Thursday, April 7, 2016

OnStar vs iPhone

OnStar top tier pricing is rather expensive.  To get the whole kit and kaboodle, which is  Guidance, Security, and Protection, it costs $35, let me correct that, $34.99 because $35 sounds too expensive.

The bottom two plans are reasonable at $19 and $24, which to me has some value but not enough to pull the trigger.  The problem is what I want is the top tier, but since I have an iPhone with Google Maps, Yelp, and so much more, I just can't see the need to pull the trigger on the top plan either.  I also have an older Garmin which is still usable and for $349 bucks (the cost of year of OnStar Guidance Plan) I could get a really sweet upgrade to a new Garmin with lifetime maps and traffic, and have road visuals, Turn by Turn is mostly audio with a large icon showing the direction of turn.

I fully understand the call center cost model of agent/hour.  The problem is that a large portion of the the services of OnStar are fully automated or a section of what they do is, such as crash detection which brings an OnStar rep on line.  and while there's a whole other discussion on minimum wages or outsourcing (some consider slave wages), It's all about what people are willing to pay for, or choose to do without.

What I don't know the the average amount that people actually use OnStar.  During the first 6 months I had it free, I only used it a few times, mostly because I didn't really want to talk to someone for assistance.  I'm a guy, that's pretty much typical.   That lack of use is probably a good indication of usage stats of OnStar in general since it's a huge cash cow for GM.  I would also imagine the monthly charge just happens for a lot of people along with the cell phone bill, XM Satellite, Cable/Dish/Internet addon after addon until people suddenly wonder where all their money went.

I'll just stick to my iPhone and Garmin and limit some of extra charges.

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