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The reason is so they can keep monitoring your car and using your data against you. You get basically no benefit from their "free" account most anything of usefulness is locked out, but they get to query your car every day and pull it's data. You can cancel the "free" account. But it's a few hoops to do so.
Exactly what data would they use against you?


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I got an email from OnStar saying they would extend my basic plan for a year for free. Just click this link. I did so, and got thanked for registering.

A month or so later, my plan is about to expire, with no sign online or in the app of the one year extension. In fact the app shows a warning that the plan will expire soon.

So I call OnStar. And get disconnected.

I call them again. I get as far as talking to a human. And get disconnected.

I call them again (from a different phone). I get as far as the agent saying she has to check with a supervisor. She puts me on hold. In the middle of that... I get disconnected.

I call them again. Several times. From two different phones. The call won't even go through or drops before connecting to a human.

I log in to my account. Hey, there's a chat option! I chat with the agent and explain the situation. She says, your plan expires in 5 days. I explain the situation again. She says, oh, for that you have to call OnStar. I tell her I tried doing that multiple times and kept getting disconnected. She said that plans can't be extended via chat.

So let me get this straight. OnStar's main claim to usefulness is that you can call them in an emergency and they will send help. Yet they are so incompetent that it's impossible to talk to them even under non-emergency conditions. Do they honestly expect people to PAY for this nonsense?
 

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Your being disconnected because the customer service rep for OnStar is working from “home “due to Covid Protocols, but is Really answering your call while sipping Margaritas on a beach in Cabo
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Your being disconnected because the customer service rep for OnStar is working from “home “due to Covid Protocols, but is Really answering your call while sipping Margaritas on a beach in Cabo
Actually, every single one of them sounded like they were in Manila.

Aside from the chat agent. No idea where she was. Her texts didn't have an accent.
 

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"The reason is so they can keep monitoring your car and using your data against you. "
How?
Well, without hijacking the thread and turning into a privacy discussion, I for one am rather sick and tired of everyone and their brother using my data for their own purposes. Phones, thermostats, tv's...everything.
Well onstar is certainly not as sinister as google, rest assured, they're using that data to figure out how to extract more money from you in the name of "making your life easier" SOme of which is ok and most might be willing to pay for or get something for free in exchange for it. . Alot of it is not. . Your driving habits, where you go, how often you go, if you use your garage door homelink, how you use your door locks, how fast you go, when you go how many people are in the car, how you used your hvac,. All that data is being collected and will be used at some point to decide if they can charge for it somehow, sell you an ad, or worse, hand the data over to govt (no I'm not a consipircist, but this is where this data generally ends up) or something to that effect.
If you read the onstar gig carefully when you bought your car it was more or less required and says in the agreement, as long as your have AN account, they can query your car and take the data and then it's their data, not yours.
So, for instance, in the future, hvac might be locked out from your control in the name, your not using it efficiently enough, the ai engine analyzing the data, or worse, govt , might say, yeah, your not allowed to have high heat because it's an environmental action day where we don't have enough juice to serve the people. Or something to that effect.
No I'm not paranoid, I'm just a fan of my data is...my data, my driving habits are, my driving habits, not GM's or anyone elses. As much as I can keep my data mine, I try to.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
The squirrels are back at it.

OnStar gave me a free month of service to tide me over until they could arrange for the 1 year of free basic plan they offered me to take effect. The month expired, and with it all my OnStar services. Apparently they didn't bother to actually set up the 1 year of basic plan. I guess crack does that to you. Screws with your memory.

So, knowing enough not to call by phone this time around and get disconnected 17 times because, you know, GM is a CAR company not a PHONE company, so how can they be expected to know anything about using the phone more effectively than your average coked up squirrel? - I pressed the OnStar button. Wow, an agent with an American accent! How rare and unique and exciting! "Sir, let me transfer you to our connections department." Oh well. But that's ok. I actually love the Filipino lilt. And the Phillipines-based agents are so unfailingly polite, asking permission for literally everything. "Sir, is it OK if I put you on a brief hold?" So much more refined than the typical American "hold, please."

But I digress. The agent was very apologetic that the only promotion available is one free month. I believe I raised my voice just a little, as difficult as it was to get angry with someone so polite. After putting me on hold, he told me that I had 30 days to click the link in the email offer, and because I was late I didn't get the promotion. Which of course is nonsense; I clicked the link soon after I got it. Now somewhere deep down I must have realized that if Game of Thrones has taught me anything, it's that one's adversaries can be unfailingly polite while still sticking a dagger in your heart. I summoned my inner Daenerys and I believe I raised my voice just a little more. I don't think I actually mentioned the three dragons I could barely restrain from laying waste to his entire massively evil giant corporation, nor the horde of Dothraki warriors hell-bent on pillage I had at my disposal, but nevertheless I think it may have finally dawned on him that I was truly, truly at the end of my line with this nonsense. After putting me on hold, he came back with OK, we'll give you a year for free.

All good and fine. Remote start via the app works again, which is all I wanted. But now my.gm.com doesn't show me any statistics for my Volt. It tells me to call OnStar to fix the problem.

ARRRRRRRHHHH!
 

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I haven't been using Onstar on my 2013 volt or my 2004 CTS for ages, don't miss a thing. Onstar really missed the boat on monetizing on this. Instead of charging customers a very high rate, they should have made this into an ecosystem where as you are driving around, if you are looking for gas or food, they could do targeted ads and get paid by advertisers (become the Google of vehicular infotainment systems).

LL
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I have no use for any OnStar features other than remote start. Checking charging status in the app is also nice - but as long as that worked via the web, OnStar wasn't necessary for that, either.
 

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we phoned to cancel
they said we can do it for 7.99 a month
for 8 bucks i said go ahead
and then they said it will go back up in 3 months
one car down
other one runs out at end of month, see how that goes
 

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Yep, got my first charge on my card today, for 8/month (CDN!) I'm happy to have it. I use the pre-condition two to four times a day in the cold weather. Mine is that price for a year, though.
 

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Well, whaddya know. Two months later, GM pushes an app update that complete breaks remote start for me. You know, the feature they promised me for free for a year and then made me call multiple times and raise my voice to get it to actually work.

At least I managed to get through to a competent-sounding agent, but she wasn't able to fix it. I did learn where she was from and where she's living now, and all about the weather there. Weather is VERY important to squirrels, after all (have you ever seen a squirrel hopping around in the rain?), so I'm not surprised half the conversation was devoted to this critical topic. Anyway, Miss Squirrel said the "offline team" would fix it and give me a call. To my delight, they called later that day and asked me to log out and in to the app. To my chagrin, it still didn't work.

If you've every wondered what a perplexed squirrel sounds like over the phone, I can tell you. But I don't want to waste your time with digressions. Suffice it to say that the app continues to insist that I don't have a plan, and would I care to purchase one? Perhaps the "protection" plan for $500 per year to protect me from... something, not sure what, but rest assured, it's awesome protection? No thank you, my dear app, you are mistaken, I DO have a plan. I have lots of plans. I have plans to drive somewhere. I have plans to start my car with my app so I can impress all the faceless coworkers whom I see trudging to their cars every day at 5:00, clearly jealous of me and my toasty warm car with its inviting headlights aglow while they have nothing but their cold, dark, miserable, behind-the-times cars to welcome them. I have plans, great plans, plans you wouldn't even dare to dream about in your wildest fantasies. What I don't have is functioning app.
 

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Well, whaddya know. Two months later, GM pushes an app update that complete breaks remote start for me. You know, the feature they promised me for free for a year and then made me call multiple times and raise my voice to get it to actually work.
I got my chance this week to deal with the squirrels. My OnStar app was working just fine on my phone. Then I saw where everyone was talking about the new "prettier" app, so like a dumbass I decided to "upgrade."

Big mistake. The new app does look pretty, but seems to be missing the Remote Access keyfob functions that I had before. So on Monday the 29th, I call OnStar to report my problem. Got connected to some lady with an accent on the other side of the planet. She was very polite, but I could barely hear her until she fixed her mike. She had me delete the app, reinstall the app, reboot my phone, log into the OnStar web site to "sync" my accounts, and nothing worked. She apologized, assigned me a "case number" and told me that a Level 2 tech would call me within 48 hours.

The next day I get a call from another nice OnStar lady with no accent, from which I assumed meant that she was in country. This Level 2 lady pretty much had me do all the same things as the Level 1 tech did, along with putting me on hold several times and checking with co-workers I suppose. She did say that according to her computer, my account should have Remote Access until February 16, 2022. The day after Valentine's Day, she said. Finally, she said I would be contacted by a Level 3 technician within the next few days. No call.

I waited until Friday and called Squirrel central again. This time I got a gentleman with an accent from the other side of the planet. I told him my sad story, gave him all the same information including my case number. So he started to go through the whole delete the app again and reinstall the app again and log onto their website again, and I kinda lost it and told him I was not going through any of that rigmarole again and insisted on talking to a Level 3 tech. He said he would send an email to the tech requesting he call me ASAP.

I'm not holding my breath.
 

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he started to go through the whole delete the app again and reinstall the app again and log onto their website again, and I kinda lost it and told him I was not going through any of that
It would take less time to do that than one phone call to them.
 

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I’m so glad I don’t commute to work any more... it allowed me to avoid the squirrel fiasco altogether. Alas, I can’t remember the last time I filled the fuel tank or even used the app remote start feature.

Onstar should take a chapter from the Disney+ book and offer a remote start plan for $6.99 per month. Forget the $500 per year plans, the features are just not worth that much. If they can make the ap useful and delight their customers, then then can slowly increase the monthly price by a dollar every few years. But as it stands today, Onstar is a non-starter. Pure evidence that the auto company isn’t a good software company.

When Apple car arrives, the online features will likely be a game changer. I’m guessing the basic stuff will be free and there will be an App Store with stuff that poeple will be happy to pay for. Kids will be able to play Apple Arcade from iPads in the back seat. While parked and waiting for soccer practice to finish, the driver should be able to access their entire movie, TV, podcast, music library. Maybe tolls will all be automatically tied to an Apple Card so you don’t have to ever worry about signing up and maintaining a transmitter.
 
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I got the basic On-Star plan for $7.00/month when my trial period was about to end. Figured it was worth that for the remote features. As others have said, the price is often negotiable.
 

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The speaking squirrel told me I still have OnStar until may of 2022 but the keyboard typing squirrel wrote me a letter saying my subscription expired next month. Who do I believe? :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter #40
The speaking squirrel told me I still have OnStar until may of 2022 but the keyboard typing squirrel wrote me a letter saying my subscription expired next month. Who do I believe? :unsure:
That's the thing about squirrels. They're squirrelly.

OnStar is beyond a joke at this point. Nearly a week later and my remote start still isn't working.
 
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