: Anyone subscribe to Onstar?



CTS NV
05-25-07, 11:18 PM
My free year is about to expire and I find it hard to convince myself I need to sign up for the monthly service. As far as I understand, for $16.95/mo, I get:

- online diagnostics (cool, but has never provided anything interesting)
- emergency services (valuable, but hard to justify a monthly fee)
- stolen vehicle location (need to check how much this saves on my insurance)
- access to overpriced cell minutes (Bluetooth would be much better)
- remote door unlock, horn & lights (sure these could be handy once in a blue moon, but anyone needing these services on a regular basis may want to consider trading in for a Buick with Onstar)

It all reminds me of that "I've fallen and I can't get up" service that became a laughing stock years ago. Maybe if it included mobile internet access, then I could justify it as something tangible. Even XM radio gives me something tangible I can enjoy every day...

Anyone have any insight on whether to keep the service or drop it?

calicadi
05-26-07, 12:04 AM
I kept mine because:

The convenience of using the OnStar phone vs cell phone.

Sometimes spotty cell service
No worries about forgetting cell or its' battery dying.
California will mandate hands-free only in-car phone use soon (08 or 09?)The emergency services/stolen vehicle locator; If I ever have to use it it will have paid for itself.

Is it overkill given I have AAA and a cell phone?... Maybe. Does it give me peace of mind?... Yes. If the airbags deploy and I don't answer, they're dispatching someone to my exact location.

thebigjimsho
05-26-07, 01:04 AM
It's not included in the service as a rule, but on at least 2 occasions, I've had OnStar be able to call someone for me and conference me in. This is separate from the regular phone service.

When I was getting the sound from my FL coilover, I called OnStar and they conferenced me in with my dealer to see if I had the control arm washer recall performed.

rand49er
05-26-07, 07:04 AM
Got it on my V and my wife's Rainier.

Is it worth it? Same as seatbelts ... it'll only take once.

zozmanCTS-V
05-26-07, 08:04 AM
To upgrade my analog service to digital, it will cost me $15 + $100 activation fee + a one-year subscription whatever that is. Not worth it unless you live in your car. :bigroll:

CIWS
05-26-07, 08:35 AM
I have renewd my service, extra piece of mind. I'm someone who likes to have a backup to the backups because Murphy can be a Son-of-a-Biotch at the worst possible time. I use the cell on occasion and the lock opening will be very nice if I need it. The monthly checkup is a freebe bonus as a save the e-mails and will have another running record on the car's upkeep.

OldRoadDawg
05-26-07, 09:44 AM
My free year is about to expire and I find it hard to convince myself I need to sign up for the monthly service. As far as I understand, for $16.95/mo, I get:

- online diagnostics
- emergency services (valuable, but hard to justify a monthly fee)
- stolen vehicle location
- access to overpriced cell minutes
- remote door unlock, horn & lights

IMHO
- worthless gadgetry
- survived over 40 yrs of driving without it
- I don't want the car back.. after it's been stolen
- what you said
- survived over 40 yrs of driving without it
- and $200+(min) a yr in my pocket, not some subsidiary of GM

ewill3rd
05-26-07, 10:06 AM
It is good to gather opinions but in the end it is up to you.
I used to have it and I felt really good about it. I used it a few times and was very happy that it was available.
My living situation has changed and I find I don't need it like I used to so I turned it off.
The how and where of my driving makes it unnecessary.
If my situation were different I would probably turn it back on.
Yes, if you let your subscription lapse and then you want to get an upgrade AND turn it back in it is an extra $100.

Miller
05-26-07, 10:15 AM
I have it because:

*Digital Handsfree--using my Verizon Minutes rocks. Can shift,txt and talk at the same time.

*Peace of mind--primarily airbag deployment notification. Also like the lock out, theft recovery and diagnostic features with monthly email notifications.

Worth a couple C notes annually IMHO

Miller
05-26-07, 10:17 AM
edit

odla
05-26-07, 12:57 PM
$200. a year
chance to get my stollen car back( if it does) priceless

HushH
05-26-07, 01:36 PM
I have it mainly for the phone service since shifting and trying to hold my blackberry is a PITA. If the car had bluetooth (or I could find one of those ear thingys that was actually comfortable) I'd have to reconsider, but I'd probably still have it for the stolen vehicle location. If my car wasn't modded I wouldn't worry so much about not getting it back.

Luna.
05-26-07, 01:49 PM
I kept mine because:

The convenience of using the OnStar phone vs cell phone.

Sometimes spotty cell service
No worries about forgetting cell or its' battery dying.
California will mandate hands-free only in-car phone use soon (08 or 09?)The emergency services/stolen vehicle locator; If I ever have to use it it will have paid for itself.

Is it overkill given I have AAA and a cell phone?... Maybe. Does it give me peace of mind?... Yes. If the airbags deploy and I don't answer, they're dispatching someone to my exact location.

I believe it's January 08

The Tony Show
05-26-07, 02:10 PM
Remote diagnostic of check engine lights is great, too. Saved me a trip to Autozone on weekends a few times, not to mention without it I'd park the car until I found the problem.

thebigjimsho
05-26-07, 09:01 PM
I paid the full $51,000 for my '04, so I feel like spending the extra $200 a year to keep up the facade that I'm rich. Either way, it's nice peace of mind.

And after not using it for quite a few months, I've used it twice in just over a week. Had to call Naked Fish and needed OnStar to get me the number. Turned out they didn't open until 3PM. Oh well.

CTS NV
05-26-07, 11:37 PM
I paid the full $51,000 for my '04, so I feel like spending the extra $200 a year to keep up the facade that I'm rich. Either way, it's nice peace of mind.

And after not using it for quite a few months, I've used it twice in just over a week. Had to call Naked Fish and needed OnStar to get me the number. Turned out they didn't open until 3PM. Oh well.

Next time, try Legal Seafood...

Actually, looks like a lot of folks do keep their subscription going. $200 per year is not a lot in the scheme of things. Though it all adds up to a bit more when you consider:

Onstar subscription ($17/mo)
XM radio subscription ($13/mo)
XM traffic subscription ($4/mo)
Extra verizon line subscription ($10/mo) or worse yet, prepaid minutes at international phone rate ($$$$ because I use Cingular/AT&T)

All stuff I never knew I needed.

But I guess I pay $90 per month for cable TV even though I only watch 3-4 shows per week --and I never question that. Sigh...

:violin:

thebigjimsho
05-26-07, 11:48 PM
Next time, try Legal Seafood...

Eh, not close enough. The type of food didn't really matter. I needed someplace close to where we were in Billerica that could support 25.

Besides, Legal is played out. I always tell people from out of town, the best seafood place is the one you like most. You just can't get bad seafood in New England. I'd rather go to Woodman's.

2004ctsv
05-27-07, 01:15 PM
I pay for OnStar in my daughter's cars - it's for my peace of mind.

They both talk on phones while in the car and I'd rather they use the hands free. But only the Saab has OnStar. I don't know if Infiniti offers anything similar.

I've used the diagnostics when installing the s/c. I didn't cap the tee for my boost meter and was getting a code. I could have strapped the OBD meter on but OnStar was handy.

I just re-upped to get the digital upgrade for $15 and one year.

T

Also - I thought I saw something about Dallas police being able to use the services of OnStar to shut down a car they were chasing. Is this right or am I having delusions again?

dqw1
05-27-07, 05:17 PM
I've used it twice so far: once when my battery died and the other when my car went into reduced power and threw codes. It saved help me both times so I like the peace of mind.

BeagleBrains
05-27-07, 09:43 PM
I just completed the transfer of my OnStar onto my Verizon Account. The Hands Free Calling is great, logical and much more safe. Cost; I don't know if there is any savings. With two Cell phones, the account is 700 minutes shared. I had the busiest month of Cell/Car Phone calling totaled 21 minutes. My wife averages just over two minutes a day.
I have two cars with the On Star System. The transfer to Verizon costs me $15.48 each (Iowa) per month. One account, one bill, convenience. Security, safety, Hands Free. I guess this is OK!?
The Verizon service person that facilitated this addition to my Verizon account was kind enough to offer to back-date the OnStar connection account in order to provide the added 700 shared minutes back to my annual Verizon account date of December 2006. WTF! :thehand:
I asked her how I might be able to take advantage of the 700 shared minutes for the six months that have already passed by. Maybe talk on the OnStart phone only when the car is in reverse; talk very fast in Pig-Latin; install a time machine? :suspense:

V's-V
05-28-07, 10:36 PM
I kept mine, I think its great. (especially if you forget your phone at home)

hellacar
06-08-07, 05:17 AM
My 2001 deVille is not eligible for OnStar upgrade. Interesting info about OnStar: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/onstar4.htm

Guess it's "Hello, T-Mobile" for me.

ronr
06-08-07, 08:31 AM
I have it because:

*Digital Handsfree--using my Verizon Minutes rocks. Can shift,txt and talk at the same time.

*Peace of mind--primarily airbag deployment notification. Also like the lock out, theft recovery and diagnostic features with monthly email notifications.

Worth a couple C notes annually IMHO

:yeah:

My only complaint after upgrading to digital is that I can't use the personal advisor feature. This is only available with the expensive minutes packages. I used to like this for traffic updates when I got into a backup (I've got an '04 so no XM traffic)

k1ko
06-08-07, 11:43 AM
does onstar work with sprint at all?

The Tony Show
06-08-07, 12:11 PM
My 2001 deVille is not eligible for OnStar upgrade. Interesting info about OnStar: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/onstar4.htm

Guess it's "Hello, T-Mobile" for me.

Those "big brother" scare tactic articles about OnStar are so ridiculous. The EDR (commonly referred to as a "black box") in your car does the same thing in a crash (records speed, ABS activation, seatbelt info, etc...), and OnStar can only allow law enforcement to eavesdrop if granted a court order and valid search warrant.

Since I'm not running a terrorist ring or child pornography business out of my car I plan on keeping it as long as I have the car. I've used remote diagnostics 3 times, had them look up a phone # multiple times and use the personal calling whenever the traffic situation prevents me from getting my phone out.

Plus (and no one ever mentions this side of it) the EDR data can also be used to absolve you of guilt in court (i.e, you get rear ended while sitting still and the person at fault claims you slammed on the brakes).

bpitas
06-08-07, 01:02 PM
I just got my '04 a couple of weeks ago, and just for S&G I hit the onstar button to let them tell me about it. It didn't really sound worth it. I definitely don't need the phone portion of it (BT headset with Nuance Voice Control speech rec software takes care of that), if I had an issue I'd probably just call roadside assistance and let them figure it out, I'm probably not THAT likely to lock myself out of the car (I probably just jinxxed myself)...
So the only potential advantage I think is the stolen vehicle recovery portion of it, which would give me the 30% discount on comprehensive, and save me a whopping... $16/year on my insurance.
Just doesn't seem like a good deal to me. :-)

thebigjimsho
06-08-07, 01:28 PM
I just got my '04 a couple of weeks ago, and just for S&G I hit the onstar button to let them tell me about it. It didn't really sound worth it. I definitely don't need the phone portion of it (BT headset with Nuance Voice Control speech rec software takes care of that), if I had an issue I'd probably just call roadside assistance and let them figure it out, I'm probably not THAT likely to lock myself out of the car (I probably just jinxxed myself)...
So the only potential advantage I think is the stolen vehicle recovery portion of it, which would give me the 30% discount on comprehensive, and save me a whopping... $16/year on my insurance.
Just doesn't seem like a good deal to me. :-)Winchester, eh?

CTS NV
06-08-07, 11:44 PM
Winchester, eh?

Maybe it's time to start a local chapter...

thebigjimsho
06-09-07, 02:32 AM
Maybe it's time to start a local chapter...We should. We've got enough guys just in Eastern MA. A New England chapter would work nicely...

ewill3rd
06-09-07, 07:06 AM
It is so sad how the big brother crowd make up stuff to believe in just so they can stay paranoid.
That article above had little to do with reality. The VCIM records nothing except the voice nametags and phone numbers you give it.
They are reading too much into nothing.
I know some people have to have something to sit around and worry about though.

Oh and no, you cannot choose your provider with OnStar, if you want your minutes to bill to your cellular account you must use Verizon.

bpitas
07-18-07, 12:18 PM
I'm up for a local chapter!
I just saw another Raven going South on 95 on my commute in this morning - probably the first one I've seen a couple weeks!

-B