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Phone Reports Incorrect Data Usage

gepainegepaine Posts: 8 Spectator
edited August 24 in Spectrum Mobile Jul 13, 2022

Spectrum notified me yesterday that my wife's data usage on her Samsung S21 had gone over 5GB this month. As of 2 days ago, she had used about 500MB in the past 19 days - an average of about 26MB per day. This has been her normal usage for a long time as she never streams movies and only uses mobile data for email, Googling, etc. when there is no local wi-fi.

The phone showed a spike in usage a day or two ago by an app named "Spectrum Mobile". This app has apparently used 4.89GB this month - all in the "background". (I looked up the same app on my S21, and it has used only 5MB during the same period. "Spectrum Mobile" is an app that neither my wife nor I have ever used - we didn't even know it existed on our phones.

As best I can gather from Spectrum technical support, this is an old app that allowed users to interact with their Spectrum Mobile account and has been replaced by the "MySpectrum" app.

I have talked to Billing about the problem and they refuse to accept what my phone is telling me about the usage. They have no breakdown of the usage by app, so they believe my wife actually uased the data. They did provide a partial credit of $28, but the bogus usage data amounts to $70.

I talked to Technical Support, and they won't pursue a technical cause because, again, they cannot see usage by app. I'm concerned that without further investigation, it might happen again. (Technical Support said I could uninstall the "Spectrum Mobile" app, but since it was downloaded from Spectrum, I can't uninstall it via the Play Store and don't know how else to do it. (I suspect it was downloaded when my phone was initially setup by the Spectrum store.)

I do not know if the "Spectrum Mobile" app actually was using data in the background, or if an error caused the bogus usage to be reported. What I do know, beyond any doubt, is that my wife did not use 5GB of data in a single day. Does anyone have any ideas as to what caused this?

Replies

  • William_MWilliam_M Posts: 396 Moderator
    Jul 13, 2022

    Hi @gepaine, welcome to our community! I'm sorry for the trouble with your mobile service.

    We have no way to check the source of data use from our end, all we can recommend is looking at the data settings on your phone which should show a breakdown by app. I recommend checking this occasionally to keep an eye on your data usage. There you can set up data warnings and limits to let you know when you are getting close to using up your gig and stop you from going over. You can enable data saver which will prevent apps from using data in the background, you can set different preferences per app. I personally prefer to leave my data turned completely off and rely on WiFi, and only turn data on when I do not have WiFi and am willing to use up my available data.

    If it shows the Spectrum Mobile app used that much I definitely recommend uninstalling it as that app is no longer supported. You uninstall apps by tapping and holding on the app and then selecting remove/uninstall. You can upgrade to an unlimited plan and only pay the cost between 1 gig and unlimited, but you wouldn't be able to downgrade back to by-the-gig until the following cycle.

  • gepainegepaine Posts: 8 Spectator
    Jul 13, 2022

    I understand that you have no way of verifying app usage from your end; however, I offerred to send a screenshot from my phone showing usage, and no one I talked to at Spectrum wanted to see it. I will attach the screenshot now.


    I am unable to uninstall the "Spectrum Mobile" app as you described because there is no icon for it on any of the Applications screens. The only way I have of accessing it is via Settings/Apps/Spectrum Mobile, and tapping and holding on the app there does not bring up an option to uninstall. Maybe there is no icon because it was downloaded from Spectrum instead of the Play Store. Do you know of any other way to uninstall it?

  • James_MJames_M Posts: 3,652 ADMIN
    Jul 13, 2022

    You can also go into settings and close all "unused" apps. You can also check to make sure the phone is connected to WiFi and not running any other programs.

  • gepainegepaine Posts: 8 Spectator
    Jul 13, 2022

    James_M,

    I don't see how your suggestions will help understand how "Spectrum Mobile" used 4.89 GB in the background, nor do they tell me how to uninstall the "Spectrum Mobile" app.

  • William_MWilliam_M Posts: 396 Moderator
    Jul 15, 2022

    Can you check if there are any software updates available for the phone? If so please update as that may remove the app. If it does not, please provide the phones make/model so we can provide instructions specific for that device.

  • gepainegepaine Posts: 8 Spectator
    Jul 15, 2022

    William_M,

    The phone was last updated on July 2nd, 2022, and it says that it is up to date.

    Make: Samsung

    Model: Galaxy S21 5G

    Model Number: SM-G991U

    Do you have any idea how this Spectrum-installed app was able to use 4.89 GB of data in the background over a 24 to 48 hour period? Has anyone else reported this problem? (I have since turned off background data use for all apps.)

    Thanks

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,687 Contributor
    Jul 15, 2022

    Guys,

    Just throwing in my two cents here. But could a virus or malware be the culprit here? A rogue app?

    Satch

  • gepainegepaine Posts: 8 Spectator
    Jul 15, 2022

    Satch,

    That's always a possibility, but the phone is protected by Norton Anti-Virus.

  • William_MWilliam_M Posts: 396 Moderator
    Jul 16, 2022

    It looks like that app is not the actual discontinued "Spectrum Mobile" app. The Spectrum Mobile app is just listed as "Mobile" and has an icon that looks like a phone with "Spectrum" under it. The "Spectrum Mobile" app, showing an icon with a WiFi symbol and left/right arrows is a system app..

    You can see from my phone which still has the Mobile app installed that these apps are separate and have different amounts of data used. I have been not been able to identify what causes data to be used by the Spectrum Mobile app so I have escalated the issue for further research. We will follow up as soon as we have more information available.

  • gepainegepaine Posts: 8 Spectator
    Jul 16, 2022

    William_M,

    Thanks for the update.

    Regarding the "Spectrum Mobile" app being a "system app", the app info on the phone says it was downloaded from Spectrum Mobile not from Samsung.

    I'll await further info.

  • James_MJames_M Posts: 3,652 ADMIN
    Jul 20, 2022

    @gepaine

    I was able to look into this a little further and sorry for any confusion. The "Spectrum Mobile 4.89GB" you are seeing in your screen shot is not an app, rather it is referring to 4.89GB of data used while on the Spectrum Mobile data plan. On Android devices, there is a setting that can be enabled or disabled that allows mobile data to be used automatically when WiFi is not available or weak. There are also data limits within Spectrum Mobile settings that can be enabled and customized to alert you when data is being used. The most likely explanation is that the use data automatically option was enabled and data was being used instead of WiFi.

  • gepainegepaine Posts: 8 Spectator
    Jul 20, 2022

    James_M,

    The phone was not set to automatically use mobile data when wi-fi is not available. The phone only uses mobile data when mobile data is turned on by my wife for her phone or by me for my phone.

    The photo of the data usage screen is a list of mobile data usage by apps and the "Spectrum Mobile" app is at the top of the list as having used 4.89 GB of mobile data.

    The 4,89 GB of mobile data is not a total of mobile data used since at the top of the photo you can plainly see that the total is listed as 5.43 GB. (The difference between 5.43 GB and 4.89 GB is 540 MB which is the actual amount of mobile data used by my wife up until something went wrong.

  • James_MJames_M Posts: 3,652 ADMIN
    edited July 22 Jul 22, 2022

    Hi @gepaine

    Thanks for the reply. We have reached out to the mobile team for further clarification on the charges, but have not been able to identify details on the 4.89GB usage. I have sent you a private message from our @Community_Help handle. Please look for the notification on the envelope in upper right menu header (you may need to refresh your page). The private message will include details of how we will correct this issue.

    Thanks for your patience,

    James

  • gepainegepaine Posts: 8 Spectator
    Jul 23, 2022

    Jame_M:

    Thank you for looking into this problem. Even though your team was unable to determine the cause, I appreciate the adjustment you made to my account. As I remain concerned that it may happen again, please let me know if your team should discover the cause and/or a preventive action.

This discussion has been closed.