Is Ooma Free Home Service A Scam?

Ooma Telo

Ooma Telo

The other day I ran across Ooma on the Internet. Ooma purports to offer free internet phone service with the purchase of an Ooma device that connects your phones to the Internet. Then over Christmas my cousin, who works for our local cable company, asked me if I was going to get Ooma. He’s researched Ooma and plans to purchase one this week. That led to a long discussion, and my conclusion that Ooma is legit (Ooma must be legit, it has a Wikipedia page!).

According to its website, here’s what Ooma offers:

Ooma is a revolutionary device that allows you to call anywhere in the U.S. with no monthly fees. You can also make international calls for next to nothing. Ooma is easy to set up and even easier to use. You don’t need a PC. You don’t need a headset. You simply connect the device to your high-speed Internet and your existing phone, and that’s it. You’re ready to start calling and experience Ooma’s great voice quality.

So how much does Ooma cost? To use Ooma you must purchase an Ooma device that connects your phones to high speed internet. There are basically two choices, the Ooma Telo and Ooma Hub. Either one will connect your phones to the Internet, but the Telo appears to be the latest model of the device. According to Amazon the list price for the Telo is $249.99, although Amazon has the Telo on sale for $234.00. The list price for the Hub is also $249.99, but is on sale for $214.95.

The big question for me was whether there were any more costs. If not, a one-time fee of just over $200 would be far better than even the low monthly cost of Vonage I currently pay. From my research, calls are indeed free, but there are a couple of add-ons that cost some money. First, if you want to port your existing number over to Ooma, there is a one-time fee of $39.99. Since we definitely want to keep our existing number, we’d have to pay this fee. Second, Ooma offers Premier services that add extra features to the service. Ooma Premier costs $9.99/month or $119.99/year. Whiile you don’t need Premier to use the phone service, it does provide a long list of additional features, including a second line, 3-way calling, enhanced voice mail features, call screening, and call forwarding. When you activate your Ooma line, you get Premier for free for 60 days. If you purchase the Premier service for a year, Ooma will port your existing telephone number for free or give you a free Ooma handset.

Ooma SavingsSo how much money can you save with Ooma? The answer to that question of course depends on how much you spend today on phone service. For us, we pay about $32 a month for Vonage service. With Ooma, we’d recoup the cost of the Telo or Hub in about 8 months, and the rest would be savings. According to Ooma, savings over 2 years range from $450 to $930, depending on how much you pay today for your phone service.

One question all this raises is what’s the future of traditional telephone service. With the introduction of internet phone service several years ago, I assumed landlines would eventually be a thing of the past. Now that the cost of VoiP has come down so much, it seems like the day is coming when the cost of telephone service will approach free.

Still, if you’ve used Ooma, please leave a comment to let us know what you think of the service.

Published or Updated: April 21, 2014
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Jason says:

    I think you are better by getting a magicjack. For way less money upfront you get essentially the same service. I have used magicjack for several years and love it. When I traveled to Italy this past November, I was able to make calls to the U.S. for free. Its hard to beat magicjack for the price.

    • DR says:

      Jason, I’ve heard good things about MagicJack, too. I need to look into it, and perhaps publish a review of what it has to offer as compared to Ooma.

      • Adam says:

        I had the magicjack device. It sucks and the quality is horrible. Also unlike with ooma you have to keep your computer on to receive incoming phone calls. There are a ton of people who keep their computers on all the time even though it’s pointlessly wasting electricity and contributing to increasing the electric bill so it doesn’t matter to them. The only good thing I can say about magic is that for $20 a year you really get what you pay for.

        • JPfrmME says:

          This information has become obsolete with the coming of MagicJackPlus.
          MJPlus can be plugged directly into your router or modem and does not require a computer to run. I am a 2 year satisfied user of MJ and have upgraded my original MJ to the Plus version. The only time I really had noticeable voice quality degradation was during a simultaneous phone call while a file transfer (FTP) was taking place from my computer. Even then the conversation was continued without interruption; just some chopping of the outgoing voice; incoming voice was still good. Some other misinformation I have found in this site is that call other than MJ to MJ are not free; this is NOT SO. I have made many calls over the last two years to land line phones in the U.S. with no charges what so ever. I had some trouble with my original MJ 2 years ago; but the problem was traceable to an older LinkSys Router. Once I upgraded the firmware in the router to DD-WRT, MJ functioned well. Since I have upgraded to MJPlus,(3 months) the performance has been virtually flawless and there is no annoying software windows popping up on my computer screen because the computer is not involved in making the calls.

          • Stharbor says:

            I also have both MJ’s the first one was a problem with having your computer on all the time. Since MJ plus as u said u don’t need to have your computer on! It works great! Only problem I have found is my son upgraded to a new IPad gave me last years model!! Which I love!! But MJ also has a free MJ app to use on iPad iPhone / but he already had signed up for free app on this iPad and the system won’t accept me and my sign in info . Some how they take the ser# of devise and lock in the first person that signs up ?? I have talked to 15 reps and there is no fix for that? Other than that I have three house phone hooked toMJ works great

  2. rcataloger says:

    Ooma has beautiful hardware that offers more than does Magic Jack or Vonage. So far, I have had better call quality on Ooma than Vonage.

  3. Mark says:

    Question – if I buy Ooma, have my home number ported to them and they go belly up, can I recover my home number to use with another provider?

    • Dave says:

      Don’t count on being able to port your number if the company goes out of business. Both companies (the one giving up the number and the one accepting the number) have to cooperate to port a number; if Ooma is out of business, they probably will not do their part.

      In fact, even companies that are still in business can make it difficult to port a number away from them. I don’t have experience with Ooma, I’m just saying they don’t have to make it easy.

    • tammy says:

      Dont even think it! I was a Sunrocket customer when they threw the switch and shut down. I lost service without notice and had to find another carrier. I was told not worth the effort. Maybe after a month of effort I could save my phone number but most likely not. All those customers that paid 199.00 upfront for a years service were also out of luck. They never saw a refund.

      All that said, I am also looking at OOma and here is my take. I took the cost of equipment and compared it to my current bill. I figure its gonna cost 300 for unit and a phone. I currently pay 30 a mo for my voip. Hence 10mos x 30 bucks. Now do I think this company will go out of business in 10 mos that is the question. Anything after 10mos is money saved.

      • Paul says:

        I was with SunRocket too. When they went out of business I made the transition to TeleBlend without a hitch. The SunRocket ATA is sitting on my desk still in service and I still have my original phone number.

        When SunRocket went out of business, they made arrangements with TeleBlend and maybe a couple of other companies to absorbs their old customers. TeleBlend bought SunRocket’s infrastructure and continued the service. So if you transferred your service to one of the carriers SunRocket recommended there were no problems.

  4. bans25 says:

    I have had Ooma for about a year and a half and have been very happy. In fact I am about to set my parents up with Ooma tonight. I am very happy to no longer have a home phone bill…

  5. John says:

    Switch from Comcast digital phone during the summer. Call quality is great. $199 for the core and $32 to port my number. I have had no bills since then. Long distance is prepaid, but at 1 cent to Canada is not bad. Didn’t need any extra frills. Already paid for itself and it’s free phone service from now on.

  6. zaphod says:

    I’ve had Ooma for almost a year. I regularly use >3000 minutes per month.
    I use the basic Ooma (no Premier service), so there are no monthly/annual charges.

    The quality is near-perfect, and can hardly ever tell the difference between a landline. NOTE: If you do heavy downloading/uploading and your internet speed is max of ~256 kbps you might get some disruption. I have >1 Mbps and have no problems whatsoever any time of day.

    My number ported with no problems within a couple weeks. I’ve already made my money back from saving on landline costs (which were $35/month).

    In my opinion, if you have decent internet speed and need a landline, EVERYONE should get Ooma. The hardware is simple/beautiful. The packaging is very professional.

    Nothing is perfect… but from what I’ve read, the % of people are much happier with Ooma than Magicjack. I recommend Ooma to everyone who still uses a landline.

  7. Mark Ebby says:

    Tried Magic Jack and found it to be junk. Their support had me trying things that have nothing to do with their service to make it work right. I took it back and purchased an Ooma Telo. It works perfectly and, after reviewing their business model, I believe they can be around for a long time

  8. HeyMa! says:

    I am a new user of Ooma and so far, I am happy. I ordered my Ooma unit directly from the company, paid $229 and no shipping charge, and had it up and running in less than 10 minutes, using my regular Panasonic answering machine with its 4 wireless handsets. I do have a slow internet speed and Ooma clearly says that speed can be an issue. I do have trouble reaching a friend who lives way upstate NY int e country, and so far I have not been able to get a fax to send successfully. But their instructions say if you have a slow internet speed you may have trouble sending a fax. Anyway, considering it’s FREE – I’m not complaining. I also have a MagicJack phone which I love and I keep it as a backyup just in case.

    • VT says:

      HeyMa,

      Since you have MJ and Ooma, try to make a call from MJ to Ooma or Ooma to MJ to see if they work on not? I have MJ and made call to Ooma numbers (two numbers) after 5 rings, it disconnected with busy signal. It seems that it has an issue with MJ and Ooma phone combination.

  9. HeyMa! says:

    I am a new user of Ooma and so far, I am happy. I ordered my Ooma unit directly from the company, paid $229 and no shipping charge, and had it up and running in less than 10 minutes, using my regular Panasonic answering machine with its 4 wireless handsets. I do have a slow internet speed and Ooma clearly says that speed can be an issue. I do have trouble reaching a friend who lives way upstate NY int e country, and so far I have not been able to get a fax to send successfully. But their instructions say if you have a slow internet speed you may have trouble sending a fax. Anyway, considering it’s FREE – I’m not complaining. I also have a MagicJack phone which I love and I keep it as a backup just in case. All in all, I am very glad I bought my Ooma and even if they do go out of business I still will have saved a ton of money. Also the quality is WAY netter than Vonage.

    • Dave says:

      I had trouble sending a fax too until I finally read in the manual where it says that you need to precede the fax number with *99 to turn off ooma’s data compression mode. It now works like a charm.

  10. Dave says:

    I have been using ooma since November 2008. At first I was frustrated because I tried to get the setup to work using the current phone wiring in my house, with mixed results. Finally I settled on hooking up a wireless phone base station to the ooma hub and all my troubles vanished. I would heartily recommend ooma as a quality and low-cost alternative to traditional phone service. The call quality is excellent and you get a lot of features built-in that would cost extra with a telco. After a year I was brave enough to ditch my telco completely and ported my home phone number over to ooma.

  11. Popy says:

    I think it’s only for US, not Canada. But, it’s really good phone. I love the 60 days free trial of Ooma Premier after activating your Ooma system. If you want to save money you should consider Ooma system but of couse find more information where Ooma Phone can be used. I have all ooma information from this website http://www.oomaphonesystem.net

    I hope my comments helps you all guys

  12. Ted says:

    I had a Magic Jack and retired it for the OOMA TELO system. It was on sale at Best Buy for 199. Installation was a snap. The OOMA audio is OUTSTANDING better than a traditional landline. The basic package comes with caller id, voicemail, etc…so the Premier package isn;t a necessity. OOMA has yet to fail me. I downgraded my landline to minimum package, so I could guarantee access to 911 if the internet or power was knocked out. The key to great sound with OOMA is fast internet speed. I have Comcast Boost, capable of upwards of 100 mbps (download) and 4 Mbps (upload) The Magic Jack was simply undependable and relied on your PC being up and running 24/7. My MJ experience was that it was a cheap way to experiene VOIP, but audio dropouts, no dialtone, etc made it too undependable. Spend the money, buy OOMA, pick up a good cordless handset system with multiple handset that are DECT 6.0 (super quiet, great audio) and you will forget your on a a funny black box named OOMA. By the way, Verizon gets real nasty when you cancel or downgrade your services :^)

  13. Jason says:

    We have used Ooma for about a year and have been very pleased with the product. Before that we used a few voips including sunrocket, and have been really frustrated with the quality and services, so we were a little skeptical at first. Ooma has been great. The online interface works well, but the real reason to go with Ooma is the hardware. We have had some minor sound quality issues, but nothing compared to the competitors. The other issue to realize is that Ooma is not traditional voice over IP, so there is less of a reason to be concerned with the company going under. The product is actually a peer to peer network, supported by voip backup (if you opt for premier.) What that means is the infrastructure needs less support and may be able to keep running after a company meltdown. Overall, it’s an appliance supported by a pretty brilliant business structure. Don’t think twice.

  14. mark says:

    yeah well dont get the magic either i just went through that the calls are only free if you call someone else who has magic jack too. if you call any one else one of you is getting a bill your better off gettin a ph card from the dollar store .99 cents for 99 minutes any where all these new deals are just a rip off dont fall for it..

  15. NJJ says:

    I switched from AT&T CallVantage to Ooma last September after CallVantage service was eliminated from the AT&T product line. The call quality is excellent and while I have the Premier service right now, since I ported our telephone number to Ooma, I probably will not renew it. Hopefully the service will not be discontinued as the equipment cost was high on startup and a year of the premier service added to that cost. I love the freedom of taking our home telephone number with us where ever we are as long as there is a high speed Internet connection available. VOIP is not for everyone but we love it after more than 3 years of enjoying it’s many benefits.

  16. Milly says:

    Hi There,
    I first bought magic jack b/c it was cheaper, but you had to keep the computer on all the time and sometimes it would not work well. After a year the USB plug fell off the magic jack. Sometimes it would drop calls, call clarity was o.k., sometimes it had problems loading, and it called numbers that I had on my contact list my itself. However, it did help me save a lot of money for the year that I used it.
    About six months ago I invested in Ooma.
    I have been using Ooma for 6 months now and I just love the product… It works extremely well, the call clarity is better than my old land line and the product has superior engineering. I would highly recommend it to others… However, it does slow down the internet a tiny bit… I have DSL, But I highly recommend it… Its Fantastic!

  17. Ben Wagner says:

    Does the use of Ooma require a gigabit router? That’s what a guy at Best Buy told me.

    • Matt says:

      Best Buy supports child labor (just kidding), though the kids that work there barely know there “arse” from a hole in the ground. A giga-bit router is not necessary, as VoIP calls are minimal in packet size; however, I do recommend a router with QoS support to prioritize VoIP packets if you have high usage Ie. video or tv, or a slow internet such as DSL. Hope this helps!

  18. John says:

    I had Magic Jack a couple years ago, and was very dissatisfied with it. I got Ooma as soon as it was available and still use it, so I’m i the group that doesn’t have to pay the fees now like new users will, so “free” is no longer “free”. But the hardware is questionable, and the support has been lousy for me. My unit will just stop working for no apparent reason. Their support states if you are using it as a router and can get to their ooma website it should work, but I spend about 15% of the time with a unit that works fine as a router, no internet issues, but phone just does not work. And getting with their support, even when I was still in warranty and just wanted a replacement, I never got it, they refused to do anything since I couldn’t call them when it failed. I don’t get a cell signal at my house (the reason I have an Ooma home phone in the first place) so when it fails, I *can’t* call. And now it’s been down for two days, internet is fine but phone just doesn’t work. Sometimes powering it off and on for an hour or two eventually gets it working again, but who wants to go through that?
    If the newer units are more reliable, the fee would still make it worthwhile then… When it works it works well, great quality, but when it doesn’t work, even support doesn’t help. And since they won’t even honor the 1 year hardware warranty, it makes me wonder why they even bother to pretend there is one…

    And no, gigabit is NOT required. Any more than a gigabit router is required for the computers over the last few years that have gigabit ports needed a gigabit router. They will autosense line speed and work at that speed.

  19. Jarrod McDevitt says:

    I used to have Vonage and then switched to Ooma. Let me give you my experience. I was a Vonage customer for about 6 years, during that time I saw the prices raised but not drastically. I would have issues periodically with the adapter just losing it’s connection and if you were on a conference call it may remain in memory that you were still on the call. If you called back in, it would make it very difficult to hear those on the other end and you would have to reset all devices (router, adapter, and sometimes your cable modem). It got to be too much so I looked into MagicJack, Skype In/Out, and Ooma.

    I was leary of MagicJack as I didn’t want to have to leave my computer on all the time and I heard it was very difficult to remove the software and that it had ads that would show up so I decided that way, though maybe a cheap solution, was not the route for me.

    Next I checked into Skype In/Out and on the surface it looked promising as you could by phones that you would hook up to your computer and it appeared to only by around $66 dollars a year which was great! However, I still didn’t want all calls to be coming through my computer so I decided not to go that route.

    Ooma was the final one I looked at. I, too, was a little skeptical but thought I would learn more about it. I found out if you bought the new telo adapter ($249) then you would not only get service for free (except state tax of like $3) but you would also get the ability for more perks then even Vonage. I decided to fork out the money and try it. I couldn’t be more happy with it. I added the Premier service of $10 per month (after the free 60 days) so that I would have more features rivaling Vonage and a second phone line! You can choose to get a free telo handset (for second phone line), free transfer of current #, or free bluetooth adapter allowing you to connect your existing cell phone (bluetooth enabled of course) to your home phones. I already had bluetooth handsets and I didn’t care for the transfer so the free telo handset would be great for me. It was backordered so I will let you know about it when I get it.

    Also, with the Premier account you can get 250 min free/mo for the prepaid meaning you can call outside the US or in my case, buy the iPhone app for $10 and use Ooma on WiFi or 3G network for those minutes. I was able to use my iPod Touch as a phone and lower my iPhone bill because of the extra minutes. If you have unlimited data on your AT&T account then this won’t matter, however, if you don’t…according to Ooma, their ClearVoice technology equates to lower data usage compared with other places including Skype.

    With Ooma (free and Premier) you can also export out your call logs to Excel if you need the list like I do for invoicing. Best of all I don’t have any issues with the adapter resetting itself during a call. I have had a few dropped calls where it goes back to dialtone but nothing I couldn’t live with.

    So the breakdown from what I remember is something like this:
    Vonage: ~$29-34/mo no extra line etc.
    MagicJack: I believe ~$35-40 for the device and then $20 per year.
    Skype In/Out: ~$66/year
    Ooma: $249 for adapter, ~$3 for taxes/mo, $10/mo if you want Premier, $10 for the iPhone app.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. Sorry, if the MagicJack price isn’t exact. Just trying to remember it off the top of my head.

  20. Mr.E.Shoppa says:

    I’ve been using an OOMA hub for almost 3 years and the quality has been pretty good, or even excellent most of the time. A couple times I’ve had to speak with tech support to tweak things, however, for a dropped call problem. But overall I think OOMA has the best package for VOIP offered, in spite of not always being “perfect”. I would not change VOIP services.

  21. Kevin Castle says:

    I love OOMA. It is the best VOIP service. I have had vonage, Magicjack, Joiphone, Sunrocket, Skype……OOMA far exceeds my expectations which are very high!!

    Kevin Castle

  22. REALITY says:

    8/13/2010
    Magic Jack is an unacceptable device unless you stay in front of your pc all day long or leave your pc on all the time your home and like to make a bad impression to those who call you. It’s voice quality is also unacceptable unless your a teenager. I mean seriously people … does this even need to be explained. There is no free lunch – most of the time you get what you pay for and Magic Jack is no exception.
    We recently went with Ooma ‘Telo’ base station, handset (pretty good), and bluetooth adapter + Premier service for second ported #er. Most won’t need Premier service but were glad to pay an and extra $9 + $3.47 a month in taxes. Setup is truly plug & play – I read everything I could on the net before purchase and now conclude in hindsight that those with slow connections or old devices were the ones who suffered. Again as of August 2010, using the Ooma ‘Telo’ with only a 1.5mbs stand alone DSL line everything is be-you-tee-full.
    The features (most bugs you’ve read about in the past are now fixed) work perfectly, the voice quality is excellent and the warm fuzzy confident feeling you get when picking up your phone to call anywhere, knowing the preset minor cost, is awesome.
    Ooma has now matured into a strong ‘BUY’ recommendation.
    Also this month (August 2010) they are rolling out business service and this will only make the company stronger.
    Remember you have to use the product that you buy daily … so the way it works, the reliability, the interface, etc. are very important and worth the extra money up front since your going to have to live with this thing for a while. Just like a guest in your home, would you rather have a smart, elegant, sexy, discrete, reliable, well spoken guest named Ooma or an cheap Assh*le named Jack ? Which is really the better value ?

  23. Pock says:

    I have been wanting to cut down my home phone bill after Cox raised their prices again. Did some research between Ooma and Vonage. Decided to go with Ooma and so far, I like this Ooma product. I went with their Premier service and still save money over Cox’s baisc phone service. I was and still am surprised by the voice quality. My family and friends didn’t notice any difference. I think as long as you have high speed internet, you always will have good voice quality. My Cox internet has like 15+mb down and between 2-3mb up. So I was all set.

    Setup was a breeze, extremely easy. From taking the Ooma device out of the box to making the first call, it was literally 15 minutes. I like their blacklist feature, also the 2nd line option from their premier service. I was also able to distribute dial tone to all the wall jacks in my house. So nothing has really changed. Ooma has done a pretty good job on this product. I say if you are paying high home phone bill, research on Ooma and decided for yourself.

  24. scott says:

    I have had my ooma for over 2 years now and its the best!!

  25. Jill says:

    OOma has something better than Vonage and MagicJack. You don’t need your computer turned on to receive or to make calls on OOMA and you do with Vonage and MagicJack. Also MagicJack has terrible support. Have a super , and I do mean super hard time in contacting Magic Jack.

    OOMA is great and you can always get them when you need them.

    • Bryan says:

      This information is incorrect, as far as Vonage is concerned. You do NOT need to have your computer powered on to use their service. Vonage provides you with a router, very similar to the router you’d receive with Comcast. Your existing home phones plug into the router that you are provided.

  26. Bob says:

    If you buy OOMA – and do not like it – it will cost you at least $80 to try. They charge a $79 “reactivation” fee for the second user – so you will not be able to sell it for near what you bought it for…absolute ripoff!!!!

  27. BRITMIC says:

    Well! OOMA sounds OK from all of the above? A bit pricy initially for a retiree,
    but I can see the possible “long-term” savings etc.
    Now about Magic Jack. I checked this out, as like OOMA it initially sounded
    good? However, when I checked deeper into it I discovered that my particular town, Vero Beach here in Florida was not a Magic Jack town. No server or whatever it’s called in this technology (Switch?). Which meant the closest Magic Jack access was in Fort Pierce. south of us and “OUT OF OUR CALLING” area! i.e LONG DISTANCE call using Magic! Incoming and outgoing of course!
    Some of our Canadian resident retirees have MJ and it serves them well! Only thing is if I want to call any of them, just,across the street neighbors, the bloody call goes to Quebec first! So if OOMA has the same no local access switch, it’s SOL again! I think I’ll stick with my present robber barons!

    • Jim Glick says:

      Yeah I live in Wisconsin and got a MJ. Some calls worked, others in area just get 3 rings then dead air. Iwas wondering if Ooma has this problem.

  28. Joseph says:

    Ooma is a rewarding experience especially when international calls are made. I have cut down my international bill by a factor of x4. I use Ooma exclusively when I make international calls and the quality is better. I recommend Ooma to anyone who makes international calles-the savings are dramatic; my return on investment was 30 days only!

  29. Bruce says:

    I struggled for almost 3 months to get ooma to work on Comcast High Speed Internet connection. I made over 30 contacts with their technicians trying to resolve dropped calls, voice cut-outs, warbling, scratchiness, etc., etc. Nothing worked. Back to Comcast digital voice–the best.

    • kf6pts says:

      If you were using Comcast Router for connection, you should check the firewall settings. Comcast routers are really pain the rea…… They it’s like they have a life of their own…..When I just to use Comcast the first thing I did was to buy my own router and all the headaches went away……….

  30. w j mason says:

    I bought the ooma in Ft Meyers FL.

    Ooma has no # in area code 239… none zero zip nada …its the only the only AC used in sw florida.

    they should print that on the box…or a least teach their call center people where “florida” is…I guess its hard if your in the Philippines ..I’m only guess buy it sure was the us.

    I can not get it to work …. Taking it back

    I’ ll stick with my IPhone. You get what U pay for…

  31. Josh says:

    Folks, in life, it’s usually not an an either or but a case of more research.

    As one example, if you have a google mail account (free), then sign in for google voice (also free). With that you can call anywhere in North American (free) and have it sent to the MJ (free, no restrictions). I’m sure there are other possibilities too. Me, I use Onesuite (very cheap, nice tech. service (ported 4 numbers in for free) and pay about $12 a month total. With that system, I use a regular phone, all incoming calls are free. I tend to use Google Voice to call Onesuite (same principle as MJ) with pretty good to excellent results. Peace

    p.s. If you have an old computer to donate to the MJ, so much the better, set it up, remove the monitor and you have a large ooma like box.

  32. Josh says:

    And, I did not mention, you have to buy or unlock an ATA device. I used my old SunRocket one (fairly easily unlocked it with ‘livecd pap2102r’ ; search will pull it up). If you buy an unlocked ATA device, that will set you back about $20 – $25 new; i.e., Granstream model). If you just did one line, after your initial investment of $25 (at most for ATA), ported the number for free (Onesuite), your total monthly bill would be $3.00 (if you used google voice to make the call, which would then call your onesuite number). Cost per year = $36, slightly more than MJ. You do get to keep your number that way however. Peace Josh

  33. al Lee says:

    I am generally satisfied with a bunch of Oama telos that are currently working. unfortunately I have one unit that is defective. the unit arrived dead . after 3 months of efforts to get support from Ooma, I still couln’t get them to resolve the problem. they kept saying the matter will be handled by the so called “escalation Dept.” I’ve got news for you. that department either does not exist or is manned only by a single person whose in a comatose state. in short, Ooma has ZERO support. God or Allah help you if you have problems with your hardware. you’re on your own. you should just kiss $250 goodbye.

    • kf6pts says:

      As I advised before, if you are to buy Ooma device, get it from Costco as you can return it anytime…

  34. Matt says:

    Ooma really is the next best thing since sliced bread. I have had my Ooma box/service for ten months. The only fee with the basic service is taxes to our lovely government. I live in Ga and my fees total a whooping $3.47 a month. That’s it!

    I have ATT DSL 1.5Mbps, which everyone that is slightly tech savvy knows, it a slow speed. I have had no issues unless both kids using two PC’s are trying to watch videos which hog up bandwidth. The reason I mention this is because you can also buy routers with QoS (quality of service: Bing/Google it) support which allows you to prioritize bandwidth usage ie. VoIP. With this installed I have no issues with any calls made or received. Also, if you are using DSL I recommend running a separate line to the DSL and then you can just plug the Ooma directly into you house wiring (provided you have the house wiring separate from the outside “landline” at this point) as this makes installation a breeze for large homes with multiple phones. I have a 4500 sqft home with something like 11-15 outlets. Now I can plug into any of the outlets and they all work on the Ooma. Cable users may just disconnect the outside line on the inside, ie your property, outside equipment is the phone companies.

    Ooma may not be worth it’s weight in gold (as the prices of gold keep going up) but it doesn’t get any better. Also two last things
    1. the Ooma box itself only comes with a one year warranty. Ooma does offer you extensions for the warranty. If you have concerns over this the plans are quite reasonable in my opinion for a $250 device. 39.99 one year, 79.98 for two years and you can buy them separately, meaning buy one year and then after that year is up buy the next year.
    2. See what other services offer you this! Ooma just introduced a new service on top of their enhanced 911. You can add 3 phone numbers to your account that will be called ASAP if anyone dials 911 from the Ooma! How awesome is that! We have had to call 911 twice as our parents live with us. This just gives a heads up that we would all want at a crucial time like this.

    I hope this helps anyone looking to ditch the phone company and quit over paying!

    PS stay away from magic jack unless all you need is a fax-line, call quality is terrible and your PC must be on at all times to send and receive.
    Technically, speaking Ooma is no different than other VoIP services such as Vonage, Comcast, an whom ever else has one except the price! Comcast $40, Vonage $15 intro rate, etc. ….

  35. Laura Middleton says:

    I have a residental landline and a separate business landline. My question , can I use the ooma for a small business and is that legal?

    • kf6pts says:

      Yes, you can use it for business and it is legal. As long as you pay for it monthly, you are able to use it as whatever you like it.

      • kf6pts says:

        I forgot to mention, if you use it for business do not exceed more than 5,000 calls a month as they can advise you to get their business service for 39.99 dollars a month.They see it this way: if you buy Ooma for residential, the average users makes around 400 to 600 calls a month. Maybe the heavy users more than 1,500 calls a month and if they see you using more than 3,000 to 5,000 calls a month: of course they will know for a fact that you are using it for business. :)

  36. Dan says:

    I read all the comments, I too bought a Ooma , but after the hookup I was told I had 5,000 minutes per month,which is alot but Not as advertized! Its not unlimited calls.I’m surprised nobody has brought this up?

    • kf6pts says:

      Yes, they do advise that you use for home/residential. If you are going to use more than 5,000 minutes, they already know that you are abusing it for business and therefore they will stop your minutes. And probably they might ask you to start paying 39.99 dollars a month for business services.

    • kf6pts says:

      Yes, they do advise that you use for home/residential. If you are going to use more than 5,000 minutes, they already know that you are abusing it for business and therefore they will stop your minutes. And probably they might ask you to start paying 39.99 dollars a month for business services.

  37. Dan Randolph says:

    This article is very misleading.
    First of all, expect to have to buy the premium service.
    With the access fees, this will bring your cost up to around $13 per month.

    So with port fees, etc., even if you get the Ooma Telo at a discount of $200,
    you will only save $158 over the first two years (not $450 as the chart says) if you current phone line is $30 a month. If your Ooma device breaks after that, you are out another $200 plus activation charges, so don’t expect to save more than about $75 per year. Hardly worth the hassle an unreliability of using the service.

    • Berry Girl says:

      Questions for Dan:
      Is it mandatory to buy the premier service? I’m confused, because I thought it was optional. All I really need is phone calls plus voice mail and caller ID. Why would I have to buy the premier service?
      Also, what are the activation charges? If you buy it new, what is the activation charge?

  38. K.D. says:

    We’ve been using ooma for several months now with no problems. The call quality is generally quite good (better than using my cell phone). My only complaint is that I can’t run a fax over it, but I expected that. We don’t use the premier service, our bill is like $3 a month for 911 access and taxes. That’s it. I think it’s great. We bought the hub on sale for $200 from amazon and we are probably pretty close to recooping the cost already. If you are considering getting rid of your landline and using cells only, but want the landline for security reasons, this is a good way to do it I think.

  39. Kandace says:

    Same comments as Bruce up above. Ooma promises alot but it’s a hassle to set-up. I can’t take mine back so if you want to buy mine, let me know. LOL

  40. Karen says:

    I bought an Ooma box and have had nothing but bad service. It’s an expensive device at $200 and around $4/month for your “free” service. You can’t get email attachment without paying more for more “free” stuff.

    I’ve tried it over different networks with different network hardware, and it was static city all the time.

    I told them to cancel the service because I couldn’t afford the high price of their “free” service anymore that actually worked nowhere as well as MagicJack (which also is kinda lame since you need a computer, but ran circles around Ooma in call quality and feature set – email attachments).

    I’m actually better off now, turning my Ooma into a piece of ewaste. Run very far and fast from Ooma (in my experience at any rate).

  41. Curt says:

    Is Ooma bluetooth compatible?

    • kf6pts says:

      yes it is.

  42. Sal says:

    I got a OOMA device and was promised free service for life. Lately OOMA deactivated my account without my consent and now will not reactivate it without having to pay a monthly fee. This is a SCAM. They did not keep their promise.

  43. NeedMoreTime says:

    I have used Ooma for almost 2 years and have not had any phone related problems with it. Magic Jack still doesnt work at my house for unknown reasons, and Ooma works flawlessly. I only pay around $3 in taxes a month, and that is all. The one thing I do have on my ooma wish list is to be able to receive faxes. Besides that, it is such a money saver. I call anywhere and everywhere without ever having to think about cost.

  44. Everything works as advertised: Caller ID, voicemail, long distance, etc. I also really like that Ooma gives a dialtone (many VOIP decides do not). Ooma solved all this!

  45. kf6pts says:

    **I have Ooma for more than two years and it already paid by itself (never had a problem with the device). I pay only for the basic service(taxes only). I’ve just to paid more than 45.00 dollars a month to Verizon, regular home service with only 200 calls a month and if I ever used more than that I will always pay more a month. **As a lots of people are saying ”it’s free” in fact there is nothing for free……you pay just a small fee a month, they call it taxes!!!!!!…depends where are you located, the amount changes but it is very little, less than 4.00 dollars a month. I had a magic jack an a magic jack plus, they are also good devices but the quality is not as good as Ooma!!!!. For the price of the device for Ooma, just around christmas goes down to 150.00 dollars at Costco. Which comes to another point to buy it, if you buy it at Costco you have a lifetime to return it. Costco does not have any expiration for you to return it. My cousin bought his last year and stopped working, he went to Costco and got his money back and bought a new one!!!
    Ooma as magic jack can be use all over the world as long it’s connected to a fast internet service.
    **Also as some people had a bad experience with Ooma service and they said that they called Ooma service to disconnect it, it is so SIMPLE TO GET THE SERVICE STOP!!!!…..just go in the website and take your credit card number off and VOILA your service stops right away!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. JC says:

    I see all the comments about Ooma, most are pretty old. The one question I can’t get answered is, how do they stay in business if they don’t charge a fee for their service (free)? They have sales people, tech support people, upper management people I guess all work for free? Sure they make money on the equipment for now, but what happens to Ooma when equipment sales slow down? Where is the income to stay in business? Equipment designed to blow up so they continue to make money? IF you have to buy equipment very now and again, then the phone service is not free? I posted this on their Facebook, and they hid it :-(.

  47. JC says:

    I see all the comments about Ooma, most are pretty old. The one question I can’t get answered is, how do they stay in business if they don’t charge a fee for their service (free)? They have sales people, tech support people, upper management people I guess all work for free? Sure they make money on the equipment for now, but what happens to Ooma when equipment sales slow down? Where is the income to stay in business? Equipment designed to blow up so they continue to make money? IF you have to buy equipment very now and again, then the phone service is not free? I posted this on their Facebook, and they hid it :-(.

  48. Derek Brown says:

    Don’t believe the hype. Ooma is nothing more than bait and bill. When I purchased it in 2010 they advertised as being a free service. I paid $250 for the device. After one year they started charging me a monthly fee of $8.95 a month. This was not what they advertised. Needless to say I have gotten rid of Ooma…..good riddance in my book. I wouldn’t be surprised if a class action suit happened one day.

  49. Derek Brown says:

    Don’t believe the hype. Ooma is nothing more than bait and bill. When I purchased it in 2010 they advertised as being a free service. I paid $250 for the device. After one year they started charging me a monthly fee of $8.95 a month. This was not what they advertised. Needless to say I have gotten rid of Ooma…..good riddance in my book. I wouldn’t be surprised if a class action suit happened one day.

  50. SOUTHJERSEY says:

    It seems to me that some of these comments are done my ” sales specialists” for these various internet phone devices. Face the facts if it is too good to be true “IT AIN’T “. There is nothing that is actually free, for one thing you have to already have an internet set-up. These days most homes with an alarm alarm system with a monitoring center needs a line to call out when the alarm trips. So if you tried that with ooma you would be SOL DOOM-a. Save your money these free phone service deals are WORTHLESS

  51. PhillyGal! says:

    I just purchased Ooma from Costco. Setup is wireless, and so far I’m very happy with it. Clarity is great and the setup instructions were terrific! They told me that it could take up to 3 weeks to port my existing number over, but it actually ported over in 4 days! The only problem I’m having is RECEIVING faxes. (Fax is a feature of my all-in-one printer). Sending is no problem. I was told if I purchase the linx device, faxing problems would resolve. I haven’t done that yet. I plan to try a friends before I buy.

  52. Johnson says:

    I (we) have Ooma. It is the best phone offering on the planet. I (we) did our research and Ooma comes up big, when you factor in Customer Service (something MagicJack lacks).

  53. rug says:

    I call ooma ask if it was true free they told me got to have a credit card for the fee each mth that is $4.00 for fcc and 911 where I don’t need one and it wont sport app like obi talk do and it all free beside the box and it got wifi built in ..you got to have a credit card no western union check

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