Tuesday, December 4, 2007

ooma - so what's not to like?

Given all the good things I've said about ooma, there must be some things not to like. Here are a few:

1. After putting in your initial settings, there is not much reason to visit the ooma Lounge, aside from listening to your voicemails, which you can do on the phone.

2. Ooma basically takes over your phone service and cancels what you already have in place with your carrier (you still pay the bill though). You might lose archived messages if you use the phone company's voicemail service. Not everyone will be comfortable with this.

3. There is no way to bypass the ooma hub and force a call to use your landline. This is a minor nit, but there are times when I'd like to do this and I can't with ooma.

4. Caller ID. This is probably the biggest hassle. When you call someone, they may not see that it is you calling on their caller ID. They won't know it's you and so they might not pick up. This can be really annoying, as it's somewhat random. You can avoid this by dialing *82 before each call, but who wants to do that every time you pick up the phone to make a call. I think this single limitation pretty much excludes ooma as a business or professional option (in many states it's illegal for businesses to block caller ID on calls they make).

Of course there's also the price, but I'll assume you've already done the math on that and decided the rather high one-time cost is worth it for unlimited US long-distance calls and free voicemail. In reality, many people will probably never break even, but it's nice never having to think about how much you're spending on long-distance calls (you still have to pay extra for international calls).


Anthony said...

I participated in the White Rabbit program, but my box died less than a week into the trial, and I have been trying to get a replacement ever since. There is certainly some fine print to using this service..........the changes they make can be charged for by your local phone company. that much is a given. In my case, I was charged $10.80 to add CF-B to my line, which is an additional $1.75 a month. Then, when my Ooma box broke, I didn't have VM for 2 weeks. So, after no signs of getting a new box in the mail, I pleaded w/ Ooma to add my VM back until I get a new box. So, they do, which adds an additional $10.80 charge to my phone bill. To add insult to injury, the customer care reps w/ Ooma had the audacity to tell me that they never removed my VM to begin with, and moreover, that my phone company stated that I never had VM w/ my service. Someone must have been giving it to me for free for the last 2 years then.........please! So far Ooma has cost me $23.35 and w/ Unlimited LD only costing $5 more a month, I could have gotten more usage out of my money by upgrading my account w/ my local carrier; 4 months of US domestic calling versus 2 days.

Albert said...

I don’t get how this can be profitable in the long run. Lets say the phone actually costs 35 bucks. That means the company actually gets $225. Minus this and that (shipping, labour, and etc) probably about $120-150 left for the phone plan.

But the company is bound to lose money if that person uses the phone for a long period of time.