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  1. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by 84fiero123 View Post
    Just curious.

    I don’t know a dam thing about OnStar, other than it is a glorified cell phone, hooked into the cars computer system?

    Now is this like all other cell phones? In that if you have a cell phone with no service contract it is still capable of dialing 911?
    OnStar is a few things. Not just a glorified cell phone although I like that description. IF it was actually affordable and price reasonably I think a lot more people would subscribe. The current pricing however is at least double on the OnStar plans themselves over what would be fair and just mind blowingly over priced on the Hands Free part.

    1 - Safe & Sound plan @ $16.95 p/month gives you the basic features which would be vehicle diagnostics( you get a monthly e-mail of your vehicles condition or you can push the OnStar button if you are having problems on the road and they can check it ), remote door unlocking( you have to call them so it only works if you have access to a phone ), air bag deployment notification, emergency service assistance( ie; fire, police, etc... ), road side assistance, stolen vehicle assistance( onboard GPS ), Virtual Advisor for traffic reports, stock market news, and local weather, and a few other basic features. Some of these features cost extra for each use.

    2 - Directions & Connections plan @ 26.90 p/month includes the above plus also gives you navigation assistance and 2 or 3 other features such as they will call you a cab if you can't drive.

    3 - Hands Free phone. Your vehicle gets it's own phone number like a cell phone. OnStar hands free service connects via the onboard GPS system so supposedly the reception is better than even the best digital cell service. To use this feature though you MUST subscribe to one of the plans above PLUS you either have to buy airtime minutes from OnStar that are extremely expensive...

    30 minutes = $13.99
    100 minutes = $39.99( $14.99 for 1st time users - one time only )
    300 minutes = $114.99
    500 minutes = $174.99
    1000 minutes = $299.99

    *** These prices are a JOKE! I get 450 unlimited use minutes p/month with my cell service for $39.95 ***

    ...or, if you are a verizon wireless customer, you can set it up so your OnStar phone number and your cell share minutes. That plan however starts at $69.99 p/month and goes up from there PLUS you still need at least that $16.95 OnStar plan. So $86.94 p/ month. Again a big time rip off!

    Frankly there is just nothing so special or wonderful about OnStar that to me makes it worth even $10 a month. Short of them notifying the police in an accident( so many people have cell phones these days I bet OnStar is not the 1st to call the PD )or the directions part if I drove a lot none of the other stuff is worth a hill of beans IMO. I would like to use the hands free part but not at those prices. I will add a Bluetooth adapter to the radio and be good to go.
    Last edited by NHSilverado; 05-01-2007 at 04:52 AM.

  2. #12


    Your making a very valid points about ONStar. I too think the idea is fabulous, especially for those of us with wifes or families that commute back and forth to work. It would be a nice piece of mind but at these prices your right someone needs to get there act together and stop treating it like a GM cash grab. If I was running Corporate GM I'd be bloody embarassed. Use common marketing sense here. More people that like it the more people that keep it...DUH! Somehow I think there is alot of dead blue buttons on dashes these days. Somehow I think your right with the bluetooth thing. I too use a wireless bluetooth headset at work. I completely understand your rant and where your coming from...


    2007 Ford E250(Work van) (Ya, Ya, shut up!)
    1996 GMC Sierra SLE 1500 5.7L/4L60E

  3. #13


    Thanks for the info but it really didn’t answer my question,

    If you are not paying for the service will you still be able to call 911?

    If there is no key pad I would say no, but for the 17 bucks a month for the basic service I would call that worth it.

    Technology is great, when it Works,
    And one Big Pain in the Ass When it Doesn’t.
    Detroit Iron Rules, All the Rest are Just Toys.
    94 GMC Burban, 5.7L (350), 4X4, Auto
    86 GMC Burban, 350, 2 WD, Auto
    79 GMC pickup plow truck, 400, Full time 4X4, Auto
    86 Pontiac Fiero SE, 2.8L, Auto, only mid engine American car
    See a Pattern yet?

    15 year GM assembly line worker.

  4. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by 84fiero123 View Post
    Thanks for the info but it really didn’t answer my question,

    If you are not paying for the service will you still be able to call 911?

    If there is no key pad I would say no, but for the 17 bucks a month for the basic service I would call that worth it.
    Guess I don't understand your question then?

    OnStar is not a phone/cell phone. It is more along the lines of a 2 way, GPS, radio that has the controls on the rearview mirror, the sound comes through the stereo speakers, and there is a microphone in the headliner to the left over the driver's head. No key pads or anything. 1 blue button to call OnStar in non emergency situations, 1 red button to press if it is an emergency( still takes you to the same OnStar rep's ), and there is a phone button to activate the hands free vehicle phone. On newer vehicles with OnStar there are 4 buttons( mine anyway ). Not sure what button #4 does as I won't be subscribing I haven't bothered to find out?

    You have to have at least the basic plan to use the hands free phone feature PLUS you also have to make sure you have airtime minutes. If you don't have minutes it won't work. So, no, you would not be able to "call" 911 unless you have a subscription and air time or have a joint OnStar/Verizon plan PLUS a subscription.

    I do believe that I was told and read somewhere that even if you don't have a current subscription that the air bag deplyment notification still works( ie; if they go off OnStar calls you to see what happened )and I "THINK" you can still press the emergency button and get someone at OnStar in an emergency but I am not 100% sure on that? Might result in a one time charge to you if you do it but I don't know for sure.

    If you think the $16.95 a month( = $203.40 p/year + tax if paid monthly or $199 + tax annually if paid all at once ) is worth it then go for it. I think it is a major rip off. Imagine you keep your OnStar equipped vehicle for 5 years. So $1000 +/- over that time span, IF OnStar doesn't raise prices, for the basic plan. How many times in that 5 years will you lock yourself out or have an accident, need a wrecker, etc...? Do you really think $1000 is worth it for something you might use 1-3 times during that span? Hell, $200 in one year is crazy.

    Who doesn't have a cell phone these days? All new GM vehicles come with free roadside assistance so just call the number in the owner's manual or your warranty info. That is free and it is the exact same basic assistance. Someone on the other end sends you help. I also get free vehicle diagnostics with my warranty. IF my truck runs bad I just take it to the dealer and they check it out. If it breaks down they come tow it in under warranty.

    I just don't see the gained benefits of OnStar as being worth the high price. IF you believe $200 a year is worth it to remotely open your doors if you lock your keys in, or to remotely flash your lights and honk your horn because you can't gind your car in a parking lot( I am dead serious this is one of those must have OnStar benefits offered ), then go for it dude. I will just take the spare key out of my wallet that cost me $20( new smart keys are expensive! )and unlock the door the old fashioned way = manually. If I get so senile that I can't find my car in the lot well, then I should just hang up my keys frankly.

    I personally have more pressing needs in everyday life to spend my money on such as $3+ a gallon gas for the truck. Yeah, if I was in an accident and hurt somewhere off in the boonies and needed help I suppose OnStar would be great. I am not in that situation though nor are the vast majority of people. Don't get me wrong there ARE people out there that OnStar is actually worth the cost for. Those folks are not the norm though. They are the exception. Most people will never use it and thus it is a big waste of money. Frankly, 3/4 of the time they would use it there would be other avenues available to get the same results that they didn't have to pay extra for.

    OnStar could increase membership ten fold if they lowered their prices. Without a doubt their hands free service, which could be the most popular feature they have, is so over priced it borders on the criminal. Currently, IMO, every service they offer is extremely inflated. Apparantly though there are folks, such as yourself, that think $17 a month for something that you will probably never use but "might" is worth it. I happen to disagree.

    No offense just discussing.
    Last edited by NHSilverado; 05-01-2007 at 05:27 AM.

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