Forum Discussion

seanpatrickryan's avatar
seanpatrickryan
New Contributor II
6 months ago

excessive data use charges

Since the November 2023 billing cycle, I have been hit with ~ $70 of data overage charges each month. Our usage patterns have not varied for the past several years, in fact they actually appear lower during months everyone was home full time. I am also confident nobody is hijacking our wifi and none of the devices have malware. So, I followed the process and opened a ticket with support, which was of no help. They just kept referring me to the "data usage meter" report in my account portal and claimed it was accurate. I asked for a copy of specific traffic logs so I could audit accuracy and hopefully identify the root cause source device(s). They advised me that specific information wasn't captured. I asked how they could classify my traffic as "web browsing" versus "social media" versus "network management and testing" (according to their data meter) if they didn't have the specific data from their logging. They had no answer for that query. My next step was to register a complaint with my local utility regulator (PURA for Connecticut). Literally the day after I submitted my complaint (and included several other Cox forum posts indicating other customers with very similar issues), I received a call from a "Cox Escalation Specialist", who basically repeated the talking points from the original service call I opened. It appears PURA didn't do anything other than literally pass along a complaint to a utility they are supposed to regulate. Not happy with this development, I contacted my local State Senator's Office and asked them to intervene on my behalf. All I am asking for is specific and accurate data to support Cox' claim of excessive use. It seems like this is a concerted effort to dissuade customers from complaining in the hopes they will simply pay the recurring charges or upgrade to a more expensive unlimited data plan.

If Cox can prove their claims of excessive usage, I will be happy to pay or upgrade without complaint, but until then, I don't plan to let this rest. 

16 Replies

  • WiderMouthOpen's avatar
    WiderMouthOpen
    Esteemed Contributor

    First, I assume you have the Panoramic gateway? If so, have you thought to upgrade to your own router that has bandwidth tracking so you can fact check Cox? You sound technical enough to make use of your own network. Overall, I have seen many posts about recent spikes in the bandwidth meter but so far no conclusions. No one has yet done a direct comparison between their own meter and Cox.

    • seanpatrickryan's avatar
      seanpatrickryan
      New Contributor II

      My Wi-Fi router doesn't have a robust log monitor, so other than a basic byte count per day, it doesn't help identify the root cause. My complaint is now really Cox refusing to provide the logs they use to track and claim excessive traffic volume. They told me the logs "track destination, port and protocol to determine categorization", so I thought I was on to something. I can correlate IP address and protocol to a specific service myself, which is all I was asking for. They refused to provide the logs, indicating "privacy policy". When I advised the logs contained my own (nobody else's) information and privacy concerns weren't a valid reason, they didn't have a good answer and again advised me to change the Wi-Fi password on my router. At that point I just gave up on the call. 

      Maybe I am being petty and making too much of the issue, but it shouldn't be this difficult to get specific details on the information they obviously capture and use to calculate overages. It seems like a "trust us, you really are using that much bandwidth, even if you haven't changed any usage behaviors or device types in the past 24 billing cycles, so just pay without question".

    • Darkatt's avatar
      Darkatt
      Valued Contributor III

      I just enabled my RAXE 300 traffic meter, my bill resets on midnight of the 15th, I am set to reset on that date, so NEXT month, I will be able to give you a good monthly,  since we have 5 more days, after today I can check daily accuracy and give you more info. 

      • WiderMouthOpen's avatar
        WiderMouthOpen
        Esteemed Contributor

        Thanks. Mostly curious what the "other" data set is. Does your meter break down what services/apps are using the bandwidth? I think it has something to do with uncorrectables bloating the bandwidth.

  • adrienneb's avatar
    adrienneb
    New Contributor

    Same thing happened to me — cox told me an iPad used a 1/2 terabyte of data in ONE DAY. Zero downloads mind you, just “browsing” the internet. So safari/chrome magically churned through hundreds of hours of 4k video streaming in a day. The rep had the nerve to ask if the iPad had a virus. I spoke with Apple in person, over the phone and through twitter. The Apple rep in the store ran a diagnostic on the iPad, said they had never even heard of anything like that. Cox technician came to house and ask to see the iPad, dude was convinced it was possible (the iPad itself doesn’t even have 500gb of storage). They just can’t even imagine the fault is on there end. 

  • seanpatrickryan's avatar
    seanpatrickryan
    New Contributor II

    My latest attempt to minimize traffic volume is to disable a few (cheap, low resolution) web based security cameras, and, physically unplug the various streaming sticks (roku) when not in use, will see if that results in a noticeable reduction of average usage week over week. Will also reset the Wifi router byte counter and track against the next data cycle for comparison.

  • rockin5b's avatar
    rockin5b
    New Contributor

    I know this is old news, but yes these corporate providers like this do this all the time to suck more money from you for nothing.  They are charging for over usage of "air".  Get network usage  software that monitors network speed and usage that can be used to compare notes to the corporate evils that be.  For example, I am getting charged for just a 100mb service that seldom EVER equates to no more than, the maybe if I am lucky, 80-89mbps and that is on a "good" day which seldom ever happens. Then I get these constant emails of threats of overage of data usage.  Do they prorate in anyway shape or form for what they claim to provide for service?  I can answer that.  Absolutely not.  There is nothing given back to the consumer for what they claim to provide and cannot, but still expect you to pay full rate of the bill.  Will that ever change, nope again, probably not...because we the consumer keep paying for their overpriced BS services.  Hopefully all came out for the better for you and others.  We did fine before their internet and could continue...   

    • DannyS's avatar
      DannyS
      Moderator

      Hello, rockin5b, thank you for your feedback regarding our products.  Our Data Usage Meter has been tested for accuracy by Cox and Netforecast, an independent third party. To learn tips and tools to help manage data usage, visit www.cox.com/datausage.  We can relate to how frustrating it can be when something does not operate correctly.  If currently having concerns with the connection and would like assistance with your account.  We would be glad to help.  Please reach us on Twitter at CoxHelp, visit us on Facebook, or email by at cox.help@cox.com anytime for assistance if needed. 

    • Darkatt's avatar
      Darkatt
      Valued Contributor III

      I have network usage monitoring on my router, (RAXE300), and it actually matches up with the Cox usage data almost 100% perfect. In fact my router monitors MORE data usage through the wan port than Cox shows, probably a discrepancy with URL/IP conversion or DNS. 

      Cox's system is tested/monitored by a 3rd party and is shown to be over 99.9% accurate. 

  • intel1919's avatar
    intel1919
    New Contributor

    As others have said, get your own router.  I use 100% ubiquiti Unifi network equipment - router, multiple APs, switches.  Service is bullet proof.  And, I can monitor every device for how much data is used.  Cox meter is "fairly" accurate, within 1 or 2 % of what my router monitoring tells me.  

  • jmc2020's avatar
    jmc2020
    New Contributor II

    Report them to the Better Business Bureau.  That will get their attention.

    • Darkatt's avatar
      Darkatt
      Valued Contributor III

      All that will happen is Cox will provide the logs showing the data usage. Their system is monitored by a third party and is known to be 99.9% accurate. I check it with my Netgear RAXE300 router and find it to be spot on. They need to determine what is using data. In previous conversations here with data usage, we have found that if someone puts Microsoft one drive on their phone or tablet it can use up to 100 gb of data daily to do complete backups of the device. Also Amazon echo and dot will go into a loop where it tries to send everything that is being said, or that it hears to amazon for translation, using quite a LOT of data. 

      So, report away, they can prove their measurements, customer will become more upset and nothing gets fixed. Why not provide good advice?