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Data overages are absurd!

Just Moved In
Have been a TELUS customer for years in good standing. Upgraded my phone from iPhone 6 to 8+ and received a “promo” of 1+3GB of data with an iPad as well for an additional $20/month for 2 years.
This was enough data I was told because I consistently used aprox 1-2GB of data monthly.
That was sept 2018... my data usage kept going up month by month, so I increased my data a few times to 10GB and then recently 16GB! After I received a bill of $759.
My bill for this last month was $899!!!!!! Apparently I used over 20GB of data! And I have no idea how this happened. I do not stream, do videos or anything like that outside of wifi. The app that was using the most data was Photos. Like regular iPhone photos.
I have all backgroup app refresh all that stuff off. I’ve talked to numerous people at TELUS regarding this obscene amount and they “did me a favour by reducing my bill by $200” which I do appreciate... but that’s still a $699 BILL!! Like for ONE MONTH. I don’t get how everyone is now offering unlimited data plans and here I am literally throwing this crazy amount of money at TELUS for what?! NOTHING. Air!! So after a few meltdowns on the phone because I literally cannot pay this bill and still feed my children this month... they kept reminding me that it was my fault and there was nothing they were willing to do to help me at all.

To get out of this ridiculous plan and go to another service provider will now cost me over $1400. Between the outstanding bill and the remainder of the balance on the phone. I am so upset over this...
canada’s Plans are unreasonable considering the US, and everywhere else in the world can easily offer manageable plans with unlimited data... and here we are getting screwed on these overage costs.
Thanks for treating a long term TELUS user like this. Clearly shows that we are nothing to these people but more money in their pocket.

Community Power User
Community Power User

Even with background app refresh shut off for photos, if cellular data is enabled and it tried syncing photos from itself or other devices when you open the app, it's going to start transferring data. Try shutting off cellular data, which will restrict photos to wifi only. Settings > Photos > Cellular Data  If iCloud photos is enabled that can also eat a lot of data if you take a lot of photos.


Also, Telus usually sends notifications when you reach a certain % of your data as well. Did you not receive any of them? I usually get an SMS message when I hit 90% of my data and another at 100%. It'll also block data at $50 over unless you specifically unblock it. See:


Data notifications keep you informed of data usage on your account so you can adjust your usage and avoid unexpected data charges. Notifications are sent for data included in your plan as well as any additional data charges including pay-per-use usage and data top-ups if the data included in your plan is ever exceeded.


Whether you use a feature phone, smartphone, tablet or a mobile Internet key, we will notify you when you're close to using all of the data included in your monthly rate plan or data top-up.


By default we send these notifications by SMS text message but you can choose between email and/or SMS as your preferred contact method by logging into My TELUS, selecting Usage and using the Data manager option.

These are the settings I have on my Telus account:




If your devices are transferring too much data, switching providers won't help. Double check the settings and configuration on your devices. I've shut off cellular data for most apps on my iPhone. Some games with video ads in them can eat up bandwidth pretty fast and some apps just don't need cellular data access. Settings > Cellular > (scroll down)


Additionally one other key setting that needs to be disabled is called Wi-Fi Assist. It's at the very bottom of the Cellular page. If you have weak wifi, Apple enables Wi-Fi Assist by default which uses cellular if the wifi is too weak.


I know none of these suggestions can fix the billing issue but they may help prevent future data usage issues. 🙂

If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. 🙂

Nighthawk has a lot of good advice. You need to understand how your iPhone is using that much data and put a stop to it. The problem has nothing to do with your plan. Your bill is just the symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. Changing your plan or your provider only moves the symptoms somewhere else - it doesn't fix the problem.

Just Moved In
Agree. However... with everyone coming out with unlimited data plans recently I do have a problem with this because it’s proving that data consumption is not a cause for an $899 bill. 🤷‍♀️ So That’s where I’m stumped.
I am upset that other companies can provide unlimited data plans and TELUS is screwing me for more and more money.

Community Power User
Community Power User

Unlimited plans are at a very slow speed once the user has gone beyond their base quantity of data. So slow, in fact, that many consider it unusable. Don’t get caught up on the idea that unlimited data is some sort of panacea.

Also note that ‘unlimited plans’ only became available this week on anyone other than Freedom mobile.

If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Kudo"

Anyone who believes that unlimited plans are anything other than a deceptive tactic doesn't understand the marketing speak behind them. Once a person uses up that LTE allowance in their plan, 2G speeds will essentially be so useless for anything other than checking e-mail.

Devices also have options to set a hard data limit for a period of time. Even though I don't usually get close to my 5GB of LTE my plan has in a month, I still have that set in my devices data usage to warm me and stop data if and when I het close to and reach those points.


for what?! NOTHING. Air!!     I agree that data charges are too high, but at the same time,  you need to set things up so you don't receive an unexpected bill - by configuring your phone to work within your plan.

Exclaiming that it is "only iPhone pictures) and "for what?! NOTHING. Air!! " is nonsense.  Photos can be several megabytes each, depending upon your settings.  I have over 16,000 photos in my library, and I use very little data.  And claiming that "air" is nothing, obviously you missed the part about the mobile companies having to pay billions for spectrum, which is, essentially "air", so yes, it does cost them something.

The other issue is how all these mobile towers connect to the internet, which is via a large multibillion dollar fiber optic network.  Then, that all has to be connected to the internet.


"unlimited" plans are not unlimited.  Learn from this, configure your equipment and notifications, and live within your data plan.  We all have to do that. Switching carriers will do nothing for you.