Is your internet usage as high as BT claims it is?

31 May 2011

Bitterwallet - BT - featuredNow this is curious. Have a peek at this email from avid Bitterwallet reader Joe:

"My mum is a very low usage internet user but over the last couple of months she has received emails informing her she is at 7GB of her 10GB limit. One month she went over and was subsequently charged £5 for going over the limit. Fair enough I thought. Unusual that she would be caning the connection but perhaps a lot of YouTube usage has led to these emails.

"The idea of going over limits and getting charged has meant that during May she used the internet barely at all but yet again half way through the month receives an email saying she is at 7GB of the 10GB limit."

It's possible that Joe's mum is some bit-torrenting, porn-oogling fiend, but Joe assures us that's not the case. Nor is it a matter of the internet connection being unsecure and allowing access to neighbours of passers-by.

So is it a one-off discrepancy? Apparently not; BT's own forums are full are complaints from customers experiencing exactly the same problem. For example:

"The Homehub manager states I have used nearly 7 GB in the last 7 days. I am monitoring my usage from my PC and laptop with Tautology Bandwidth meter but this only shows 3.5GB for this month so far 1st to 18th Feb. BT support say I've used nearly 10 GB so far this month. I've checked my wireless security - using WEP encryption and am not using any other devices and cannot see any other devices from the Homehub manager."

[UPDATE] Joe points out in the comments below he had actually enabled WPA2 encryption, so the connection should be secure.

Another forum post points to BT admitting that there was a fault at the beginning of the year:

"Hey, I have checked this out and there is a fault with it. No charges for overuse will be issued for Jan and Feb, please .. Disregard the online advice and the fix is being implemented as I write this.

"Disregard the online advice and the fix is being implemented as i write this is in hand and a fix is being implemented for anybody effected by the problem."

That still wouldn't explain how Joe's mum has bust her data limit during May while hardly using the internet. It's possible there are plenty of instances of secure wireless networks being hacked, but the problem appears to be affecting more than a handful of customers. So over to you - have you had issues with discrepancies in your home broadband usage? If so, how did you resolve the issue?

TOPICS:   Broadband


  • plop
    I hope nobody suggests that BT is deliberately inflating these numbers so they can charge more money, knowing that many people would have no idea what a gigabyte is or how they may have used too many of them, because that would be awful and completely untrue, I'm sure.
  • The B.
    "Joe’s mum has bust her data limit" Why do I think that sounds rude? It's quite obviously not, but some little part of the back of my mind started sniggering.
  • Dick
    The simplest way to avoid it is not use BT.
  • David
    I think I see the problem. WEP encryption, for wireless routers, although it gives some security it is very easy to crack. Enable WPA2 encryption (much more security) and see if the problem goes away.
  • Dave
    "I’ve checked my wireless security – using WEP encryption" WEP is obsolete and not secure enough! - switch to WPA or WPA2
  • LanceVance
    What a bunch of fucktards BT really are! It's another scam that nets them an extra £5 per customer per month. They will refund the money if you phone them and tell them you will go to Ofcom.
  • Rachel
    I am on Plusnet and have had the exact same thing happen last month. So it's not just BT.
  • Elsie
    So glad I saw this. We have just had bt broadband installed (10th may) first couple of days were great, 17mb then it started crawling, 0.2mb. Bt promised a fix by last Wednesday, that didn't happen. I phoned again on Friday and was told it would be passed to tech, Saturday morning it was back to 17mb. Great, or so I thought. Sunday evening we got an email saying we had used over 7gb of our 10th allowance. I could work out how the hell we had managed it @ 0.2mb which was unusable.
  • Col
    @Rachel Plusnet is owned by BT...
  • The F.
    @Rachel Plusnet is owned by BT… ....and Rachel is owned by Col.
  • Shonk
    no doubt people with trojan packed pc's and acting as zombies to search for more suckers 95% of the population have no idea how to have a secure network and should be removed from the net :p
    There may well be an issue with BT's totals but "I’ve checked my wireless security – using WEP encryption" could account for higher figures in some cases. WEP and security don't belong in the same sentence. The BT forum guy says "I spoke to BT support and he said WEP should be secure enough" - terrible advice when WPA2 should be the minimum. And BT give away/sell McAfee too...
  • Internet A.
    Could it be that BT FON is enabled on her router and others are using the BT Wireless Hotspots which will of course include your home broadband router? Maybe BT haven't worked out how to differentiate personal use from BTFON use?
  • JD64
    I am the 'Joe' from the original email. Thanks Shonk, Internet Abuser and but the things you mention were the first things that came to my mind too! Full Malware and virus scan performed, didn't turn up anything. WPA2 encryption already activated and as for the BTFon thing, well that is the last hope really. Apparently BT reckon that they know what traffic is BTFon and what isn't. Looking at the posts of others with similar problems many have disabled BTFon announcing yet still have the same problem. One possibility is that the router is recording all IP requests as traffic. Even those that the router externally declines! Someone could spam an IP, not get past the router yet that ins being recorded as traffic :/ quite worrying. Especially as BT's answer seems to be just to upgrade to a higher allowance. How convenient!
  • Andrew R.
    Indeed - WEP is easy to overcome in minutes if not seconds! Would be interesting if it were that Abuser, I think most of BT's wank routers run Openzone and FON don't they? Even though they're on different SSIDs, I wouldn't be surprised if all the bandwidth was attributed to a single account.
  • Mark H.
    I'd switch the router of for a day or two then phone BT up and ask them how much bandwidth they think your mum has used in that period. If they say a number greater than zero you know the problem is defo at their end.
  • Simon A.
    I had problems with BT 12 months ago (and i'm out in the sticks so i get a choice of BT or Orange, and Orange are awful). For the first 6 months i blew my 10gb monthly allowance every month and got charged extra. BT were not helpful at all, and could basically only tell me that i was over the allowance, but not how i'd done it. I explained that if they couldn't offer my any details whatsoever then how could i monitor the situation. They told me to download a 3rd party app to monitor useage. As i explained i'd need to install this on 3 PC's, but even then that wouldn't monitor any wireless data via a smartphones, and there's no way i could monitor traffic through my xbox 360. Essentially BT don't offer any mechanism where you can view your usage. Obviously they have the tech at their end in order to bill you. However, my problem is usage could be 11GB, resulting in a £1 charge, or 110GB resulting in a £100 charge. And as a customer there is no "evidence" that you've used this, and it's totally reliant on what you're being told.
  • Reser
    I can tell you now if you are using 3 PC's, an Xbox 360 and smartphones to access your internet connection you most likley WILL be going over the 10GB limit, 10GB these days is not a lot and you will deffinatley want more then that for what youyr using it for. Put it this way, ONE short High def streaming video can be about 150-350 Mb, just 10 (or less!) short (around 10 minutes) High def videos on youtube and thats 10% of your monthley limit gone already.
  • Rachel
    @Shonk I have WPA, my SSID isn't broadcast, I routinely go into my router and I am the only user ever listed. I use a Mac not a PC, there is only me in the house, nothing else connects to the internet except my Wii, and that only when I plug it once every eon. I use the router Plusnet provided me with. I set all my itunes podcasts and purchases to download after midnight (plusnet users get free usage between midnight and 8am), and any downloading is done then also. During the day internet is web browsing, email checking, and very sporadic iplayer type activities (like one 30min program once in every couple of months or so). Plusnet keep sending me lots of figures that don't help as if that somehow proves what I'm doing, so I've downloading a monitor to check over the next month. I think their router is either doing something odd, or their technology that works out when the free usage start and ends isn't doing it right. Or it's crap full stop.
  • derek
    interesting concept, sending loads of data to a range of isp's ip address in order to screw up their billing.... wonder if the DDOS boys have sussed that one yet??
  • Dave
    Ive just received the same email.There is no way I have used seven gigabytes in two weeks.I suspect a scam and I am reporting it to Ofcom.Suggest y'all do the same!
  • pinkaty
    I am having the same problem... disputing currently with BT who simply say 'well that's the record we have'. As if me using 40GB per month and not noticing were normal (I pretty much never download movies, TV shows, music, go on YouTube, maybe once a month...). So does anyone know if just using the internet without actively downloading stuff could cause this much usage - I've taken into account Spotify usage (apparently around 84mb for 70 mins) and daily downloading of Word docs and even hi-res images - but it's still nowhere near the amount they're saying. In fact it's still in MBs not GBs. What about iPhones - does having one of those significantly bulk up the usage if connected to home broadband? Using Skype? I'm not ruling out that I could have used it myself I just can't figure out how... Thanks to anyone who can enlighten me!
  • Dug M.
    He should dump BT and use Virgin, they are miles ahead of the game.
  • pete
    Take note that plusnet, good old fashioned broadband of from yorkshire or whatever crap they claim is a subsiduary of british telecom plc so buyer beware there billing structure like bt's is flawed and likely to overcharge you!
  • caffers
    hmm, glad I found this forum, as I have had my BT internet for five days and yesterday recieved an email saying I was up to 80% of my 40gb allowance. I was like, WTF? I did download 5gb, but thats it for downloads, I kept track as was so paranoid of going over. Other internet usage has just been emails and facebook and the odd youtbe vid. I am a bit of a techno-retard I am afraid, but I dont think this means I shouldn't be allowed to go on the web!!:) (re shonk's comment) At least now I know I'm not the only one with this problem....I am trying to set up a mybt account which apparently monitors usage. And will keep in mind that I can report them to offcom.
  • mario23
    I am on 10gb internet usage a month and have never gone over that, I got a call from BT trying to sell me the new usage allowance options and I never needed it as I am a light user and then I just got charged 5 quid for going over by 1gb and their defence is that i went over by .14 gb about 6 months ago too. It's a disgrace because it's just a hidden charge and if they insist with it, there's no way I am staying with BT after my contract is up. No way. BT have shot themselves in the foot with this one, I have been loyal customer for years and feel this policy is really underhand and sneaky. I have no detailed information from them to justify this charge, it's just wrong on so many levels.
  • D B.
    I too am having this problem and we are talking 100Gb's over the allowed 10Gb monthly allowance. I have been discussing with BT for about 6 weeks now and getting nowhere. They said it was a problem with a virus or installed program on my computer but I've had the router/hub unplugged from mains and have not had my computer switched on for days and it is still going up. Is this possible??
  • Budgefunk
    Check to see if you have anything working in the background on your computer. I've just found the Cloud back up was spending each day uploading huge amounts of data and therefore sucking up the bandwidth and eating the monthly allowance. We've been with Plusnet for several years and after 3-4 calls over the last couple of months one bright spark took control of my machine to check things and quickly found the storage was constantly uploading data resulting in 3GB+ daily. Plusnet have just upgraded their accounts to unlimited usage for less £s than the older accounts, which of course would help as well! Hope that helps.
  • Trev S.
    Quote ["Check to see if you have anything working in the background on your computer. I’ve just found the Cloud back up was spending each day uploading huge amounts of data and therefore sucking up the bandwidth and eating the monthly allowance" ] Quote As a novice with this type of problem (just moved to BT BB option 1 - 10gb allowance )I`m a victim of high BB usage ( 25gb already in just 8 days of being a BT customer ) Could you enlighten me as how to check for programs etc. working in the background . I was informed when moving from Tiscali/Talk Talk that I was not able to go straight to BT Infinity and that I would have to have normal BT BB installed first (with the 10gb allowance ) I was not bothered about this as I never had any problem with the original on Tiscali/TT and as it was just a stop gap till I was able to have the BT Inf. package ( On the 31st Jan ) ,therefore I am now faced with a steadily increasing usage which at this rate will be over 40gb by the end of this month !!. What`s going to happen when the fibre optic BB is installed ? !!! Any advice will be gratefully received.
  • Pamsy
    As have many others here, I received an email from BT saying I was approaching my limit of 10GB for February 2013. I've been with them for over two years and never received this before. I know my son goes on You Tube quite frequently but we do not download anything from the internet: films, songs, videos etc. I have also noticed that I seem to be losing my connection more often than usual even though I am on a secure connection??? Has anyone else experienced this as I am beginnning to wonder if my connection is being 'hacked'? Is this possible?
  • stacey
    Hi palmsy, the exact same thing has been happening to me. I've just rang them up but I'm being blamed for using all my usage. This has never happened to me in years
  • Paula
    Having same problems for the past 6 weeks with BT, over the last 8 years I have only ever used between 2 & 3 GB's per month, yet now I have been told im using between 11 & 18 GB's, have had the Tec guys check security, they state all secure and that I must be doing something different, this is not the case, I am still convinced someone has either hacked into my wireless network or BT are pulling a fast one. Can anyone help
  • Mandy
    I went over to BT in Dec 2012 and like all your comments above I have been having the same problem regards to overuse of my 10gb when I know that MY personal usage has not changed at all in the last 5yrs I was with Talk Talk. Bt insists that I am using more even though I informed them that because my broadband speeds are so slow that I don't even attempt to download anything as it takes for ever! There soloution was that I upgraded to unlimited and that will stop myself from getting charged an extra £5 per month. After numerous phonecalls I agreed to this (which I got for an extra 10p a month) as I did not want to be charged no more. I am convinced that my broadband is hacked too as in the last month my Laptop has suddenly got a virus and crashed and burned on me. I also had to order a new phone (Samsung GalaxyS 3) through my insurance as that also crashed and burned. The day I got a new phone, within hours this was also showing the same problems as my last phone that I had to phone the company again within hours or receiving it explaining that this phone was also Knackered. Today 22 April I am getting another new phone and If this one Crashes also then I am then utterly convinced that by using my wi-fi connection on my BT broadband is for sure to blame. Watch this space as I will know within hours and the next step will be for myself is to go ofcom and report BT with this faults. When my contract ends this December I will definatley be cancelling BT as I have had nothing but lies and problems with them. Its a joke!
  • Julien
    I am convinced this is a scam - a BT scam at that and one that has left me very dissapointed as I thought BT was a company with integrity. I once rented out individual rooms in a 3 bedroom house and linked each tenant up to a talk talk plan limited at 2GB - never, not once did I ever go over this 2 gb limit despite one of the tenants regulary downloading games and musi. Fast forward a few years to the commencement of my current contract with BT, initially with a 10GB limit. First month I get an email suggesting that I had used 7GB of my 10GB limit. 2nd month 11GB but no charge as this was my first but threatening a £5 charge if I went over next time. The following month 17GB and a charge of £10. Ok I thought let's upgrade to Infinity with a 40GB - one month in and barely 3 days before the end of the month I get an email waring that I had already used 35GB of said allowance including 15GB upload - WTF! Given that I work Monday to Friday and only ever surf the internet, how the hell can I be anywhere near the limit? We've just had a baby so my Mrs is busy tending to the little one to do anything other than surf on the net. I've opted out of Fon and have tried shutting the router down at night and ensure all laptops are shut down when not in use. Talking to the BT support, Apple's Icloud can be a culprit - who knows. No doubt I'll go over the 40GB limit next month and incur a charge - it just seems that I have no form of recourse with this obvious scam. :(
  • Dunc
    I am away from home during the week and recieved a warning I'd used 6GB on Monday. Then during the night I got a warning I'd used 8GB. Now everything at home is turned off so how can that be BT!? I'm getting rhat bitter suspicious taste in mouth especially after finding out their router is compromised allowing them backdoor access to my LAN. PRIVACY doesnt exist anymore.
  • Maro
    Interesting comments here - I keep getting emails from BT saying I am near my limit - only been happening past few months, and I've been using the computer less the past few months! Something odd going on........................
  • jamie
    I have just moved in to a new property and set up my network last week, I live in a very rural area now and my maximum download speed acording to bt is 0.9mb, I havo only been connected for 6 days and recieved a letter today informing me I have used over 8gb. Is it possible bt are counting LAN transfers as internet usage? I did recently back up my dslr on to my network drive (about 6gb) but can't see how I could have used that much internet?
  • PCT
    Read it here folks, its a genuine mistake by BT! but what if you moved to a more expensive package to avoid the excess charges - that's a bit naughty BT On their site 07/02/2014 What about YouView usage? If you are a YouView customer and subscribe to BT Vision, you will not be charged for any YouView usage. However, due to technical reasons, some YouView content is currently contributing to the usage monitor even though it's exempt. We realise that this is confusing and makes the broadband usage monitor inaccurate. However, we are working to fix this issue as soon as possible.
  • PCT
    Read the post on Ofcom and ring them and tell the media, do a search for BT broadband usage scam and see how far it goes back...... there is so much to read, I am not of course saying its a scam its just a mistake and I am sure they will tell you they are sorry if you ask them.
  • angela
    I have unlimited calls and apparently 10gb usage..... For one month my bill for phone and broadband. Is £209 they have to be scamming me!!!!! How big is 10gb? I only go on fb lol xx
  • lorraine g.
    I have been with BT Broadband since October 2013 I also received an e.mail stating that I had used over 6gb out of 10 gb for the month of April , this is the first time I had ever had that message . Like Angela, I only go on face book . If BT are going to play silly tarts I for one will let them know exactly what I think of them in no uncertain terms.
  • Fedup B.
    I have been trying to tell BT that I cannot use 8 gb between 3am to 5am in the morning as I am asleep but they will not listen. I checked the difference between last years billings and this year and my last year bills show I have never gone over the 10gb allowance and this year baring one month I have exceeded 5 months. In June I have apparently use 23 gb this is equivalent of downloading 15 films and I have never ever downloaded a film besides I don't know how to do it to start with. I rang and was told the problem is fixed and I should talk to BT Billings department and the Manager hang up on me when I told her that £10 refund is not enough when I have been overcharge for 5 months. Have done all the usual, switch off router etc. Waste of time. I was out of the country and was still charge for over using. How is that possible. So don't waste your time talking to BT just move your account to another supplier apart from Plusnet. I will go to BT shareholders annual shareholders meeting and bring this up. We can all leave BT and use another provider. If someone can twit this it will be great.
  • Howard
    I am here because I have the same problem as all of the other posters. My network traffic seems unusually high and I am concerned that may translate to £££s. I was on a business unlimited bandwidth contract because my son was an Xbox live user. But he moved out a few years ago and I hadn't changed the contract since. When I discovered that I was using less than 10GB per month, and when the contract expired, I decided to make a change. BT Sport was interesting but I had to move to residential. Higher speed was required to view BT Sport and so I decided to upgrade to BT Infinity. The upgrade was a two stage process. Stage one: business to residential; and Stage 2: upgrade to Infinity. So I ordered a 10GB residential package and in the first month I received an email stating my 10GB limit would be exceeded and I needed a 20GB contract. (Thinks: Strange but OK.) So I placed an order to upgrade my standard 10GB broadband contract to a 20GB Infinity contract. Once installed and working I check my broadband usage to discover that my 20GB limit will be exceeded and I need to upgrade to an unlimited contract. Now you may be thinking that it is all of the BT Sport viewing that is the problem but I haven't actually watched any yet, and we don't view online movies or do the porn thing! In fact, our usage is exactly the same now as it was when we were on the old business contract: So where is the additional traffic coming from?
  • Chris
    I moved to BT from Plusnet in the last week in August. Everything was up and running by the weekend. On Tuesday 2nd Sept I got an email telling me I was 18GB into my 20GB limit. This morning (3rd) I checked the usage meter, and it was at 30GB. It is now lunchtime, and it is now up to 41GB (24 d/l, 17 u/l). How can I possibly have used over 40GB in two and a half days, especially when the house is empty during the working day? BT, please explain.
  • Chris
    Sorry, last comment should be Plusnet to BT.
  • Edward V.
    I have a 20GB download usage. Perfect for what I need each month. I went to look on my account the other day and BT say from Sept 1st to Sept 4th I have used 80GB of data. One evening when all devices were off, I was meant o have used 34GB in 13 hours. Completely incorrect. At £1 for every 1GB over I go, it could cost me £20 a day, and if it continues, £600 for the month. Awaiting a call back tonight
  • Edward V.
    Chris - your case is IDENTICAL to mine. I also got the "you have used 18GB of your 20GB allowance" and when I went to check it was at 46GB! Something is wrong again with BT
  • Geoff
    What is needed is a BT whistle blower
  • Willo
    All this is very similar to my experience this week. Got an email 17/9 saying I had exceeded 8Gb of my monthly 10Gb allowance. Strange I thought as there is only me and Mrs W in the house with no smart TV, no xbox or similar, we don't watch you tube, download films etc.. heck we don't even have a facebook page, all we do is 'normal' day to day surfing. Anyway, checking my bt page for usage I found we are supposed to have used 70.5 GB in 17 days. And our previous average MONTHLY usage was less than 5GB!!! Phoned BT and the lady was very helpful and advised me that the damage was done on Sunday 14/9 when we are supposed to have downloaded a few bytes under 70Gb!!!. Since the router was only on for 6 hours and my linespeed is, at best, 18Mbs I am pretty impressed that I could have downloaded about 50 films in this period of time (and that assumes max speed at all times and no overhead). We are on a secure WPA2 connection. Have an interesting call coming up with BT in the next few days. Oh yeah, and all we have is a desktop and tablet both of which are virus and mal-ware protected.
  • Rick L.
    My mother in law just moved to the country and brought her iPad with her. She got BT broadband and BT line rental. 10gb total download is allowed. Last month she got an email saying she was going over the limit, and I immedately I took an interest. This month I told her to only check her emails like 3 times a day, and the rest of the time switch the router off. She's been doing that and last weekend got the 6gb usage warning email. I couldn't believe it. There's something going on here. What are the chances that BT's own monitoring pings/requests are generating 6GB of data within 14 days? My mother in law only has a iPad, and all she does with that is check emails and browse the internet. I don't know if she would even be able to download 6gb in 14 days if asked to for a bet. I'm a heavy internet user and I keep my head below the 1GB on my phone data plan each month. BT provide no tools for monitoring and I was on the phone for 45 minutes today talking about it and they were totally useless. I changed the WiFi password for her, made sure it was wpk2, made sure that no other devices (apart from those we knew) were connecting. Still, BT will do nothing about it. Terrible.
  • willo
    Update from my last post. Had a call with BT on Tuesday (24/9) as arranged. I am pleased to say I didn't have to say much as the lady manager had reviewed my account and while she said they could find no fault at their end 'as a gesture of goodwill' they will write off the data use in excess of my monthly allowance. Obviously I am pleased with this outcome although the 'gesture of goodwill' was something I thought about challenging as that seems to imply I had used this amount of data and by writing it off they were doing me a favour. However, like most people a quiet life is all I am after (!) so I let this go.
  • sj
    Not just BT - have the same problem with Plusnet. Spikes in usage taking me from average of 2GB a month to 12GB. Wasn't even on computer at time. Will they listen? Nope. Just want to know what causing this!!
  • Ak
    The same thing is happening to me this month, and occurred one month at the beginning of the year. Despite my normal usage not getting anywhere near the limit if 40 gig, I have apparently used 36 Gig in 11 days of November. Even by BT's own estimations, I would have had to be downloading a load of things to get anywhere near this! Last time I spoke to them and they could only tell me when the activity took place, but there was no consideration of not charging me the extra £20 as it was apparently not possible that they were wrong. Could this be a way to entice you to commit to a higher monthly fee with a limitless package?
  • Ellen
    Having the same issues with BT! In September 2013 I took out a 12 month contract for BT Infinity Option 1, with 40GB Limit. From 1 September 2013 until 31 September 2014, my average monthly usage was 20GB. However once my contract ended my usage for October 2014 went up to 61GB and I was charged £26.50! My usage for November was 37.9GB, which is also very high but thankfully not over the limit so no charges there. The fact is that BT has hit a ceiling in broadband technology. At first they could sell fibre optic, but as nearly everyone has upgraded to the new technology they have nowhere to go, so their only hope to raise revenue is to force people onto bigger contracts! I have made my formal complaint by email to BT. Do not bother calling the contact centre, it is a waste of time. I have already reported the matter to OFCOM and I strongly suggest that others do the same. If I get no joy, I will me taking the matter to the Ombudsman Services and contacting the CEO of BT personally. You have to fight and refuse to be intimidated, take to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook whatever it takes to expose BT's THINLY-VEILED and HARE-BRAINED scamming!
  • radicalrabit
    November 14th warning came 14 gb of my 20 allowance had been used December 18th warning that 18th had been used. Two days later it had rocketed to an impossible 85Gb. when I rang BT I was told October November and December I had been over my 20Gb despite the text in December telling me my November usage was only 18. No sensible discussion with BT So a letter to Ofcom being sent. Cancelled my contract with BT .
  • Chris D.
    My BT broadband usage has quadrupled within 4 months and yet I cannot see that I have been using any more than usual. Could this be because of Cloud back up?
  • C S.
    Yes having terrific problems with BT Broadband usage. Example March 31st to April 13th was out of the country and yet on my return my Broadband useage was 4.8gb /10gb. There was no one else in the house. Wifi is password protected. Contacted BT via email, and was told to re-set my password , which was done. Checked daily my use. Surprised to find that I had used 1.12gb in a day. ( Although I only use it at home in the evenings.) 1gb of web surfing should give you 10,500 web pages views or 205 mp3 song downloads. An impossible task for 2-3 hours use. Will soon be leaving BT and paying to get out of my years contract.
  • D.G R.
    Same old problem with BT over Internet usage. For some 7 years we have kept under our 10GB limit. Since February 20155 massive usage estimated by BT and extra payment of £72.50 had to be made. We are very low users of the net, no downloads of films, music, iplayer etc. So far this month of May, BT estimate we have according to BT used over 8GB in 7 days, and we were away three of those. Phoning them is useless, they have no answers. How can we be using well over 1 GB a day, the machine is hardy switched on. Our own recorder has measured 1.303GB!
  • J ..
    We have got the same problem .. we are also getting emails from BT telling us we have used nearly all our limit for the month .. we have 10GB allowance and BT have told we have now used 13GB and we are not at the end of the month yet .. our usual use is only 2GB a month this is all we have ever used for the last few years up to the last month it has changed we are doing nothing different and all BT has told us if we upgrade and go onto unlimited broadbrand they will take off the charges for going over .. we have told them no so we spoke to technical department they changed our password to our hub we have put a complaint in and they will be calling us on Monday . We are now monitoring our usage on our laptop checking times we are on it . Will let you know what happens on Monday....
  • Paul B.
    I'm experiencing this as well. After using c. 14GB a month for years, usage leapt to 12 GB in a single day and hit 60GB within a week. Can't get any admission from them that the error is at there end. Exhausted by getting angry, l have taken out an unlimited contract to last until the end of my existing contract. (BTW their standard practice is to extend your contract for the whole new term, thus increasing the period you are locked in.) My plan was to monitor usage against Bitmeter on my laptop and lodge a complaint in retrospect, but, contrary to what I was promised, the usage meter on the BT site is no longer available because I 'dont need it' now I am unlimited. The whole thing smells. The confusing thing is I have not yet been charged for my fictional excess usage in April. May still ask them for a report on my usage and log that complaint.
  • ERC
    I have the same kind of problem! Signed up in April for 12 month contract with BT, with 40GB per month - ample for our medium usage of internet (emails, browsing, occasional youtube/i-player). But in the month of May, despite normal usage by us, we apparently used 99GB!!!! And now we are expected to pay £56 extra for this totally inexplicable figure! No helpful explanation forthcoming from BT. It's happening again this month too - we are going to have no option but to switch to an unlimited package (£42.99/mth instead of £24.99/mth which we are currently on) and I've been told that would be an 18 mth contract!!! I feel TRAPPED and HELPLESS! I can't afford to pay an extra £56 each month for this apparently random figure, but nor do I want to pay almost double what I'd signed up for just to avoid these huge excess charges! Can anyone HELP me please?!!!? Thank you....
  • Ben
    I have had similar experiences, my usual use was 30gb and suddenly last week it went to 14gb/day! I switched off my home hub and its still BT say I'm using 14-15gb per day and say ive been hacked which is rubbish if the hub is switched off. A technical error at their end I expect, I will not be paying anything extra fro exceeding my 40gb limit and I will report them to ofcom if they try and charge me.
  • Steve M.
    These are some recent figures from my BT usage online monitor. I have a 10GB monthly limit and my usage on Thursday 25th June was 12.4GB which is probably correct, but since then the online monitor has shown these totals. Your allowance usage from 01 Jun to 27 Jun 19.21GB exceeded You have used 29.21 GB this month and Your average monthly usage is 14.96 GB. Your allowance usage from 01 Jun to 28 Jun 28.24GB exceeded You have used 38.24 GB this month and Your average monthly usage is 14.96 GB. Your allowance usage from 01 Jun to 29 Jun 35.46GB exceeded You have used 45.46 GB this month and Your average monthly usage is 14.96 GB. You have exceeded your 10 GB allowance for June and will be charged £5.60 for every 5GB you go over. As you can see my average usage is 14.96 GB as I've have gone over quite a few times, but not by the ridiculous amounts the monitor is suggesting.
  • JW
    We received an email Saturday last to say we were nearing our usage allowance 10gb - low and behold Sunday it was nearing 20gb which is impossible for us to use as our connection is .3 so you can't download or anything and we typically use under 5gb per month rather than ramble on I would just say..... It would appear we are now having the same problem does anyone have any suggestions on taking this issue with BT?
  • Joseph
    Similar with me: I'm a pensioner on BT Basic with a10gb monthly broadband allowance. I use an average of 3.5gb per month for email checking, and a bit of online shopping. On Friday afternoon, the BT online usage monitor stated that I had used 3.3gb for the whole of June - consistent with my normal usage. On Monday, same monitor stated that I had used 42gb. This is impossible because I didn't even use the Internet over the weekend, as I was staying with my daughter. Phoned BT several times and they insist that their monitor is 100% percent accurate, and that I must pay the excess usage charges of £39.20. I've since switched off my router and worried myself sick. I really don't know what to do next.
  • mariainuk
    This is al very interesting as I too have suddenly been 'going over' my broadband usage. They have been effectively sticking an extra £5.60 a month on my bill for about 18 months. I haven't increased my activity, I'm just using the same old sites, never download films or programmes and only use YouTube infrequently. I am going to try and check the week that I was away on holiday. If I have broadband connection then I know they are fiddling my account. How can they keep getting away with this, if it was the other way 'round there would be Bailiffs on the doorstep! :-/
  • Pauline
    Mmm... been using BT broadband package for years and suddenly nearly reached my 10 GB limit half way through the month - says BT, when my average usage per month has been 3.4GB up to now! Something's not right here. Have been pretty much forced to upgrade broadband package to 'unlimited'...
  • MICK W.
  • wyn R.
    Reiterate all the comments.i have been in USA for two weeks, but used 9gb. Perhaps NASA were using my BT broadband, only use two small tablets in evening but constantly over the limit. bT sucks...ring them, well pay for unlimited and you won't need to worry...
  • Julie S.
    I too have this problem for the last two months. I average less than half of my data allowance even when I have been downloading holiday photos. All of a sudden with less than usual usage I am going over my limit. Something is definitely wrong and I really don't know what to do. I will be in the house 3 days only next month and the router will be off whilst I am away so if I get the emails again BT will not be happy with my response to them.
  • Gary h.
    Only been with BT infinity for a few months - happy at first but now ever month I am over my limit of 20g, apparently in July I used 15 g while on holiday for 3 weeks? Same same on the phone calls - not interested Contacting ofcom and going back to SKY at first opportunity
  • Lee O.
    Started my contract with bt tv and internet in April, no problems at all, From the 28/8 to the 10/9 we've used 53 gb, ha ha you're having a laugh bt...... we were on holiday from the 4/9 till the 11/9 I even have a 20 gb mobile phone plan with bt, as I'm on the road a lot and use this more than the home Internet .eg. digital radio,Spotify & streaming 1 or 2 movies,I wouldn't even use 10gb , Can't wait for the final bill,
  • andy l.
    Guys My father is now being charged for exceeding his allowance. He doesn't use any films,You Tube or facebook. This really annoys me as I suggested this provider after a bad experience with Talk Talk. I will now contact BT hq and let you know of the outcome.
  • N O.
    Same problem here, since moving to BT from a 2GB per month limit which I never exceeded, I now regularly exceed a 10GB cap according to the website monitor. Their own router typically shows 4-5GB per month, and I'm charged for 15-20 as per the online monitor. I once spent over 2 hours on messaging and phone calls being bounced between call centres, including an entertaining 5 minute conference call with their technical and billing folk both saying they could see the problem but it was with the billing/technical side and not theirs. Got one month refunded, have just given up since, and wouldn't recommend BT broadband to anyone. No-one seems to have a clue of how to stop it permanently.
  • Mark W.
    It is incredible. I have same problem. Either a massive error or a scam to get us to upgrade. I have just sent details to BBC Watchdog with a link to this site. I am not a heavy user - no films / no music. Occasional catch up TV on standard definition. Apparently I used 5gb on Sunday, but have no recollection of it?! That is a lot of data. What is infuriating is they just say there is nothing they can do. Surely, if I am a customer and I am disputing the usage, they have to investigate it?
  • Oscar
    Same problem here. Hardly use the Internet, just emails and web browsing occasionally. Usual monthly usage about 4Gb. Last month inexplicably got very close to the 10Gb limit, no idea how, was away for 2 weeks and minimal usage rest of the month. This month, turned router off for 8 days, Now been back on for 4 days and is already up to nearly up to 3Gb yet have only checked a few emails. Now worried it will go over the limit so may have to turn router off again. Moved from Plusnet as that was bad, but BT worse. Nightmare. BT monitor doesn't seem to say when this usage takes place, so can't check if we were in the house or not on alleged usage days.
  • Ruth r.
    I am so glad to see other people are experiencing problems, began to doubt myself. We switched to BT infinity on an 18 month contract at 20Gb recently after buying a BT set top box to watch European football. Since that date (July 2015) we have had so many problems with overcharging. We only use the broadband for browsing and our usage before the change was about 8Gb per month. They are now telling us that our usage from 1st to 14th October is 41.64 Gb bearing in mind we were on holiday for four days in October! Our bill from July for three months shows £45 charge for extra broadband use. We rang and spoke to India (of course) who were absolutely no use whatsoever and insisted we must play games on the PC or download films. Rubbish. I can only think that BT are doing this so that everyone will pay for the unlimited download version. They can think again we will not let this drop and when it is sorted will switch suppliers.
  • Steve A.
    I too am having the same problem I have just been told today that my usage has shot up to 23Gb this month over my 10Gb limit. I know that I have never used that much data, all I do is check emails and chat to friends on messenger. I dont have a monitor but i'm going to install one now to keep an eye on them and make complaints once I have more evidence. If i don't get anywhere with BT i'll have to go to OFCOM.
  • jackie c.
    after years of using about 7 gb a month this last 2 months it has shot up to over 20gb
  • Ray
    Well we are all in the same boat. Just how do we find out what BT are doing about it? Also if we go "unlimited" will they then hit us with "Fair useage".
  • Ray
    I have taken out my Hub4 and put my Hub2 back in. now my Data up/down is back to normal, strange?
  • Maggy
    Since the beginning of November my GB usage has more than doubled, I use no more than 4GB of my 10GB allowance with plus net and I am now using 9.5 of my monthly usage My computer is using the night time free allowance midnight to 8am despite me only having the power going to the router. I have changed my password and I have spent one week talking to plus net about this problem. My habits have not changed I have only my desk top running, no sky, smart TVs etc. I have noticed that BT are doing some work to the service, however plus net operatives have asked if I want to go unlimited. That does not solve the problem, what do I do?? Plus net monitored my usage on Monday I turned off the power, no electricity to my computer for over 24 hrs and according to plus net I had still used some of my usage. What is going on???
  • jan
    we have same problem.Since a major fault in the area when we were without service for about 2 weeks we were charged for a call made from our "dead"line to a premium rate music said engineers phone to check lines.PREMIUM RATE LINES THEN CHARGED TO CUSTOMERS???I DONT THINK SO.Since then our broadband has soared to near double over the limit but our use is the same and both laptops moniter useage to be well below 5 for last 30 days combined.They said change router password so we did.Keep router on do not use computers..we did.They said we have probably been hacked.So bt is insecure and I have to pay a lot of money for useage I have not had.Is anyone else out there willing to get some sort of petition for bt and regulator?I do think maybe they have faulty useage recording.Where and how do they record useage?Is it via router?How many of you founfd faulty routers?I am going to not pay for over and see how far I get.HELP PLEASE.
  • Sallie
    I have been monitoring my elderly father's usage for a year or so. During this time I have needed to contact BT twice to challenge their claims of 'over usage'. My father, and this is absolutely genuine, only reads 6 emails a week, reads the Cornish Pirates website for 20 mins each week and makes the occasional tentative Google search for prices for a new sledge hammer etc. When we first got him 'online' over a year ago, his average monthly usage (and I do have screen shots of this to prove) was about 2GB. (I suppose most of this usage was antivirus / windows updates?) Recently, (as happened on another occasion) he has been getting warning emails again to say he's used 6GB then 8GB in 3 weeks of a month. He is literally frightened by these emails and consequently turns everything off! Yet the usage continues to rise. I would be very keen to join with other protesters.
  • Kirsty
    Agree with above. My 77 year old dads usage gone up from c 3GB per month of 10GB limit to 17GB last month (and he was in hospital for 10 days of that) with current usage 1-16th Jan at 8.2GB despite him being on his kindle for a couple mins per day checking email and maybe checking out post surgery complications online for half hour or so. I've been on BT online chat for over 340 minutes to no avail, have spend over an hour and half on phone to BT and logged official complaint 10 days ago. Have been told to turn off hub when not in use (doesn't explain how usage was ony 2 - 3MB for the couple years previous to the recent skyrocketed account), told it's the youview/ TV, told it's not, told to reset admin password, told it's my dads fault and he must have given his wifi password out... Am keen to do whatever; my dads stress levels are ridiculous and he's post heart surgery op so really could do without.....
  • Alice G.
    mmm... I only googled this as I am on bt basic which includes a 10gb limit per month... I have NEVER gone over this. .. but I just checked my usage anf I have gone over and have had no significant changes in the way I use it... other than I had my granddaughter round last sunday and she DID have youtube on nearly all day... so I am assuming this is the cause of it ? trouble is... I have no way of checking? the broadband usage tool just tells me how much has been used... just from the end of my last bill ? no date specific usage... to show on what date the surge (if indeed it WAS a surge) her youtube usage is now stopped until I het more def answers... she lives on it at her own house ...eeek... but they do have unlimited usage at theirs ! anyway... im currently having to use only my smartphone with my data plan until this is sorted .
  • Louisa
    I am also experiencing an overuse of my broadband allowance. I have been told that I have used 28gb so far this month alone and yet have only used my computers for the normal amount of time. My average usage from May 2015 was around 30gb so why the sudden spike? I would be happy to participate in any campaign to get to the bottom of this issue. In the meantime I am on hold to the technical team at BT. I may be some time ...
  • Pete
    I've been having the same problem. I'm on Plusnet. We have a 10Gb limit which we normally stay under - only emails, web browsing and occasional you tube or iPlayer. We don't use cloud and (as far as I know) don't have anything doing automatic updates. Only exceeded 10Gb 2x in the last 6 years. Suddenly in mid December 2015 it jumped up and I got 2 warning emails in quick succession so started investigating. Usage records on PLusnet show daytime (08:00 - midnight) and overnight (midnight - 08:00) usage. Ours were running at about 280Mb overnight and 780Mb daytime every day regardless of what usage we actually made. PLusnet said there was a steady UPload of data of 35MB per hour (i.e. data flowing from our house into the internet). They couldn't say what sort of traffic it was or where it was going. (Why on earth not? Aren't they curious to find out about unexplained usage?). We're 100 yards from any other house and I'm sure no one's hijacking our Wifi. I started switching off all the wifi enabled devices to see what was doing it. In the case of printers we unplugged them and I unplugged Apple TV (and it's still unplugged - never used gift!) Seemed to come down to my two apple devices (iPad and iPod) being the culprits. Switching their wifi off sorted it for a while, but it started up again a couple of weeks later. Switched them off again and this time it didn't stop! I ended up putting them in the safe so that they couldn't possibly be communicating with the router (the metal stops radio signals) and then it did stop. That made me think they had some virus infection, but Apple did an online diagnostic on the iPod and said it didn't show up as having a problem, but if I was worried to do a) a factory reset and if that didn't work, b) a complete reinstall of the OS. (That didn't seem to me to bear out their expressed confidence that OSX devices can't get viruses but hey!) did the reset and that seemed to cure it again, but then the excess usage started up again a few days later. It's easy to tell when it's happening because you get a very consistent 280Mb or so of usage over night when we aren't using any devices at all as well as the 780Mb plus whatever we've actually used during the day. Our normal usage is about 100Mb to 300Mb a day. Started switching things off again and at one point got excess usage when both iPad and iPod were in the safe and nothing else at all was plugged in! Can't find anything on the internet to explain it. 3 months later and none the wiser. I now monitor usage 2 or 3 times a day (boring) and switch Apple devices into airplane mode whenever it starts up, and try to remember to leave them in airplane overnight. That seems to interrupt whatever is going on and stop it for a few days. But still get caught out a couple of times a month so that last month we went over 10Gb and this month already over 3Gb for the first 7 days due to lack of vigilance. If anyone out there has any ideas what's going on I'd be interested to hear them. I don't really think any more that there's any viral like activity going on. I had been worried that something was sending all my data, passwords, keypresses etc down the line to pirates but it doesn't really seem to be like that. I did just change all the names and passwords on the router in case that was an issue. I'm on the point of just signing up for unlimited usage and getting on with my life. Funny that!
  • nicky_m4


        I am currently searching the internet as i am on unlimited. however my mum is not , they are on the 10gb bt package . They have had this for years and never gone over and suddenly the last two months they have????? 

    mum recently had to get a new mobile previous apple iPhone 4 broke so now she has an iphone 5 is this the culprit ? Mum has now stopped using any internet as so worried , so basically paying for something she now no longer uses!

    someone help 

  • Pen510ner

    Hi I am seemingly using my monthly data allowance five fold, I have no idea why. I have down loaded an update for my Garmin Satnav, but only once, who is using my address

  • andonida

    Having issues here with BT Infinity on FTTH - usage has gone through the roof since last Thursday, I have the 40 GB package and normally use on average 14GB, but on Friday I used 18.6 GB and total for month so far is 55.3 GB!

    I don't use cloud services or download large files, most I'll do is download an occasional tv episode to the Sky+ box, but certainly nothing significant in the past week. I've logged on to my Home Hub and no unexpected devices have been connected (Sky box, a laptop and two smartphones).

    I've spoken to plenty of people on the phone at BT across various departments in both the UK and India, most insist there is nothing wrong with the calculation and I must have changed my browing habits. I don't even leave my modem and hub switched on during the week at work. I had one Technical advisor ask if I was sure no one else had been in my house - I think I'd know about that!

    Given this page and various threads on the BT forums, it is clear there is an issue BT are not willing to address, be it related to the FON hotspot or something else. The most useful adviser I spoke to in the Faults department told be it would be best to wait for my bill and then dispute it, but how can I know I won't have the same problem next month?

  • ANN

    So glad I found this forum as I am having the same problem and contacting BT is just like banging my head on a brick wall. I have been a BT customer for years and never once gone over my usage allowance until last month .I have 'phoned repeatedly and been fobbed off and told I have definitely used it.Like most of the previous forum users I am elderly and only use it for e-mails and a bit of internet .I never download anything.I have changed the password as directed but it is still mounting up every day.I am at my wits end- has anyone any advice as to where to turn. 


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