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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new 2019 LT that I bought four weeks ago tomorrow. I got a bunch of trial subscriptions when I bought it (one for one month, something else for three months) for OnStar and data (and maybe something else). The one-month trial ends on Monday, three days from now.

Having no interest in paying a monthly subscription fee to use my car in a basic way, I just called OnStar and asked what I would get for free if I did not pay the monthly fee.

The first woman I spoke with was obviously in a department whose goal is to sell me subscriptions. I told her I didn't want a subscription to anything. I have a good cell phone plan, I like the way Apple Maps works on my iPhone when it's hooked to Apple CarPlay, and I have a AAA membership for roadside assistance. However, I do want to be able to check the state of charge of the battery remotely. Seems like a pretty basic function for an EV. (Remote tire-pressure check would be nice, too, but battery SOC is pretty fundamental.)

Since she didn't know what I'd get with the 10-year, no-fee "Connected Access" version of OnStar (which I presume used to be 5 years and called "Basic"), she transferred me to a technical-oriented person.

This new person had to do some looking up while I was on hold. When she came back on the line, she said the only way I'd be able to use the MyChevrolet app to check state of battery charge was to pay GM $20 a month for a "Protection" plan.

These seems to me like a protection racket, actually. I looked around on the forums here and found this thread:


But I didn't see any posts more recent than several months ago, and I could not figure out what people's current experience is.

So here's my question: is there any way for me to check SOC through my smartphone without paying GM $20 a month of protection money?
 

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I don't know what I'm supposed to get, but after my OnStar trial expired for my CPO Spark EV so that I had only Connected Access, I found that I could get state of charge by going to my.chevrolet.com (but not through the app).
 

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If that works, I’ll use it. I don’t love the rather clumsy MyChevrolet app, and I have a web browser on my phone.
It was really impressive how hard two different phone agents tried to sell me a plan today!
 

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One of these days you will be driving along, and POW ! the battery suddenly blows up. You and your family are instantly killed. Now, you wouldn't want that to happen, would you? I'm sure not. Soooo... you see, you need our protection plan to prevent such an unfortunate occurrence. So, for a measly $20 a month we'll make sure that doesn't happen...
 

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After my trial period ended, I still got full myChevrolet app access including Remote Commands and Vehicle Status. This conflicted with everything I read from GM and what Onstar told me on the phone. I think it will last at least 5 years, but more likely it will last the 10 years. I haven't missed the car WiFi. I guess the bad information is par for the course from a company that promised to go big on EVs and hasn't given us anything new yet :mad:.
 

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my free trials ended and I can still use the app to see state of charge; in addition, i can still use the keypass stuff (preconditioning, honking the horn, whatever else it does).
I did hook the car up to my home wifi, but i seem to be able to get all the information when the vehicle is not at my home the same though.

the one thing i noticed that went away seems to be Alexa access. It will no longer communicate with the Bolt, so chevy must have that functionality in one of their plans only (stupid).

We’ll see if this all stays long term; if not, Chevy will just piss off one more customer.
 

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the one thing i noticed that went away seems to be Alexa access. It will no longer communicate with the Bolt, so chevy must have that functionality in one of their plans only (stupid).
FYI "Echo Auto" hardware is another installable gadget, not too expensive, it was a little hard for me to get setup, but it uses your phone bluetooth, and it reconnects every time your phone is within range and your car is started. So Alexa can work in the car without additional recurring expense.
 

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After my trial period ended, I still got full myChevrolet app access including Remote Commands and Vehicle Status. This conflicted with everything I read from GM and what Onstar told me on the phone. I think it will last at least 5 years, but more likely it will last the 10 years. I haven't missed the car WiFi. I guess the bad information is par for the course from a company that promised to go big on EVs and hasn't given us anything new yet :mad:.
This is the correct answer. You can still access many things on the myChevrolet app - Remote commands, Vehicle Status being the key features. The vehicle locate is disabled without OnStar.
I have not missed any useful functionality without any OnStar subscription.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Vehicle locate I can totally do without. My iPhone keeps track of this after the phone is Bluetooth-paired with the car.
 

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Obsfication ! Seems to be the newest ploy by merchants. I see it in many places, especially fast food joints. Advertise specials that include many "choices" at a price, and watch as people try to make heads or tails out of it and order. They end up not knowing what the final price will be, and surprise! It's higher than you thought. A form of it is present with Onstar and Sirius. Trying to get a straight answer out of them is like pulling teeth. They do it on purpose...
 

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Update: my one-month “data plan” trial ran out; the app says I have no data plan. Yet I can still check stage of battery charge and tire pressure through the app. (As far as I know I haven’t had a credit card charge for any additional data.)

Now let’s see what happens when the three-month OnStar trial ends in early January.
 

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When I bought my 2018 Bolt Premiere, it had everything. I didn't care about OnStar except for the WiFi. Kinda liked Sirius XM, comedy channels were a different experience in the car. Some nice music channels. I was willing to pay $10/mo. But jeez, $20/mo is the usual price if you don't ***** and moan for a discount. At the time, I didn't have a smartphone. Smartphone plans are so expensive. But someone here suggested that I could probably ask five friends if they had an old smartphone lying around and one probably would, turned out to be true. Got my first smartphone. For $15 a month I got an unlimited data plan with OnStar. So now, with a VOIP smartphone app, and a Google Voice number, I can make calls with my phone over the car's WiFi. Can't get a cellphone plan that cheap! With Android Auto, I've got navigation, and with Pandora ad free for $5 a month, I'm thinking of dropping Sirius.
 

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Update: my one-month “data plan” trial ran out; the app says I have no data plan. Yet I can still check stage of battery charge and tire pressure through the app. (As far as I know I haven’t had a credit card charge for any additional data.)

Now let’s see what happens when the three-month OnStar trial ends in early January.
One does not have anything to do with the other. Your vehicle's data plan is a separate WIFI connection, think of it as another phone. You can connect to this WIFI and use it to stream on your devices.

Your battery charge and tire pressure are through OnStar services. I think the verdict has yet to be brought back as to whether the functionality ends after your OnStar subscription.

I do know with my 2014 Cruze, my app remained functional for 5 years without OnStar subscription.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
One does not have anything to do with the other. Your vehicle's data plan is a separate WIFI connection, think of it as another phone. You can connect to this WIFI and use it to stream on your devices.
That makes sense, thanks. I did sort of figure that out. I didn't renew that, because I've got a cell phone plan that give me connectivity even when I'm far away from my car, with all the data I need.

I'll be interested to see what happens on January 5, when my OnStar trial runs out. I'm reading differing, but mostly encouraging, responses on this.
 

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My initial 30 day trial is done. I have the Security package for another month. Preconditioning and lock/unlock still works through the app. That, my understanding, is good for 5 years.
 

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I took delivery of my 2019 Bolt last April. Of course, I had all the OnStar features on trial but I decided right off the bat that I wanted to pay for the data plan. I had/have no intentions of paying for anything else from them.
A few months later and the trials came to an end and what did OnStar do? They shut off everything, including the data plan for which I was paying. I called them up and they apologized and said that they would get it fixed, which they did pretty much right away.
Then a couple of months ago, I got a notice from them that it appears as if I no longer own my Bolt (which is a 3 year lease btw) and so they have cancelled my services (again). I called them up explained the situation, pointed out that this is not the first time that I have had to call them to fix something and all I want is my data plan for which they are billing me and I am paying.
At some point during this process I did get confirmation that the Bolt is entitled to the plan which includes charging status information for a period of 5 years.
After they fixed my data plan and access to the charging status I noticed the the remote fob option via the app did not work anymore. So sad, too bad, but I believe that is not an included opotion and again I do not want to pay for it. However, what it took me a couple of weeks to notice is that the car no longer sends me notifications when the charging is done. I double checked the app, yup I have it turned on via text and/or email, my contact info is correct. Still no notifications.
So I get on the phone again. Spend a while talking to a very nice lady who understood and yes, access to the status of the charging is included and no unfortunately remote fob is not. Notifications should be working, she went away did a few things, came back on and thinks she got it corrected but I would probably get a follow up from their level 3 technical support department about the problem.Since I have been having so much trouble then she is going to to turn on remote fob functions for a period of 3 months for free. Ok, thanks but all I really want is for the notifications to work.
Two weeks later, the notifications still don't work and oh, by the way, neither do the remote fob functions.
Another call today and the lady I spoke with said that the last entry in the trouble report is that it has been referred to their level 3 the support and it is in their hands. I will need to wait for them to look into it.I ask her if she thinks that 2 weeks in a reasonable time to have to wait for someone to look into the problem and she agreed that it is not. That is when the called ended.
I am beyond frustrated with the incompetence of the OnStar company as a whole. They try and overcharge people for simple basic functionality and then, even when people are paying them, their crap doesn't work. I am resigned to the fact that this might get fixed sometime but I have no control over it. I can wait for their level 3 technical department to fix it but I doubt that is going to happen anytime soon. I will probably call them again at some point and remind them that I am still waiting for them to fix it.
Sorry for the long rant but I had to vent somewhere.
I really wanted to point out that as Bolt owners we are entitled to the battery charging status information via the app as part of ownership at no additional charge. OnStar knows this but perhaps needs to be reminded from time to time and if you are not getting it then you should call them and complain.
 

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Yeah, I think the charging stuff should just be included forever and OnStar, is the separate thing...It's overly complicated IMO how all the options fit together.

They should really just find ways to make money somewhere else (like that WiFI thing you want if people want it).

I don't plan to continue any monthly thing and don't even use my trial WiFi so I should make sure none of my billing is in the system I guess.
 
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