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Repeatedly charged for data despite mobile data turned off


Repeatedly charged for data despite mobile data turned off

I noticed recently that my credit had been going down at a much faster rate than usual, and after checking my usage I see repeated charges of €2 for "internet" despite me never turning mobile data on. Only in emergencies do I use mobile data, 99% of the time the I'm on wifi when using the internet or anything data-related on my phone.


These charges don't occur every day, for example I've been charged the last 3 days in a row but not the day before that (and yes I had credit then) and the times are sporadic, mostly when I wouldn't be using the phone, i.e. 2am, 6am... completely random.


I turned my phone off deliberately last night and saw I was still charged €2 an hour afterwards, so it's not like some spurious app has bypassed any settings, it's being taken directly from my account for no reason. Can someone help?

125 REPLIES 125

Change provider. Tesco doesn't have the same issue and yet they are
using the 3 infrastructure.

Good luck with that but if the data was generated by your phone, I can't see you getting very far.

Alas, you may think you've done everything needed to disable data on your phone but even if mobile data is turned off, handsets can still make mobile data connections in certain specific circumstances without your knowledge.

If it's an android device, a trick I've found should work is to enable a monthly mobile data limit in settings and to set that limit at 0 MB.

Thank you Firbolg, I can definitely try that.
3 Community Manager

Hi all, 


Thank you for sending me your details in PM, for those of you who haven't had your data connections looked into by our tech team, can you please send me a PM through the link under my signature. Cheers



This has happened to me again.


I received two texts this morning saying that my 2 Euro DayPass had been activated.




I request a refund for these instances.

I would like to know what the 6 kbytes of data I have been charged for is.


These texts were received at 09:06 and 09:17 this morning. That would be 15 hours and 9 hours after the charges.




I think the issue here is really a system issue on Three's side more than a
handset issue. I find it difficult to believe that folks who have written
here, always had their mobile data turned off and not had a charge for this
suddenly changed a setting causing these small data packets to be sent. In
my case, the issue first occurred late on a weekend evening while I was

While those on older data plans are noticing the issue via the EUR2 charge,
those on All You Can Eat plans may not be seeing this. Of more importance,
I feel for Three is what the contents of the small data packets is....

If this is a Three issue and not a handset issue which, given the
widespread nature of the problem, seems likely, I would like to know what
is contained within the 2kb packets which were sent and how they were used.
Is this personal data and if yes, I assume you're treating it in accordance
with GDPR.
Perhaps Three could comment on this

Good point. Unfortunately representives speaking for three are looking at
trouble shooting guides and have not actually helped build CDMA, GSM or the
older UMTS systems. As a telecoms PhD graduate and an IT specialist I can
tell you that when mobile data is turned off this should supercede the per
App network connectivity. I was instructed by 3 to turn off specific apps
network connectivity and to uninstall specific app. This is complete BS! As
you say its most like a system error from the BTSs. Even if some app
attempts to sync to a server at 2am it should not succeed if mobile data is
turned off all night. The fact that some phone tech person is trying to
address this issue is ridiculous. This requires a software engineer and
mobile engineer to look inside the logs at the BTSs to determine the packet
connections and their type per customer affected by this issue.

I won't comment further from this point on. I've already stated this on 2
occasions before. Its pure common sense from a telecoms person's
perspective ... Its criminal blaming the customer on this.

EKenny thank you for confirming, my thoughts exactly! The whole thing is mind boggling.


It has just done it again.


I had 71c of credit left after the recent charges, and now it's down to 0. I'm sure €2 would have been taken if I had it.


I just got a warning text to say credit is low. Checked 1745 and balance is 0.

I haven't yet got the €2 Day Pass warning text, and there's nothing for the 14th of June in Data Events yet:SnipAgain.PNG




My phone was sitting the whole evening beside me, on Wi-Fi, not being used.


I have everything turned off on my phone. Wi-Fi+ is off. Mobile data is off, with a usage cap of 0. Location is off.


I have deleted all APN settings from my phone. When I asked in another thread how this can still be happening when I have those deleted, I was told that "Three will automatically fulfill the APNs on connection to data".


As far as I can tell, this means that despite the fact that I have taken the measure of removing the connection settings from my phone, they are somehow being pushed by 3, and I'm being charged for it.

I again request to know what the data is that I'm being charged for.

I again request to be refunded.



The data charge was there this morning. 70c for 0 kbytes of data. That's quite steep.

I reiterate my complaint and previous requests.