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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After an interesting conversation with VCNA I am not going to pay for Volvo on Call. You get very little for your money in my opinion.

The mid-range OnStar plan looks pretty good, but I wonder if it is available for the XC 90, and if anyone has experience using in with a Volvo.

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I know one of OnStar's products (FMV) replaces the OEM rear view mirror in your vehicle - I don't think that's going to work well in a 2016 XC90 - and if you were able to install it probably not very aesthetically pleasing. There would be little to no integration of OnStar's features with that of the XC90. IMO big difference between the integral OnStar systems found on GM and other products and OnStar FMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I know one of OnStar's products (FMV) replaces the OEM rear view mirror in your vehicle - I don't think that's going to work well in a 2016 XC90 - and if you were able to install it probably not very aesthetically pleasing. There would be little to no integration of OnStar's features with that of the XC90. IMO big difference between the integral OnStar systems found on GM and other products and OnStar FMV.
I think that's right and I just got this response from OnStar.

"The FMV mirror is no longer in production and only available for select model year vehicles through 2014."

Volvo is behind GM!

They are deceptive initially about the OnCall app, which is only useful for basic car functions. Then they want $200 for something worth maybe $15. The road and accident response is completely useless because Volvo does not have enough partners for adequate coverage.

OnStar gives you the important ability to slow down or stop your car if it is stolen -- not so with On Call.

Is there anything available that will do for the XC90 what OnStar does for the less expensive GM cars?
 

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OnStar is a subscription service, just like Volvo On Call. I haven't seen any new iterations of OnStar, but what features are missing from On Call?
If you review the volvo website about On Call, you can see that they do have the ability to remotely immobilize a vehicle if stolen.
 

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What was the best price you were able to negotiate? I think it is too expensive as well, but my wife is thinking of getting the Microsoft Band 2. With that you can basically talk to your watch and have it start the Volvo...or speak a destination to it and it automatically sends it to the car. That is pretty cool.

I feel like there have to be tips and tricks to negotiate this thing down a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Probably need to compare apples to apples.

http://www.edmunds.com/car-technology/telematics.html

This doesn't have Volvo's OnCall offering so it's up to you to make comparisons...
That's a good link and I know about the BMW services. If you buy a BMW comparable in cost to an XC 90 it will come with BMW Assist, excluding a few things such as Concierge services. BMW Assist is FREE for the first four years. They can't predict the renewal cost after four years because the service is new.

Interestingly, the app BMW offers does not allow distant start. It seems they think it is a bad idea to run the risk of having someone hack or come into possession of your phone and be able to start your XC90 without the key present. From what I know of technology, that makes sense to me.

An earlier post included a link to On Call. When I checked I could not find any mention of remotely immobilizing your vehicle. The site does say you can lock your SUV but that will not help much if there is someone inside. Fairly good GPS tracking is available for On Call, but you can get that very cheaply for a one time charge elsewhere.

I know for a fact after decades of Volvo ownership and hard lessons that Volvo service/response with or without On Call is not useful. If anything its usefulness has declined along with Volvo sales in recent years.

Volvo is a small car company and they do not have enough contracts with providers. There is no way they can match a giant company like GM, even BMW, and they do not. I have found as recently as late last year that AAA is always better. An AAA service is always close and there is always a quick response. The value of Volvo road service/response with or without On Call is $0.

I am pleased to pay for something that has value. I think my imperfect FE has value. In my opinion On Call does not. It's an app that should cost under $10. It uses cell minutes to connect with existing sensors and capability in the SUV you have already paid for.

Please read the description of On Call very carefully before you shell out any money.

I saw one recommendation for an alternative and I hope others have additional options.
 

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Sounds like you have your mind pretty well made up - if the On Call service is not worth $0.36 a day to you, that's fine, don't renew. On Call's basic service of collision alert and SOS service are free for 10 years, so let's hope you never need them.

But if you read the page I linked to earlier, about half way down there's a giant icon with a shield and checkmark that says "Theft Alert" that indicates they do have the ability to immobilize a stolen vehicle.
 

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That's a good link and I know about the BMW services. If you buy a BMW comparable in cost to an XC 90 it will come with BMW Assist, excluding a few things such as Concierge services. BMW Assist is FREE for the first four years. They can't predict the renewal cost after four years because the service is new.

Interestingly, the app BMW offers does not allow distant start. It seems they think it is a bad idea to run the risk of having someone hack or come into possession of your phone and be able to start your XC90 without the key present. From what I know of technology, that makes sense to me.

An earlier post included a link to On Call. When I checked I could not find any mention of remotely immobilizing your vehicle. The site does say you can lock your SUV but that will not help much if there is someone inside. Fairly good GPS tracking is available for On Call, but you can get that very cheaply for a one time charge elsewhere.

I know for a fact after decades of Volvo ownership and hard lessons that Volvo service/response with or without On Call is not useful. If anything its usefulness has declined along with Volvo sales in recent years.

Volvo is a small car company and they do not have enough contracts with providers. There is no way they can match a giant company like GM, even BMW, and they do not. I have found as recently as late last year that AAA is always better. An AAA service is always close and there is always a quick response. The value of Volvo road service/response with or without On Call is $0.

I am pleased to pay for something that has value. In my opinion On Call does not. It's an app that should cost under $10. It uses cell minutes to connect with existing sensors and capability in the SUV you have already paid for.

Please read the description of On Call very carefully before you shell out any money.

I saw one recommendation for an alternative and I hope others have additional options.
Volvo could compete with the other companies but they would have to be shrewd in their methodology. Here in Detroit, we have a lot of app developers for big name companies. Obviously the Big 3 but places like Dominos and Little Caesars are local too, among other bigger names.

Not that ordering a pizza is akin to remotely (and consistently) locking and monitoring your car, but that there are some pretty smart app folks out there that are already doing things like this. They aren't employed by the auto companies but do this for their daily bread.

These companies do have call centers that interact directly with customers on a daily basis. There is no reason some well-thought out infrastructure couldn't be done for Volvo.

What we also have to understand is that what we see now may be phase 1 of a larger plan. I hate thinking that it might be this way but it's very possible that we are seeing an early rollout of an ever-changing service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sounds like you have your mind pretty well made up - if the On Call service is not worth $0.36 a day to you, that's fine, don't renew. On Call's basic service of collision alert and SOS service are free for 10 years, so let's hope you never need them.

But if you read the page I linked to earlier, about half way down there's a giant icon with a shield and checkmark that says "Theft Alert" that indicates they do have the ability to immobilize a stolen vehicle.
The collision alert and SOS service require a good car cell connection and a nearby provider to be useful. If the car cell is not working or out of range On Call moves from a zero to a negative because you are fooling yourself about how helpful it will be.

Get and post a listing from Volvo of the locations of providers before you make any claims that might mislead people. The best device for this particular SUV if you are wearing your seat belts is a cell phone, which will have a much better connection than the Volvo cell system.

Theft alert does not mean vehicle immobilization and if the thief uses your On Call start info to steal the car or if the cell service is not working, out of range or compromised the theft "alert" will not be activated.
 

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The collision alert and SOS service require a good car cell connection and a nearby provider to be useful. If the car cell is not working or out of range On Call moves from a zero to a negative because you are fooling yourself about how helpful it will be.

Get and post a listing from Volvo of the locations of providers before you make any claims that might mislead people. The best device for this particular SUV if you are wearing your seat belts is a cell phone, which will have a much better connection than the Volvo cell system.

Theft alert does not mean vehicle immobilization and if the thief uses your On Call start info to steal the car or if the cell service is not working, out of range or compromised the theft "alert" will not be activated.
I have no clue what you're talking about... From the Volvo page, again that I linked to earlier, it says:
Volvo On Call is alerted if there is a suspicious entry into your car. If it’s stolen, we’ll use your car’s GPS to find or immobilize it.
As to the system, I guess you know more than I do. But OnStar is not satellite based, it's a cell connection just like the Volvo. So if VOC won't work because you're literally outside of cell service (which is hard to do), then you're right, it won't work. But neither will your cellphone most likely. VOC will contact emergency services, as well, in the event of a collision. Are you saying that they won't/can't contact 911 in your area for you as they claim?

Your reasoning is very bizarre to me - I don't understand what you want and what the current system can't do for you than On Star could. It's basically the same system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I have no clue what you're talking about... From the Volvo page, again that I linked to earlier, it says:


As to the system, I guess you know more than I do. But OnStar is not satellite based, it's a cell connection just like the Volvo. So if VOC won't work because you're literally outside of cell service (which is hard to do), then you're right, it won't work. But neither will your cellphone most likely. VOC will contact emergency services, as well, in the event of a collision. Are you saying that they won't/can't contact 911 in your area for you as they claim?

Your reasoning is very bizarre to me - I don't understand what you want and what the current system can't do for you than On Star could. It's basically the same system.
If your car has been disconnected or compromised no cell based system will work. This is not a joy ride theft, and a system hack has tremendous potential for a problem in this SUV. As I understand it that is why BMW does not offer distant start on their app. Using information from a compromised app is one of the easiest ways to steal this vehicle. I would like to see more emphasis on anti hacking measures. Volvo can do things you can't. Anything Volvo or you can do with to your SUV a hacker can do as well and they just have to hack that one system, not every vehicle.

As for an accident -- I'll rely on my cell phone and not Volvo, even though the emergency services via the SOS button and automatic collision alert will continue to function without paying.

Perhaps Volvo will come up with a much more secure satellite based system.
 

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Perhaps Volvo will come up with a much more secure satellite based system.
While satellites may reach some areas where there is no cell service - satellites typically use microwave frequencies that won't get through when obstructed. SirusXM has terrestrial transmitters (on hilltops, tall buildings) that simulcast what is being sent via their satellite transmissions to help improve reception (especially in urban areas).

Satellite systems are also most often unidirectional: you can only receive transmissions from the satellite system. While there are satellite data up-link capabilities they are not cheap - and many require antennas be pointed in the direction of the satellite.

The satellite (as a transmission medium) wouldn't be any more or less secure than say an LTE connection. And one has to assume that the end-to-end communications are encrypted - and there's some level of authentication involved as well. It wouldn't make sense for Volvo to document or divulge any of this info though ... if they did it would only make it easier for someone to attempt to break into the system.

The most risky part of the whole system IMO is the app being installed on a mobile device that has not been secured. Though one thing I did notice was the VOC app prompted me for my VOC account's password when I attempted to unlock the doors - that's not a bad idea: certainly helps limit the ability for someone to gain access to a vehicle that is connected to a stolen phone.
 

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If your car has been disconnected or compromised no cell based system will work. This is not a joy ride theft, and a system hack has tremendous potential for a problem in this SUV. As I understand it that is why BMW does not offer distant start on their app. Using information from a compromised app is one of the easiest ways to steal this vehicle. I would like to see more emphasis on anti hacking measures. Volvo can do things you can't. Anything Volvo or you can do with to your SUV a hacker can do as well and they just have to hack that one system, not every vehicle.

As for an accident -- I'll rely on my cell phone and not Volvo, even though the emergency services via the SOS button and automatic collision alert will continue to function without paying.

Perhaps Volvo will come up with a much more secure satellite based system.
In fact, the Volvo On Call system is has a completely stand alone communication module with both external and internal cell antennas as well as it's own back up battery. Even if you remove the vehicle battery the Volvo on call module will still communicate with the outside world as long as there is a possibility of connecting with a cell signal. This is for safety and security, especially in a multiple impact accident which might result in loss of electrical power.
 

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After an interesting conversation with VCNA I am not going to pay for Volvo on Call. You get very little for your money in my opinion.

The mid-range OnStar plan looks pretty good, but I wonder if it is available for the XC 90, and if anyone has experience using in with a Volvo.

Thanks
Dude....Volvo On Call roadside assistance and emergency SOS service is FREE for 4 years....the SOS is actually free for 10 years.

The APP for remote start (along with vehicle tracking and a few other things) is the only service that costs money...but even THAT is free for 6 months.

I don't get what all of the fuss is about!!
 
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