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Has Anyone Struck A Deal With OnStar?


Full Member
Nov 23, 2002
Jonesboro, AR
My OnStar is up for renewal and I'm trying to decide if I should bother. It's definitely not worth $200/year to me.

I'm wondering if anyone has called them up to renew and struck a deal for a lower rate? I might consider renewing if they'd give me a good deal. Surely they're hurting for people to renew?

I've heard cell phone companies are giving good deals to people threatening to leave, what about OnStar?

I know what you mean Wombat.
Lucky for me I still have about 7 months to go and then the big decision.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but wasn' t it supposed to be 9.95 a month. I could swear that is what they said when I got my AV in December. Maybe I have it confused with XM.

I tell you one thing. They could sure use to reduce the cost of the minutes. :7: 100min. for $40.00. That's steep. Although I am not totally happy with the cost of the minutes, it does make me think before I punch that button to make a call. Not to mention it saves me from having to have a personal cell phone to carry around. Most of the time I need it is when I am in my AV anyway.

My .02


Wombat said:
I'm wondering if anyone has called them up to renew and struck a deal for a lower rate?
Absolutely, ask for any special deals or promotions.

When mine was up, I was debating what to do. I got a letter from them asking me to call and make arrangements. I hesitated. Then, when it was about to expire, they called me, and started giving me the hard sell. When I explained I wasn't sure if I was going to renew, that's when they started making the offers.

I ended up getting an employee/family discount (bought the truck with the employee discount from my brother-in-law) and they also increased it to 14 months, getting me two free months. I don't remember the final price, but it was less than $200.

So the moral of the story is, it doesn't hurt to ask if that's the best that they can do, and say that you're not sure if you will renew. After all, if you ask, what's the worst that could happen? It's not like they will get offended and cancel your service, right?

-- SS
I called On-Star last week about my renewal. I offered them $12/mo. (which I still think is too high). I told them that I never used the phone service and that I didn't need the remote door unlock service because I have a hidden key. The only thing I was interested in was access to the diagnostic codes. They told me that their rates are fixed and they could not come down. I told them that their rates are too high. Then I asked them if the rates would come down in the future. That question could not be answered. Anyway, I called the dealership and asked how much it would cost to get a service tech to tell me what the fault codes are. And it turned out to be about $70. So, I concluded that On-Star is totally not worth it. What a rip-off!!!! :rolleyes:
They offered me 14 months for $150 about two months ago, right before my subscription expired. This was from one of their "on-air" advisors.
I pre-paid for 5 years. This reduces the per year price by quite a bit.
They offered me 2 month free (pay for 12 get 14) or 100 free minutes, I took the minutes. Cost $200 for 12 months and 100 minutes. Depending on where you live some people get over $200 per year less on insurance if they have onstar (they can track the vehicle, even find it if it isn't running).

I also heard that, from a liability standpoint, they don't shut it off, if you ever need help try it. Anyone else heard this?
I just seem to replace the vehicle right after OnStar runs out ;) I've had 3 years of it now without paying a dime. Maybe I'll keep this one!
It seems like you are all reducing OnStar to the personal calling and the most basic services. I find that it is extremely useful when you upgrade to the Directions & Connections. I use it quite frequently when I'm too "lazy" to find something for myself ;) Last night I had passed by a gas station earlier in the night and noticed gas was 3-4 cents cheaper (per litre) than elsewhere. So as I was driving home, I had OnStar call the station to see if they were still open and whether their price had changed. That's just one example. I would say that I use it about once a week in normal driving and prob. 3-4 times for every extra trip. BTW I see in DougD's sig. "WBH Z66" what does WBH stand for?
I really like my ON STAR.
200.00 a year is really not that bad when you live in a place that trucks get stolen everyday.
I have the best anti- system I could get when I first got my truck back in June of 2001. and ON STAR was cool I thought . I really did not use it at all but to show off to friends you know called them up and ask for a ON STAR check pleas.. and they told me right where I was and all... friends thought it was cool.
But I will tell you last summer I had to drive from El Paso TX to Louisville KY. I could not use my cell phone for over half of my trip. BUT ON STAR was online all the time. Yes 40.00 bucks for 100MIN sucked but hey If I needed it it was there.

I think when I leave this area next summer for good. ( retire from the ARMY ) I will look at not using it anymore But hey you never know....

The disadvantage to OnStar and their stolen vehicle tracking system is that it is factory installed. Once the thief knows where the antena runs on one Av, he knows them all. My insurance company doesn't give any credit to OnStar but It does give $100 off if you have a Boomerang system (Canadian version of Lojack) which covers 2/3's of the $155 yearly monitoring fee. I'm still debating wether to continue OnStar as well when the time comes.

If pros steal it they probably cut the battery wire in about 5 seconds. If amateurs take it for a joy ride you might actually get the vehicle back intact and catch them at the same time. Where I live in suburbia stolen vehicles are rare, I only get a $30 discount on my insurance. Someone on the site is in NJ and gets over $200 off of their insurance just because they have onstar.
I was just invited to a OnStar party in New Orleans. They gave me 100 free minutes just to attend that party (which was quite nice with good food and drinks). The people explained all the functions of the system and seemed very nice. So I assume I will get a discount in 11 month (if not I rather go for the X Radio instead and still save money. The system itself is good and very useful for some people - just depends were you live.

I have a question. ???

Let's say that your year runs out and you no longer wish to use Onstar :eek:. Since there is a cell-phone in the system couldn't you get someone like Verizon to get the information from it (code numbers and such) and have it be just like a regular cell phone in the AV? I know that you lose all the Onstar stuff but it would seem a waste to have such a great hands free cell phone that can only be activated by Onstar.

Maybe someone with "cell phone industry" smarts and someone with Avalanche :B: technical smarts could answer this.

Wombat said:
My OnStar is up for renewal and I'm trying to decide if I should bother. It's definitely not worth $200/year to me.

I'm wondering if anyone has called them up to renew and struck a deal for a lower rate? I might consider renewing if they'd give me a good deal. Surely they're hurting for people to renew?

I've heard cell phone companies are giving good deals to people threatening to leave, what about OnStar?


I just hung up the phone with Onstar. I received a letter telling me it was time for renewal and they would conveniently charge me $18.35 a month for the service. That's $220 a year! :cautious: Too much!

I called and talked to a rep at onstar who assured me that the best she could do was $199 a year plus tax. I told her that I knew for a fact that they have offered a price of $149.00 plus tax to a number of my friends and that I would cancel if she wouldn't give me the same deal. Almost by magic an option appeared on her screen that allowed her to give me the Safe and Sound package for the $149 plus tax. I signed up for year two.

Good luck to you.
Here is a bit of a different twist to this question about On-Star. My AV came without it. Is there a way to install it now? And make it look factory installed?
When I was looking for my Av, I saw one that I liked, but it didn't have OnStar. I asked the same questions, and they said no, it had to be factory installed. I ended up passing on it becuase of that. I still have the underlying feeling that I was being fed a line of BS. :8:

You're best bet is to give a dealership a call.
We just got our OnStar newsletter and found out the in July 2008, cell phone companies will no longer have to service analog phones. OnStar uses that type of service. So our OnStar will no longer work after that date. They plan to start installing digital/analog units in the 2004 vehicles but at this time there are no plans to upgrade the old systems installed in older vehicles. Bad news for anyone like me who loves their OnStar systems.

My understanding was that up until "X" point in time that it was a dealer level option and after that point that they can't get the units to be installed.
Totally correct in that they have completely phased out the dealer installs. Used to be the only way one could get OnStar.

With the current Gen F1 system, it is extremely more complex than the original Delphi systems. Each individual vehicle has to be programmed much in the same way that a VCM/BCM is programmed. Due to a lot of the information being proprietary, it would be a hard sell for Motorolla to allow the retail access to the module.

Additionally, with all the different content, it would be almost like asking the dealer to re-manufacture the vehicle. For example, some vehicles come with the microphone installed into the headliner....and not many dealers are going to cut a hole in the headliner. Wiring harness are different, no coax run for the cell or gps, and drilling the holes in the sheet metal for the antennas......a potential warranty nightmare for corrosion/water intrusion.

Interesting topic on the cellphone usage. The ESN is recorded on the box in Hexidecimal, which can be converted over to numeric. When I was at OnStar, they were primarily using Verizon Wireless for their carrier......so Verizon has the ESN in their system already, just like if you buy a cell phone from them, they can set it up rather quickly. However, I think OnStar has a contract with the carrier that identifies it by the MIN (the telephone number) that says OnStar can only implement cellular service as a third-party biller.

The reason the cost is so high is due to it being an all AMPS (Analog) service. OnStar had to stick with AMPS to assure coverage as there is not single CDMA/PCS signal that covers the entire country at the time of implementation. The newer models will come out with both AMPS/PCS (Dual-band) to counter this and will be a bit cheaper to get minutes. Also, there will be an option to have a portable handheld that is syncd to the MIN so that both the portable and the OnStar unit will share the minutes. Plus, be able to access OnStar services from the handheld if you are within service range from the vehicle. Add to that fewer dropped calls if within distance of your vehicle as the 0.6Watts from a normal cell phone only has to be close to the truck, which uses a (if I remember correctly) a full 3Watts.

Back to the topic, rates will get a bit of a discount the closer one comes to service being dropped. However, it will never be "cheap" until they switch to digital service.......
My bill came in the mail again.....I wanna strike a deal for sure.....

Need $$ for mods.... >:D
Will never use OnStar again. My Onstar Antenna will be the future location of my XM Radio Antenna. The buttone on the dash will be put to better use. My Lap Top GPS is better than most Navigation Systems which pretty much means it blows Onstar out of the water. Oh its free too!! ;D
I wantg onstar for insuranced deduct.....which is moe than the $200/yr

and the engine code call in while on road.....