data usage

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Answered
I have free picture and text messaging yet I am being charged for pictures as data usage why would that be
Photo of William Wonka

William Wonka

  • 70 Points

Posted 5 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Sophia

Sophia, Mobile Master

  • 142,984 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Hi Willam,
Can you elaborate how you were charged for text and pictures? I know data needs to be switched on to use MMS, so could it be that you actually used data on for example downloading an email or something?
Photo of Camilo_A


  • 31,746 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Hi there William... To send or receive picture messages you need to have the Data on, those pictures messages will not be charge but the data being used for some apps on the background is what is charged...

Read the following thread to see something that can be done to allow mms without using data for other things, this is not official though but you may test it out to see if it works on your phone...
Photo of bonita


  • 522 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
Yes, free picture messages are actually not "free." Picture messages USE data!! Don't bother fighting for it!!

I used to be on Telues (before i switch over to Koodo ... same company anyway) and had been fighting with Telus for years for the same issue. Telus reps use to argue that the data i use is actually for something else (e.g an app or something) and i keep telling them it is not!! I get a picture message one in a blue moon ... and the Telus reps always tell me that the data charged was for somethig else!! Yeah, right!! If it is that a coincident (that i happened to be downloading somethig else EVERYTIME i get a picture message), i should get lottery those days!!

Anyway, at one point they suggest they will give me 5MB/month for free for those random picture message ... but then a fee months later, they remove that freebie off without telling me!!

I've talked to Telus about this issue at least a handful of times and it was a waste of time ...
Photo of RudyW


  • 21,890 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Hmmm.....I sent tons of pictures and never got charged for it so this is strange.
Photo of Curtules


  • 19,666 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
MMS are free, data is certainly required but it doesn't count toward your data bucket, if it's included in your plan, or as pay-per-use data if data's not included.

The only thing is that if you have cellular data enabled OTHER applications can check for updates at any time. Smartphones take having data enabled as your aauthorization to use said data if ever wifi is not available.
Photo of MykeC


  • 20,174 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Hey Bonita, to shed some light on this, Picture Messages do require an active mobile data connection in order to be sent/received because they are sent as data(if you look on a computer, you’ll see that the picture has a file size. This is the data that is being sent). Now, in our systems, we have it set that any data used from picture messaging will not be used/counted towards because our plans include unlimited messaging. The illusion that picture messages charge data comes from when other applications that have background data going on. Apps sometimes have a refresh interval that will take place if a refresh hasn’t been done, as an example. All mobile phones have some stock apps that can end up using data while you have data turned on for a minute while accepting/sending a picture.

There isn’t a way around this unfortunately because of how the HSPA network is structured & with how data is transmitted. If there was a way(like on CDMA) where mobile data wasn’t required for picture messaging, we would work towards it but since it has to do with the HSPA network, there isn’t anything we can really do. There are suggestions where you can edit the APN(depending on the phone) where you can enable just the MMS service but keep it so other applications do not access the data.

Anyways, I hope this helps shed a bit of light on this.
Photo of Crystal


  • 360 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I had this same problem with my old phone (LG cookie). Never used Internet or apps on it, but magically was charged for data every time I received a picture message (and looking online the time I received the picture matched when I was being charged). I have since upgraded my phone and now have a data plan so I don't know if this is still happening for picture messages or not.

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.