High Smartphone Bill? Facebook May Be to Blame

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Facebook’s autoplay video feature is eating into many mobile users’ data allotment.

Facebook can be a time drain. And it may be a money drain, too.

Some users are being slapped with costly mobile data bills because the social network’s autoplay video feature is sucking up their data allotment.

According to MoneySavingExpert.com, videos autoplay by default on both the mobile app and on the desktop. You may have noticed this feature as you’re scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed and a video starts playing on its own, without you clicking on anything.

“It’s worrying that Facebook is autoplaying videos by default, as it’s clearly catching users out, with some claiming they’ve unknowingly exceeded their data limit and incurred extra charges as a result,” said MoneySavingExpert.com consumer and features editor Steve Nowottny.

Fortunately, there’s a simple fix to the problem. Follow these steps from CNN Money to turn the autoplay feature off:

  • On an iPhone. Click on “Settings,” and then select “Facebook.” “From there, click ‘Settings,’ ‘Auto-play,’ and then choose ‘Wi-Fi only’ or ‘Off,'” CNN Money said.
  • On an Android. Open the Facebook app, then go to account settings. “Click ‘App Settings,’ and then choose ‘Auto-play only on Wi-Fi’ or ‘Off,'” CNN Money wrote.

MoneySavingExpert.com said that if you believe you’ve been hit with unfair data plan charges because of Facebook, there’s a couple of steps you can take.

Contact your mobile provider explaining why these are unfair and ask it to refund the money.

If this doesn’t work, you can take your complaint to the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) or to the Ombudsman Services – which one depends on who your provider is signed up to.

The autoplay feature got many users’ attention recently because of the barrage of videos for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that have been posted on the social media site.

I made the quick fix on my iPhone. It just takes a moment.

Have you noticed the video autoplay feature on Facebook? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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