I’ve been on prepaid since I got a mobile phone ten years ago. The only time I was convince to get into a postpaid plan was when I got an iPhone 3G subscription plan from Globe. And for the last 12 months, I thought it was well worth it.
Not until this month when I got my last bill. I’m subscribed on the basic iPhone Plan 1599 and ever since I had it, I never once exceeded my monthly allocation. I don’t text a lot or make calls (and I have 2 other active prepaid numbers) and despite being a heavy mobile internet user, I still am not able to consume all the 40 hours a month allocation (mainly because I got wifi at home and have both SmartBro and Globe Tattoo accounts).
So it was a huge surprise to learn that last month, my bill went beyond Php6,000 (there’s another Php3,700 spill-over internet charges for this month). During that time, I actually monitor my account getting charged about Php400 every day. So I reported it, made screenshots, documented and asked some clarifications. I got a lot of possible answers:
- Push Email was set to ON and the iPhone could be connecting to 3G all the time. In the last 12 months of having GMail and Yahoo on my iPhone, I never set it to ON and it’s OFF until now. Fetch is also set to OFF/Manual.
- iPhone Apps that connect to the net in the background. Been regularly downloading new apps (including Yahoo Messenger, TruPhone and Skype). I thought no iPhone Apps can run in the background? Apple specifically disabled this feature as it hogs resources, battery life and slows down performance. I don’t think there’s an app that runs on the background. To be sure, I restarted/rebooted the iPhone several times during the day.
- iPhone OS 3.0 reset some settings/configurations. However, I did the upgrade in June so I should have experienced this problem much earlier.
The timing is also suspicious as at least 2 other friends on an iPhone plan have racked up Php17,000 and Php20,000 on their bills this same month. I’ve already filed a dispute/report and so have my other friends.
This isn’t the first time this type of incident has happened. I’ve actually helped a couple of people (both on iPhone and Nokia phones) resolve their sky-high 3G internet charges before.
The quick-fix — disable the APN. That way, the iPhone won’t be able to connect even if it tried to.
It’s irritating though that I need to edit my APN every time I want to connect online. It ruins the experience. Now, I’m always afraid to use my iPhone to connect online. If that’s the case, the iPhone looks crippled — might as well ditch it. Apple needs to look into this.
My only gripe si that I only have a Php2,500 credit limit. I assume that when I reach that amount/charge before end of the month, my account gets suspended, which it should be. So, I wonder why my fees go way beyond Php2,500.
- Switch to Globe Prepaid. But that doesn’t solve the problem that my credits/load could get drained overnight.
- Jailbreak the iPhone and use my other existing Smart Prepaid SIM.
- Sell the iPhone 3G and get an openline HTC Magic or Nokia E72 for my Globe subscription.
But before that, I need to settle my unpaid and long-overdue bills first. :D