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My wife and I purchased our Enclave last week off the dealer lot and love it so far. One of the things that I was not aware of at the time of purchase was that it does not come with built-in Bluetooth capabilities for hands-free calling through your existing cell phone. I think this feature is more or less becoming the norm these days, at least on higher-end vehicles (e.g. I believe recent models of the Acura MDX have it). This is quite annoying since it appears that the only reason this feature is not included (when almost every other conceivable feature is included) is to encourage people to continue with their OnStar subscbription where you have to purchase minutes for calls and use a separate number. I discovered through reading the OnStar literature that OnStar has a deal with Verizon so that Verizon customers can use the OnStar hands-free calling through their existing Verizon accounts (again at an additional charge) and use their existing cell phone numbers. My wife and I have cell phone accounts with Cingular/AT&T and therefore appear to be out of luck when it comes to using our existing accounts through OnStar. Does anyone have any additional information regarding this issue or know whether there are any plans to add Cingular or other cellular companies for access through OnStar? Or does Buick have plans to add Bluetooth capablities to its list of features/options? Obviously, the great look and features of the Enlave far outweigh this issue, but it is expecially frustrating since it seems so clearly aimed at requiring people to retain OnStar and thereby depriving their customers of a normal feature on other vehicles.
 

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this has been discussed in detail numerous times in previous threads... IMO, since att has taken over cingular they totally suck big time... drop calls, no call, etc.... i am switching anyway as soon as i get my enclave. there are plenty of aftermarket bluetooth options that you can purchase to fit in your car.... enjoy.
 

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MsS42 -
Thanks for your reply. I searched for previous threads on this issue but did not see any. AT&T/Cingular service is much better than Verizon in our area (Northern NJ) and has many more phone choices. I know there are aftermarket Bluetooth products available but it seems kind of ludicrous to pay for this feature after spending $40K+ for a vehicle when it is standard on less expensive cars. Also, unless you go with a device that is professionally installed, the aftermarket product will not automatically mute your radio/DVD when you make or receive a call.
 

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yeah,

im in southern california and ATT/Cingluar now has the worst service on the planet. I so cannot stand them. I am no longer tied to them under a contract and like I said just waiting on my enclave and will be making a change. I on the other hand prefer to use a headset in the car especially if the children are in the car w/me. I don't need them listening in on the conversation lol. i also try not to talk on phone and drive unless absolutely necessary.
 
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MsS42 said:
yeah,

im in southern california and ATT/Cingluar now has the worst service on the planet. I so cannot stand them. I am no longer tied to them under a contract and like I said just waiting on my enclave and will be making a change. I on the other hand prefer to use a headset in the car especially if the children are in the car w/me. I don't need them listening in on the conversation lol. i also try not to talk on phone and drive unless absolutely necessary.
i hope that is not the case here in virginia, i want to switch back to them to get the iphone

but i was thinking of getting an aftermarket bluetooth kit.
 

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dont switch they suck and if u think buick dealers customer service is bad, try dealing w/ATT...OMGGGGGGGGGGGGG
 

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Thunder...my neighbor has been in the cell phone business for EVER (he is a partner in several stores here and in So Cal) and I was talking to him today because I lost my phone and he is usually like "Pedro's cousins, you know, the ones with all the sweet hook ups..." Anyway, he pulled out his phone to make a reminder message to call me and it was not his new iPhone. I asked what happened and he said he cancelled his ATT contract - they were terrible. He has accounts with everyone and had blue tooth before I even knew what it was. He says he misses the iPhone a TON but does not miss ATT. He advised me not to switch from T-Mobile - best value for me. Anyway, I don't know if this helps at all but if he was willing to give up his iPhone because of ATT, it must have been bad.
 
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Mama2Girls said:
Thunder...my neighbor has been in the cell phone business for EVER (he is a partner in several stores here and in So Cal) and I was talking to him today because I lost my phone and he is usually like "Pedro's cousins, you know, the ones with all the sweet hook ups..." Anyway, he pulled out his phone to make a reminder message to call me and it was not his new iPhone. I asked what happened and he said he cancelled his ATT contract - they were terrible. He has accounts with everyone and had blue tooth before I even knew what it was. He says he misses the iPhone a TON but does not miss ATT. He advised me not to switch from T-Mobile - best value for me. Anyway, I don't know if this helps at all but if he was willing to give up his iPhone because of ATT, it must have been bad.
il say thanks for the heads up, i had cingular when they were cingulars all over network and they were great, best, clearest, and least dropped calls ever but from what i am hearing that ins o more.
 

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Even with the Verizon plan you don't get to use your current number... your Enclave has a separate phone number and all the Verizon plan does is allow both your cell phone and car phone minutes to be combined on one bill, and for minutes to be shared between them. Really no different than any other family plan, except that it allows you to add you Enclave phone number.

IMO, GM is at least 10 years behind here, as that is what I remember from the mid-90's... a permanent "car-phone" that had its own number and was hardwired into the car. Many of those had "hands-free" microphones/systems as well. I don't see how the phone part of OnStar is any different. To be honest, this started in the late 80's with car-phones and bag-phones permanently installed in vehicles. This is a HUGE step backwards for anyone used to having one cell phone number where they can always be reached, especially if they have tasted bluetooth in any other vehicle.

The only solution, sadly, is an aftermarket kit. I'm begging someone smart, like coastalEtech, to do it right and make an aftermarket kit that really integrates well into the factory electronics.
 

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Rollin Thunder said:
il say thanks for the heads up, i had cingular when they were cingulars all over network and they were great, best, clearest, and least dropped calls ever but from what i am hearing that ins o more.
this is exactly right.... i was w/them when they were pacific bell in the 80's, service was great, then they became cingular, service still great. NOW THEY ARE AT&T W/THE WORST SERVICE IN THE WORLD FROM DROP CALLS TO NO CALLS AT ALL. not to mention their customer service reps are rude and insensitive. My phone bill was due on the 11th, which this particular time was a sunday, i had called my niece @ around 6pm, i tried to call her again around 8pm and i got the dreaded message, your service has been temporarily suspended. i could have fell on the floor. I could not believe they turned off my phone the same day that the bill was due, unbelievable. even w/all these thousands of roll over minutes i have i am still getting rid of them.

Thunder, you can purchase an iphone w/o having the lousy service.... AT&T SUCKS I TELL YA.... THEY REALLY DO.
 

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In my area of the country, ATT/Cingular service is terrific... without doubt the best carrier available. They were in fact worse when it was just Cingular, and now that ATT has taken over improvements to the network have been made and we have fewer dropped calls. About the only complaints now are calls dropped when changing towers, which occurs much less frequently than in past years.

Verizon in this area has practically no coverage... they aren't even an option.
 

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I live in Northern NJ. My Verizon service seems to be great, I do not even remember last time I had a dropped call.

Since I do not have a landline, I use my cell phone (which is not a great one) all the time. Updating the service area (*228) on a monthly basis helps a bit as well...
 

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I've been reading this thread about cell phone companies and Bluetooth, and I'm a little ignorant about Bluetooth. Can someone give me a little education about how Bluetooth works? Is that the deal you have to wear on your ear all the time? I don't think I would like having to wear that thing ... Our family uses Verizon (family share plan), and it sounds like we will be able to make calls using our Verizon account through the Onstar .. Would this be better than buying a bluetooth aftermarket kit? It will be illegal in Wa State after the first of the year to drive while talking on the cell phone (unless it's hands free).
 

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waitingsince 8-10 said:
I've been reading this thread about cell phone companies and Bluetooth, and I'm a little ignorant about Bluetooth. Can someone give me a little education about how Bluetooth works? Is that the deal you have to wear on your ear all the time? I don't think I would like having to wear that thing ... Our family uses Verizon (family share plan), and it sounds like we will be able to make calls using our Verizon account through the Onstar .. Would this be better than buying a bluetooth aftermarket kit? It will be illegal in Wa State after the first of the year to drive while talking on the cell phone (unless it's hands free).
Bluetooth is a technology for wireless communication for short distances (30 ft or so) versus WiFi 802.11 which is for longer range (way more than 30 feet). Bluetooth is perfect for many applications like wireless mice and keyboards, key fobs, and telephone communication (data and voice).

The question for you is.. when you want to talk on OnStar using their hands free interface, do you want everyone in the car to have to listen to your caller? With a bluetooth headset the voice of the caller will only be heard through the headphone ear piece -- not the entire car stereo like with OnStar.

If your personal situation does not make the choice obvious, you can always do both. Call out using your Verizon phone and ear piece. Don't forward your phone to OnStar if you want to use the ear piece because you have passengers on the trip. In any case, with your Verizon plan at least you can be comforted knowing that your cost for the minutes is the same whether using your handset or OnStar!

One key thing is to not give out your OnStar number -- this gives you the power to decide if you want calls to come to your handset (with or without bluetooth ear piece), or OnStar (by forwarding the calls to your car phone number)
 
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HOW BLUETOOTH WORKS. RT+BB VERSION


***DISCLAMER***

THIS IS RT+BB



ok insted on having the thing in your ear that makes you look like your talking to your self, you set the phone in the car, i usally put it in the cup holder, and it links to the car, you can voice dial, receive calls through the bluetooth thing in the dash much like onstar except you can use any phone with bluetooth. not just buying mins on onstar.
 

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Rollin Thunder + Black Bandit said:
HOW BLUETOOTH WORKS. RT+BB VERSION


***DISCLAMER***

THIS IS RT+BB



ok insted on having the thing in your ear that makes you look like your talking to your self, you set the phone in the car, i usally put it in the cup holder, and it links to the car, you can voice dial, receive calls through the bluetooth thing in the dash much like onstar except you can use any phone with bluetooth. not just buying mins on onstar.
The aftermarket kits allow you to turn the car into Your phone (not OnStar's).

Advantages:
  • No OnStar fees for phone minutes.
  • Cool factor.
Disadvantages:
  • You better be comfortable with activating and deactivating advanced features on your phone
  • Phone battery drains faster with Bluetooth engaged (leave it plugged in..?).
  • You will be tempted to drop OnStar (possibly leading to missing out on some cool features)
  • Installing the device could lead to damage to the plastic cover for the radios, and damage to the radio if you drop it. You will have to remove the radio cover and uninstall the device if your radio works (never let GM service mgr see you modified the radio -- he/she will blame your modification for any problems and void your warranty.
  • OnStar provides voice recognition to make calls very easily. This feature may cost extra or not be supported on your handset.
 

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waitingsince 8-10 said:
claveman, sounds like you prefer the kit -- which one do you recommend?
I have used Bluetooth with my old Nokia to connect my computer to the web and also drive my bluetooth ear piece. I tried two ear pieces and neither worked well for (had to be within 12 inches of the phone for the ear piece to work without buzzing). My bad experieces with Bluetooth ear pieces have lead me to not use bluetooth when making calls. Doesn't mean it won't work..

My plan is to switch to Verizon and get my wife a Verizon phone (takes two lines to make the Verizon/OnStar plan work). I will add my new $40,000 phone (otherwise known as a Buick Enclave) to the Verizon plan (so I can share minutes between my wifes phone and the car). For myself, an Apple Computer nut, I will buy an iPhone.

As I walk to my car I will forward my iPhone calls to the Enclave OnStar number. This way I don't need to dial the iPhone (you can't dial an iPhone and drive at the same time -- you have to take your hand off the wheel and your eyes off the road -- not good). It will be heaven. Hands free calling over the stereo with a well placed microphone and voice activated dialing. When I reach my destination I will un-forward the iPhone and go on my merry way. Since no one will get my OnStar number, I will know I won't miss a call.

I do have one issue.. If I am talking on OnStar to someone and another call comes in -- where does it go? Does OnStar have voicemail (the brochure doesn't mention any kind of voicemail feature).
 

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waitingsince8-10,

I have an aftermarket bluetooth set-up, which is simple to use. It is a motoral model and is NOT wired into my radio, but rather independent of any radio or speakers. It has it's own speaker mounted under the dash and is very easy to hear. In an inconspicuous place on the dash is mounted the controls to accept/place calls, or end them and volumne control. That unit is lighted for easy reading in the evening. With my bluetooth phone, I can either voice call or use my cell phone to speed dial (I use the cell speed dial method as is quicker than the voice activation). I also have a small magnet mounted on the dash and the back of my cell phone to "hang" it on the dash so I can be completely hands free while driving. Cost plus installation in the midwest was about $400.

I have never activated my onstar and won't be doing so as I think it is pretty much a useless feature from GM.

I have done this on two different vehicles and really am satisfied with it. Note, it is not installed in my Enclave (my wife's car and she doesn't want it), but I do have it on my Ridgeline and really LOVE IT!

Good luck
 
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