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Onstar? Sirius?
Old 07-16-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
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Onstar? Sirius?

Our new ride comes with a trial of full-featured OnStar and SeriusXM.

They're both pretty nifty for someone whose last vehicle was a 2002 pickup. But I don't know if we'll really benefit from subscribing once the trial runs out. We'll be on the road a lot more after DW retires next year.

Any opinions?
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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We bought a new car a few years ago and it came with a 1 year free trial of Sirius. It was not even something that auto renewed. But I loved it so much that I gladly renewed and when we bought another new car a couple of years later we got sirius in it too.

I don't think I'd have any use for onstar though. It seems to just duplicate what I get with my cell phone and only works when you have cell service anyway.

It's really a personal choice but I certainly like sirius.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:43 PM   #3
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I opted to allow SiriusXM to expire but subscribed to "Safe & Sound" (emergency services, theft recovery, and maintenance monitoring, diagnostics, $199 for a year), didn't go for the cell service or the turn-by-turn navigation That year is almost up and I'm not sure I will spring for a second year - haven't decided yet.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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I just finished a 3 month new car Sirius trial. It was nice, but why pay for radio when I can get all the Chicago FM/AM stations, some HD? If I drove long distances often for a living it might be nice, otherwise I don't get it. I just plug in my iPod on my occasional long trips and listen to whatever I want. I was also surprised that I lost the satellite signal more often than expected, just driving through a stretch of road covered with trees interrupted the signal...

As for OnStar, novel when it came out but with a cell phone why pay for a subscription? Unless unconscious (highly unlikely), cell phone works for me. And I'd rather use my GPS for directions.

YMMV
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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We bought a new car a few years ago and it came with a 1 year free trial of Sirius. It was not even something that auto renewed. But I loved it so much that I gladly renewed and when we bought another new car a couple of years later we got sirius in it too.

I don't think I'd have any use for onstar though. It seems to just duplicate what I get with my cell phone and only works when you have cell service anyway.

It's really a personal choice but I certainly like sirius.
Yeah, pretty much what he said.
One thing I've noticed about Sirius is that when you cancel it takes about a month for the half price (or more) offers to hit the mailbox.
The last one I got for my pickup was/is $25 for six months after which it reverts to regular pricing unless you cancel.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
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This month we finally got the boot from Sirius. After 3 1/2 years of free or less than $5 a month service, they finally said, "Full price or forget it". We have it on the calendar to try in 3 months or so to try to get a deal.

Onstar was a joke for us, we don't have cell service in our area, so lots of stuff didn't work.
If I lived somewhere where I thought my truck may get stolen, maybe it is worth it.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #7
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I've had xm/sirius 3 different times and every time I cancelled they offered me some kind of discount on the spot. The last one took my bill from almost $20 per month (including the online service) to $30 for every six months.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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The next time I buy a car, NOT having Sirius XM will be a big "plus" for me.

My Venza had a free trial of Sirius, and after it ran out I received numerous letters and phone calls asking me to renew. I found that very annoying. All that Sirius ever did for me was target me for spam phone calls and letters. I seldom listened to it even during the free trial and did not want it at any price.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
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My Mom had a subscription to Onstar. The one time I used it was for simple directions. I was on hold for at least 10 minutes, I finally took off driving and found what I was looking for 3 minutes later. I hung up on Onstar and they never tried to call back. Useless.

A cellphone and GPS beats Onstar.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Our new ride comes with a trial of full-featured OnStar and SeriusXM.
Since I got an iPod, I've pretty much stopped listening to radio broadcasts.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:29 PM   #11
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I've had both Serius XM and Onstar in vehicles for years. For me, Serius is a waste of money although DW always listened to Head Line News. I think Onstar is more valuable. I never needed it for an emergency but my sister did while running off a icey road in no-man's land. It's a tough call on the turn-by-turn directions as I never used that feature. Always relied on my GPS. However, the cell phone feature with Onstar is always "active" as there should be no dead spots anywhere. It's runs off a satellite and not cell towers. I think you can get a discount on insurance with Onstar.

Editing to add that I'm not certain about the Onstar not using cell towers. They might.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:48 PM   #12
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I have no experience with OnStar (although I was impressed by some of their TV ads a few years back).

Several years ago, DH's van came with a free 3-month XM trial. It worked - we became big fans and I also subscribed on my Prius. We make the 3-hour drive (each way) to visit DH's family every couple of months and 1.5 hours of it is a radio desert. And my volunteer activities require a lot of time in my car outside of rush hour (when I happily enjoy local NPR).

I do find their billing systems very strange - but was able to get a good deal for renewing both cars at the same time, so we're happy.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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I hate subscriptions of any kind! I had a 3 month trial of Sirius and found that --at least on the channels I listened to-- they tend to play the same songs over and over...as if they only have 100 songs in the library.

I did not sign up; we have plenty of channels here in the Boston area, plus I put my iPod on the speakers and it fills the need for something different. $$ in my pocket!
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:28 AM   #14
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However, the cell phone feature with Onstar is always "active" as there should be no dead spots anywhere. It's runs off a satellite and not cell towers. I think you can get a discount on insurance with Onstar.
, with areas
Editing to add that I'm not certain about the Onstar not using cell towers. They might.
I thought it is sat based too, but don't know.

Serius might be useful when we're tooling around the western states with areas of no radio.


So far my only experiences with Onstar have been 1 phone call (worked fine) and directions in a strange city; also worked, but so does GPS (usually).
After talking to the nice lady she asked if there was anything else she could do for me; I asked for a ham sandwich, but apparently they're not that advanced yet.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:46 AM   #15
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Note that ONStar also comes with free towing if needed. perhaps saving a membership in AAA.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:15 AM   #16
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Note that ONStar also comes with free towing if needed. perhaps saving a membership in AAA.
Yes, but I find the AAA discounts pays for the AAA membership.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:28 AM   #17
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ONstar needs cellular reception, I had to drive 30 miles in any direction to get cell service.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #18
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I've had Sirius for quite a few years, both 'in car' and a 'boombox', and I love it! I use the boombox in the house, work shop, and outdoors. And since I've had it in my cars, I never listen to AM or FM anymore!

The car that I have now came with both SiriusXM and OnStar. I subscribed to both at the end of the free trial period, and also kept and extended the built-in cellphone. I've used the OnStar a few times for directions, and have been satisfied. I've also used the phone a few times. As for the SiriusXM, it allows us to listen to just about any ballgame we want to, regardless of where we are, and to all if the NASCAR races too. Add to that, the news and talk stations I enjoy are on there too.

I like the assurance of knowing that if I'm in crash, I don't have to rely solely on my cellphone to call for help. I've been in a wreck that there was no way possible for me to find or use a cellphone! Because when an object that is in motion comes to a screeching, crashing, extremely sudden stop....stuff inside the vehicle gets RADICALLY rearranged in very short order. And sometimes even objects in clothing pockets cannot be accessed because if the new shape of the vehicle's cabin. OnStar would have certainly been a blessing at that time.

I'll keep my OnStar and SiriusXM for as long as they are available. YMMV
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