"Forced" Subscription Service on New Cars

And this is why I’ll keep buying older cars from now on…No thanks, GM.


I won’t buy GM for many reasons… this is just one more!


Somebody show me a $500 per year subscription that offers you LESS for your money!


Glad I’m not alone in this perspective.

I don’t want my car connected to the internet. And I don’t want to have to “subscribe” to any features after the purchase of the car, especially to “unlock” functionality already built into the car. Didn’t I “buy” that functionality when I signed and drove the car off the lot?

And stay off my lawn, you kids! :smile:


Glad it was an option not to sign up when we got ours. There was a post recently about need a subscription for heated seats to work. Wave of the future unfortunately I think.


Unfortunately companies have figured out that these subscriptions are the gift that keeps on giving. First it started out with software, then it went farther. People thought they were saving money by getting rid of cable. Nope! They no have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN, and the list goes on and on. So you are now spending MORE. Now it is spreading to cars.

I think this has really gotten out of hand and the only way to stop it is to stop buying such products and services. I setup a basic printer for someone the other day. It required you created an account so they can monitor the printer in the cloud. The big goal of this is to sell you ink automatically. You can set this up without a linked credit card but now you get e-mails when your ink is getting low and suggestions to sign up for the subscription where it is sent to you automatically. Some people like this because it is convenient and they don’t have to remember. The manufacturer knows when the ink is getting low and just sends them a new one and charges them.

I may be a tech guy but not everything has to be WIFI connected to the world. I wonder if you can avoid some of this on newer cars by picking the “stripper” models. I haven’t looked since all the chip shortages but that might actually help get rid of some of this nonsense.


I’ve still got on star. I got it free at first then I think it is $23 a month. I got an e mail saying in January the are off the 2g network so the buttons in the car won’t work anymore. So they will reduce the cost to $15 if I put their app on my phone. I guess I’ll just forget it.

I don’t know why I kept it, just nice to be able to call to unlock the doors. I’ve never used it except for a couple check engine lights and the guy could tell me what was wrong. I get monthly reports on my tire inflation and oil changes, but I know that anyway. I have motor club anyway. I know they track me and probably listen in but I just haven’t bothered to cancel.

So I’ll just have to get off my butt and figure out what account is paying for it, what my password is that I can’t recall, and save the $15. In these days it’ll cover a few gallons of gas. I think a good portion of the current customers will do the same, so maybe some of the folks will need to take a class in coding.

I guess my question is who will they send all my tracking data to?

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It’s the no-option option … lol … good ideas above , when a company offers a product you don’t want, don’t buy it.

Reminds me of the writer Maya Angelou, who said " When somebody shows you who they are, believe them".

It seems the whole idea from corporate America, the whole car will become just a big subscription service. You won’t own anything at all, not even the vehicle, a big monthly fee in the mail for personal transportation, indefinitely. A lot of folks will actually prefer it that way, they’d rather focus their time on analyzing their P & L statement and not worry about their cars.


One of my friends ended up buying a new car with like 3 or 5 years of Onstar for free. Basically they were on the fence about buying and the car wasn’t exactly what they wanted. The dealer threw in a bunch of free stuff to sweeten the deal. I guess this was the premium package with unlimited high speed internet hotspot service so they say they are keeping the car until this all expires and then will trade it in as it isn’t exactly what they wanted.

I guess using stuff like this can be a selling point. Many cars come with 3 or 6 months of free satellite radio which is just another subscription.

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If there is a significant reduction in sales of the models requiring the OnStar subscription, GM will rethink their position. $1500 isn’t a lot extra on a $75,000 Escalade. It will be more interesting to see how it affects Buick sales.


A pretty low life stunt IMO. What I would do in that position would be to tell the dealer fine, the 1500 subscription stays but 1500 is coming off somewhere else and this deal is going to exclude all charges for paint/fabric/windshield wiper protectant services or I walk.


It won’t be long until we see people selling a 5 year old BMW or Caddy that has been “jailbroken” to have the heated seats option activated but not need a subscription for like we see with cell phones and such.


Yeah, pretty much any minor function on a car which could be made to work by ordering up the subscription could be hacked to work. Eventually the hack would be discovered and distributed on the internet.

Before cable tv where I lived in Colorado somebody introduced a single over the air channel on a frequency that tv sets couldn’t receive. R-rated movies finally available for home viewing with special antenna & equipment for a monthly fee. It took maybe 3 months before the hack was discovered, and known throughout the technical community. Hack required nothing much more than a tin can and circuit board.

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The old days of the simple analog hacks were wonderful. Now we have encryption and all types of other things to break, all while worrying about breaking something else.

Provided you are not tampering with software you do not own. I remember the days when a reward was offered by ms or someone to report the use of pirated software. I bought a computer from a guy that had put software licensed to Dow. How was I to know? But my new guy wouldn’t work on it so threw it away.

I can envision the same thing happening if the car goes in the shop or dealer where they may be forced to refuse service. Just like tampering with emissions.

I don’t like paying for stuff either I don’t want but in the end, the bottom line price is the bottom line. You either have a deal or you don’t. Doesn’t really matter what the line items say. Just like a hospital bill.

Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers won’t go for car subscription services (at least in large numbers) but Millenials and Gen Z, who have grown up with subscription based services like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. will not even flinch. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes normalized in all aspects of life. Subscription based selling is highly distilled, pure capitalism.


You’re probably right. But I hope not.

I guess spending $40000 plus for a new vehicle isnt good enough for their profits anymore .

$40K will buy you half a car these days!!! LOL

My wife leased her new car in June and the price was $24,000 including $3,000 additional dealer markup.