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2020 Equinox Premier

Beware new GM shoppers:
If you're shopping for a new GM car, and you're thinking you'll be able to remote start it with your phone app for free, you are being mislead by your salesman or assuming too much!

My complimentary 3 month subscription expired. There is NO FREE OPTION to remote start your Equinox with the phone app. I have a 2011 Yukon that I can remote start with the phone for NO FEE. Operator said any OnStar plan prior to 2018 was grandfathered in. If I want to remote start the Equinox with my phone app, I have to PAY for a subscription. Remote start is important to me because I live in Minnesota. Remote start from the phone app is a basic service that should be provided for free.

There is absolutely NOTHING else that OnStar provides for me that isn't better serviced through my iPhone.
 

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2020 Equinox Premier

There is absolutely NOTHING else that OnStar provides for me that isn't better serviced through my iPhone.



I kind of felt the same. . . until my wife was stranded on the side of the road in a weak cell phone area or a tower was down in bad weather.
We fortunately had a minimum Safe & Security package and she could use the hands fee calling on the Onstar which did work. Not sure why her phone wouldn't.
Onstar offers pretty cheap hands fee minutes if you ask for "any promotional minute deals" when buying more minutes using the Onstar button.

We got 300 minutes for $30 a few times.

They also have deals on the annual Safe and Security package. We last got that plan for about $120 per year with tax. Just ask the Onstar rep. Read the links below. Some good info plus the usual "I'd never pay that" comments.

Also . . Onstar has a current "Crisis Assist" 3 month free promo extension on now if you press the Onstar button. But. . .. use that as an opportunity to say. . . Well, thank you . . but do you have any special low cost prices on the Safe and Security package with Hands Free calling minutes" " They will offer either a 6 month or annual package. You can also ask for the "GM Friends & Family" pricing and see if that works. . . but the promo rates are usually better.





https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c7-general-discussion/4215724-confused-onstar-user-best-deal-2.html
 

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2020 Equinox Premier

Beware new GM shoppers:
If you're shopping for a new GM car, and you're thinking you'll be able to remote start it with your phone app for free, you are being mislead by your salesman or assuming too much!

My complimentary 3 month subscription expired. There is NO FREE OPTION to remote start your Equinox with the phone app. I have a 2011 Yukon that I can remote start with the phone for NO FEE. Operator said any OnStar plan prior to 2018 was grandfathered in. If I want to remote start the Equinox with my phone app, I have to PAY for a subscription. Remote start is important to me because I live in Minnesota. Remote start from the phone app is a basic service that should be provided for free.

There is absolutely NOTHING else that OnStar provides for me that isn't better serviced through my iPhone.

You should still be able to remote start the vehicle from the key fob. The only benefit to using the app is if you are beyond the range of the fob, in which case that would be a problem. The OnStar Remote Access plan will give you all of the remote access features, and nothing else, for $14.99/mo. You could always just subscribe during the months you really need it, cancel when you don't.


I kind of understand why the remote features are not free. The app connects to the car thru OnStar's systems, so they can't really give the use of their systems away for free.
 

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The in vehicle phone transmitter is quite a bit more powerful than your handheld phone. Thats why its able to work where your cell phone wont.


Years ago I was traveling through Texas. Empty desert.
My cell phone rang- when I answered it was dad- telling me about an issue that arose with my dog. The call was spotty. Hard to make out. Lots of shouting and what? what?
I did manage to tell him to take her to vet.
Soon the call went dead.
I tried calling back- nothing. No cell signal.
After no luck, I hit the onstar button and had them add minutes to my Onstar/phone.
I was then able to call. Nice clear call. I was able to talk to vet and arrange care.


The other time Onstar phone surprised me. I was traveling in Mexico.
Where I was- cell phones have no signal.
You have to go to a hilltop and hope you get a signal.


Well- When I returned home.... in my email inbox was the Onstar email- with the health report.
What was odd-- is the date/time of the email.
I remember that on that date- I was in the 'dead' zone.
I do remember that day I turned on the traverse and moved it.
Thats when Onstar phoned home.
It located a (Mexican) cell signal- and sent its diagnostic info.
Quite a surprise when I saw that email in my inbox.
 

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I think my Traverse in car transmitter is 3 watts. Cell phones are in the milli watt range.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My Denali is 9 years old and I've always had no fee remote start via phone app. It's on me for making the assumption. I still feel it should be included in the $42k sticker price of the Premier and the $65k sticker price for the Denali. Unless you can park within a couple hundred feet of where you work, which I can't, FOB remote start is kind of useless. I also don't like the hard sell you get from OnStar when you call them. They were down to $7.95/month for a year as I kept turning down every offer and wanted to discontinue service.

I'll just start service in December and discontinue service every March.

This is a clip from a CNET article. Hopefully GM will get with the program and compete:

"FordPass, which Ford owners can use to control numerous vehicle functions from a phone, will now feature free connected services. Remote-starting the car, unlocking it and even scheduling maintenance are now part of a free service for cars that feature the FordPass Connect system.

Making the service complimentary certainly improves cars' connectivity. What could be considered the poster child for connected services, General Motors' OnStar brand, offers the same connected services, but they're unlocked with a plan that costs $14.99 per month."
 

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The price for these systems varies by manufacturer. Hyundai provides their app functionality free for the first 3 years, then it is $99/year. KIA charges $225/year for their UVO app features after the complimentary period, Mercedes even charges for their app access after 3 years. BMW ConnectedDrive is also a fee-based app.


I would imagine when Ford sees the recurring revenue stream they are potentially missing by making the app free, they will eventually start charging something for it (get people used to it, then charge for it.) I doubt a lot of people are buying a Ford product just because they can use a free app to control functions of the car. I have had my Equinox for 5 years now, and have never once used the OnStar/now MyChevrolet app to lock/unlock, check tire pressure, check fuel level, etc. It is a great backup for emergencies, but just not something I ever think about.


I do know a LOT of people, however, that buy Ford products because of the keypad on the door to lock/unlock the car. Old school tech, but people simply love it.
 

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On our 2016 Equinox and 2017 Malibu we still take advantage of the five year/included basic plan that gives key fob controls (start/stop; lock/unlock; horn/lights and monthly diagnostic reports and more.

On my 2019 Equinox there is no basic remote access included after the trial period. I did purchase this service for a negotiated price of around $94 a year which includes more than the old basic services: Now I get remote commands; Vehicle status; Vehicle locate; My Chevy rewards; Chevrolet smart driver; Marketplace; Owners manual; Preferred dealer; Vehicle service; Roadside assistance and more.

I guess there was enough flak from consumers that have no use for any of the OnStar services, that OnStar is now a pay as you go service starting in mid 2018 on.

This way the vehicle pricing doesn't have to include the fees incurred by offering a basic 5 year OnStar service; even though the hardware is still a part of the purchase price of the vehicle.
 

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My 5 year basic plan is up at the end of April. Onstar sent me an email offering to extend the basic plan for 1 year at no cost.

At least with GM, you have the fob to use whenever. With Hyundai, don’t you have to use their app for remote start? It’s like renting your remote starter.
 

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My 5 year basic plan is up at the end of April. Onstar sent me an email offering to extend the basic plan for 1 year at no cost.

At least with GM, you have the fob to use whenever. With Hyundai, don’t you have to use their app for remote start? It’s like renting your remote starter.

Hyundai still allows use of the vehicle fob for remote starting. They call it a "smart key" fob, and it has a remote start button on it. Press the lock button, and then hold the remote start button for 2 seconds and the vehicle will start.
 

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My 5 year basic plan is up at the end of April. Onstar sent me an email offering to extend the basic plan for 1 year at no cost.

.

That would be great if they extended our five year plan at no charge.
I don't remote start mine a lot since I'm retired. The car does not sit outside for long periods.
When I do use it the app is nice for the times the car is out of range or I can't see the car.
 
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