Wi-Fi Assist, a feature baked into Apple’s latest mobile operating system version, is supposed to help iPhone owners when it comes to poor data connections. Unfortunately, it’s now become a thorn in the company’s rear as yet another iPhone customer complained of data overages, reports CBS News.
San Francisco teenager Ashton Finegold likely made his family’s collective hearts skip several beats when he found out his share of the family’s monthly bill came out to $2,021.07. Normally, the monthly bill for the entire family adds up to roughly $250, so you can see why Finegold thought his dad might go World War III on him.
Fortunately for Finegold, and unfortunately for Apple, the main culprit seems to be the aforementioned Wi-Fi Assist, which automatically switches the phone to a cellular data connection if the phone is connected to a weak Wi-Fi signal. According to Finegold, that was the case in his bedroom, where the teenager thought his iPhone was connected to his home Wi-Fi when, instead, it used a cellular data connection. As a result, Finegold’s iPhone used more than 144GB of data during the month.
It’s unknown whether there was a happy ending for Finegold and his family, though this isn’t the first Apple discovered itself in hot water over its phones automatically switching from Wi-Fi to cellular data. Back in November 2015, a California law firm sued Apple for an issue with the AT&T versions of the iPhone 5 and 5C that had the phones secretly switch from Wi-Fi to cellular data. The defect even allowed the handsets to continue using up cellular data, even when connected to Wi-Fi.
In addition, a California couple sued Apple due to Wi-Fi Assist causing data overages. According to the lawsuit, Apple failed to properly inform iPhone customers of what exactly Wi-Fi Assist, which is turned on by default, is and what it could lead to if you don’t have the eyes of a hawk. Apple ended up posting a detailed explanation of what Wi-Fi Assist is, but only after numerous complaints started rolling in.