This iPhone feature could be quietly costing you big bucks


An iPhone feature that comes automatically enabled on the device led a Denver, Colorado, family to be charged a hefty fee on their cell phone bill.

Ashton Feingold was in his bedroom on his phone when he got a notification from his cell phone provider about his data usage.

What caused the $2,000 bill

“It just said maybe 65% of your data has been used,” he told CBS4.

Read more: How to disable Apple’s Wi-Fi assist feature

Feingold did not think much of it and continued using his phone as usual.

“(The bill came) and it was over $2,000,” Ashton’s father Jeff Feingold said. “Usually it was about $250 a month.”


“I thought my dad was going to kill me,” Ashton Feingold said.

It turns out that Wi-Fi Assist is to blame.

What is Wi-Fi Assist?

Wi-Fi Assist is a feature that is available on iPhones running operating system 9.1 or higher.

The feature automatically uses data when Wi-Fi signals are weak.

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Feingold’s bedroom has a weak Wi-Fi signal. Because the feature is on by default, he was using data when he thought he was using Wi-Fi. Feingold ended up using 144,000 megabytes of data.

CBS spoke with Mike Campbell of Apple Insider, who said, “It comes by default, it’s switched on, that’s part of the reason why there’s kind of an uproar.”

Apple’s support site says users might use more data with this feature, but “for most users, this should only be a small percentage higher than previous usage.”

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To turn off Wi-Fi Assist, users can go to their settings app, then cellular and scroll down to Wi-Fi assist to switch it off.

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