Misuse of OnStar – Voice Spam While Driving

Say no to SpamStar OnStar

Say no to SpamStar OnStar

Imagine a person’s surprise when out of the blue their car starts talking to them?

Last week my unwanted, but mandatory at time of purchase, OnStar unit pulled its first (and possibly only) Voice Spam attempt.

After a chime that had me looking all over my dashboard while negotiating a set of curves, my GM Suburban in a female voice launched into a sales pitch on how I could get a deal on renewing OnStar service.

This is a stunning abuse of the equipment mandatory & integrated in the vehicle at build.

I don’t use the service and don’t see any reason to spend between $150 and $400 a year for any of the OnStar service level offerings.

And I certainly resent being Spammed not only by their endless telemarketing sales pitches both to work and home numbers, but now by the OnStar unit itself.

Perhaps I am a bit touchy having the same day been illegally spammed on my Cellphone with calls from some Bee’s Window outfit selling vinyl replacement windows and learning that they were working down the entire list of my cell carrier’s customers, later spamming my college student son.

But I never would have expected my vehicle to call for my attention, making me split my focus from driving to shut off a marketing recording.

I will be investigating what my recourse is to get a promise that this will never happen again, and if possible get the OnStar unit physically out of my vehicle as I will not tolerate a supposed “safety aid” reducing on-road safety.



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4 thoughts on “Misuse of OnStar – Voice Spam While Driving

  1. Mark Morgan KB9RQZ says:

    look at the bright side NOW you KNOW why GM needs to be bailed

  2. This reminds me of a telephone conversation I had with a software supplier during one of my .com stints. Their software was broken in specific and undeniable ways and I called to escalate our service ticket. The person on the other end of the phone immediately launched into a sales pitch. It took a few minutes for me to finally get them to take a breath so I could interject, “You are confused. You think this is a sales opportunity. It is not. Quite the contrary, this is a support call which may very well lead to a lost customer unless you start listening.”

    American companies have simply forgotten that once they take your money they _owe_ you something. They owe you some respect, or at least the chance to earn it, some privacy, a willingness to provide reasonable assistance, and all without constantly holding their hand out for more cash. Not every communication channel should be exploited to sell. Not every customer communication should be treated as a lead.

    Compare your experience with that we had with Toyota over our recalled Tacoma. Toyota sent us a letter requesting that we take the truck in for an inspection–they had discovered that some inferior steel had been used to make some of their vehicles and ours might be affected. The inspection showed it was. The frame had rusted badly in several spots. I defy you to point to any American car company to do what Toyota did next:

    Toyota offered to repurchase the truck, right there, right then. They offered a figure about 50% over official Blue Book value. The accounted for all the extras, the miles, everything. Then they arranged for a rental car (at their expense) for a month so we could do some car shopping. They also offered an additional $500 of a Toyota if we should like to replace the truck with one of their new vehicles. The made the whole process just about as painless as it could possibly be.

    Toyota was concerned with our safety. They wanted that truck off the road. Toyota was concerned about retaining us as a customer by significantly overpaying for a 9 year old vehicle. They wanted to impress upon us that they were taking responsibility for the situation by offering us the rental car, at their expense, for an entire month. Needless to say, we’re probably customers for life now.

    It isn’t that Detroit couldn’t do these things; it is that Detroit, even in their heyday, couldn’t have even _thought_ of these things!

    — Scott

  3. I wonder how much reception would be if you disconnected the OnStar antenna? It probably would solve the SPAM disturbing you wihile driving.

    • k9zw says:

      I wonder how much reception would be if you disconnected the OnStar antenna? I

      I’ve asked the dealer if this is possible, given the massive Electronics package in this vehicle.

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