Feb 7 2005

Volvo: “On Call Plus Deactivated”

Update 03/31/2005: This issue has been resolved. Volvo has agreed to remove the “On Call Plus” system on a “goodwill” basis. Please see this entry for an update. Thanks guys at Volvo!

A bit over a year ago we bought a Volvo V70XC here in Santa Fe (see The safety question – answered).

We are very happy with the car and especially its performance. When we bought the car, it came with a builtin phone system and the “On Call Plus” service free-of-charge for a year. We decided to try the system for a year, because we were assured that we didn’t have to renew after the trial year if we didn’t like/need the system.

Needless to say, we don’t feel it is necessary to have the “On Call Plus” service in times where a cellphone has the same effect. So we let the service expire and did not respond to the “warning” mails that our service would expire soon.

The moment the system expired we received a little warning message in the dashboard display of the car. “On Call Plus deactivated” it said in there:

And to make sure that you know this is a “serious problem”, the little yellow warning triangle with the exclamation point comes on as well. You press a button to acknowledge the message and both, message and warning triangle, disappear.
What’s extremely annoying is the fact that they only disappear until you stop and start the car again. “On Call Plus deactivated” it screams at you the next time you start the car. I thought this would stop after a period, but it has been close to a few months now and we still get the message every time we start the car.

What makes this issue post-worthy is the fact that other more important and maybe life-threatening message are hidden behind the annoying “On Call Plus deactivated” message. You have to acknowledge the “On Call Plus deactivated” message before you see other ones. Just recently we experienced that when we got the warning that the break fluid was getting low.

We had the car in for a service at Santa Fe Mazda-Volvo-Suzuki on Cerrillos Road and I asked them to look into the problem. When I picked up the car they told me that it would cost around $200.- to remove the entire phone setup and in conjunction remove the warning message from the display.

Hmm – I have to pay $200.- to fix a problem that was introduced by the “On Call Plus” expiration? I have to pay to make my car as secure as it was when I bought it? That does not sound right to me.

If you are being offered “On Call Plus” with your vehicle and a non-strings-attached trial of the system, please do yourself a favour and ask them to remove the unit when you buy your vehicle unless you’re absolutely sure that you need the system.

4 Responses to “Volvo: “On Call Plus Deactivated””

  • Richard Says:

    I have the same thing with the used S80 I recently purchased. Roger Beasley Volvo – Austin, Tx. informed me at my next service they would remove the keypad (where you could once dial the phone)at my next service interval and that it would be covered by my warranty (he thought. The handset would remain in the arm rest. I tell my friends it is a phone to heaven so I can call my mom so I don’t know if I will take them up on the removal of it.

  • HOWARD Says:


  • Bill marcovitch Says:

    Just bought used S80 with same persistent message. How and to whom did you address to get the guys at Volvo to remove it and at what cost? How much for keyboard removal. My local Volvo folks are price monsters, Want about $800+labor to replace whole rear view mirror assembly because auto dim mirror film has clouded

  • Tobias Says:

    Bill – I talked to the local Volvo dealer and was also quoted a few hundred dollars to remove the OnCall Plus system. After posting my message on my blog, the New Mexico regional manager for Volvo called me to let me know they would do it free of charge. I would try to locate the regional manager in your state and give him a call. Good luck!

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