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General Motors' (NYSE:GM) OnStar unit and Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) AOL MapQuest unit have announced an expanded pact for OnStar subscribers to plan their driving routes on MapQuest.com. The joint venture would send a destination right to OnStar's Turn-by-Turn Navigation service.

This new Turn-by-Turn service enhancement is being called OnStar Web Destination Entry. It will allow subscribers to use MapQuest to research and plan their driving destinations with what is being called "more than 15 million points-of-interest" available through the mapping Web site.

This will be available to more than 2 million GM vehicles in 2007 and an additional 3 million vehicles in 2008. The companies will start a Web Destination Entry pilot program in the summer of 2007 and the service will be available to all OnStar subscribers in late 2007 with Turn-by-Turn Navigation-capable vehicles. OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, a GM exclusive that was available in all Buicks and Cadillacs, is additionally available for a $100 service plan upgrade on many other new GM cars and trucks during the first year of service.

If you read into this, it is a "good news and (not really) bad news" scenario. The good news is that GM drivers will get some new GPS-alternative mapping instructions at a lower cost than a pure navigational system that can run north of $1,000 in some models. It also shows how easy future offerings can be integrated via satellite right into Onstar and other driver assistance services for cars.

The bad news is that this will probably not act as a catalyst that will make a huge difference to GM's auto sales and it may not add drastically to the bottom line at AOL. The good news (inside the bad news) is that the bundling looks like whatever it does generate in revenues will mostly go to the bottom line after a minimal amount of subscribers.
 

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Ha! I bet this will cost the OnStar subscriber $50-$75+ a month easy. The current navigation assist package costs $35 a month. That is OnStar's biggest problem = they charge TOO MUCH!

I can guarantee this won't be a one time fee. Might be a one time upgrade fee for older vehicles that allows this new feature but you can rest assured that there will be a monthly fee for this just as there is for everything OnStar related.

I checked into the Verizon Wireless/OnStar Hands Free deal. $70 to VW to share your cell minutes with your OnStar phone # plus that minimum OnStar subscription of $17 a month. SO to use your handsfree system with the outside source you were looking at a minimum of $87 PER MONTH!

I have no doubt this new MapQuest/OnStar feature will be priced just as ridculously high. OnStar can come up with all the gimmicks they want but until they offer their services at reasonable rates only the upper middle class to wealthy can afford it.

There is a reason why OnStar only has 4 million subscribers( been available since mid 1990's )out of the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of GM vehicles sold with OnStar equipment and that is thhey are TOO EXPENSIVE!
 

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I have that feeling too Silverado. It needs to come down a wee bit. So the average Joe can enjoy this service in a package deal. Thanks for your inside scoop on pricing
 

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I have that feeling too Silverado. It needs to come down a wee bit. So the average Joe can enjoy this service in a package deal. Thanks for your inside scoop on pricing
i was told it would cost me 100 dollars a year,,,all i would have to do was tell them where i was going and they would direct me,,,i have no screen or nav paxage,,,,they said they would prompt me in my journey,,,,,well for 100 bucks i would be admitting i am stupid,if i dont know where i am going ,i wont go,,,if i know where i am going i will go there,,,,i have enough of my wife telling me how to drive and i surely dont need on star butting in,,,abuelito:lol:
 

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i was told it would cost me 100 dollars a year,,,all i would have to do was tell them where i was going and they would direct me,,,i have no screen or nav paxage,,,,they said they would prompt me in my journey,,,,,well for 100 bucks i would be admitting i am stupid,if i dont know where i am going ,i wont go,,,if i know where i am going i will go there,,,,i have enough of my wife telling me how to drive and i surely dont need on star butting in,,,abuelito:lol:
Ha Ha Ha true. Well then packages for Onstar must be like cell phones. This much for that, that much for this. I can't figure out cell phones as it is.
 

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i was told it would cost me 100 dollars a year,,,all i would have to do was tell them where i was going and they would direct me,,,i have no screen or nav paxage,,,,they said they would prompt me in my journey,,,,,well for 100 bucks i would be admitting i am stupid,if i dont know where i am going ,i wont go,,,if i know where i am going i will go there,,,,i have enough of my wife telling me how to drive and i surely dont need on star butting in,,,abuelito:lol:

I would bet every cent I have that it will cost you more than that. Maybe $100 a year ON TOP of the $34.95 p/month OnStar premium pack with navigation. OnStar doesn't allow ANYTHING without having a subscription. Nothing is a freebie or no charge extra with them. While I don't know for sure I can almost guarantee based on their policies to this point that this is something to be added to current subscriptions you have to keep or it is a new package level that will cost a small mint. NO way for $100 a year you get a subscription and this new MapQuest service. :neutral: The cheapest current OnStar plan that does not include nav assist is $17 a month so it is well over $100 a year for that. Again, I bet it is $100 ON TOP of their current premium pack with navigation.
 

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Actually, I just went to OnStar and looked and they have LOWERED the monthly price on the premium pack that you would need for this feature( Directions and Connections ) from $34.95 to $26.90. It does not say yet if this will be an extra charge above the plan mentioned above. Just says it is part of it. I would be very amazed if it was not an extra fee to use it on top of the premium package. Either a monthly fee on top of the $26.90 or a p/use surcharge when you download a trip to your OnStar account. Maybe not but that is their usualy MO. Maybe not though? Perhaps they are finally waking up. I know the premium price dropped just since I got my 07 2 months back.

The $100 is for those vehicles that do not get the turn by turn navigation as part of the free 1st year. Not all GM vehicles get that as part of their free 1st year, or you can only try it 1 time before needing to pay the upgrade on some like my NBS 07 Silverado, so if your vehicle didn't get it then it would cost you $100 extra for the free year period to used the MapQuest feature( and read the fine print - $100 p/year or $9.95 p/month to use the turn by turn during your free year after the 1 time they give you whether or not you use the new MapQuest feature or not ). It isn't $100 extra to use it after the 1st year as I kind of guessed at earlier. The $100 comes into play strictly as the upgrade fee to use it furing your 1st year that comes free when you buy a new car.

This link explains it in more detail. They will start it this summer with a test group and then by the fall I guess make it available to all...

http://www.onstar.com/us_english/jsp/new_at_onstar/mapquest.jsp

Again, NOTHING is a freebie or a no charge extra with OnStar and what they sell is very $$$. Also, as this link will show I was correct earlier, you HAVE to get the premium subscription to use turn by turn/MapQuest.

http://www.onstar.com/us_english/jsp/plans/index.jsp
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice work NHSilverado, We appreciate the effort you put into that research.
BTW I don't even have OnStar in my truck. Thats all I need is another button in my truck...:lol:
 

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Nice work NHSilverado, We appreciate the effort you put into that research.
BTW I don't even have OnStar in my truck. Thats all I need is another button in my truck...
:great:

Actually, I have made it my mission in life to inform as many people as I can about the rip off that is OnStar! So many people don't understand all the hhiden charges and loop holes in their policies that force you into extra costs. They have to be one of the biggest rip off's I have ever seen for something like this.

I am so darned mad that GM( who owns OnStar )put that crap in my truck at MY expense yet I have to pay all these crazy fees to use it. NOT! I don't really have an issue with paying a "FAIR & REASONABLE" charge for the emergency service or the premium pack( their prices are far from fair and reasonable however )if I decided I wanted them but I really get irrate that you have to subscribe to one of those to use the hands free feature. THAT sets me off to no end. I also am just beside myself that it is iffy whether or not you can safely remove all that equipment. OnStar gets so tied into your systems electronics that it can cause issues if removed. Just unbelieveable!

The hands free feature should be a seperate option not requiring any other OnStar services and priced at like $5-$10 a month tops. Not $17 minimum for the basic plan plus $14 for 100 minutes airtime or $70 to use Verizon Wireless. Give me a break $87 a month to set my VW account up to work through OnStar = NOT IN THIS LIFETIME BUD!

Just a HUGE rip off. I can add a bluetooth adapter for about the same, slightly more, or slightly less ( depending on which one I choose )than it would cost me for one year of hands free OnStar. At most after a year and a half I am ahead of the game vs doing it through OnStar. Maybe the reception would be a bit better with OnStar but it is not that much better to make it worth all that extra money. The only people I really see that need or could really benefit form the dollars spent on OnStar are people that travel a lot for work. IN that instance where you are in the car all the time it makes sense. Extra safety in case of an accident which you would be much more likely to get into plus that nav feature to help you get to the various places you travel to. For the average person it is a BIG waste of money. IMO anyway. I sure have a lot better places to spend my money than OnStar.

I wrote them a letter telling them just what I thought of their crooked policies about a month ago and just the other night( funny it was when you started this thread )some lady from OnStar called about it. She tried to feed me a bunch of BS about how it was free for a year and I didn't pay for anything so why was I so upset. Man did I give her an ear full! Didn't pay for anything? Excuse me but we paid for that equipment in our trucks which up until they made it standard equipment was a $900 option! I told her nothing is ever free and that I most definitely not only paid for the equipment in the sticker price but that I more than paid for my "FREE" 1st year as well when I bought the truck! I basically told her that OnStar could stick their service.

Unfortunately, she got me a little upset so to speak :rofl: so I didn't get to bring up all the points I wanted to. :rules: OH well, it was fun venting on her anyway. Best part was she was foreign and had trouble understanding English so I got to repeat myself and yell at her a lot. :biggrin: I freaked a guy out from OnStar the other day too. I was riding along and all of a sudden OnStar beeped me about a tour or setting my free account up or something like that. It said to press the blue button for an advisor to walk me through it. I did and when he came on and said Welcome to OnStar this is so and so how may I help you I let him have it. "Who told you to beep me? Don't you ever do that again! I almost went off the road. I should sue OnStar" etc... It was a lot of fun.
 

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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?
 

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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. :lol: 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.
 

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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...
 

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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.
 

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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? :neutral:

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. :lol: 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.:great: 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. :rofl:

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.
 
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