: On Star (Digital) Upgrade



NIK
02-12-07, 10:47 AM
As most of us know, our phones will not work after Jan. 1, 2008 if your communications system is not all digital. My "V" is a very early '05 (built 5/27/04) and for various reasons I want to continue On-Star and the ability to use the built in phone. We were originally told that the dealer would perform the upgrade at N/C if we pre-paid 3 years subscription to On-Star.

I went to my dealer prepared to do so, but was informed that the requirements have changed - they will now do the upgrade at N/C if you pre-pay 1 year (rather than 3). I pre-paid the 1 year (which takes effect after my current subscription expires in May), was called 3 days later that the materials came in, and I am scheduled for this Friday to have the upgrade done. I was told it should take about 2 hours (re-programming takes the longest) and that I would be given a new phone number.

Just thought I'd fill in those who wish to continue to use On-Star - it's actually costing nothing extra other than the time taken to drop the car off (or stay - I never leave my car.)

odla
02-12-07, 10:57 AM
thanks for the info

The Tony Show
02-12-07, 12:06 PM
Just to be 100% clear, there is a $15 service charge for the upgrade, but it's peanuts- basically, the upgrade is free.

Is it worth it? Hell yes. Not only will your Onstar continue to function, but the call quality is 2x better, and the voice dialing lets you speak the entire number (as opposed to one at a time). Great upgrade.

noahsdad
02-12-07, 12:37 PM
Wow - thanks for the update. I was just thinking about calling OnStar to see if they would make such a deal to keep me as a customer. When I first signed up for it, I wasn't sure if it really had any value to me. Now I wouldn't be without OnStar, and in fact will buy my next new GM car because of it.

tedcmiller
02-12-07, 12:44 PM
There is a small error in your post. The "communications system" need not be "all digital." For a period of time, when it was known that analog cell phone service did not have to be maintained after Feb. 2008 (an FCC ruling), GM began installing "dual mode" tranceivers. These units work with both analog and digital cell phone service. When GM drops analog in Jan. 2008, if you have a new digital-only or the older dual-mode transceiver, your OnStar service will continue to work. To make sure that buyers were completely confused and less likely to not buy GM, the promotion literature referred to "digital-ready" radio systems. This meant that only the cellular tranceiver needs to be replaced when the analog service is dropped in 2008. Previous radio systems that were not "digital-ready" could be upgraded only by replacing the entire radio system which, in many cases, is not a viable option at any cost.

The GM web site devoted to this issue also states that most 2005 models have dual-mode transceivers, and these cars will not require a hardware upgrade when analog is dropped in 2008. You can call OnStar (push the OnStar button) and have your radio checked. Initially, they will reinterate their offer to extend your service and swap your hardware for a 1-year commitment. Insist that they check the radio (they have the capability of doing this by reading back the transceiver S/N). Do this more than once, to make sure that the OnStar rep you are working with is not fudging the truth to sell extended OnStar service. You might not need new hardware.

NIK
02-13-07, 09:22 AM
The GM web site devoted to this issue also states that most 2005 models have dual-mode transceivers, and these cars will not require a hardware upgrade when analog is dropped in 2008. You can call OnStar (push the OnStar button) and have your radio checked. Initially, they will reinterate their offer to extend your service and swap your hardware for a 1-year commitment. Insist that they check the radio (they have the capability of doing this by reading back the transceiver S/N). Do this more than once, to make sure that the OnStar rep you are working with is not fudging the truth to sell extended OnStar service. You might not need new hardware.[/quote]

I was told by both my dealer and by On Star, that if I wanted to continue to use the phone after 2007 that I would need the new hardware. I was going to continue my subscription anyway, so I told them to go ahead and do it. It's not costing me anything other than the $15.00 "service fee" previously mentioned. By the way, does anyone know where the hardware is located?

The Tony Show
02-13-07, 10:07 AM
In the side of the trunk, under the liner. There's a pretty involved process after they swap of calling Onstar, giving them the new hardware ID, getting it activated, etc... It took me a few days to get my personal calling working, but now that it is I'm loving it.

NIK
02-13-07, 04:32 PM
In the side of the trunk, under the liner. There's a pretty involved process after they swap of calling Onstar, giving them the new hardware ID, getting it activated, etc... It took me a few days to get my personal calling working, but now that it is I'm loving it.

Tony - what are the major differences in operation? And do they replace the rear view mirror also? Just curious.

The Tony Show
02-13-07, 04:39 PM
THe rear view only gets replaced in STSs (2005 and beyond). The only difference in operation is the voice dialing (full number instead of one at a time), and a much more polite "pre-recorded Onstar lady" voice. Instead of blunt commands, she now says polite things like, "Okay, let's try again". What a sweetie. :D

tedcmiller
02-15-07, 09:15 AM
Based on the posts to this thread, it appears that many people are taking OnStar's or the dealer's word for it when they are told that they need new hardware to accomodate the elimination of analog support. In most cases, the justification is that there is "no cost other than ...." Consider these things - there is apparently a $15 "service fee", you have to pay for all of the extended subscription up front, you have to make a trip to dealer, you lose the use of the vehicle for some unspecified time period, you run the risk of having other problems created by the replacement actions, and, as Tony Orlando pointed out, you might have to deal with the problems of getting the new OnStar and cell phone service working properly again. If you want all of these hassels, fine, but I for one would not do if it is not necessary.

The Tony Show
02-15-07, 09:28 AM
Based on the posts to this thread, it appears that many people are taking OnStar's or the dealer's word for it when they are told that they need new hardware to accomodate the elimination of analog support. .

Not really, Ted. The main person asking (Nik) has an '05 CTS-V which most likely does not have dual mode (some late models did). Until '06, most Cadillacs were Analog/Digital-Ready, and perhaps Nik already checked his system and needs more info. I may be way off base here, but you seem to be in the "Anti-Onstar" crowd, which I've seen a lot of on here (Based on the amount of discussion on how to disable it), and that's cool- to each his own.

We appreciate the info, but I think everybody gets the point.

ewill3rd
02-15-07, 10:02 AM
I would think that OnStar would know what kind of equipment the car has in it and whether or not they will provide service for it after the beginning of next year.
This isn't a dealer level decision, it comes from GM and OnStar, in fact I would hardly say we profit from digital upgrade sales.
The fees you pay go to OnStar as far as I know, we just recoup the fees when you pick up your car because OnStar bills our open dealer account for that amount.

OnStar isn't doing this to make money off the upgrades, they want to make money off of your continued service.
Anything beyond that assumption is paranoia.

The Tony Show
02-15-07, 01:04 PM
If anyone wants to know if they need an upgrade, PM me your VIN and I can look it up for you. (Fancy-schmancy dealer web tools kick ass!) :D

tedcmiller
02-16-07, 01:06 PM
Tony Orloando,
You are absolutely correct when you say you are
way off base , because I am definitely not in the anti-OnStar group. Not wanting to subject yourself to a needless "upgrade" has absolutely nothing to do with being anti-OnStar. This is not rocket science. The GM web site says "most" 2005 models have dual-mode tranceivers. The web site does not qualify this by brand or model. While it might be true that most 2005 Cadillacs don't have dual-mode tranceivers, I plan to find out for sure about mine and not seek out a hardware upgrade needlessly. As I pointed out, on my first attempt to get a "reading" as to whether or not I needed the upgrade, the OnStar rep would do nothing except try to sell me the upgrade.

The Tony Show
02-16-07, 01:29 PM
Exactly why I offered to run anyone's VIN, including yours. All I was saying is that the first post spelled out your point perfectly, yet you continued to go on as if someone was arguing with you.

ewill3rd
02-16-07, 04:41 PM
If your vehicle is Digital ready the order won't go through.
Their computer system will kick it out.

tedcmiller
02-17-07, 08:53 PM
but you seem to be in the "Anti-Onstar" crowd

The reason I posted again was because you made an invalid assumption. If you don't want a response, then don't tell people what they are or are not. If you have information to provide, stick to that. You don't need to be making personality judgements.

Adam
02-17-07, 08:57 PM
if not already, this should be posted in the CTS forum. :)

The Tony Show
02-17-07, 11:04 PM
I may be way off base here, but you seem to be in the "Anti-Onstar" crowd,

Chill out, dude. Read the bold words, and relax. I'm trying to help people here. Don't get your panties in a wad over verbage, or I'll send the tranny from my other thread to give you a man sized beating. :D

tedcmiller
02-19-07, 09:56 AM
Stick to "helping" and stay away personal observations. Inappropriate "verbage" can get you in a lot of trouble.

The Tony Show
02-19-07, 10:04 AM
Thanks Mom.

Again, anyone who is confused about whether they need an update, PM me your VIN and I'll gladly check it for you.

dmillercts
03-01-07, 10:50 PM
just bought my first cadillac cts, a 2003 model built in 2002. Signed up for on star for one year. tried to connect and the system says "locked" in the lower right side of the screen. dealer says we need to wait till the warranty on the car I purchased takes effect in 30 days, and then have it checked out. why would the system say locked? could that be because the previous owner did not sign up for on star? thoughts?

ewill3rd
03-02-07, 08:48 AM
What? So the radio works fine but when you hit the OnStar button it says "locked"?

The vehicle may be deactivated.
Are you talking about activating OnStar in your car or an actual digital upgrade?

dmillercts
03-02-07, 10:48 PM
Yes, the radio works fine. why would a dealer sell me on getting on star and then wait till the purchased warranty kicks in before he looks at the unit? Is there any diagnostics I can do on this? where to look? does this mean maybe just a reprogramming of the software? concerned that the dealer sold me on a "safe and sound plan" without knowing the vehicle was ready to activate it.

ewill3rd
03-03-07, 09:32 AM
Most salespeople don't understand the real workings of OnStar, no insult to them it is just a fact.

When a vehicle has an inactive account, let's say that the guy before you didn't want it anymore so he turned it off. OnStar contacted the vehicle and put a bogus phone number in it, 0123456789, then deactivated the ESN and STID. Those are the identifying numbers for your vehicle when you make a call.
If you make a purchase of a used vehicle like that you have to get the unit reactivated. Sometimes that is harder than just pushing the button.

The reason the dealer wants you to wait is that they sold you an aftermarket warranty. Most warranties have a provision that any failures that occur in the first 30 days should have been handled by the dealer before the car was sold so they won't pay claims within the first 30 days of the sale. That means one of two things, either you pay or the dealer pays and the dealer doesn't want to pay.

In the end it may not be paid by the extended warranty anyway unless it requires replacement of the VCIM.
Not only that but you are aware that an '03 CTS will have an analog unit installed and as of January 1st 2008 analog systems will no longer work.
You'd need to purchase a digital upgrade package to maintain service past that point which requires a year's prepaid subscription and a $15 fee.

If you want to PM me the last 8 digits of the VIN I can verify that for you.
It is not really the salesperson's fault that your system doesn't work, they have no way of knowing the status of the hardware in the vehicle.