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Discussion Starter #1
http://gmauthority.com/blog/2019/07/gm-discontinues-onstar-phone-feature-exclusive/


I actually subscribe to this. Am I the only one here? It's nice to have a backup when I forget my phone which does happen sometimes. Mine still has 60 minutes left that are good for another year. Seems like the article is saying the feature won't be available in new cars after the 2019 model year, but existing customers can still use it:

GM Authority has learned that General Motors is officially discontinuing its OnStar phone feature, otherwise known as Hands-Free Calling, or HFC. The feature was first made available in the late ‘90s, making it the first built-in calling features provided by an automaker on the market.

For those who may be unaware, the Hands-Free Calling OnStar phone feature is a separate system from the Bluetooth-based smartphone hands-free calling system. Operated primarily via voice recognition and/or the central infotainment screen, the system enables phone calls without the need of a separate cell phone. Users purchase minutes through OnStar, and each vehicle is assigned a unique phone number, enabling both outbound and inbound calls.

Initially, the OnStar phone feature was a unique offering, and because it hit the market prior to the proliferation of cell phones (way before there was even such a thing as smartphones), it was definitely ahead of its time. But now, with the majority of customers already owning a Bluetooth-equipped smartphone that can connect to just about any modern infotainment system, the OnStar HFC system is more or less obsolete.

“We routinely evaluate our services to provide the best experience for our members,” General Motors’ Advanced Technology Communications, OnStar and Connectivity representative, Stephanie Lang told GM Authority. “In this spirit, we have decided to discontinue HFC for MY20 and newer vehicles. Members can use Bluetooth pairing, or Apple CarPlay and Android Auto projection, to make phone calls while keeping their hands on the wheel.”

 

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I'm kind of surprised they took this long to discontinue the feature. I thought it would've been done when mounted car phones were more or less made obsolete.
 

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We have it in our Volts — 16 and 18. I rarely use it as I never leave without my iPhone but my wife often forgets her phone and uses it. So it looks like they are discontinuing the hardware in the newer models, but we can re up it when our minutes run out and continue using it?


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I bought some minutes in the past when they were CHEAP but never used them. With a BT paired phone and access to all your contacts it became an after thought.
 

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It's probably part of MAGA when we return to the 50s and no cell phones. Oh yeah, and there was no tweets either. If only we could return to that time.

VIN # B0985
 

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You're not the only one. I've always bought the "'N' amount for 12 months package". It's a very cheap backup in case something happens to your phone, or if you're in a poor reception area for your carrier. I used it for this reason during our last hurricane.

The only thing I don't like is how it's handled within the entertainment system of the UI. If my mobile has a poor signal, I'd like to be able to select the car phone to use through the touch of a button. Instead, I have to turn off the Bluetooth on my device to force the switch.
 

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It's probably part of MAGA when we return to the 50s and no cell phones. Oh yeah, and there was no tweets either. If only we could return to that time.

VIN # B0985
Triggered much? Seriously this has nothing to do with this thread, the Volt, and shouldn't be part of this forum.
 

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You're not the only one. I've always bought the "'N' amount for 12 months package". It's a very cheap backup in case something happens to your phone, or if you're in a poor reception area for your carrier. I used it for this reason during our last hurricane.

The only thing I don't like is how it's handled within the entertainment system of the UI. If my mobile has a poor signal, I'd like to be able to select the car phone to use through the touch of a button. Instead, I have to turn off the Bluetooth on my device to force the switch.
Absolutely. That’s why I am glad that this will remain, even if they’re not selling it in the new cars. The package is usually 300 minutes for $12 or $15 or something like that — that’s pretty cheap insurance for communications purposes. Particularly for us, we have AT&T in a terraced neighborhood and the signal is terrible, so the most important back up for us is at home, when there is a power failure, using it right in the driveway.



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Discussion Starter #11
The only thing I don't like is how it's handled within the entertainment system of the UI. If my mobile has a poor signal, I'd like to be able to select the car phone to use through the touch of a button. Instead, I have to turn off the Bluetooth on my device to force the switch.
Must be different on the Gen2. With my 2015, my iPhone and the hands-free car phone are totally separate. I can use both at the same time if I want--I even called my iPhone to test it out. The hands-free is activated by the phone button next to the OnStar button. Then you call using voice commands.
 

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I have always maintained minutes in all of my GM cars over the years. I can't say I have used the feature that much but just like the OnStar package it is good peace of mind just in case. Isn't that what OnStar is all about??? Any way, an added benefit is no long distance charges anywhere in North America. I will definitely maintain minutes as long as they are available.
 

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I have always maintained minutes in all of my GM cars over the years. I can't say I have used the feature that much but just like the OnStar package it is good peace of mind just in case. Isn't that what OnStar is all about??? Any way, an added benefit is no long distance charges anywhere in North America. I will definitely maintain minutes as long as they are available.
I did not realize that— sometimes I have to call Canada and it costs a fortune on my regular AT&T cell, so I will definitely keep that in mind to use those minutes for that!

Do you know if this includes Mexico?

Thanks!!


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