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SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

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SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby jgaffney » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:11 pm

I'm sorry if this has already been posted. I did a search first.

SPOT emailed me back in June, but I didn't really pay attention to it until it hit my MaserCard bill yesterday. The SPOT annual fee went from $150/yr to $400/yr, plus a $30 "network access fee." So, basically, a 186% fee increase all at once.

I hike solo in the Sierras 3-4 times per year, for 3-4 nights each trip. At $150/yr, it was worth it to give my wife some peace of mind. I'd ping her when I got up, a couple of times during the day, when I got to my next destination, and before I went to bed - 4-5 times per day. It was reassuring to her to know that I wasn't dead, or gravely injured somewhere by myself.

I called SPOT Customer Service this morning, and got no help at all. I'm already on the Basic plan, so the only way to go is up.

Now that SPOT has gotten more expensive, I am considering alternatives. Since I only go out a couple of times per year for basically extended weekends, is a SatPhone cost competitive? Is there a Sat device where I can just text? What are other people using?



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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:22 pm

Yipes. That's ridiculous! did they give a reason?

Sat phones have become fairly reasonable to rent - might look into rent vs. buy. Or get an ACR, which has no subscription.
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby ogg » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:12 pm

Are you sure you didn't inadvertently sign up for extra services, or that SPOT might be billing you for extra services that you didn't sign up for? The basic plan is still advertised at $150 but additional services add costs on top of that.
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby bodell82 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:27 pm

The Delorme InReach might be what you're looking for. It's a Sat texting device. The monthly fee ranges from something like $35 to $100 depending on how many custom messages you want to send (preset messages and SAR communications are always free). I pay around $45 a month. They have a "freedom" plan where you can pause your service on a month-by-month basis, so if you only use it in the Sierra you could only have it activated from June to September and you'd pay under $200 a year. If you just sent preset messages like you do with the spot you could go even cheaper, but you'd still have the option of two-way text communication with your wife if needed. I love mine.
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby psykokid » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:34 am

I dont see how you're being billed for $400 for spot. Even adding Extreme Tracking ($49) to the now $199 basic fee only brings you up to $249. Are you adding Product Replacement and GEOS member upgrade? Even tacking those two on only bumps it up less than $40 bucks.

What version of the spot are you using? The only way I could see to get near to $400 is if you are using the older Spot Connect and add tick all the options. Even using the base service for that device I cant see how you're getting a bill that high.

That being said. I recently got a screaming deal on a Delorme Inreach Explorer and finally activated it. When driving back from Oregon last week I had both on the dash of my truck, with a good view of the sky, one at each side to help keep interference to a minimum. The Delorme recorded every 10 min location ping the entire way along the route to our destination. The Spot, not so much.. There were a couple of 40-50 min gaps between points. I've noticed this in the past with the spot that it would drop a tracking point or two. I get that deep forested canyons are not ideal conditions for satellite reception so that's to be expected. But on the dash of my truck with a clear view of the sky? Not acceptable. When my subscription is up at the end of they year I'll be cancelling the Spot. The Delorme is a little more expensive, on a month to month basis, but I can suspend the service for periods of time where I'm not taking a lot of trips where I'll need it. And the fact that it has two way messaging is icing on the cake..
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:09 pm

psykokid wrote:That being said. I recently got a screaming deal on a Delorme Inreach Explorer and finally activated it. When driving back from Oregon last week I had both on the dash of my truck, with a good view of the sky, one at each side to help keep interference to a minimum. The Delorme recorded every 10 min location ping the entire way along the route to our destination. The Spot, not so much.. There were a couple of 40-50 min gaps between points. I've noticed this in the past with the spot that it would drop a tracking point or two. I get that deep forested canyons are not ideal conditions for satellite reception so that's to be expected. But on the dash of my truck with a clear view of the sky? Not acceptable. When my subscription is up at the end of they year I'll be cancelling the Spot. The Delorme is a little more expensive, on a month to month basis, but I can suspend the service for periods of time where I'm not taking a lot of trips where I'll need it. And the fact that it has two way messaging is icing on the cake..


Psykokid,

Do you plan on getting the annual contract or the freedom plan? Which plan would you recommend?

Thanks,

-Russ
"...Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host and then a master?"

Kahil Gibran.
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby psykokid » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:30 pm

Vaca Russ wrote:Psykokid,

Do you plan on getting the annual contract or the freedom plan? Which plan would you recommend?

Thanks,

-Russ


Russ,

I signed up for the freedom plan. When I'm not using the Inreach in the off season I can suspend the service while still keeping the account alive. If a trip pops up in the off season where I think I'll need it I can turn it back on and it's ready to go.
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby rlown » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:39 am

Ok, I'm starting to feel old and responsible for others on the trip. Which Delorme InReach two way communication model is the best? If I pull the trigger, I would go with the freedom plan.

Not interested in the SPOT..

Edit: reviews seem to point to the explorer model. http://andrewskurka.com/2015/delorme-in ... -explorer/
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:23 pm

Ok, I'm starting to feel old and responsible for others on the trip.


You should Russ, and you are, your the one putting that trip together. :)
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Postby rlown » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:27 pm

It'll be fine. Just thinking about a safety net. Just thinking.. Still want to know which model would work best.

The Eiger Sanction didn't work out too well for the climbers, now, did it?
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