BWCA Garmin Freedom Plan 40% annual fee increase Boundary Waters Gear Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Gear Forum
      Garmin Freedom Plan 40% annual fee increase     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

HangLoose
distinguished member(864)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/04/2020 03:23PM  
Just a heads up because I know many on this forum use the InReach and InReach Mini and many others may be in the market for one. Garmin is increasing their Freedom Plan annual fee by 40% beginning Jan 2021. Instead of $24.95 per year in addition to the monthly fee, it will now be $34.95 per year in addition to the monthly fee for the Freedom Plan. Their website does NOT reflect that change.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
tonyyarusso
distinguished member(1403)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/04/2020 04:29PM  
GROSS. This is such a BS fee in the first place - paying for literally no services. What a great scam.
 
alpinebrule
distinguished member (269)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/04/2020 06:14PM  
If accurate not great news, but a couple of questions and comments.
What is the source of your information of the increase if not on the web site?
Second, without knowing the cost associated with the provision of the Freedom Plan a statement that the annual fee is a "scam" is merely an unsupported opinion. I do not know for a fact but I suspect that there are costs associated with the offering of this option. Several costs/reasons I could posit are; general increase in business overhead, access to sufficient satellite spectrum to cover anticipate usage regardless of actual subscriptions, higher than anticipated support costs from users taking advantage of what I think is a good option for occasional users, a business decision, again for a variety of reasons, to dissuade users from the option.
 
OMGitsKa
distinguished member (231)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/04/2020 07:33PM  
Is there a base fee needed for the annual plan? This would almost make it more worthwhile just to have the yearly subscription then if not.
 
TipsyPaddler
distinguished member (311)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/04/2020 07:45PM  
alpinebrule: "If accurate not great news, but a couple of questions and comments.
What is the source of your information of the increase if not on the web site?
Second, without knowing the cost associated with the provision of the Freedom Plan a statement that the annual fee is a "scam" is merely an unsupported opinion.
"


I received the same email today. On my weekend “to do” list is to find my scheduled renewal date, read the new program’s fine print and do a little cost-benefit analysis. I don’t use it for navigation and my contacts are all on my connected iphone so not sure enough benefit for a $35 annual sub on top of the fees for 10-15 days of active use 2-3 months per year. Might be better to set up a new account each year...
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14164)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/04/2020 08:14PM  
Garmin subscription prices
Here is the link to the current prices for the different plans.

 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1834)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/04/2020 08:20PM  
I received an email from them also. You don't have to pay the $34.95 fee, you can sign up for an annual plan. This is a convenience fee that allows you to only pay for service a month at a time whenever you desire. To put it in perspective, for $10.00 you would be hard pressed to buy breakfast, lunch, or a couple cups of coffee. It's not that big of a deal. They haven't had a price increase for at least 5 years.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14164)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/04/2020 08:22PM  
tonyyarusso: "GROSS. This is such a BS fee in the first place - paying for literally no services. What a great scam."


What are you basing this statement on? Why is it a great scam? They offer a service, people use the service, people pay for the service. I think you don’t understand what this unit does. It’s primarily a satellite communication device, also with a SOS button to call for a rescue.

It’s similar to a cell phone. A cell phone would be useless to me unless I get a service plan. My cell phone needs to have an expensive plan added to it to text when I travel to other countries. InReach has 40 free a month.

I went to places camping this year where there is no cell service. A InReach let’s me communicate with family members with text messages and emails. I usually max out the 40 a month. The people at home can also track me to see where I am.

Then there is weather forecasts I can get. That is so helpful on travel days in the BWCA.

The Annual plan had an increase in cost last July. It went from $17.95 to $24.95. The coverage for the Garmin InReach unit is from another company called GEOS. This company has not had a rate increase for 16 years!

As to your literally no service statement, they have supported rescues in 140 countries saving many lives. Since Garmin has used GEOS they have had over 5000 SOS rescue activations. Sounds like someone is getting (service) to me.
 
scottiebaldwin
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/04/2020 09:54PM  
Guys! Just rent a Garmin from Piragis or any outfitter when you are on a trip. It’s way cheaper and you’re covered in the event of an emergency or an evac should you need one. As for those of you who need to text home and are insistent to keep in touch while in the BWCA, no offense, but you might have some soul searching to do to find out why you’re up there in the first place. Jeez.
 
12/04/2020 10:06PM  
Here's what the pricing looks like with the new increase, assuming you stay within the limits of each plan:
 
WIMike
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/04/2020 10:38PM  
scottiebaldwin: "Guys! Just rent a Garmin from Piragis or any outfitter when you are on a trip. It’s way cheaper and you’re covered in the event of an emergency or an evac should you need one. As for those of you who need to text home and are insistent to keep in touch while in the BWCA, no offense, but you might have some soul searching to do to find out why you’re up there in the first place. Jeez."
Many of us use the Inreach for more than just BWCA trips. And what's wrong with sending a text home to let loved ones know that you're OK? I've searched my soul and found that keeping my wife updated means she's more comfortable with my adventuring and I'm able to enjoy myself more knowing that she's not worried about me.
 
tonyyarusso
distinguished member(1403)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/04/2020 11:20PM  
Savage Voyageur: "What are you basing this statement on? Why is it a great scam?"
This fee is charged for when your device is *disabled*. It covers time when you are NOT able to send any communications and not able to get a rescue. You pay separately for those services, and THAT part is fine.
 
12/05/2020 12:03AM  
Am I happy about a rate increase...of course not! Do I think it is unreasonable? I’d say it depends on your personal needs or circumstances...for me no...for some...maybe?

T
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14164)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/05/2020 12:20AM  
Garmin increased all the rates. It’s not just the freedom plan, it all the plans. I have the annual plan and that too was increased. It was the first rate increase from GEOS in 16 years! Garmin used to have 4 service level plans, now 3. Plans change, rates change.
 
12/05/2020 08:59AM  
I do not use a satellite communication plan, but have to ask.
When was the last price increase? Does this preclude the use of this communicator for you?

Did not notice much complaining when camping fees, reservation costs, went up.
The sat com plans and also devices are not required, and have only existed for the last 20 years or less. The cost of reservations and fees keeps going up, that is a essential cost increase but few complained.
Delorme/Garmin and other "big evil companies" developed the technology, marketed the hardware and provide a service that was driven by customer (that would be you the users) demand.

butthead
 
scottiebaldwin
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/05/2020 09:49AM  
WIMike: "scottiebaldwin: "Guys! Just rent a Garmin from Piragis or any outfitter when you are on a trip. It’s way cheaper and you’re covered in the event of an emergency or an evac should you need one. As for those of you who need to text home and are insistent to keep in touch while in the BWCA, no offense, but you might have some soul searching to do to find out why you’re up there in the first place. Jeez."


Many of us use the Inreach for more than just BWCA trips. And what's wrong with sending a text home to let loved ones know that you're OK? I've searched my soul and found
that keeping my wife updated means she's more comfortable with my adventuring and I'm able to enjoy myself more knowing that she's not worried about me. "


All good reasons, WIMike. That makes total sense. It seems logical if someone uses the service for more than the BWCA that it may make sense to get a subscription, etc. I would only use it on trips into the Boundary Waters so my perspective is skewed. It’s nice that some outfitters offer a daily rental though as it’s inconceivable to imagine what a solo tripper would do if they got badly hurt. A rental of a unit from an outfitter seems to have served that guy well last month who got caught in the ice storm and was rescued from Nina Moose within hours of his death. Hey, if someone uses it enough and can afford it, it seems like a subscription sounds like the way to go.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14164)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/05/2020 09:56AM  
butthead: "I do not use a satellite communication plan, but have to ask.
When was the last price increase? butthead"

As I posted above, GEOS has not had a price increase since 2004. I got this information in the email they sent me about a price increase.
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(2134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/05/2020 10:36AM  
scottiebaldwin: "As for those of you who need to text home and are insistent to keep in touch while in the BWCA, no offense, but you might have some soul searching to do to find out why you’re up there in the first place. Jeez."

Ah yes, gatekeeping how I enjoy my vacation.
 
schweady
distinguished member(7845)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
12/05/2020 02:45PM  
geotramper: "
Here's what the pricing looks like with the new increase, assuming you stay within the limits of each plan."




Nice, simple graph. I’m just here to put some numbers to the lines:

Annual Plans (dashed, zero slope)
Safety -- $11.95/mo x 12 mo + $19.95 activation fee = $163.35
Recreation -- $24.95/mo x 12 mo + $19.95 activation fee = $319.35
Expedition -- $49.95/mo x 12 mo + $19.95 activation fee = $619.35

Freedom Plans (solid, positive slope)
Safety -- $14.95/mo + $34.95 annual fee = $49.90 for 1 active month
up to $214.35 for 12 active months
Recreation -- $34.95/mo + $34.95 annual fee = $69.90 for 1 active month
up to $454.35 for 12 active months
Expedition -- $64.95/mo + $34.95 annual fee = $99.90 for 1 active month
up to $814.35 for 12 active months
 
Ohiopikeman
distinguished member (137)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/05/2020 03:39PM  
Schweady & Geotramper,

Very nice graph and cost breakdown. I copied this for future reference.

I purchased an InReach in 2018 for a trip to Alaska. I signed up for the Freedom Expedition plan and only needed to have the plan/device activated for one month to cover the trip. The unlimited texts were great for the 4,000 mile road-trip to Alaska as cell phone coverage gets quite sketchy outside of the cities in Canada. The weather reports and unlimited texts were both extremely valuable for our canoe trip down a remote interior river. We were able to successfully communicate with our float plane pilot and modify our pick-up location. When weather caused a delay in our pilot leaving Anchorage, he was able to communicate with us about the timing. All of this for under $100 is an amazing deal!

I've used the InReach three times since for trips to the BWCA. It has been handy for the weather reports. It was also useful this year and we had friends meeting use in the park after we had already been camping for a week. They were delayed so communication was helpful.

In my opinion, the communication benefits and safety benefits of taking this device are a steal even for guys like me that use the devise only once or twice a year. I just turn the subscription on for a month, then turn it off when the trip is over.
 
Gaidin53
distinguished member (360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/05/2020 04:30PM  
I just signed up in November for a yearly annual plan on my first device. Just got a 66i. I don’t want the price to go through the roof but I will use it or have it with for other things I do. Obviously canoe trips. This winter I’ll have it with for snowmobiling. We snowmobile up near Baudette Lake of the woods and some of the areas in the state forest don’t have cell service. If we have an accident, or major issue I’ll have this with so I know I can get some help. Lake of the Woods is big water and I fish that a lot in the summer even Canadian portions(when border is open). All of these situations for me are situations to have it with.

Mind you my boat has a kicker motor so if main goes down I Can limp back in. We snowmobile with 2 or more sleds. If one sled breaks down it’s a hassle not an emergency. Goal is to never ever ever need to push that button!!!! Knowing I can when needed means a lot to me. Especially with the ability to message. Also the ability to get weather forecasts will help me out immensely on canoe trips where big water crossings and concerns of winds will help planning moves needed a day or two in advance.

That being said hopefully they keep the pricing reasonable!

Ryan
 
TipsyPaddler
distinguished member (311)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/06/2020 07:29AM  
geotramper: "Here's what the pricing looks like with the new increase, assuming you stay within the limits of each plan: "

Thank you for building the graph, very helpful.

I assume the bottom axis is in months, correct?
 
12/06/2020 11:38AM  
TipsyPaddler: "geotramper: "Here's what the pricing looks like with the new increase, assuming you stay within the limits of each plan: "


Thank you for building the graph, very helpful.


I assume the bottom axis is in months, correct?"


Yes, months.
 
12/06/2020 02:03PM  
Do not like the increase? Do not use the product. Also, how about not judging those who do.
 
Nigal
distinguished member (218)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/06/2020 04:15PM  
tonyyarusso: "GROSS. This is such a BS fee in the first place - paying for literally no services. What a great scam."

Yeah I thought the more people that use a service the cheaper it would become.
 
mgraber
distinguished member(1305)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/08/2020 12:29PM  
scottiebaldwin: "Guys! Just rent a Garmin from Piragis or any outfitter when you are on a trip. It’s way cheaper and you’re covered in the event of an emergency or an evac should you need one. As for those of you who need to text home and are insistent to keep in touch while in the BWCA, no offense, but you might have some soul searching to do to find out why you’re up there in the first place. Jeez."

That has to be the most Idiotic statement ever. Just because we want to go up there and disconnect, does NOT mean that we do not want contact in case of emergency at home or to reassure family that we are OK. You definitely need to do some soul searching as your statement is both ignorant and offensive. We have been doing wilderness trips in various areas for many years and I am so thankful we have these devices. A few years back my son and daughters 16 year old 1/2 brother drowned, and with no way to contact us my kids had no parent for comfort and the funeral had to be postponed for 2 weeks until we exited. This was extremely hard on everyone and we could have been out in 2 days if we had known. Not good. An acquaintance had his father pass away unexpectedly 10 days in to a 30 day trip. He missed his fathers funeral. He could have been out in 3 days. If I am out for a month on a solo, is it really that unreasonable that I would want to reassure my wife that I am ok every so often? If you only go out for 5-7 days, like many, than it might not be a big deal, but than you really wouldn't know much about really disconnecting, as that is not enough time to truly disconnect. So if one of your kids dies do you want your wife to have to deal with that for weeks or even a month? Stupid, Stupid, Idiotic comment...shame on you!
 
THEGrandRapids
distinguished member (356)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/08/2020 02:47PM  
mgraber: "scottiebaldwin: "Guys! Just rent a Garmin from Piragis or any outfitter when you are on a trip. It’s way cheaper and you’re covered in the event of an emergency or an evac should you need one. As for those of you who need to text home and are insistent to keep in touch while in the BWCA, no offense, but you might have some soul searching to do to find out why you’re up there in the first place. Jeez."


That has to be the most Idiotic statement ever. Just because we want to go up there and disconnect, does NOT mean that we do not want contact in case of emergency at home or to reassure family that we are OK. You definitely need to do some soul searching as your statement is both ignorant and offensive. We have been doing wilderness trips in various areas for many years and I am so thankful we have these devices. A few years back my son and daughters 16 year old 1/2 brother drowned, and with no way to contact us my kids had no parent for comfort and the funeral had to be postponed for 2 weeks until we exited. This was extremely hard on everyone and we could have been out in 2 days if we had known. Not good. An acquaintance had his father pass away unexpectedly 10 days in to a 30 day trip. He missed his fathers funeral. He could have been out in 3 days. If I am out for a month on a solo, is it really that unreasonable that I would want to reassure my wife that I am ok every so often? If you only go out for 5-7 days, like many, than it might not be a big deal, but than you really wouldn't know much about really disconnecting, as that is not enough time to truly disconnect. So if one of your kids dies do you want your wife to have to deal with that for weeks or even a month? Stupid, Stupid, Idiotic comment...shame on you!"


Let's give him a break- it's not like he was referencing that you shouldn't be in contact, he likely was commenting on the fact some people need to be in touch just to be in touch, not for emergency situations and likely didn't think of the long duration solo trips. I feel like people just like to get super annoyed and rant. Do I agree with his comment, absolutely not, I think there are many benefits of staying in touch- from dire emergencies to checking in. But to blow it up out of perspective to try and make a point isn't really called for either. I agree with all of your points.
 
schweady
distinguished member(7845)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
12/08/2020 06:13PM  
Here's an article, obviously put out by Garmin, in part, to sell product, but compelling, nonetheless:
Takeaways From a Terrible Fall and Lifesaving Rescue

Also, at the end of the article was this statement:

"Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used."

Anyone know of areas where this is enforced? And, how prevalent is this? I know that some lakes I have fished don't allow electronics, including use of gps; is this what they're talking about?
 
THEGrandRapids
distinguished member (356)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/09/2020 07:48AM  
schweady: "
Anyone know of areas where this is enforced? And, how prevalent is this? I know that some lakes I have fished don't allow electronics, including use of gps; is this what they're talking about?
"


I'm thinking they are referencing some sovereign foreign governments, not local jurisdictions within the US.
 
schweady
distinguished member(7845)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
12/09/2020 11:16AM  
THEGrandRapids: "schweady: "
Anyone know of areas where this is enforced? And, how prevalent is this? I know that some lakes I have fished don't allow electronics, including use of gps; is this what they're talking about?
"



I'm thinking they are referencing some sovereign foreign governments, not local jurisdictions within the US. "

Oh, sorta like my Flightradar24 app which shows no aircraft over N Korea...
 
scottiebaldwin
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/10/2020 07:49AM  
Thank you to THEGrandRapids for cutting me some slack on my comment. You are correct in your response in saying to which I was responding was “staying in touch just to stay in touch.” But mgraber is way out of line in name calling, hurling insults, and overall boorish behavior. I am sympathetic to their family’s losses but their response is not in line with the overall tone of these helpful message boards.

Go look back at my original post and notice how innocuous it actually is. It seems apparent that no one saw my comment a day later in response to WIMike that said, “All good reasons, WIMike. That makes total sense. It seems logical if someone uses the service for more than the BWCA that it may make sense to get a subscription, etc.

I would only use it on trips into the Boundary Waters so my perspective is skewed. It’s nice that some outfitters offer a daily rental though as it’s inconceivable to imagine what a solo tripper would do if they got badly hurt. A rental of a unit from an outfitter seems to have served that guy well last month who got caught in the ice storm and was rescued from Nina Moose within hours of his death. Hey, if someone uses it enough and can afford it, it seems like a subscription is the way to go.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8200)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
12/10/2020 06:13PM  
Sorry. "As for those of you who need to text home and are insistent to keep in touch while in the BWCA, no offense, but you might have some soul searching to do to find out why you’re up there in the first place. Jeez." is not innocuous.
 
johnnyg08
member (29)member
 
12/17/2020 09:26PM  
geotramper: "Here's what the pricing looks like with the new increase, assuming you stay within the limits of each plan: "

I wonder if they've seen this chart? *grin*
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next

Community Links


 Poll: Should we keep trip reports in the listening point forum?
(97 responses)