I was only vaguely keeping track of my cellular data usage during our travels. Halfway through our Croatian trip, I went online to check my usage and found that I’d used 0.11GB of 0.29GB available to me through my international data package I’d bought before leaving. This confused me. I’d purchased 300MB of data, so what exactly did the above number mean? Not to mention, the data usage number in my phone did not match the one on the website.
I started an online chat through the AT&T site and AT&T online assistance guy “Renz” started to explain it to me. 100MB = 1GB, he informed me.
My brow furrowed at the math and I knew I was in for it. I suck at math, and it’s especially frustrating to have to admit not understanding when you know you’re communicating with a man. “Well – and this is not a criticism to you personally because I realized this isn’t you’re doing – but why put in my account that I’ve used 0.11GB rather than 110MB? Since I purchased it in MB “form” it makes more sense to the user if it says I’ve used 110MB. Using decimals just makes it confusing”
He assured me he didn’t take it personally and that he’d share that feedback with Someone-or-Other.
Then I asked him to explain cellular usage. I’ve been getting calls while my cellular data is turned off. Is my data being used up by these calls coming in? And what about texts?
He assured me that no data was used when calls or texts are incoming, only when I responded with a text. That will use up data. He then went on to tell me that he would add, for free, 200 extra MB for the rest of my trip.
“Can I take you out for a drink?” I joked, grateful for the bonus MB.
“I would love to but I’m stuck at my station” he responded back (or I am a machine that somehow auto-responds and can’t drink anyway)
While I had his (or maybe hers who knows) full attention I asked another question. I would often put an address in Google maps in order to get from point A to point B during my travels. After putting the info into Google maps, I shut off the cellular data or put the phone in airplane mode which was easier than going into cellular to shut it off and then into WiFi to shut that off. After doing this however, I could still see the dot (IE me) moving around on the google map. I asked if he could explain this magic to me? Was I using cellular data anyway, even though the data was shut off?
“No, rest assured that no data is being used when you have shut off the data” he told me, and elaborated with some mumbo jumbo about how as long as there was a cell signal, the map would know where you were in an area and it would show up on the map.
“That’s a relief because I want to be tracked in case I get kidnapped” I joked.
“Please be careful and don’t get kidnapped” he responded, and then asked if there was anything else I needed help with.
I think that about covers everything.