SPOT Messenger GPS 60% fee increase


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Messages 1 - 10 of total 10 in this topic

Mountain climber
Clackamas, Oregon
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 3, 2016 - 12:54pm PT
For the last four or five years I've paid the annual fee of $99.99 to have the ability to send my family an "OK" message while in the backcountry, along with the ability to summon help in the event of a catastrophe. SPOT just notified me that my price is bumping up to $159.98/year (including the new Network Maintenance Fee of $9.99). Essentially what's happening is that I'm being forced into adding their tracking feature (which I don't need) at $50 plus a general fee increase of $10. I'm chocking on the concept of a 60% rate increase for a product that is notoriously glitchy. Are their cheaper alternatives to $160/year for SPOT Messenger?

The Good Places
Apr 3, 2016 - 12:58pm PT
bogus as f*#k

bump for a better device...
christoph benells

Trad climber
Tahoma, Ca
Apr 3, 2016 - 01:03pm PT
Those delorme in reach's are pretty sweet, not sure the price of those bad boys, but the ability to send and receive text messages anywhere is nice.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 3, 2016 - 01:04pm PT
my ACR has NO YEARLY FEE AND has a transmitter three times as powerful.
I don't go to the boondocks to send texts so I couldn't care less about that.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Apr 3, 2016 - 01:33pm PT
DeLorme InReach is terrific. Inexpensive, flexible. Recommended.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Apr 3, 2016 - 02:02pm PT
ACR Resqlink, you buy it and are done paying. Do not plan on calling for a rescue deep in a canyon with a Spot.

You can send a limited number of test signals which can be used as an "Okay" message during the 5 year life of the battery with an ACR for a small fee, 12 messages I think. I do not do it.

A ranger in the Grand Canyon I know told me previously that she hates beacons, too many false signals. However the other day she told me that a guy fell on the N. Kaibab trail this winter and laid there for two days with a broken leg. NPS found him near death, a good beacon would have gotten him rescued within a couple of hours.

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Apr 3, 2016 - 03:33pm PT
I have the Delorme inReach Explorer, which has the added GPS functions. I pay $25/mo. and take it on all of my trips, whether in the backcountry, car trips, or on the motorcycle. Plus, inReach is on the Iridium network, which is worldwide, whereas the SPOT is on the Globalstar network, which is North America only, FWIR.

My plans often change due to a variety of variables, so it is nice that I can text my family or some friends if I change plans. I'm not out there texting all of the time. I just shoot off a few texts when we reach camp, summit, car, etc. My family sleeps much better at night and I don't get hassled as much when I go out solo.

Trad climber
Berkeley CA
Apr 3, 2016 - 08:00pm PT
I've gotten free tracking from spot by finding codes online twice (Annual fee plus tracking for $100 per year).
I've also cancelled their service via email and was immediately offered a 50% discount to renew.

The sticker price is not the actual price.
But the service truly does suck.

I only got it for the tracking which never worked all that well.
My SPOT is a generation 2, it burns through batteries for no reason and would drop out for hours to days at a time on the JMT. I've heard the gen3 is better but I won't be renewing my service. I will probably switch to Delorme even though it is heavier and bulkier, at least they work. If you just need a help button the Resqlink may be the better way to go.
christoph benells

Trad climber
Tahoma, Ca
Apr 3, 2016 - 08:10pm PT
I think texting is absolutely worth it.

If sh#t really hits the fan you can give detailed info on location, what gear you have, injuries, etc.

And you can text your girlfriend smiley faces when you get lonely

Ice climber
Golden, CO
Apr 4, 2016 - 02:22pm PT
It took me a while to come around, but I've used SPOT and DeLorme devices on expeditions to remote locations throughout the world (the Satellite network of Globalstar does extend beyond the scope of CONUS).

I did indeed hear about the price hike. I use my Gen3 SPOT tracker weekly, and after talking with Customer Service at Globalstar/SPOT, I was informed that all SPOT messengers require at minimum the same basic service plan option as the SPOT Gen3 has had since it came out.

Although I see the benefits in complex messaging capabilities found in some other products for arranging transportation in remote areas or getting weather updates, I know on-route, or on a long mountain run I prefer the simplicity that the SPOT Gen3 offers me. It's the simplicity that gives me no reason to leave it behind. I'd rather know my family can check-in to see where I am, and what my path has been...rather than expect a detailed message or custom verbal/text check-in. I still have the feeling of being removed from the grid, without losing the safety tether of the SPOT.

I'm sure we'll see some pretty cool stuff come from all companies as the technology continues to advance, but for now I'm pretty happy with my SPOT Gen3.

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