Teen blames Apple’s Wi-Fi Assist feature for $2000 phone bill

“Ashton Finegold didn’t think much of the text message he received from his mobile phone service saying that he was nearing his data limit,” CBS News reports. “But the San Francisco teen was shocked when he received a phone bill totaling $2,021.07. ‘I thought my dad was going to kill me,’ he told CBS News. ‘It’s usually $250 a month — and this was over $2,000,’ the teen’s father, Jeff Finegold, said.”

“The outrageous overcharge was due to ‘Wi-Fi Assist,’ a new feature on Apple’s iOS 9 operating system. Wi-Fi Assist automatically switches the phone to draw on cellular service when a user is in an area with a weak Wi-Fi signal,” CBS News reports. “It turns out Ashton Finegold’s bedroom is one such place with a weak signal. So while he thought he was still connected to his home Wi-Fi while surfing the web in his room, his iPhone was eating up more than 144,000 MB of data.”

“This isn’t the first time Apple has been in hot water over this feature,” CBS News reports. “In October, Apple was hit with a $5 million class-action lawsuit by a California couple who say they were unaware of the feature and rang up large phone bills.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps this feature should be “off” by default. Of course, if Apple did that, the incurious user would likely never know they had the rather useful feature, much less enable it.

To control Wi-Fi Assist in iOS 9: Settings>Cellular, toggle Wi-Fi Assist on/off.

Apple faces class action lawsuit over Wi-Fi Assist data usage – October 26, 2015


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