Telstra BigPond Accounting Failure?

This morning I was considering downloading a site image to work on locally, something I do every now and then.  As usual I checked my download quota on BigPond as we are on a limited bandwidth, being out in the sticks and not having access to real internet.  I was astonished to see that the monthly bandwidth was exceeded, by a large margin, and that I was being shaped down to 64kbps.  In fact, the system had started shaping on Sunday.  This was around 2/3rds of the way through the current billing period, and I knew that neither my wife nor I had been doing anything that would account for the whopping 4GB supposedly downloaded since the shaping started.  Indeed, at 64kbps, 4GB in 3 days is theoretically impossible.

Speaking to Telstra accounts was, as usual, tricky.  All they could tell me was exactly what I could see in the usage graph, that I was being shaped and had exceeded my usage.  I explained how it was not theoretically possible to have downloaded the data claimed and explained why - so they decided I would be better talking to tech support.  The person on tech support was really helpful, which is not something I'm used to.  Normally they run through a set script and then give me grief because I don't use Windows, cannot run Internet Explorer, and generally don't like having to explain a technical issue to someone who is obviously non-technical.  Anyway, after exploring the issues, they suggested resetting the wifi password and SSID.  I pointed out that since I live on 20 acres, and unless someone parked their car in my front yard they would have no chance of even seeing the router, it was unlikely to be an issue - although I agreed to do so.  Just before talking to Telstra I checked the usage meter (which updates hourly).  There was 906MB downloaded today.  After the call, and at least an hour after I last checked, I checked again. 1474MB.

Whoa, 568MB in one hour?

I grabbed my calculator.  64kbps is 8KB per second, which is 28MB per hour.  568MB is 20 times that.  Sorry guys, not remotely possible, unless you are telling me that I can be both shaped and download at speeds that I find almost impossible to achieve even when the wind is in the right quarter and the schoolkids are still at school.

I managed to convince them that there was a real issue, and that we needed to monitor this.  I also changed my password to my account - which I suspect is more likely to be the issue.  They promised to lift the limit on my account although so far that hasn't yet happened.  I suspect, once again, I'll have to spend hours on the phone trying to find someone who understands the issue and can do something about it.  Stay tuned for updates.

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