Is Ooma a good phone service?
June 23, 2009 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a not-so-tech-savvy friend... Is Ooma VOIP a decent service? Does anyone have any personal accounts to share?

She's not that computer clueful, and is trying to find a way to get broadband internet access without driving herself broke. It looks as though FiOS is available where she lives, and she's considering ditching her landline (she currently uses dial-up) for FiOS with Ooma. Does anyone have anything to share which I can relay to her which will either encourage her to make the leap or scare her off into a different direction? Bonus points for detailed personal anecdotes about using this service. (She's a big fan of related experiences.)
posted by hippybear to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I bought my Ooma in February of this year for less than $200 (after paying $30/mo. for Vonage for the past two years).

I've been very happy so far. I figure as long as they stay in business for the next 2-3 months, I'll have gotten my money out of it. Everything beyond that is gravy.

The call quality is very comparable to Vonage. I have a 10/2 mbps line at my house, so plenty of bandwidth for the service, and I've noticed only a handful of times over the past few months where the call quality was bad enough for me to hang up and call again.

I do not subscribe to their "premium" service and don't see a need to do so until I actually have to block someone or need a second line.

As long as they're in business and the call quality remains the same, you won't see me switching to any other VoIP provider.

Word of caution: their customer service sucks. Wait time, for me, has always been over 30 minutes when trying to call them and they never followed-up as promised. For me, the number porting process was hellish and took about 6 weeks. Now that I'm ported, I haven't had to call them again for anything urgent so I've been pretty happy.

YMMV, but I've been very happy with my purchase overall!
posted by siclik at 4:34 PM on June 23, 2009

Best answer: Our Ooma works flawlessly. Since buying it about four months ago, we potted our home phone number with no trouble and have suffered just one service outage that I didn't even notice until I heard about it on Twitter. The company just got a new infusion of cash which should stave off fears of their imminent demise (which could render the box useless).

The voice quality is great. All told, I think it's a great deal.
posted by mfitz at 10:49 PM on June 23, 2009

Best answer: Ooma is a particularly good solution if you want to keep your old phones. I've had it for about 3 weeks; installation was trivial, and it has worked perfectly. I haven't tried to call customer service, but I emailed them with a question and received a good answer the next day.
posted by spasm at 12:02 AM on June 24, 2009

Best answer: A neighbor of mine has one and loves it.

(I'd consider it but I'm still using Vonage because of the convenient second/third/fourth phone numbers that can be in other countries. So for a friend in England call me, they dial my local (to them) alias number. Zero long distance.)
posted by rokusan at 1:11 AM on June 24, 2009

Best answer: I love it, mostly due to price, the awesome caller ID, and the cute little music when you pick up the phone. Uptime has been great for me. Voice quality, connection reliability, and time-to-dialtone has been better than any other provider I've used. After install, it just works. The Ooma unit makes it very easy to tell when you have a voicemail. The major gamble is, "When are they going out of business?" This is a very real possibility. How long will the company have to remain afloat for you to get your money's worth? With the alternatives in my area, that was only a few months and it's already paid for itself. Anything more than that-- free phone service!

Setup took some time and troubleshooting (about 2 hrs of fiddling) to get it to play nice with all the devices on my network. My friends with an Ooma also had the same experience, but called for support and found them very friendly even after 1hr+ setup time. Since she's used to dial-up, she probably doesn't have a complicated network setup, so this may go more smoothly. I gave up on the number porting process. I waited 6 weeks only to find out I missed submitting some kind of form they never mentioned and they hadn't even started the transfer. One neat aspect is that you can start using your Ooma right away with a 'temporary' number while the port is processed. You can pay to keep your temp number in addition to your ported one. (But hey, why bother porting when you can spend 2 hours plugging in every exchange in your area to find a 'cool' number?)

For a single person, Ooma premier isn't really worth it. If she has a big household who are always fighting over the phone, there are some convenient features. Two people can be talking on separate lines at once. With Premier, you can also set up 'local' numbers for out-of-state friends and family. Two numbers are included w/ Premier, you can pay for more.
posted by Gable Oak at 7:23 AM on June 24, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. She really appreciates your feedback. And I think AskMe sort of blew her mind a bit. *chuckle*
posted by hippybear at 3:24 PM on June 30, 2009

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