It cost me £13.41 on PAYG - for nothing

Please can someone help me understand what I am supposed to switch on and what I should not touch, so that I don’t get charged ridiculous amounts of cash for something that doesn’t even work?

When I was lost in a strange area recently, I tried to turn on ‘Maps’. I normally don’t have my phone connected to WiFi, but in this case I switched on ‘mobile data’ under settings. When that alone didn’t work, I also switched on Wi-Fi under Network and Internet. That also didn’t get the map to work, and I eventually figured out ‘Maps’ has its own ‘settings’ icon, and in that I switched on ‘mobile data’.

When I added the address I was seeking, the app came up with the address, sort of, but when I clicked on it to confirm, it did not respond. I tried several times, and then gave up and got my sister to send me texts to give me directions.

What did I do wrong that meant I ended up paying out the same amount for seconds of nothing than I usually pay out for several months of texts? (I am deaf, and don’t use my phone much).

Thank you.

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

I would check the bills to get to know who and for what you get charged. Also the exact amount of data went trough would be interesting.

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These are not the same thing.
Wi-Fi is internet via a local computer network, oftentimes cost-free (because the place offering Wi-Fi is interested in keeping you in the vicinity or in selling you food or goods or in just offering you this convenience or else).
Mobile data is internet via your mobile network provider (the company you got your SIM card from). How much this costs is determined in the plan you have with your mobile network provider. Most providers offer plans with an included amount of internet data transfer without additional costs, where costs would only apply when exceeding the cost-free amount of data transfer.

@Doppel-D’s post applies. You will have to find out exactly who charged you for what and why.
Also please check the conditions of the plan you have with your mobile network provider, especially the conditions for getting mobile internet.

Question is whether there was some problem with the App itself, or whether there was a speed or connection problem with the activated mobile data because of bad network reception in the place you were in or something (which could be in conflict with a high bill for mobile internet, depending on the conditions of your plan).

Since you seem wary of using mobile internet, you might want to explore offline navigation for future cases of need. In the /e/OS Maps App you can download map data for countries (or territories of countries if offered) of your choice to your phone when you have a convenient (and cost-free) internet connection, and then the Maps App can use the downloaded map data without accessing the internet. It’s an easy way to plan ahead.


I had just the same thing I share your pain, my £7.50 pain is not fully receded.

My explanation is that Maps failed (for some reason … moving on) to update its “map” while on your wifi at home, then when you were out and about it decided it had to update its “map” using your mobile data plan. In my experience the downloaded map is not updated incrementally, but the whole map is downloaded again if/when Maps “needs” it.

My workaround is to open Maps at home before an expedition and invite it to Download its map. There is such an update map icon at the foot of many Maps screens.

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Contemplable to the posting of @AnotherElk i would like to add the point that there are phone settings for warning/block mobile data usage when reaching a defined amount of traffic regarding your plan from your provider @buzzears

Settings → Network/Internet → [click your provider] → Data warning and limit → set up an amount of data usage for receive a warning and an amount of data usage for block further traffic (Settings could be named different in english as i am using german language on my phone). The value for receiving a warning should be slightly below your maximum amount of data traffic per billing cycle/month, f.e. maybe 1 gigabyte less than maximum.

Don’t forget to set up a value for “reset usage cycle” as this depends on from when to when your billing cycle is set up by your plan.


Sorry for disappearing like that. Not intending to be rude. Just got caught up in busy-ness and the consequent fatigue.

I should have said - I use PAYG, with automatic credit top-up. I’m with giffgaff.

At the same time I posted here, I contacted giffgaff to ask about the money taken, and they replied with: " I can see that the decrease from your credit has been the result of your recent data usage. For your reference I’ve detailed your usage below:

Date Time Mbs used Charge
08/04/2022 09:15:04 134.23 £13.41

" This commonly happens due to mobile apps updating in the background, most of the time your device will check for updates on a regular basis and update your apps for security reasons. This is what we call background data. Background data can also be used for updating information such as emails, social network statuses and even contacts so you may not realize.

I’d also recommend checking your phone settings; whilst your data may be switched off some phones have an “assist” feature. Which means when you’re connected to WiFi if your signal drops it will turn your data on to strengthen the signal. I’ve been caught with this on my own phone a few times so it’s worth checking."

I am wondering if I didn’t switch on ‘roaming’. I normally don’t, especially when seeing the warning that it might incur significant charges, but I wonder if I tried it for a few seconds to see if it would get the Map app working, before I figured out/remembered that ‘Maps’ has it’s own settings (I use it so infrequently I always forget that).

Thank you so much for your suggestions of updating the Maps at home, and downloading to use off-line. I will definitely try this out.

Could also be related to these issues, #5031, #4853

See also High mobile data usage /e/Storage