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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Vernon, B.C., Canada.
Interest: skiing, hiking, camping
Posts: 190
Default cost of spot messenger

I just got charged my yearly spot messenger fee. It came out to $297.00 canadian. Last year it was $197.00 canadian. Does anyone have any thoughts on a cheaper and reliable beacon. This is getting ridiculous.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:46 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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inReach. You can send and received texts as well. Further, you can suspend coverage during the year multiple times...
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Fun is where you make it...
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:38 PM
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If it's important to you to be able to have 2 way communication (sent/receive messages) then the inreach is really your only other option.

Only downside is the upfront cost of the device. $350-400 CAD.
Plans range from $20 to $50 a month, but you can suspend your subscription any time for $3.00 a month.

If 2 way communication is not important to you, and you are simply looking for a device for emergencies, look at a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).
MEC has the McMurdo Fast Find Ranger, or there is the ACR ResQlink as well, both around the $350-400 mark.

It's only able to be used as an emergency beacon in the event of a serious medical emergency though so there is no 2 way communication.
You have to register it with Gov't Canada as well (Free), and there are NO subscription costs.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Originally Posted by msulkers View Post
inReach. You can send and received texts as well. Further, you can suspend coverage during the year multiple times...
I must admit that InReach sounds interesting.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 12:55 PM
Scaling New Heights
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: , Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, camping, just being outside..
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I got rid of my SPOT for the same reason.....and it was slow sending out my location. Sometimes it wouldn't even do that.


Got myself a Delorme Explorer....2 way texting traffic anywhere, all the time. You can even update your Facebook it that appeals too you. I find it way better than the SPOT......way better. GPS, weather updates, texting, compass, etc..

Yes it is a tad expensive initially, but you will save in the long run.


http://www.inreachcanada.com/contrac...-canada-plans/


If your not using it, you can suspend your account: Suspending and unsuspending service:

After the initial 30-day term, you can suspend your plan at any time. The monthly fee while your plan is suspended is just $2.95 and there is no fee to unsuspend your plan. While the service is suspended the inReach device cannot transmit, however users retain access to their online account and historical data in the Explore web application.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes-1 View Post
I just got charged my yearly spot messenger fee. It came out to $297.00 canadian. Last year it was $197.00 canadian. Does anyone have any thoughts on a cheaper and reliable beacon. This is getting ridiculous.
Did you call them? The pricing on their website says $165USD per year.

I have a Spot now, it's OK for what it does but the monthly fees are a bit much. for me to upgrade the device would have to be light like the Spot is now, 2 way communication (text) and use the smartphone for the user interface, because I always have it along anyway. I think they are trying to pack too many features into the Inreach. Just keep it simple.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Originally Posted by martin View Post
Did you call them? The pricing on their website says $165USD per year.

I have a Spot now, it's OK for what it does but the monthly fees are a bit much. for me to upgrade the device would have to be light like the Spot is now, 2 way communication (text) and use the smartphone for the user interface, because I always have it along anyway. I think they are trying to pack too many features into the Inreach. Just keep it simple.
That's weird. I just checked and their rate was $199.00 U.S By the time they added a $15.00 surcharge and it got converted and my credit card took its 2.5 % cut it ended up being what I said previously. I e-mailed them and they replied as follows.

Thank you for contacting Spot Customer Relations.
We as a company avoided raising prices as long as possible, but in order to maintain our global network it was necessary. With the increased price does come the benefits of unlimited tracking to better serve our customers. Even with the exchange rate, that price breaks down into less than $25 per month which is a great value when you consider that it can truly be a life saving device. We apologize for the inconvenience.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 01:06 PM
Summit Master
 
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My apologies, you are correct, the pricing is 199 now! I guess this page I was looking at is outdated.
https://www.findmespot.ca/en/index.php?cid=103

So Spot = $200USD or 270CAD for year round.
Inreach Discover plan for 6 months, $35 x 6 = $210, plus put on hold for the other 6 months, $3 x 6 = $18,
$228CAD for a year if you use it for just half the year.

Off to the Spot site to change my credit card number so I don't get auto billed again...
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin View Post
My apologies, you are correct, the pricing is 199 now! I guess this page I was looking at is outdated.
https://www.findmespot.ca/en/index.php?cid=103

So Spot = $200USD or 270CAD for year round.
Inreach Discover plan for 6 months, $35 x 6 = $210, plus put on hold for the other 6 months, $3 x 6 = $18,
$228CAD for a year if you use it for just half the year.

Off to the Spot site to change my credit card number so I don't get auto billed again...
Not a bad idea but I have used the Spot many many times with the check in/ok and custom message and it has never ever failed me in 6 years and counting. As far as the VISA payment scenario in this case I use debit/Visa for payments particularly anything online. That way I can immediately call TD(in this case) tell em' I lost my card and go to the branch and be issued a replacement on the spot. Works like a dream!..........plus I sleep well knowing my card hasn't been compromised.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 03:10 AM
CEB
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I've had 3 different Spots: the original one, the Gen and also the Connect. I now have an InReach Explorer and I wanted to love it but it's definitely not perfect either unless you're ok with spending a load of money to use all the features.

My take on each of them is that pdomansky is correct, if you're only looking for a safety device in the (hopefully) unlikely event of an emergency than a Personal Locator Beacon is the best route. It's the "nifty" items that starts driving up the cost of the other devices especially for "somewhat" regular users (the weekend user). You can get 1 way texting with the Spot Connect whereas InReach offers more reliable 2 way texting, which was the reason I got mine. Tracking is crazy expensive on the InReach. I thought the other bonus with InReach is that I wouldn't need to carry my GPS anymore but, unless it's activated (not on account suspend), you can't use the unit to upload internal tracks to your online account so it's not all that useful as a stand alone GPS unit for people who track.

So, in short- there is no perfect unit out there still, you'd think that now that Garmin owns InReach there should be and I hope that will happen but, I think, for the cost of the unit you should certainly be able to have a working GPS Unit and a software program to upload to that isn't related to you being on a monthly plan.

Last edited by CEB; 06-23-2017 at 03:16 AM.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2017, 09:47 AM
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This was the straw that broke the camels back for me as well. When it came time for renewal this year, I just couldn't justify the cost, so I switched to the InReach SE (I have a nice GPS already so just got the most basic version) . Not only can you suspend the service for the months you're not using it, their subscriptions are priced in Canadian dollars so you don't get killed by the exchange rate. So far I've really been happy with the unit
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 04:17 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Location: Richmond, BC, Canada.
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At our school program we have just made the move from SPOT to inReach. We have been frustrated with SPOT coverage - 10% success rate in Tanzania despite being told they have coverage there. We didn't even take it to Chile because they don't have coverage in Patagonia. In the end the high yearly subscription rate didn't warrant keeping our SPOT any longer given value for money. I went to cancel our service with SPOT today and they refused to pro-rate a refund with a subscription with 9 months remaining. In this day and age that's very poor customer service. We made the right choice to leave SPOT.

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 07:07 PM
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If you use track points (not included in basic InReach = extra $$) and use the devise the entire year the InReach is more expensive but the two-way communication could be worth the extra $$.

People in our group use both Spot and InReach and tracking points and OK messages of both are occasionally delayed or lost - but haven't analyzed how often. Seems the Spot 'help' message (to friends) is more consistently transmitted than the 'OK'.

InReach includes altitude in the track points information which is a nice feature when in the air.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 11:18 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Regarding Spot reliability; we noticed that even if there are no low battery status lights or messages with the track points it helps to change batteries if a delay in transmission occurs.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 06:09 PM
CEB
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In terms of transmision wattage- can't recall where I read this but PLBs have the strongest power, than InReach, than Spot. I'm getting more used to my InReach and learning tricks but the Map is definitely not as viewer friendly as the Spot was but that' also due to the ability to upload routes on it as well, so gets confusing to your viewers when using the higher level features. Maybe i'll find settings that change that as i get more familiar with it.
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