Verizon won’t charge iPhone 5 owners for unwarranted cellular data usage

The nation’s #1 carrier Verizon Wireless today officially confirmed it won’t charge iPhone 5 customers for any unwarranted cellular data usage stemming from flawed carrier settings on the device. In case you didn’t know, Apple has quickly identified the issue and delivered a patch to iPhone 5 customers on the Verizon network.

The affected customers feared Verizon would charge data traffic incurred as a result of the bug on their monthly statement. This is certainly good news, especially coming from a carrier who overcharged the government for voice and data communication services and earned its notoriety for incurring mystery fees on people without data plans who visited web pages that were supposed to be free…

As widely reported, some Verizon subscribers noticed their cellular data usage going up in increments on their iPhone 5 – while connected only to WiFi.

Luckily, Apple has promptly issued a carrier update that fixed the bug.

In a written statement provided to The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple this morning, a Verizon spokesperson said:

Under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Apple has a fix that is being delivered to Verizon customers right on their iPhone 5. Verizon Wireless customers will not be charged for any unwarranted cellular data usage.

To see if your device is eligible for the carrier update, go to Settings > General > About on your iPhone 5 and wait for a message to appear.

Apple’s handy support document outlines the fix.

This carrier settings update resolves an issue in which, under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Follow these instructions to install the update.

1. Tap Settings > General > About.
2. Wait for the following alert to appear: (top right)
3. Tap OK to install the update.
4. Hold the Sleep/Wake button down until you see “slide to power off”.
5. Slide to power off.
6. After the device powers off, hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn your phone back on.

Note: To finish the installation of the update, your iPhone 5 must be turned off and then on again. After your iPhone restarts, tap Settings > General > About, then scroll down to Carrier and verify that “Verizon 13.1″ is displayed.

Admittedly, the first time I read reports of cellular data being used while the iPhone 5 is connected to a WiFi network, I was convinced Verizon was pulling one of those mystery fee schemes again.

Were you the victim of this bug as well?