Ricky Ford

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I recently purchased a brand new 2013 Chevrolet Equinox that came with OnStar equipped. Upon learning that you can download an OnStar app to your smartphone and start/stop the car as well as lock/unlock the doors, I immediately "geeked out". After download and installing the app to my Samsung Galaxy Nexus equipped with Android 4.2.2, I was greeted with a "Never updated from Equinox" message at the top of the screen. I thought this to not be much of a big deal and clicked the button to update it only to be greeted with an error that said the following:

Unable to refresh data.
Unable to perform request. Please try again. (901)

I uninstalled the app, re-installed, and entered my account information into the app all over again only to continuously get the same exact error message. I was disheartened and had no other option but to call OnStar's mobile support division.

To say that they were helpful the first three times I called is an overstatement. I was connected with three very nice people, however. They informed me that they wouldn't be able to help with the issue other than telling me to uninstall the app and to re-install it and reboot my phone. I informed them I had tried this multiple times and it didn't help. They all informed me that they would need to escalate my case to a tech supervisor and they would call me back when they figured out the problem.

I waited for three weeks and never got a single phone call back from OnStar. I tried again today, and low and behold, I was greeted with the exact same error message I'd been getting for weeks. Deciding that I'd had enough of waiting, I called them back again today. After being connected to the first representative, she told me I wouldn't ever be able to use the app from my home because I wasn't close enough to the border of Texas (where the signal is strong, apparently at my house the signal was too weak, even though I'm 2 miles from the border of New Mexico and Texas). I informed her that there is no possible way that could be true as I was teetering on the edge of New Mexico and Texas; I had also driven in to Texas twice since having the car and still was unable to pull up the car's information with the OnStar app.

After she placed me on hold and got a tech supervisor on the phone, I figured I would get the same run-around as before and I would have to live with the fact that I would never be able to use the OnStar Remote app.

After about twenty minutes of being on hold the tech supervisor came back on the line and told me she found what the issue was. Apparently my car did not have a mobile number assigned to it, so therefore, I was unable to communicate with the OnStar services (either through the website or through the mobile app). She assured me that I'd be able to use the remote app once the mobile number was registered and assigned to my vehicle, which takes up to 72 hours.

That was about five hours ago. I loaded up the OnStar remote app about ten minutes ago and after a wait of three weeks, I was finally able to view all of my vehicle diagnostics within the OnStar RemoteLink app. Starting and stopping the car as well as locking and unlocking the doors were now able to be sent from my phone to the vehicle and it worked without any issues.

In conclusion, if anyone out there ever has this issue and can't seem to get it fixed by calling OnStar, be sure you ask them to verify you have a mobile number assigned to your vehicle. Even though it was supposed to take 72 hours, it took a maximum of five for me today.

Posted on June 12th, 2013 by Ricky Ford in Technology.

Updated on October 10th, 2018 at 12:00 AM.


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