UVO Subscription cost - Page 2 - Kia Niro Forum
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cookrd1 View Post
What a ripoff! I havenít checked my expiration date, but I am generally not happy with the smartphone app anyway. It takes a while to sync and then tells me my doors are unlocked when they are locked. Next thing, Kia will be charging an annual fee for CarPlay like BMW.
I too was discouraged with how slow the phone app was. However, I just had to replace my personal phone (the other is my work phone iPhone 6S). I now have an iPhone Xr, and it is worlds faster than my work phone. It also now appears to be refreshing the information when you first start the app, so maybe they were listening to us. My work phone is being upgraded to an Xr when I return from vacation in two weeks, so I'll see if it now also works faster. But they run some background stuff to monitor and manage the phone, so that might be slowing things down as well. I can compare them once I get the new phone, and see if it was just the older phone or if it's the management software that is causing it.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 09:34 PM
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I must be missing some features not having the PHEV but the HEV, but for me it's about a useless bloatware like Samsung apps on a smartphone or laptop. The diagnostics never works, it supposedly does the checks, then asks if you want to send data- then tells you it can't because you need to be off AA, and once when I stopped and went into UVO app, it still wouldn't send. The car locator doesn't work for same reason, locator apps on phone work better. The home graphics for the functions look like a Fisher-Price game, and none have worked or are not worth the trouble. I never use it, too frustrating and minimal usefullness.


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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Just received an e-mail from "[email protected]" pointing out the fact that the subscription information is now available on the Kia Owner's Portal (we already knew that). But the e-mail also mentioned "or contact the UVO Call Center at (844) 886-9411, 7 days a week: 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM PT with any questions". If anyone decides to spend the time calling them, I'd be interested to hear if you thought the effort was worth your time.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 12:01 AM
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According to the literature I received with my vehicle, Kia Roadside Assistance is part of the Warranty and lasts for 60 months or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. I suspect the Care Package "feature" refers to the Roadside assist button on the rear view mirror. If the button stops working, I think we can still dial Kia Roadside Assistance on our cell phones, rather than paying $100 a year.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:32 AM
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Opinion only..... another of those insidious easy to start hard to cancel ways to tap into your finances. So buggy right now as to be frustrating. I use it some but it's largely a wast of time to do so.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:38 AM
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Charging a subscription fee for the communications features (remote climate etc.) of UVO is crazy. Nobody else except BMW tries this and it is a seriously stupid thing to do. It will drive buyers away. All the marketing when I purchased my PHEV stated that these features were free and made no mention of a time limit or subscription.


Kia tried a similar fee for making ACH bank payments for leases. I switched to paper checks to avoid the fee, which of course costs them more to process. After a few months the fee magically went away.


Love the car, why can't the decision makers at Kia stop messing up the experience with crazy schemes to suck up a few more bucks.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 04:50 PM
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Well, the communication path (cellular) itself has to be paid for somehow. Verizon or AT&T doesn't provide the connection free of charge. I'm sure it's not much per car, but it's still an overhead expense. So I can understand the desire to have to owner pay something. Does it reach the level they are asking for? I doubt it. And I believe you'll find that more than BMW charges for it. I don't think General Motors offers OnStar for free, which is just another form of the same product.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 06:04 PM
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What you are saying about it costing some fee for communication makes sense.

I have a question for you, I know about cars but not so much about wireless communication.

Do these cars have a modem type of device in them? Can they be used as hotspots for jumping on the internet? I apologize ahead of time if these are foolish questions. I don't understand how they communicate wirelessly with smartphones etc.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 12:20 AM
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Yes, a cellular connection is not free, but it is cheap now days for bulk contracts for IOT style devices.

In order to get remote climate you have to get the UVO Plus package for $22.50 per month, which is more than I spend for fuel and electricity as I drive less than 500 miles per month and electricity is free at work.

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 05:54 AM
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What you are saying about it costing some fee for communication makes sense.

I have a question for you, I know about cars but not so much about wireless communication.

Do these cars have a modem type of device in them? Can they be used as hotspots for jumping on the internet? I apologize ahead of time if these are foolish questions. I don't understand how they communicate wirelessly with smartphones etc.
Hotspot? Some cars support this feature but not the Niro. My assumption is that the cellular modem in the Niro is very simple and doesn't have a lot of extra capacity. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the system used SMS (text messages) for communications rather than actual cellular data. Basically how I think it works is like this:

On your phone you log into Kia UVO services. This connects your phone to the UVO server at Kia. When you want to send a message to your car, say to turn on the A/C, what happens is your phone sends the request to the UVO server which then forwards that command to your vehicle. The car completes the request and sends a response to the server which finally sends that info back to your phone. Seems a bit roundabout but it's actually simpler to implement. Your phone and car don't need to have any information about each other. All they needs to know is how to talk to the UVO server. The server handles everything else.

However just because it's simple doesn't mean it's free. Kia has to maintain the servers, pay for the cellular access and continue to support the apps for Apple and Android. And yeah, in the end they expect to make a buck or two off of it.

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