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My '09 LS (actually a 1FL) came with OnStar. I've long had a Garmin Zumo 550 that I bought for my motorcycle journeys and had been using it in my company car, so I am using it in the Malibu. It's got Bluetooth, so very convenient for complying with NY and CT hands-free-only laws.

Well, I decided to try the OnStar. When I pushed the button, it went through a minute of connecting, then it told me "All our OnStar representatives are currently busy helping other OnStar subscribers" (or something very similar.) My Garmin has never had that problem. ;) So I shut it off, and likely won't bother with it again, despite the free trial period.

If you have it, do you use it? I'm accustomed to turn-by-turn instructions, and nice color pictures to go with it. For the life of me I cannot understand how OnStar could be better, other than not having to update maps. If you have it, what do you like best?

Also, do you use the phone thing, and if you do, do you use it through Verizon or do you use the car's own phone number? I have a sales job, and take calls from various contacts while I'm driving. I am thinking about using the Verizon connection so my own phone number is in use, but don't want to pay more for my Verizon Wireless bill, and certainly don't want to be paying OnStar. How much does all this cost anyhow?

Thanks for your input!
 

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I use the on star turn by turn quite a bit and love it.. I was out of town last weekend and the GPS route got confused because of some tricky streets being really close to each other and it lost the route, It called in to Onstar and a live person sat on the line with me and guided me back onto where i needed to be and the route picked right back up and took me to my location.. Another nice thing is that its updated on a regular basis so it has the latest maps and routes. It even works through mapquest. You can pre-send information and have it ready to use along with storing routes for quick access and you dont even have to call in to onstar.

Ive had one time when I had to wait for a rep and it was only about a minute before someone answered.

I had an in dash 7in touchscreen gps from pioneer in my last car and I actually like the simplistic nature of on-star. Its got me where ive wanted to go every time without problem :)
 

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I use it all the time. It is more accurate than my Garmin. As far as the phone goes I use the incar Bluetooth with my Verizon phone. When I start the car it only 5-10 seconds to auto pair. I don't even have to take it out of its case. It even uses the voice command calling.
 

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I guess this is a personal choice.

Never having had a nav system before, I find the OnStar directions really helpful and it is simple to use once the rep has downloaded the instructions. From other poster's comments it seems simplistic when compared to Garmin etc, but like I said it works for me.

For the phone, I just have my regular cell phone paired with car and it works great, the best part is the voice command activation.

Hope that helps.
 

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I use my Directions & Connections nearly daily. Have only had to wait up to 20-ish seconds for an operator (when it's not immediate).. I like being able to talk to a live operator. I have had traditional navigation systems before and I find this one just as nice (I especially like that I don't have to stop to input an address due to the safety locks on the in-dash units).. I haven't had any issues not having a screen because it will display a countdown (in yards/metres) for when to turn.

I remember one time I asked for a Starbucks and while the operator was finding one in my locality, we talked about our favourite coffees LOL..

As for the hands-free calling, I upgraded to the Verizon Wireless with OnStar and have found it works great. The only thing I don't like is that caller ID isn't available (I understand it varies by vehicle model, according to Verizon).

Even if you don't keep the Directions & Connections, I'd still strongly recommend you renew with Safe & Sound.. I've already had to use it twice (one crash and one remote-door unlock).. it's totally worth the $199/year price-tag.. especially should your car be stolen!

EDIT: I also wanted to add that I really appreciate the fact that the OnStar operator can actually call into my destination for assistance (I did have to go into a complex area one time.. I was looking for a grocery store and the address that was posted on their website brought me to a hospital). After the operator hung up with the grocery store I was looking for, she stayed on the line with me and guided me to my proper destination...
 

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verizon wireless onstar?
Meaning you can make your car an additional line on your family share plan ($9.95USD/month).

It will use your plan's minutes rather than having to pre-pay via the OnStar Personal Calling Centre
 

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As for the hands-free calling, I upgraded to the Verizon Wireless with OnStar and have found it works great. The only thing I don't like is that caller ID isn't available (I understand it varies by vehicle model, according to Verizon).

I have an ATT service and use the bluetooth option and the caller ID works on mine As well as the Verizon Pre-Paid (I got the 100 min for 14.99 for a year when I first bought the car) and the caller ID shows there..
 

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I have an ATT service and use the bluetooth option and the caller ID works on mine As well as the Verizon Pre-Paid (I got the 100 min for 14.99 for a year when I first bought the car) and the caller ID shows there..
Perhaps it has something to do with your vehicle being a 2009 or the premium radio? :confused:
 

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I have Sprint and the caller ID works as well.
 

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I've never had a car with bluetooth. How does it work?
 

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I've never had a car with bluetooth. How does it work?
Just like an Onstar car, but through your phone. Essentially, once set up, whenever you get in the car with your BT-equipped phone on, it and the car's audio system will sync up electronically and then if you ever get or make a call on that cell, it will mute any other audio you have playing, show the number on the radio, and then you will be able to speak through the same microphone as with Onstar, then when done hit end on the steering wheel and end the call on your phone.

That's Bluetooth, in a nutshell. BT earpieces work in the same manor.
 
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