cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

maxviz
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 26-01-2014

160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

I have recently been advised by email that I have been using additional data over and above my monthly 10GB allowance. As I am a light user I was surprised by this. I use the internet for browsing a few newspaper sites in the morning and evening and checking my emails. On further investigation I discover that my usage has been allocated to streaming. I do not stream. I have never used my computer for gaming, I have never downloaded a film or even a film clip.I don't even download or listen to music on my computer. So I contacted PlusNet and told them that I had a problem, and that I was being charged for data that I had not used. To my surprise they we're unable to tell me what my additional data had been used on other than 'streaming', due to data protection requirements. In fact they could only tell me how much data I had used over the last 3 month, when I was able to see at least 12 months myself.  So here is the problem Plusnet can apparently tell you what they want, in terms of your data usage, without having to or being able to provide any evidence or proof of that usage. I have explained to customer services over 2 very long telephone calls that no one other than myself has access to my computer, that my computer and wifi are password protected and that no one other than myself is aware of those passwords. My computer is not left on overnight nor is it left on during the day. I asked plusNet if they could simply investigate my issues a little more in depth and I got the response, 'we are only able to look at the last 3 months data usage, there's not a lot else we can do.'This is not the sort of response I was expecting.  I have 2 questions now, 1 - has anybody else had a similar experience and 2 - PlusNet please can you please investigate my issue seriously.
41 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 4
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

I've seen this happen before when someones wifi password has been compromised and someone else is using it without the owners consent. You might want to make sure you are using WPA encryption (not WEP) and change your password for good measure.
Windows updates can take a fair chunk but I wouldn't expect them to come under streaming. My stepson rattles through around 15Gb of data a month on his mobile phone just watching Youtube videos and that is using a fairly low resolution video (don't ask !).
Sky catchup and BBC iPlayer can also use up significant amounts of data usage.
It is quite possible that your wireless password has been cracked though - http://netsecurity.about.com/od/secureyourwifinetwork/a/WPA2-Crack.htm but without looking at what devices your router is reporting as connected that would just be a guess. Maybe try changing it every few days for a bit and see if your streaming bandwidth suddenly drops. If it does then you may well have a neighbour who is helping themselves to your bandwidth.
JohnJ-B
Grafter
Posts: 71
Thanks: 1
Registered: 16-08-2007

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

@DomS, unless I'm reading it incorrectly, @maxviz is NOT seeing any Streaming Data Traffic - hence, they will not see any change when they try out your suggestions (albeit very valid suggestions).
If PN have the evidence (which legally they must, if they want to charge @maxviz), they should be able to provide details of the time of day (et al) that the excessive Streaming was alleged to have occurred!
I'm also amazed the way PN seems to be hiding behind Data Protection! Either they are alleging that @maxviz has undertaken the streaming (hence there can be no issue about the Data Protection) OR they are admitting it is somebody else's Data (hence the DPA comment).
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
Thanks: 86
Fixes: 3
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

Many news sites have embedded videos, if played these would likely show as streaming usage, not sure about embedded advertising videos.
I'd suggest installing something like Networx: http://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/ particularly if you only use one PC on your connection, many routers also log up and down traffic so may be worth checking this too.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Mayfly
Pro
Posts: 1,157
Thanks: 112
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-06-2009

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

I had a spurious reading last year which I contacted PN about. They weren't overly worried because I am unlimited but as someone who doesn't use much bandwidth [despite the package I am on] I was interested to know how it had happened. The total amounted to about 10 x my normal usage [still a very small amount compared to many] - we both agreed it wasn't some one hacking my router and if IIRC they said the 2 different systems they use for registering usage were reading totally different so would look into it but I never heard anything back despite PMing the team member who took charge of it. It's not happened again.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

Can you post your usage stats https://portal.plus.net/view_my_broadband_usage/index.php and the breakdown? Did you receive emails that you were about to go over your 10Gb allowance and emails when you exceeded your allowance?
maxviz
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 26-01-2014

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

Thanks to everyone who replied and thanks for all the good suggestions.
My main concern regarding the issue is this, PN are unable to tell me on what I have apparently used all this additional data, but are quiet happy to charge me for it. In the normal run of things if I haven't received something then I wouldn't expect to pay for it and if I query it then I would expect some proof that I had indeed had it or not. I'm concerned that PN are indeed hiding behind the data protection rules in order to not be able to furnish this information. I am also concerned that they do not seem to take seriously the fact that their figures and or their means of measuring data usage may be incorrect from time to time. Indeed if you go to your usage page on PN you are faced with the following statement -
Please note: Occasionally you may see usage in a category that you haven't used (typically a few KB or MB). This is almost always background traffic that our systems have classified incorrectly and is nothing to worry about.
In one period alone 59% of my usage was allocated to the category streaming, a category that I have never used!!
Furthermore when discussing the issue with customer services, I was advised on 3 occasions that 'the stats they have are never going to be very accurate'.........
So I ask once again, how can PN justify charging for additional data usage when they, and presumably no one, can verify the authenticity of that usage.

It should be noted that I have used PN for several years and have only ever had good things to say about them.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

Do you connect to your router wirelessly or wired?
Is there anyone else that could have access to your WiFi password (i.e. family or friends)?
Do you have any Smart TVs/SkyHD boxes that use On Demand/Freeview or Freesat with On Demand features?
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,661
Thanks: 654
Fixes: 162
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

There are 2 different systems here. The one that aggregates the amount of usage on your account is called CBC and I've just checked the raw data for the last billing month, this matches what we charged.
The usage split is performed by our traffic management system which is where incorrect categories may appear.
Generally these stats are very accurate, I'm a bit concerned that you've been told otherwise.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
GlynArmstrong
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 02-12-2010

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

Have you replaced your router at any stage? If you have sold / passed on an old router that still contains your connection information you could be being charged for the usage of whoever is using that router.
maxviz
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 26-01-2014

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

Hi, once again thanks for the helpful suggestions. I connect wirelessly, I don't use on demand services and nobody other than myself connects to the router nor have I changed my router at anytime.
@Chris -Please wake up at the back!!  I understand that you charged me for the raw data, but what I'm trying to ascertain is what that raw data is! I've been charged for an awful lot of raw data that I'm saying I've never used! This is my issue.
All4One
Grafter
Posts: 289
Registered: 17-03-2013

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

I don't think ISP's can record what you do and show you for privacy issues and also they probably don't want/need to see what everyone is browsing... Wink Wink Wink
I've had similar issue with BT in past.
Gel
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,558
Thanks: 160
Fixes: 13
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

Suggest follow others suggestion to immediately change router p/word; then check your broadband usage stats on Plus Net Portal and see if there's a sudden reduction.
https://portal.plus.net/view_my_broadband_usage/index.php
That may indicate if your router's been tapped into prior to change, assuming it suddenly drops, after p/word change.
Unfortunately there are lots of progs available, where router p/words can be hacked into, so changing is a start, but may be hacked again.
And why you should change regularly.
D/load SSid programme, which'll show other wifi routers in your vicinity, which may be helpful in narrowing down possibilities.
It'll show yours obviously, but are there others on same channel that show up?
http://download.cnet.com/inSSIDer/3000-18508_4-10848357.html
I also have my router restrict access to certain MAC codes ie just my devices, so providing another layer of security; hackers,
can get round that too I gather with spoofed MAC codes, but all these steps makes life more difficult.
And they may give up, move onto to next victim. Lips are sealed
KK
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 06-01-2014

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

This will probably sound a bit like bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but did you know that you can limit your monthly overspend on the connection settings page of the plusnet website?  I have set my overspend to zero.
dragon2611
Grafter
Posts: 283
Registered: 20-10-2013

Re: 160GB additional usage over 6 months - its a lot if you haven't used it!!!

Turn your router OFF completely then call plusnet to confirm that there are no active sessions showing at the moment.
It's not impossible for another router to be using your login, it's very rare but I know of at least one case where there was a provisioning hiccup and another router got sent the wrong persons login.
Plusnet should be able to tell from their radius logs as to if there are 2 routers logging into the same account  Undecided