Do people use OnStar services?

kmingis

Sustaining Member
25
15
3
RI
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX (Essence)
Thread starter #1
Hey folks. Newbie TourX owner here... (Love, love, love the car!) I'm coming up to the end of my one-month trial of a variety of OnStar and connectivity services and I'm trying to figure out which, if any of them, I should renew or cancel. I've never had a vehicle with OnStar before, and it seems like a lot of the features offered simply duplicate things I can get using my own navigation services on my iPhone. (I've looked at the various plans that are offered and there's some overlap, it seems, which leads to my confusion.) I don't need "vehicle locator" or "instant diagnostics." And why would I need "turn-by-turn navigation" from a separate OnStar plan? If I put in a destination using the built-in nav in the vehicle, aren't I getting that info already? I assume that feature doesn't go away if I cancel the "Buick Connected Services Trial." Similar question with "Connected Navigation," which touts real-time traffic info. But don't we already get real-time traffic info through Sirius/XM? Does THAT go away if I cancel the Connected Services Trial? I do plan to re-up a data plan for the mobile Wi-Fi hotspot in the car. It appears that that's a separate feature not connected to OnStar or the other services. But when I compare plans, the list of features seems to indicate that unlimited data only comes with an Unlimited Access plan ($39 a month), or the Unlimited Access + Safety and Security plan (for $59 a month). I guess the bottom line is this: If I cancel these trial plans outright, and keep only the WiFi hotspot data plan and the basic OnStar service that lasts 10 years, what am I really giving up? ANY insights would be helpful before I call OnStar.
 
21
10
3
Buick Ownership
Regal TourX Preferred, Sport Red
#2
Honestly, I haven't even used the OnStar data services one bit since I picked up my TourX in April. Mine came with the 3-month free trial (not sure about the basic OnStar for 10 years - is that for the Essence trim?). Waze and Google Maps provide real-time traffic just fine on my phone, plus the car comes with Android Auto. We have a fairly good data plan through Verizon already on our phones. And I don't really care about all the apps that you can use with the car's data plan - I'm focused on DRIVING lol. I personally just don't see the value of it, considering what they're charging.
 

stoopid

Full Member
1,287
40
48
Buick Ownership
2017 LaCrosse 1SL
#3
You get the basic diagnostic email monthly and the ability to remotely start your car for free for I think the first 5 years (possibly longer). Unless you use/want another of their services, there's no reason to pay extra.
 

kmingis

Sustaining Member
25
15
3
RI
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX (Essence)
Thread starter #4
Pretty much my sense of it all. I haven't needed/used any OnStar services in a month. I find it a bit annoying you have to call them to cancel and can't do it online. Just like Sirius/XM.
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21
10
3
Buick Ownership
Regal TourX Preferred, Sport Red
#5
Agreed, I hate services that require you to do that to cancel. It usually involves either a guilt trip or a sales pitch to continue the services. Fortunately, I didn't give OnStar any credit card info, so I don't have to deal with that nonsense when my trial is up lol.
 

kmingis

Sustaining Member
25
15
3
RI
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX (Essence)
Thread starter #7
The process (after waiting about 15 minutes on hold) was pretty painless. They didn't try to shame into keeping the services, although I did have to listen to automated statements about the "benefits" of OnStar. I did keep the Wi-Fi hotspot data plan, as that will be useful, and $20 for unlimited data doesn't seem outrageous. Thanks for weighing in, all.
 
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#8
The process (after waiting about 15 minutes on hold) was pretty painless. They didn't try to shame into keeping the services, although I did have to listen to automated statements about the "benefits" of OnStar. I did keep the Wi-Fi hotspot data plan, as that will be useful, and $20 for unlimited data doesn't seem outrageous. Thanks for weighing in, all.
It looks like smartdriver, vehicle diagnostics and marketplace are all free for 10 years. I wish you could add other features "a la carte" as I would only be interested in:
  • Remote Key Fob (lock/unlock, remote start/stop, etc. using the myBuick app)
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi® Data
But those two items require a $39.99 monthly commitment. Along with a number of features I would likely not use.
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kmingis

Sustaining Member
25
15
3
RI
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX (Essence)
Thread starter #9
I'm assuming the Unlimited Wi-Fi data is separate from the OnStar services, since I did sign up for that. If it's part of a more expensive package, I might have to reconsider that one.
 
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#10
I'm assuming the Unlimited Wi-Fi data is separate from the OnStar services, since I did sign up for that. If it's part of a more expensive package, I might have to reconsider that one.
Based on this document:

http://www.buick.com/content/dam/bu...cted-services/02-pdfs/PlansPricing-042018.pdf

It appears that you need to purchase one of two bundles to get WiFi HotSpot. Audi has similar constraints where you can't just have hotspot alone.

But it might be possible to just add the connected car service directly through AT&T: OnStar with 4G LTE

i am very curious to hear the outcome for your situation. Please keep us posted.
 

kmingis

Sustaining Member
25
15
3
RI
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX (Essence)
Thread starter #11
HI Bamm. I should know in the next day or so when the trial expires (after today). I did specifically tell the OnStar advisor when I cancelled the other services that I wanted to keep the Wi-Fi data plan. And she seemed to indicate that could be done (she could, of course, be wrong or may have misunderstood me). When I check my connected services online, I see under "next up" (meaning, I assume after the trial expires) two data plans -- a 1GB plan and the unlimited plan. I did "buy" the unlimited plan using the app on my phone and the purchase seemed to go through. Will update when I see what happens!
 
21
10
3
Buick Ownership
Regal TourX Preferred, Sport Red
#12

kmingis

Sustaining Member
25
15
3
RI
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX (Essence)
Thread starter #13
To close the loop on this, I purchased the unlimited data plan for the Wi-Fi hotspot using the MyBuick app and the purchase appears to have gone through. (I still have connectivity after the one-month trial expired.) I double-checked by calling the OnStar people today, because the Buick owner website shows me as being on the 1GB plan. According to them, there's overlap and if/when I use up the 1GB, the plan will roll over to the unlimited data plan. So it does seem you can buy the hotspot data plan separate from the bundled OnStar services. If anything changes, I'll update here....
 
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