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Discussion Starter #1
Had our 2018 Volt LT for about about a week now. Most times when we start it up, a voice tells us to "press the blue Onstar button to activate your free trial." We don't want Onstar, free trial or otherwise. How can I make the voice stop offering it? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have you tried pushing the button and telling them that you'd like to decline the offer?
Thanks, but I'm hoping there is a way to do so without pressing the button. I have no doubt that even pressing it once transmits a variety of information to Onstar, and that is what I'm trying to avoid.
 

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If the idea is that you don't want anybody to know anything about where the auto may be (GPS) that's probably not going to happen. That stuff is enabled at the factory. You could call Onstar and ask them via the phone about turning off the notification. But I think they still will send something to the car. I will tell you though as somebody who had to use OnStar when somebody in front of me was side-swiped and pushed into a concrete barrier, it was very effective to be able to have emergency services know exactly where we were without having to say "erm... about 2 miles past 'x', heading towards 'x'". Crews were there in less than 7 minutes. It was amazing to see work. But that's not your beef, sounds like you simply don't want tracking of your data. As the owner of another brand of cars, which has a similar setup, it too knows exactly where the vehicle is at all times even without me telling it. I think the days of being totally anonymous are quickly coming to a close.
 

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I think the days of being totally anonymous are quickly coming to a close.
Not good for spies or criminals. :p


I was just reading the Chinese cars have 60+ data points transmitted not only to the car companies but the government as well. Signs of things to come? We'll see. Not something most would like but good for planning future infrastructure.
 

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Thanks, but I'm hoping there is a way to do so without pressing the button. I have no doubt that even pressing it once transmits a variety of information to Onstar, and that is what I'm trying to avoid.
Too late for that. The dealer has already passed on all your info to them. Best thing you can do is go ahead and press that button to opt out then go pull the on-star fuse.
 

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My dealer forced me to listen to the Onstar spiel when I picked up my car. I assumed they get a spiff.
 

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I ignored the Onstar messages when I started the car. They happened occasionally for a few weeks, then disappeared. I'm content to give onstar no other contact if it means they'll be quiet forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ignored the Onstar messages when I started the car. They happened occasionally for a few weeks, then disappeared. I'm content to give onstar no other contact if it means they'll be quiet forever.
Thanks, this sounds encouraging. I can put up with the forced advertisements for a couple weeks, if they will indeed cease.

It's not paranoia when a threat really exists, and I consider unnecessary and non-consensual collection of personal information to be a threat. I know, I know, then I should not have bought a Volt. But I like it! Just trying to minimize the informational consequences where I can.

This Onstar thing reminds me of certain public schools that take a bunch of "free" audiovisual equipment, TVs and such, in exchange for forcing their students to view (or at least be in the room for) some minutes each day of advertisements for commercial products.

There is a saying in the IT world--"If you're not paying, you are not the customer. You're the product being sold."
 

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The free 5 yr "basic" plan is very useful to precondition the car and check on it if you're charging and want to know the charge status.

I never really saw much point in paying for the full OnStar package, especially for what GM charges for it.
 

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You are correct in trying to avoid signing up Onstar in the first place. I signed up for the free trial period under pressure from the salesman ("You can always opt out") I never used it once. It was a real pain to end it once the trial period was over. When you try to opt out you get one sales pitch after another. It took 3 separate attempts to cancel the service. The had no record of the first two attempts. For reasons I still don't understand I had to pay for three more months after I canceled, but I was so pissed I didn't want to fight with the Turkeys. Best to never give them a credit card number or email address. Talk about high pressure sales. I still get e-mail notices to re-join every few days, even though I unsubscribed to their emails. I suppose that Onstar is great for those people who need that feeling of security, albiet expensive. I don't need someone holding my hand. But how GM tries to force Onstar down your throat is enough to make me never want to buy another GM car.
 

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You are correct in trying to avoid signing up Onstar in the first place. I signed up for the free trial period under pressure from the salesman ("You can always opt out") I never used it once.
I really don't think the folks who sell Onstar understand what it is they sell. I was very confused over their offering of "traffic" information. My calls to them were not answered very well. Finally after talking with somebody I actually discovered what they meant by traffic information vs. what I want out of traffic information. That annoying "debris in the road, I-35" or "caution: heavy traffic ahead", is their idea of traffic info. Mine is being able to look at the map and see what roads are red, yellow, orange, or green. That info comes not from Onstar, but Sirius XM (which outside of the traffic data is useless). The traffic data to me is about the only reason to look at the nav system, but with CarPlay and Android Auto, I'm not sure there's much of a need any more. When I compare what GM does with the Sirius traffic info and compare it to what Volvo does with it, it's night and day. Volvo's use of it is much more complete and even on smaller roads I can get accurate info of traffic flow. Not sure what the issue with GM is with that part, but give me more rather than less data... As somebody who works in an industry that helps enable all of this technology for companies, those who think they are limiting their data by not giving Onstar the 'welcome' call... are sadly mistaken. Thus my statement earlier about tracking of vehicles. The data is there and could be used. It's gong to be interesting to see what laws come into play in the next several years concerning this.
 

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Just to muddy the waters even further, the service plans sheet that came with my renewal offer this week includes Basic again, and says "Included with most 2011 model year and newer vehicles", ticks off "Advanced Diagnostics" (the monthly email), "OnStar(R) Smart Driver", "Remote Access" (App only), "MArketplace" (App only), and no "buy" or sign up language, which almost kind of sounds like that should just work forever. Absolutely zero mention of any time limit to Basic in any of the footnotes.
 

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I did sign up for the ‘trial’.
For me, cancelling was quite easy. Certainly they tried to get me to keep it going, but the rep I talked to didn’t push very hard when I said it was just way too much money.

The App remote ‘keyfob’ Commands are still working, so is the ‘Status’ info page. ‘Smart Drive’ no longer works, but that was pretty useless anyway for me.

I have OnStar on my SAAB also, for the 1 year included time period anyway. I never used it.
Certainly I could see where it would be wonderful if needed (and there is connectivity) but I dont’ Want to pay the really high rate they charge for sometime I will quite likely never use. If I also got some sort of insurance discount to pay for a bunch of it- that may be a little different.

Mark
 

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..If I also got some sort of insurance discount to pay for a bunch of it- that may be a little different.

Mark
There are other insurers with similar programs, but State Farm has a program called Drive Safe and Save that works in a couple of different ways, one of which is through OnStar. The idea is that it tracks your driving habits like amount of time driving faster than 80 mph, sudden braking events and total miles driven to determine a discount level for your car insurance. So OnStar can potentially save you some money. Although it sounds like the OP would not welcome the added intrusion.
 

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Sign up for the trial but do NOT give them your credit card number. The messages will stop but you'll get emails and snail mail periodically.

Don't pull the On-Star fuse if you want to use hands free calling with your cell phone. The Bluetooth radio for hands free calling is actually in the On-Star module and pulling the fuse will disable this feature.
 

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There are other insurers with similar programs, but State Farm has a program called Drive Safe and Save that works in a couple of different ways, one of which is through OnStar. The idea is that it tracks your driving habits like amount of time driving faster than 80 mph, sudden braking events and total miles driven to determine a discount level for your car insurance. So OnStar can potentially save you some money. Although it sounds like the OP would not welcome the added intrusion.
The Volt's regen tab while driving in L will trigger the hard braking report. As for driving faster than 80 MPH, this is somewhat bogus as there are roads in the US where the speed limit is 80 MPH and higher.
 

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The Volt's regen tab while driving in L will trigger the hard braking report. As for driving faster than 80 MPH, this is somewhat bogus as there are roads in the US where the speed limit is 80 MPH and higher.
Right. Clearly the "rules" are not perfect. I'm just stating published information. The company must believe there is some statistical correlation between high speed and the severity of an accident. I'll leave that to the underwriters to figure out.

Some people might argue that these big brother programs don't really measure what they claim to measure anyhow, but instead other things that may be even more intrusive or ethically questionable.

I don't know about any of that, but it is a possible discount for having OnStar. Another possible discount is that some insurers offer one for an approved theft recovery system. Not sure if OnStar qualifies for that, but some OnStar subscription levels do include a theft feature.
 

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I signed up after the free trial, but I used a Visa gift card. After a few months, I used up the available balance on the card, and when the charges would no longer go through, they canceled it. But the remote keyfob functions still work. I got a couple of letters from Onstar in the mail asking me to update my billing info, but I just ignored them.
 
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