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Old 02-16-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
z28lt1
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Default New Onstar calling plans

I know the tin-foil hat group will jump in here about Onstar monitoring you and that you must disconnect it, etc. For the others: I've never paid for onstar hands-free minutes because the prices have been crazy, and well, I have a cell phone, thank you.

I got an email today offering very good rates on monthly plans. 4.99/month for 100 minutes a month or 9.99 a month for unlimited minutes (plus taxes). Seems to be a very good deal compared to the traditional crazy minute prices.

HOWEVER, I was not offered this on the Corvette, only on the Tahoe, and when I try to purchase minutes on-line for either call, it logs me out. The email offer had a special link to it, and only offers the plan on the Tahoe.

The Corvette has bluetooth, so I would probably never pay for the minutes there, and probably wouldn't on the Tahoe either, but for those that like to have some minutes, or need a good hands free option, this may work great if you can get the offer.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:51 PM   #2
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Since I have a 3LT package, I get OnStar for a year, and while it may not be worth the retail phone plan, it is sometimes a really nice feature.

I find that it doesn't cutout where a cell phone can - better range. It utilizes the same strategy as the go phones, I think. The higher price is because they tap in to all of the provider networks.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:53 PM   #3
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Waaaay too expensive




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Old 02-16-2011, 11:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmarshall View Post
I find that it doesn't cutout where a cell phone can - better range.
I've been told it has more power - 5 watts instead of a normal cell phone's 1 or 2 watts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyplyr View Post
Waaaay too expensive
Depends on why you have it. I didn't want it in my C6 that had it, but I'll probably keep it in the Camaro.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JimTN View Post
Depends on why you have it. I didn't want it in my C6 that had it, but I'll probably keep it in the Camaro.
True - also if your normal mobile phone network isn't great, the extra wattage of the On$star plus the Verizon mobile network may be worth the high price for some users. However my mobile network (T-mobile) is terrific and I've never had any issues that I would want to pay extra for an alternative.


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Old 02-17-2011, 10:24 AM   #6
z28lt1
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Waaaay too expensive

Interesting you think that, I don't have a need for it, so I wouldn't pay it, but I don't think the new pricing is expensive at all. $10/month for unlimited minutes and a reasonable $5.00/month option? What does your cell company charge for unlimited (although this is clearly not apples to apples as you would use your normal cell phone way more, since you can use it outside of the car). What price would be fair for for unlimited minutes if $10 is "way" too much?

Again, I have no pony in this race, so I don't really care, I just looked at these new plans as pretty cheap and definitely fair pricing, curious as to why you would think otherwise.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Last season (yes we really have them in MN) I paid $15 for 100 minutes good for the year - at least it works when the cell phone doesn't.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JimTN View Post
I've been told it has more power - 5 watts instead of a normal cell phone's 1 or 2 watts.
3 watts max for a mobile installation.

.6 watts (600 mw) for a handheld.

(average power, not peak)
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:43 PM   #9
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Last season (yes we really have them in MN) I paid $15 for 100 minutes good for the year - at least it works when the cell phone doesn't.
You just reminded me that Onstar tries to cancel unused minutes every year, and I don't let that happen, that's just freaking wrong. I pay $12 a month for Onstar service and NEVER use it.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:42 PM   #10
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I'm new to On-Star with the car purchased the end of January and rarely use it. The offered 100 minutes for $14.99. I've used it a few times when I forgot the cell phone and it was useful.

The sales person gave me the speech that it uses a different network than the typical cellular network and has a broader range of service. Is that sales speak or really the case?
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:12 PM   #11
z28lt1
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I'm new to On-Star with the car purchased the end of January and rarely use it. The offered 100 minutes for $14.99. I've used it a few times when I forgot the cell phone and it was useful.

The sales person gave me the speech that it uses a different network than the typical cellular network and has a broader range of service. Is that sales speak or really the case?
Mostly it was sales speak. The phone uses CDMA through Verizon and other carriers. It is better in one aspect and may or may not be better in another:

1)As noted by KenHorse above, it is much more powerful than a hand-held (3 vs .6 watts) so it likely has the ability to reach cell towers that your hand-held phone can't.

2) It can use any CMDA network that Onstar has agreements with. So, if, for instance, you have Verizon, the question is: does Onstar have more agreements for coverage than Verizon has roaming agreements? Not sure who knows that answer.

That is probably it from a phone perspective. The sales people like to talk about how it integrates GPS, celluar and vehicle systems to provide a wide array of services, which is true, but doesn't impact the pure phone aspect.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by calmtgguy View Post
You just reminded me that Onstar tries to cancel unused minutes every year, and I don't let that happen, that's just freaking wrong. I pay $12 a month for Onstar service and NEVER use it.
I just tell them the rollover of the minutes is a condition of renewal. Haven't had a problem yet.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by z28lt1 View Post
Interesting you think that, I don't have a need for it, so I wouldn't pay it, but I don't think the new pricing is expensive at all. $10/month for unlimited minutes and a reasonable $5.00/month option? What does your cell company charge for unlimited (although this is clearly not apples to apples as you would use your normal cell phone way more, since you can use it outside of the car). What price would be fair for for unlimited minutes if $10 is "way" too much?

Again, I have no pony in this race, so I don't really care, I just looked at these new plans as pretty cheap and definitely fair pricing, curious as to why you would think otherwise.
I agree - in itself $10 for unlimited minutes is not expensive, it's a good price. My comment stems from the fact that IMO On$tar is overpriced & unreliable, and of course to get the $10 minutes deal one would also need to subscribe to On$tar.

But I have to admit to bias when it comes to all things On$tar. I was an avid proponent at first and kept up a subscription for a couple years; I thought it a good service and often said so in these forums. Then the first time I actually needed it, it didn't work. All I get was the recording; no one ever answered. I had to call a truck out of pocket. Since then I have nothing good to say about On$tar and to be honest, just seeing it mentioned irritates me





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Old 02-17-2011, 04:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by keyplyr View Post
I agree - in itself $10 for unlimited minutes is not expensive, it's a good price. My comment stems from the fact that IMO On$tar is overpriced & unreliable, and of course to get the $10 minutes deal one would also need to subscribe to On$tar.

But I have to admit to bias when it comes to all things On$tar. I was an avid proponent at first and kept up a subscription for a couple years; I thought it a good service and often said so in these forums. Then the first time I actually needed it, it didn't work. All I get was the recording; no one ever answered. I had to call a truck out of pocket. Since then I have nothing good to say about On$tar and to be honest, just seeing it mentioned irritates me




I have Onstar and the cell phone option works for me as I can call anywhere in USA and CANADA for free (meaning no roaming charges etc) Canada does not have as great of cell phone pricing packages as the US so it is nice to have this for traveling with your vehicle. As for the minutes, I also just get unused minutes rolled over, never any problem. Onstar itself, was there when I needed it all three times.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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