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This section provides an overall summary of our Ooma review. Scroll down to read the complete review.
The Ooma Telo is a great low cost service for basic calling and voicemail, with a variety of ways to access the service. Installation and configuration is straightforward and the voice clarity is very good, with little to no lag. Ooma customer service is responsive and knowledgeable. If you need additional features or International bundles, there are many upgrade options for you to choose from.
This is not a total unified communication (UC) solution. Though you can setup voicemail transcription, there is no SMS, voice conferencing or video calling features. The mobile app has a one-time fee of $9.99, which is a slight annoyance, and only gives you 250 minutes of calling. Also to get a feature set similar to the providers you see on this site, you need the premier service, which is expensive at $9.99/month. Finally, although the plan is advertised as unlimited minutes, there is actually a fair usage policy which indicates the maximum limit is 5,000 minutes.
The Ooma service is actually a very good option for those who want a basic home phone service at a low cost. If you need more advanced features such as voicemail to email, call forwarding and the likes, there may be better options out there as the price jumps considerably. The customer support side seems to be knowledgeable and responsive and user reviews are very positive overall. Remember to activate your service before connecting the device to your home network!
|OVERALL RATING||(4.0)||Ease of Order|
|Voice Quality||Service Reliability|
|Service Features||Customer Service|
|Value for Money||Mobile App|
What comes to mind when you think of great marketing? Many people may think of a jingle from an advertisement or maybe an entertaining scenario during a TV commercial. Generally speaking, not many people think of a telecom company when it comes to a sense of humor in advertising. This is one of the many things that the Ooma service does correctly.
Going back to 2004 when the company was first established, part of their marketing team was the celebrity Ashton Kutcher. Here he played the role of the creative director for marketing. Though in 2008 the company reformed and replaced him with Richard Buchanan, former CMO of Sling Media, they seem to have retained the actor's sense of humor as you can see from the commercial for its office service.
At this time, VoIP was not a new technology but it was not as widely implemented as it is today. By building on the momentum of other emerging technologies, the Palo Alto based company was able to carve a niche for themselves in the communication market. Today, they are arguably one of the better services for home or small office use.
If you decide to purchase Ooma, of any variation, whether for home or a Small to Medium sized Business (SMB), you will find that it is very easy to obtain. The option to purchase either one of their products is available through its website too. There are many other retailers who also sell the Telo which can be of benefit should you have a preferred retailer, business credit line or a gift card with another establishment. Often, many retailers offer it at a lower price or extend promotions such as a mail in rebate.
The devices are not available at most brick and mortar locations so ordering the device from an online service is necessary in most cases. We decided to purchase the device through OfficeMax as they seemed to offer the best price along with free and fast shipping. The good news is that device arrived in roughly 72 hours which is a great turn-around time for shipping.
The price seems to vary between retailers. The average retail price is $149.99 and is likely the price you will pay if you opt to purchase directly from the company. Better deals can be uncovered with a little bit of snooping as you can see above. The screenshot above was taken after we paid the full retail price from OfficeMax. Keep that in mind if you decide to go with this service for your home or business after reading the rest of the review.
For the price you pay for the service, you gain the ability to use the core calling features indefinitely. You also receive a 60 day trial to Ooma Premier that gives you access to 25 great features - this is where the service truly shines. After the trial, you can pay $9.99 for the service on a monthly basis. With every year worth of subscription fees, you also have the option to select one of the free gifts you see above or purchase their HD2 Handset at a 67% discount. Keep in mind that the price for Premier is relatively high compared to some other providers you see on our site. If you do not need the additional features, the basic service price is tough to beat.
The only fee for US and Canadian service you will encounter is the one certainty to which we are all bound: taxes. Yes, even though it is a VoIP product, fees must still be paid to government entities to keep the industry from collapsing on itself. Fortunately, the fees amount to pocket change as you can see in the above graphic.
One final note for those in the US and Canada. For the basic plan, unlimited calling only applies to calls inside your country (i.e. if you live in the US, calls are free and unlimited inside the US and likewise for those in Canada). Calls from the US to Canada or from Canada to the US are 1.4c/minute. The premier plan removes the 1.4c/minute fee. In other words, those in the US can call Canada for free and vice versa.
Installing the Telo is a simple process. The system ships with a large poster-type document showing you exactly how to connect and configure the system. The most important part to keep in mind is that the service must be activated before the system is plugged in to your network. Otherwise, the Telo will need to be rebooted - a minor inconvenience that requires unplugging the device for 30 seconds, much like power cycling a router.
In order to register your device, you must visit ooma.com/activate and follow the steps to activate your service. From this point, you are guided through a step by step process to enter the required information. If you are replacing a damaged or defective device from an existing service, you will be prompted to call customer service at this point so they can restore your existing settings to the new device.
At this point, only two devices are offered - the Telo is the home device and the Hub is for the business service. Your device will have an activation code on the bottom of the unit and you will enter this into the form. After entering the required information, you will have to complete an additional 4 steps to finish setting up the device.
The physical portion of installing the Telo is relatively simple. All that is required after activation is physically connecting an analog phone to the phone port on the device then plugging the device into a router (or direct to your internet modem). The Telo has a port built into the device that allows you to connect a switch behind the device, meaning it can sit between the switch connecting your physical devices and your gateway. This can help with Quality of Service (QoS), depending on your network, but it is still probably best to configure such settings on one device (i.e. your home gateway.)
TFor this review, it was installed in a home environment where it is the only device physically connected to the network. After the phone was connected, an empty port was selected to connect the device. Upon establishing a connection with the internet, the device will begin to update and configure based on the settings entered. The system will initially flash red until it finishes booting and updating. The lights change to blue when it is ready for use.
Perhaps one of the best parts about this service is the variety of ways you can configure the device. You can program many features by pressing the Play icon (like on a DVD remote) and using the connected phone to navigate through the menus. Initially, you must set a PIN to access your voicemail and record a greeting, should you choose not to use the generic greeting. By delving into the advanced options, you can configure all the settings related to the core services. However, it is simpler to use the online dashboard to set up the device and tweak the service features.
If you would like to use the Telo device to control network flow, assign a static address to the device or perform other more advanced functions, you will need to connect a computer to the network port and navigate to setup.ooma.com for intranet access via a web browser. If you have purchased the wireless adapter for the device, you may access the console from a wireless connection.
By going to my.ooma.com on the local intranet, you can setup the features for the system. The first time you access the system, it will walk through most of the settings on a step by step basis allowing you to configure the most pertinent options.
After signing in to the above console using the phone number and password you selected during registration, a walkthrough is provided to assist with configuration. Any option you choose during setup can be changed at a later time from within the web console or via the mobile app. The initial setup involves:
By logging into your dashboard at ooma.com, referred to as My Ooma, you can manipulate many additional features in addition to modifying the options you selected during the initial setup. As you can see from the dashboard depicted below, you can view and listen to voicemails, see call logs as well as import or view contacts. Contacts can be imported from Outlook 2007 and later, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and .vcf formatted contact files.
You can further configure additional options by accessing the Preferences menu. Here you can make changes to the options you selected during initial setup as well as make additional tweaks to these settings. Some additional settings not found in the initial setup may be configured here including:
The great thing about the Telo and the Hub are all the add-on features you can use to supplement the service. Under the Add-Ons section you will find a variety of additional products you can purchase to enhance the overall service. The additional products and services you can select are as follows:
As we experienced no real problems with any portion of the service, it was difficult to find a topic for customer service to solve. Instead of creating a problem, we opted to test the flexibility of their service with a hypothetical question.
A call was placed as a general inquiry, that is, without providing any account information. After being connected with a very friendly lady on the other end of the call, we asked her about the nature of the free trial. She explained the terms of the trial without leaving any room for question. Then another question was asked pertaining to upgrading the service if need be, for example to a business line. It appears that one can purchase the Telo device from Ooma directly and if need be, the service can be upgraded to the business hub by simply paying the difference in the equipment costs. As the service is very easy to work with in general, it is comforting to know that a small business requiring more features than the Telo can provide can easily upgrade to the Hub.
Ooma is a very decent service for those looking for a basic, low cost home phone service, with good voice clarity. The customer support team seems to have knowledgeable representatives standing behind the service, and are very responsive.
If you need more features than the basic plan, the Premier service is also a good solution, although there are lower cost options in the marketplace with comparable or more advanced features. There are many add-ons that can be purchased, from wireless adapters through to International bundles. These costs can add-up fast but likely meet the needs of most people.
The only real disappointment is the mobile application, which is very basic and only provides 250 minutes for calls.
Finally, don't forget to activate your service before connecting the device to your network. This piece of advice will save you some hassle.
Ooma has received a very positive response from user reviews at WhichVoIP.com, with an overall rating of "very good" and a very respectable recommended score. You can use the rating graph tool opposite to see trends over time. Have you used Ooma phone service? We would love to get your feedback, simply complete our easy review form using the buttons on this page, takes less than 2 minutes.
...Excellent audio. Like the adapter for wireless connection.....
Ooma reviews are listed in chronological order.
#44 : APR 26th, 2016 : Johnson
Purchased Ooma at Best Buy end of January, did initial set up required by Ooma but did not cancel my phone service with previous provider until Ooma ported my old phone number. Ooma sent me an email first of Feburary that my number had been successfully ported, and to complete the porting process with Oomn, which I did. Everything worked fine until first of April when I noticed I hadn't been receiving incoming phone calls, but I could make outgoing calls. I reported the problem immediately to Ooma April 12th via live chat and then with a phone call to their technical department. Long story short, over two weeks later and numerous phone calls to Ooma (and promises by them that they'll call me back or email me, never happened), they still have not fixed the problem. Their service center is in the Philippines, not the best English speaking representatives, they're hard to understand. All they can tell me is that my issue has been "elevated" and they'll get back to me. Read the one star reviews on Amazon and you'll see I'm not the only one with this experience.
#43 : APR 1st, 2016 : Netta
The service works as described and it is more reliable than an old land line if you have good quality internet service. However, my work schedule has changed and a land line phone is no longer useful. Therefore, requesting to have landline number ported to my cell will take four weeks! I spoke with several members of this company regarding this issue. Needless to say it didn't make a difference. Know what you are getting into before purchasing!
#42 : MAR 20th, 2016 : Nada
One of my friends recommended OOMA which is truly an unparallel product. I have been using this product with Panasonic 4 piece handset for the past seven months without a single issue. 100% recommended.
#41 : FEB 8th, 2016 : OldGrouch
The only negative of using a VoIP Service is no phone service if the Internet provider is down. Not too much of a problem with everyone having a cell phone these days. Ooma has not given me any problems in over a year of service. I like the call logs and the blocking service they provide.
#40 : FEB 6th, 2016 : Bob
I save at least $25 a month and have done so for the last year and a half. This is probably the best investment I have ever made. What a return for my investment (cost of getting Ooma and getting my old phone number).
#39 : FEB 5th, 2016 : Les
Customer service was unable to directly port our old landline number. It looks like you are on your own doing this with your old landline carrier. Call quality is decent, but a slight lag or word syllable clipping may at times be noticed.
#38 : FEB 5th, 2016 : Susan
I used MagicJack for about 2 years, prior to switching to Ooma. I certainly saved money with MagicJack, but some of my callers complained of crackling on the line or sounding very far away (like a telephone booth on the bottom of the ocean, according to one caller). Then MJ stopped working (kept getting error "Check Tel Line"), so I decided it was time to dump MJ and try Ooma. I saved nearly 50% by purchasing a new unit on eBay, so I was already ahead of the game. It took about a month total to get things working, partially because MagicJack was slow to port my phone number. Once that was accomplished, I set it up, with some confusion (I'm technologically challenged!) but, eventually, I figured it out and it worked great. So far, I've had no complaints from callers; in fact, they have mentioned the improved clarity with Ooma. Service features are okay, as far as what comes with the standard package, but you have to pay a pretty penny if you want the premier package ($99), with all the bells and whistles. They also charge taxes every month to your credit card (about $4-5), but MJ was starting to charge for this as well, plus an annual fee. Overall, I am very happy with Ooma and would definitely recommend it to anyone who asked.
#37 : FEB 5th, 2016 : Harry
Bought a used Ooma for both my first box and backup box in lieu of insurance; I love the voice clarity and the call screening since I was plagued by junk phone calls. Now they go to voice mail. MagicJack is probably the cheapest of the VOIP services but their voice quality was unreliable, and so my principal service is Ooma. I use both and it is much cheaper than AT&T. Getting Ooma Blue tooth to connect my cell phone to my Ooma. I have to set up my Obi202 for a free VOIP service. I have Ooma linx for my outgoing FAX.
#36 : FEB 5th, 2016 : John
Basic free service is a great value but limited services are available. We took out the extreme service to get a second line for my wife's business line. Everything works great and was easy to set up, but there is a $99 service fee for the extra services, but we did get an extra year of warranty on the equipment for free. We have had to reset the box once or twice in the 20 months we have had the service but that may have been due to Internet outages.
#35 : DEC 25th, 2015 : Tax
I signed on with Ooma over two years ago, in order to get away from AT&T wireline. It was easy to set up. Because I live in a remote area where ADSL is poor, I often got complaints from others that they couldn't hear me clearly - advice from Ooma tech support helped somewhat. Also, sometimes I was unable to receive some calls from mobile phones - never really solved that one. To get what I consider adequate basic service, with voicemail, blacklist, and some other features, I had to sign up for the "premier" service which was something over $100/year. Plus taxes of about $7/month, and of course I had to buy the Telo for something over $100. Still cheaper than AT&T. Ooma doesn't offer email support, but they do have chat, which was OK until my Telo broke. Then they told me I needed second level support, which is only available by voice phone. So I gave up and switched to another provider. When I called Ooma to cancel, they tried various games to get me to stay with them, even offering a free Telo.
Disclaimer: The opinions, views and ratings expressed in these VoIP Reviews are those solely of the reviewer who submitted the review. Whichvoip.com does not necessarily agree with any of the expressed opinions, view or ratings.
Ooma offers a number of options to customers when it comes to customer service. These include self help tutorials, live chat, customer forums and phone support. There does not currently appear to be a way to send Ooma customer service an email requesting support. The table below provides a summary of the methods in which you can easily contact Ooma.
Please contact us if there is any information in the table below that you believe should be updated.
|Customer Service Feature||Availability||Details|
|Live Chat||24 hours Mon-Fri via Ooma site|
|24x7 Phone Support||1-888-711-6662
Mon-Fri 7am to 7pm PST
Sat -Sun 8am to 5pm PST
|Talk to a real person||Press 1 at the prompt|
|USA based phone support||No details available|
|Online form / Email Support||No details available|
|Self Help Articles / Tutorials||Ooma Articles|
|Self Help Videos||Ooma Videos|
|Support Forums||Ooma Forum|
|Twitter Support||Ooma Support Feed|
|Contact number for Cancelation||1-888-711-6662
Press 1 for Customer Care
|Request a call back||Not Available|
|Money back guarantee||Within 30 days|
#24 : Posted by Carol on March 17th, 2016:
Does Ooma offer internet service as well as phone service?
-> Response: No Ooma has VoIP service only, not Internet.
#23 : Posted by Paul Darquin on September 10th, 2015:
I have the Ooma Telo.
We are very satisfied with the basic service in Canada, which includes everything we have ever used with our landline (from three different operators), so we are not going to keep the premium service once the free period is up, and frankly, won't miss it.
Call quality at both ends is excellent, through cable internet at 30 megabits per second down and 2.5 megabits up.
#22 : Posted by Julie on January 30th, 2015:
I have had Ooma set up and wirelessly connected for about 9 months after seeing good reviews in Consumer Reports for the service. I am recently getting several complaints that I am "breaking up" when talking and I hear others fine. (Cordless Panasonic Dect 6.0) I ran your voip test a couple of times wirelessly and get varied consistency of quality results within a few minutes (49, 35, 58). Everything else is green. I have a Comcast router and I am not sure how I can try to reconfigure it to give priority to the voip. I also recently started connecting a new cell phone wirelessly at home. So i'm not sure if this is causing the problem. I found your site through the ooma forum. I don't want to give up on voip and go back to paying way too much for phone service. Any assistance is appreciated.
-> Response: Sorry to hear you are having problems.
Glad you have tried our VoIP test as that is always our first recommendation. Consistency of service can cause problems though I'd be surprised if that was your problem here.
Do you know what your uplink speed is with comcast, since that is the direction you are having issues?
Can you plug in the ooma directly to your router with an ethernet cable, as a test, rather than wireless? Just want to see if wireless is the issue. Also worth making sure no other computers or video streaming are running at the time, again as a test. Audio still break up?
Setting priority can be difficult and likely comcast will not help you on this. However, it is unlikely that you should need to do this.
Let me know how you get on and I'll think of other things to try.
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