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New Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-25-2013
My Device: z10
My Carrier: Bell Mobility
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$9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

Just thought I'd share my situation and see if anyone else has had similar issues with their Z10 or Bell Mobility (Canada). 

 

I am currently using a z10 with an old unlimited data plan that is limited to HSPA+ and has an outrageous cost for tethering or mobile wifi use.  The reason I keep this plan is due to the unlimited ON DEVICE data portion of the plan that allows me to listen to radio or browse without any concern of going over my limit.

 

On the last day of my billing cycle Bell Mobility charged me for a 1.125 GB data use item that they claim was the result of tethering of mobile hotspot use and charged me an astonishing $8/MB * 1125MB = $ 9008 ! This was time stamped at 8:45pm (about the time I had gone to sleep that evening).  For the record, I did not accidentally turn on tether or mobile hotspot  wifi, nor have I ever used or activated these functions.

 

Bell Mobilities tech dept reported that the data was "valid" (valid?  what do they mean by that?) and had been drawn from my z10; they refused to delete the usage.

 

After a many days talking with various reps at Bell they temporarily changed my plan to allow for this data with the promise to return me to my old one at the end of the next billing cycle.  Why is this a Blackberry issue?  Bell insisted that if I did not use or turn my internet sharing then the issue was with my blackberry device and not their problem (even though they phone was purchased from them, they say it is not their responsibility).  They gave me the number of blackberry small business support 1-800-327-9085 and said I should deal with them to determine if there is a security breach with my phone. Their manager suggested that either a 3rd party ap or nearby individual had used that data from my device without my knowledge or consent.

 

My concern is that they said they will only do this charge reversal one time and any further use will result in charges at the pre determined price. How is someone supposed to protect themselves from something they did not do?

 

Blackberry small biz support was less than help helpful and simply suggested I might be interested in the trade up program and buy a new phone. The fact that one of their decade long loyal customers received $ 9000 bill using their product didn't seem to concern the representative in the least.  Nonetheless I have taken this up with our companies telecom representative (a Bell authorized dealer) who will investigate the issue further.

 

At this point Im not sure which party is responsible.  Bell Mobility Canada is steadfast with their belief that the issue is either with myself the user or Blackberry. As I can positively attest that I had nothing to do with this I tried to perform my due diligence by following up with Blackberry, but to no avail.

 

Questions:

 

- Is there a risk to data theft from the z10? 

 

- Are there others who have had similar issues?

 

- What if anything can the consumer do to protect themselves from either the carrier or blackberry? 

 

I have offered to bring my phone in for a forensic analysis to Bell for them to determine what actually happened, but they insist they are not in the hardware business and I need to take it up with blackberry. I am very frustrated and worried at a repeat.

 

 

This experience has taken the joy out of using my z10. If this happens again I will undoubtedly need to involve lawyers and the media.  

 

 

A once very happy Blackberry z10 owner.

 

 

 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎01-20-2012
My Device: Z10 + Torch + Playbook
My Carrier: Vodafone Uk

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

My Z10 had a sulk one day and sent 6gb of data after i tried to send an MMS message it got stuck in a have I sent or haven't I oh best try again loop, luckily it was on my local wifi.

Posts: 94,669
Likes: 24,430
Solutions: 6,357
Registered: ‎04-01-2008
My Device: Passport • Z30 • Z10 • Torch9850 • Playbook
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

Wow, mobiuscom! That's horrible.

Bell is hot doing their job in supporting you, since you are paying them monthly for both software and hardware support for the device you purchased from them. You need to move higher up the food chain in Bell. They should not deny escalating this issue to BlackBerry tech support for you.
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New Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-25-2013
My Device: z10
My Carrier: Bell Mobility

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

The morning after the incredible download my phone had a black screen with a message saying my browser had crashed. This seems odd as I wasn't using it I'm my sleep.

This is a pretty big deal for me or any of my work phones. If my z10 somehow went on a similar hiccup or loop as yours did that could end up costing me greatly. The fact that it sent a data request to my carrier in a format similar to hot spot use or tethering without my input is unacceptable.

What is also unacceptable is the lack of any means of contact with blackberry (formerly rim) available to the user. The only options we seem to have are this forum, calling the carrier, or contacting the business customer service on a pay per incident format. Where is the direct email address? Where is the 1-800 number? I am a huge supporter of blackberry over the years, and was amazed at the quality of customer service with the playbook, but the lack of service with the phone is shocking.

BlackBerry states that phone users are to contact their carrier... well what are they supposed to do when the carrier says it's a manufacturer issue. This is an eye opening issue with me...

I am very disappointed with the lack of options to contact blackberry.
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 210
Registered: ‎03-17-2013
My Device: Z-10
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

[ Edited ]

Your carrier is lying and the phone is not at fault..

 

What is most-likely is that they're using the browser string to detect tethering and they think the Z-10 is a laptop.

 

It's not, of course, but that's the most-likely reason for what they did.

 

This is one of the carrier games that are used to effectively force people off unmetered plans.  They'll forgive this "once" but then demand you change or face it happening again (and it will, since they don't change how they account for things.)

 

BTW this sort of thing happens to US customers who live near the Canadian border on a fairly regular basis.  Most post-paid accounts include "free roaming*"  The asterisk is that the free roaming only applies in the US.  If your phone picks up a cell tower in Canada and attaches to it there is no way for you to know that the "Roam" indicator means trans-national roaming .vs. included and in-nation roaming.  

 

This frequently results in a charge per-megabyte for data and $2+/minute for voice, plus often as much as 50 cents or even a buck a text message.  It is very easy to wind up with a thousand-dollar+ bill this way and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it other than denying all roaming access on your phone if you live in an area where this is likely to happen.

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Forums Advisor III
Posts: 1,391
Registered: ‎02-28-2009
My Device: Torch, Bold, Play Book, and Bluetooth HS-700
My Carrier: BELL

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

From past experience with smart phones, I found it is important to have a large enough data plan. When going over the data allowence the cost can go very high per megabyte. It will add up very fast. 


For tethering it is important tethering is allowed in the plan. Tethering means a laptop or a tablet could be using the phone as a mobile modem. A laptop will normally use more data than a phone especially for graphics. The laptop has a much larger screen. A typical tablet should be somewhere in between.

 

The use of 1.125 GB is very little in the terms of data, but is a reasonable amount for a fairly busy phone. If the user has a plan that only allows 500 mb, and they use 1 GB, the cost of the difference would be very high. If tethering is not allowed the cost would even be much higher.

 

Some years ago when mobile browsing was very new, I tethered a phone to a laptop without realizing I was not allowed on the plan I was using. My plan was phone data only. I may have been on line about 30 minutes.

 

The bill came in at over $850.  After a lot of squabling with the BELL rep, and his supervisor, and then another supervisor, They made a compromise with me. I had to take a data plan, and they would remove $600 from the cost. This left me to pay out $200 more. The data tethering plan I took was $100 per month on top of my regular plan. I had only about 4 months left on the contract. This was an easier way out than paying out the imediate extra cost.

 

For example, if you were to install a full update of the Blackberry OS, this could easily use 350 mb of data. During the coarse of each month there are a fair number of updates. These updates can easily use another 200 mb or more.  I am telling people I know to have 1 GB data per month or more. 

 

I use about 1.5 GB to 2.2 GB average per month with my phone. I am fairly active on my phone. I also have a 4G Playbook. I can easily exceend 3 GB per month if I am very active with it.

 

Someone told me receintly there was a new law passed where the service provder for the phone must inform the customer if they go over in the usage for their plan.. The maximum charge is supposed to be $200 for data.  Maybe you can get that checked out. to know if what I am saying is authentic information.

 

 

 

 

Jerry G.
New Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-25-2013
My Device: z10
My Carrier: Bell Mobility

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

I appreciate your reply with your experience.

The thing that bothers me the most is that I did not use tethering. I absolutely did not turn it on or experiment with it in the least. The fact that my carrier claims I did is proving impossible to prove.

Today my carrier said there are many people experiencing similar problems and continued to blame blackberry.

1.2 gb in one session is quite the download. Especially when I was fast asleep at the time.

I will update my situation as it develops.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 210
Registered: ‎03-17-2013
My Device: Z-10
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

It's not BlackBerry's fault, it's theirs.  They are looking at the browser string.

 

This is what the BB10 phones identify as:

 

Mozilla/5.0 (BB10; Touch) AppleWebKit/537.10+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/10.1.0.2342 Mobile Safari/537.10+

 

What is probable is that they've got a database of browser keywords that identify mobile devices, and whatever they're looking for isn't matching on this.  As a consequence their system is billing your sessions as tethered even though they are not .  

 

With a phone that performs NAT for the device(s) behind it it is not possible for a carrier to know, unless the phone tells them (via APN change or similar) that a session is tethered.  You used to be able to get away with this by installing a piece of software that would permit it and the carrier would be none the wiser; they responded to people doing this by performing packet inspection on all "open" (non-encrypted) connections.  They are almost-certainly flagging your browser and anything else that hits "web" style resources (such as Facebook .et.al) and any user agent that they do not recognize as a mobile device they're "calling" tethered.

 

This is an outright crock but I will lay good odds that it's what's going on.

 

Incidentally when I first got my Z-10 my forum code did not know that the Z-10 was a mobile device and did not set the formatting properly as a consequence (for the smaller screen); I had to teach it that by inserting the correct keys into the system to flag it.  Same thing -- but in my case it was just the screen visuals, not a billing issue.

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Contributor
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎02-14-2012
My Device: Curve 8900 / Playbook
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

The weird thing is that I haven't really heard of anyone else experiencing this with a Z10, regardless of whether it is Bell's fault or BlackBerry's fault.

 

Perhaps you had a very specific plan that only allowed mobile browsing. I know Rogers had a plan that allowed Unlimited Mobile Browsing, but this was meant for dumbmphones and was only for data that went through their WAP servers and not their data/LTE servers. If you had a smartphone, you couldn't use this UMB plan and had to pay for a full data plan. The way to get around it is to change the APN, but of course you can never do this on BlackBerry phones, so people were able to use some Android phones or dumbphones to get around this, but never on a BlackBerry, likewise with the Z10.

Posts: 94,669
Likes: 24,430
Solutions: 6,357
Registered: ‎04-01-2008
My Device: Passport • Z30 • Z10 • Torch9850 • Playbook
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: $9008.00 Data bill from Bell Mobility using z10. Carrier blames hardware.

Andrew4Life, the APN on the #Z10 absolutely can be changed when allowed to do so by the carrier. There are many threads on this issue, and Jo need to debate it once again in this thread.
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