Top five excess data usage explanations – billshock 101

Here’s a list of our top five most frequent excess data usage explanations

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Running a telecommunications management company that manages in excess of 400 mobiles, 150 ipad/tablets and just shy of 50 broadband/Ethernet services… you can just imagine how much we deal with data.

My team’s every day morning consists of logging into our clients online management systems and surveying each of their services for possible excess data usage or their red flags There is a number of indicators but generally speaking we get early warning when overnight someone’s usage inexplicitly jumps from 20% to 80%! Now imagine this happening on average 2 – 3 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out there is certain patterns that emerge, in fact we would have to be stupid to miss them!

As you are probably gauging we have heard almost every excuse under the sun, seen bemused faces and even had many a conversation where the culprit explains an in-depth conspiracy theory on why the providers are after them and not simply it was a slow night on television last night. Never the less it’s our job to catch it early, warn them and help prevent it happening in the future so we here at Telco Bill Cutters try and go about this daily ritual with an empathetic smile and an encouraging pat on the head.bill-shock

Here’s a list of our top five most frequent excess data usage explanations:

  1. I must have a virus!

    The ‘I have a virus’ hands down is the most common we come across. It makes sense because such an excuse is genuinely coupled with a complete bemusement on what has happened to cause such a difference. The problem with this excuse is 999 out of 1000 there is generally a much simpler reason and upon further investigation it’s normally something much less malicious. On top of that, apple products are almost completely full proof from malware and unless the client has ‘rooted’ their android they are pretty safe too!

  2. Something must be downloading in the background!

    Another ripper we hear often that comes from the same ignorance basket as the first is the phantom downloader. Now this one is often partially true as our mobiles are almost constantly updated, downloading and taking in data to keep functioning, the problem is that it is rare for the phone to be downloading files big enough to cause such a data jump.

  3. The emails I receive are using it all!

    Once again, this is often a half truth and is quite often a type of modern day wives tale passed between fellow employees to each other but rarely is based in reality. It is true that emails use data and a file can often be up to 2mb when you open it. The problem of this is that most emails don’t contain such large files and even if you did receive large files, to receive 100 of them all at once overnight is a reasonably unlikely scenario.

  4. I haven’t done anything different!

    This isn’t actually an explanation but rather just something we hear every day so is worth mentioning. We often find when we press this issue it almost inevitably ends in “oh I had no idea that app even uses data!” in which case we normally laugh and learn a valuable new life lesson. This can often lead to some pretty entertaining Friday afternoon chats between the Telco Bill Cutter crew at our local Brisbane tavern.

  5. My kids did it…

    This is now the modern day equivalent to “the dog ate my homework” that was possibly the worst excuse in history. However, sometimes this is actually true and them pesky little ones love a good late night YouTube session. But more often than not it’s an embarrassed parent who was loose with their use and decided they can get away with murder with their partners by blaming it on the kids so why not use it with their Telco manager!


There is about 101 different ways that lead to excess data usage and many of these are completely unknown to the general user so this is normally a pretty rewarding part of our job. Sometimes it takes a bit of work and every one of us here at Telco Bill Cutters has ‘that one guy’ that just doesn’t get the memo, but it’s all in good fun! A little bit of knowledge, guidance and every now and again a forceful push in the right direction and every one of our clients are pretty damn awesome!

I know what you’re thinking now… so what are these 101 different ways that lead to excess data usage?

Until next time…


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