I never realized how much I would come to depend on GPS navigational systems, but when you are out in an area that you don’t know, or in nieghborhoods you have never been in, or driving kids to sporting events and really need a NEW way, the GPS system becomes a mandatory!
A few months ago, a sales representative was describing possible usage of ONSTAR, I really thought that I would never come to depend on it, but I have been in so many different situations lately that navigating and thinking are not 2 terms that can come together. Sometimes Construction is awful, traffic is large and schedules have to be met and the last thing I can worry about is how to navigate somewhere it just needs to be TOLD to me. I set up my ONSTAR account with the intention of using it for mindless directional movement, so I could just concentrate on driving not navigating!
NOT SO SHINING
For something called ONSTAR, I think that the system may be OVER RATED!
Don’t think that just because you have OnStar in your vehicle that it is going to be able to calculate directions immediately, because it does not. If you have to go through the phone call, chances are you are going to be put on hold! I can not believe how many times we have called in and been put on hold, short wait or not, I never anticipated being put on hold while trying to get through in order to get directions! This lack of quick directional movement would also be when you acknowledge that you need a re-calulated route and it takes a bit to get it recalculated. My GPS (a Garmin) simply recalculates in seconds and I am on my way. The OnStar recalculates and thinks for a while and then provides the directions. I am not used to this slowness and it can cause me to miss a street, a turn, etc. It is very frustrating.
We have now called in at least 3x and OnStar has been unable to provide us with directions, locations, etc., as if we are in a foreign land, speaking 2 different languages, they are simply unable to find where we are going! Now, before you say that is impossible, case in point: We were going to a MAJOR events center, that we had not been to in years, and while we had a vague idea, we had no street name! This center is in the heart of Oakland, PA and we provided the proper name. The representative worked for 5 minutes trying to ascertain a direction set for us and was unable. She kept asking us the same questions: the name, the spelling, did we have an address — after 3 times answering the same question, I grabbed my SMART PHONE and googled it! Imagine this, a street name, address and the Petersen Event Center populated the Smart Phone. Once I was able to give ALL this information, not just a name, and Oakland, PA to the advisor—- we suddenly had directions. One more note, we asked about a road closure, because there is ONE place that can be open or closed depending on construction schedules, the advisor could not tell us if the road was open or closed! I just wished it was possible for OnStar to be able to google the place for us? (our Garmin warns of road closure and traffic) That is all I did, however, if I had been driving, I would not have been able to perform that function of looking up an address and there was no where to pull off! It was a simple task and would have solved our direction crisis, but the advisor was just telling us that she could not come up with it sorry.
A completely different situation is driving through buildings in town when the OnStar kind of ‘bleeps out’. I was driving from an off ramp to a directed road when suddenly the OnStar told me turn around when possible but only a few minutes before it had asked me to turn in 25 yards. Suddenly, between the buildings I had no directional call. I had to manually navigate.
We were driving on highway 65, looking for the exit, as per the Navigational system, when I called, the Sewickley Bridge was not called the Sewickley Bridge and they could not determine it even though it is a MAIN artery for crossing from town to town. Out of shear frustration I said just give me the shortest route to my home: the route, right over the Sewickley Bridge! HOWEVER: this was not without complications, when we got off the bridge and turned we followed highway 65, and we were told to exit, the system counted down to 00 yards and I questioned the turn as it did not look familiar, my oldest son yelled “mom keep driving a few more feet to the other exit” and I am glad he did, ONCE again the ONSTAR was wrong in its countdown and it suddenly showed 175, 50, etc and we turned left! My question is what happens during this intermittent outages? If had gone the wrong way we would not have made it to the next hockey game and we were pressed for time and pick up of another child! I am so disappointed in ONSTAR.
I have now determined, after many other incidents as these cited that it is necessary to bring a GPS with me. I make sure it is programmed, that the number is in my cell phone and that I have an address with me at all points in time because a system that is supposed to have it ALL together is not keeping it together for me!
One last frustration point with OnStar. I subscribed to a personal number at the beginning, keeping this only in the case that all my cellular equipment does not work and I am in need of help! I paid a premium price for minimal minutes to be stored in case of emergency! What is aggravating, is that as I was driving a few weeks ago, a phone call came in, not using my blue tooth phone, but instead using the number that was associated with OnStar. I really do not appreciate that this is a high premium, a number being called randomly and that there is probably nothing I can do about it! It is pretty unacceptable from a high technology company that errors like this are seeping through the seams.
If I have to re-evaluate the concept of keeping the OnStar or getting rid of it, I will be opting to save money and get rid of it because to date, it has not been helpful enough in getting to places, hold time on the calls and lack of service in areas causes me to evaluate the real need for it more than status! While it may help people everyday, the fact of the matter is, when I have needed it the most, it failed my particular applications and wait times while you are in need of an advisor, that just does not work when you are in a pinch. I will pay for my 3g/4g coverage and get instant gratification. I believe in most cases, a GARMIN, TOM TOM or some other GPS navigational device will get you around for a lot less money and with instant change as you change direction. The premium you pay for the ONSTAR service could easily be reapplied to money put towards this device instead!
This article is not a hosted article but an article written from pure frustration on getting from point A to point B without many problems doing so. I have tried to way out the benefits, but to date, I am having a hard time coming up with any other than an emergency. The Remote App is only available to those with 2010 and above which my dad found out when he tried to set his iPhone App with his truck. I am thinking that when this contract is DONE, I am done with ONSTAR unless it improves.
I have written this letter for those of you contemplating the service, in case you have not run into these glitches. Getting put on hold, directions not able to be found unless you have an exact address and counting down of yards and suddenly just ‘bleeping out’ and recounting makes it very hard to drive confidently. While I am good at navigating a car full of children at least 3 and often way more it makes it easier to be sure I will get to the new destinations, the new areas without any thoughts. My thoughts of this have not been enhanced through my usage. Again, my site boasts Consumer Education through Reviews by shopping or usage and this is what I have done!
This is not a sponsored post. This is my evaluation of a service after using it for 3 months. While my service contract will continue for a few more months, my general thoughts and opinions are stated with situations that clearly back up why! You may not have the same findings.