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Got a Pretty Good Onstar Discount Today

17174 Views 26 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Lgndryhr
My 2010 Malibu just turned one year old, so my one year of free Onstar ended. I called Onstar and they wanted $300 + tax for the Directions and Connections plan. They were just about to bill my credit card and I told the representative "I heard that Onstar Offers discounts". I found that out from this forum. Sure enough, she checked into it and I got 1 year of Directions and Connections for $240 + Tax. Just a simple question and I ended up saving about $70 with tax.

It bothered me a little bit that I had to ask for the discount. Why didn't they offer it to me in the first place?

In my opinion, if you have Navigation, it's worth it to spend the extra money for Directions and Connections. That's the feature I use most with Onstar. All the other features are great, but you really don't use them much unless there's an emergency situation. I even use the Directions and Connections to get phone numbers and addresses. It's a lot cheaper than calling 411. And you can even get phone #'s and addresses from your home phone.

So if you're renewing, ask for the discount. You will probably get it.
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I read a map. It's free.
Up-to-date maps aren't usually free. The ones that are, if you can even find them in these days of sub-$100 GPS units, are loaded with advertisements. Also, paper maps have limited range, don't store points-of-interest, don't lend themselves to recalculating a route if you miss a turn, and can't be handled while driving.

I like them and prefer them for getting an "overall view" of a trip in planning, but with my Garmin I can get the same thing on my computer. Or, with MapQuest. I now own a pile of beautifully-printed DeLorme Gazetteer map books, all hopelessly out-of-date.

No paper maps have been able to do for me what the Garmin has. It's not perfect, but they get better and better all the time. The Nuvi 1490T I bought for $149 (Radio Shack sale) for my wife just blows away my 4-year old Zumo 550. Now I ponied-up $89 to upgrade each for "lifetime map upgrades", I never have to worry about using obsolete information.

Works for me. What doesn't work for me is OnStar. The only thing I wish I could buy is the remote lock/unlock and perhaps the ability to kill the car if it were to get stolen. I do not want my car capable of turning me in for speeding though.
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From State Farms website:

"State Farm does not actively market new business in Massachusetts and Rhode Island at this time."

So there's no discount for me there. I currently get 20% discount on the comprehensive part of my insurance (National Grange Mutual), so another 5% would be perhaps $20. OnStar would like you to believe it "pays for itself", but it's not even close.

If someone steals this car, I would:

A) Be amazed. These are not a high-theft vehicle. At all.
B) Be happy, because I get a new one.

Buy OnStar because you like it and don't mind spending the money for it. I use "aftermarket" navigation because I like it, it's cheaper for me, and I feel that I have a world of information at my fingertips, and my information is as current or newer than what OnStar may be drawing upon. (I could cite examples of them sending me down roads that were gone or to businesses that were long-closed.)

I have an address to get to, I enter it. Takes less than a minute, something I didn't always get waiting for an OnStar Advisor to answer. If I miss a turn, it tells me and I can see a nice picture of how it's going to fix it for me, or I can make a rational judgment to follow it or just turn around.

I love that it's a free country and we have all these choices.
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Today's portable GPS units are so much more accurate in positioning than what OnStar could ever be that its amazing. The $149 Garmin 1490T that I gifted my wife (and later upgraded to Lifetime Maps for another $89) is so fast, and so accurate that it has lane choice notification. That's possible because of two things.

One, the 5" wide screen is sharp, full color and BIG. The OnStar display is a heavily-pixelated monochrome pointer, is the navigational equivalent of banging two rocks together in a world of precisely-machined steel tools.

Second, it's true GPS positioning. It's NOT triangulating between 3 cell phone towers of varying signal strength, but actually pulling a signal from a geostationary satellite.

Pay monthly or annually for OnStar when you want the security of theft recovery, remote unlocking of your car, maintenance reminders because you can't read the little text in front of you, or need a 5% additional discount on one portion of your car insurance bill.

Pay once for accurate location, maps, directions, points-of-interest, traffic and pretty pictures.
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I pressed my onstar link to enter into the sweepstakes for a new car. They sent me to an activation specialist that gave me a free 6 month subscription of the safe and sound package. It doesn't have the turn by turn navigation, but it's free!
I will probably do that for my wife. She takes possession of the 2009 Malibu I'm currently driving either Tuesday or Wednesday, when I get my new 2011. Having the security for the time she gets accustomed to the car will be helpful. I know her biggest gripe isn't going to be that, but the impossible blind spots on the Malibu as compared to her Nissan.

I'll then call the XM radio people and see what they can do for her. I haven't needed XM because 95% of the time I'm listening to NPR and my support for those stations is still cheaper (and more valuable to me) than XM. I thought it would be commercial-free radio, but since it isn't I just let it expire.
On my 2011 Malibu, I paid a little bit (I think it was $100) to get the Bluetooth option. Now I have the hands-free calling that's required in CT and NY (soon elsewhere, I'm sure), plus my cell phone's internal phone book, and lots of other features. When I use it to make a call, the phone number that shows on the receiver's phone CallerID is mine, not some random OnStar number. No monthly fees, no taxes on the BT connection, and WAY MORE minutes of talk time.

I had the BT connection between my phone and my Garmin GPS and it's good for all the info I can see, but the call clarity of the car's microphone and going through the car's sound system is far better than the Garmin.
I think you have some mis-conceptions about how the Onstar routing works......or doesn't work. I don't know about previous year models but the 2011 does use "true" GPS tracking. It's "accuracy" is similar to my stand alone GPS.

At an extra $100 per year......or even the discounted $50......I don't think it's a very good value, unless maybe you have lots of $$$ and your main concern is ease of use but it is not the cheesy service that you make it out to be.

Tower triangulation can be off as much as 1/4 mile in many cases and would be pretty much useless for routing it is for 911 locations.

I have a 2009 and a 2011, and no intention of pressing that blue button on either one. I don't care how accurate the system may be, the graphics SUCK.

I recently paid the $89 to Garmin for each of my Garmin GPS units (Zumo 550 and Nuvo 1450T) for lifetime maps. That's all I'll ever need or want. I want no subscriptions at those OnStar prices, thank you.
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