip, and looked at my data as I was leaving, when i arrived at my destination, when I left, and then when I got home. It used .17 GB of data for 6 hours. How the hell are they going to try and tell me its because of GPS when that was one of the longest trips i took that week. If you look at the My Verizon app, and look at what you use it the most on, its almost ALWAYS, for me atleast, social media. Which seems reasonable, besides the fact that I ONLY use instagram for maybe a total of an hour a day, and less when I work, and I occasionally use snapchat. My friends with unlimited sit on Facebook, Instagram and snapchat all day long and use half the data I do. I really don't think there is anyway to stop this from happening because there is no way to prove on your end that you really only use as much as you say because if you ask for records, it will just have their added influx.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Amen, Brother

AUTHOR: John - ()

POSTED: Monday, September 01, 2014

I am a computer software architect, and I confirm the man's statements. Verizon is either incompetent or willfully defrauding its customers in connection with data usage measurements. Too bad their coverage is better than the competition, but the only way to deal with this is to go to another carrier.

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

File for arbitration or file a claim in small claim's court

AUTHOR: G32768 - ()

POSTED: Monday, December 02, 2013

Sending bills to customers for phantom data usage is unfair and illegal.  If Verizon really and truly is sending you bills that claim that your device is generating data traffic on their network that you know your device is not generating, then you can and should assert a claim against Verizon. 

Chances are near certain that there is a mandatory binding arbitration clause built into your contract.  While it might seem like a large hassle, you should read your contract to determine what steps you must take to file for arbitration, or if possible, a claim in small claims court. 

Should you choose to proceed, make certain that you follow the steps exactly.  When you have been wronged by a big company like Verizon, one nice thing about filing suit is that you will no longer be at the mercy of some Verizon customer service rep.  If Verizon *really* is wrongfully billing you, they will quickly settle the suit with you.  Generally, big companies like Verizon do not intentionally bill customers for services that they know they are not providing to customers.  If they do, they are taking an enormous risk that an insider will eventually blow the whistle, which can lead to all sorts of lawsuits, including criminal charges.  On the other hand, you do have one good point: Verizon's metering of customer's data usage is like the cat watching the henhouse.  Since they are the one's doing the metering, you can argue that they should have the burden of proving that their metering is accurate.  Also, the burden of proof in civil claims is generally a proponderance of the evicence, meaning that you would not have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Verizon is wrongfully billing you; you only need to show that its more likely than not that they are wrongfully billing you. 

Consumers are too often guilty of rolling over and not fighting back when big corporations like Verizon take advantage of them.  If you don't pay your bill, you can bet that Verizon would report you to the credit reporting agencies, and eventually would send bill collectors after you.  They might also file for arbitration and get a judgment against you.  If Consumers fought back whenever the corpration was engaging in bad behavior, corporations would be more careful and would think twice before doing things like what you described. 



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#2 Consumer Comment

#1 devourer of data is streaming

AUTHOR: Final Frame - ()

POSTED: Monday, October 21, 2013

Unless you are streaming on a very low resolution or on your phone an hour worth of youtube streaming IS 1 gig (1 hour of 5 minute videos right).  After that verizon charges you $10 per gig over its easy to figure out and is actually spelled out for you under my account on the verizon website.


People need to understand what kind of data consumption they have instead of believing that they know.  We run into this all the time and if people are heavy data users we never recommend  Verizon.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Totally Agree

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

POSTED: Friday, October 18, 2013

My Mifi contract brand new wasn't pulling in a lot of usage, but now in just two weeks, under very similar conditions, I am receiving overage notices. When I talk with the representative, they automatically try to bump me up into next pricier tier MB contract. They never explain how the usage adds up (although there is a data usage table). The representatives if they were at some other companies, would send a summary of the conversation and agreed upon modifications by mail or email. Verizon sales people don't do written confirmations, and even filing this report, they can monitor and make the customer feel like a criminal---read the news on the NSA and how Verizon readily supplies them with customer service data. If these giants (Verizon, ATT, etc) want to meter GB uses, then maybe they should have an outside agency like the Feds or third party do it, so we consumers have a sense of fairness and legitimacy about the metering. We should be able to download and app that tells us how much is being used. But the point is as the author at Techdirt says that if people have this cognitive load regarding how to economize, they may just go back to DSL. That's what I'm thinking of doing. Then I will pay for my Mifi till 2015, and also a DSL bill, but at least will give me back my cognitive freedom. The worst part is that Verizon customer service hires these boorish callous types who really get off upsetting customers.


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