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#29183 by ibsscott
Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:50 pm
Ooma customer service sucked about as much as I had anticipated it would. My number was ported yesterday. I was anxious to test the wall jack functionality. I plugged one end into the Ooma phone jack and one end into a wall jack and there was no dial tone, just some humming line noise. I tried plugging a phone into the wall jack and there was silence, no dial tone. I called AT&T who assured me that the line was completely disconnected. So I tried calling Ooma Customer Service. Instead of trying to assist me with getting the wall jacks to work, they simply said, "We do not suggest you use Ooma that way. You should buy the Ooma handsets or use a wireless handset plugged directly into Ooma. I told her I needed the wall jacks to work because:

1. I already had handsets and I was not going to spend any more money
2. I needed my Dish Network boxes to work with the wall jacks.
3. Ooma advertises this feature so she should try to help me with it.
4. I already disconnected from AT&T to try this out at a cost of $39.99 to port.

Again she repeated the mantra, "We do not suggest you use Ooma with wall jacks. Blah blah blah. Dish Network is not supported. Blah blah blah."

I did not see the point of having Ooma if I needed to keep an AT&T landline for any device requiring a wall jack.

I asked about alarms and she said that Ooma does not work with alarms although I see people do it all the time in the forums. This was another reason I decided to go with Ooma. I realized fairly soon that this woman really had no intention of helping me or really cared.

Soooo, after much aggravation and no assistance from Ooma Customer Service who actually seemed to prefer that I return to AT&T and return my Ooma to Best Buy, I finally headed back to the forums since that is truly where the knowledge lies.

I read numerous postings say that you needed to disconnect the landline where it enters the house. Being inept at such things I was very wary of being able to disconnect my phone without disconnecting my UVerse internet. However when I had ruled out any other way of making it work, I decided to open up the phone box on the house. Surprisingly there were 2 labels, one said "telephone" and the other said "data". Since the UVerse installers had previously told me that the orange lines were for UVerse and the blue lines were for the phone, it was easy to see that the labels were indeed accurate. I disconnected the blue lines from "telephone" screws and voila, all the phone jacks in the house started working. it couldn't have been easier. Now how hard would it have been for her to just tell me that? Ooma Customer Service can suck my big toe. I don't know why I waste my time with these inept people. I remember when customer service used to mean something and people went the extra mile to solve your problem.

Next up, I'm going to find an installer to connect the input cable of my alarm system into the phone jack of the Ooma. From my research, this seems to be the proper way to install the alarm and have all the jacks in the house connected as well. And another tip, I've read that you should prepend *99 to any number dialed by an alarm, fax, dish network, etc to decompress the voip data being sent. I'll try that very shortly but I certainly won't call customer service if it doesn't work right away.
#29205 by feartheturtle
Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:19 pm
Greetings jbsscott, welcome to the forums! You will find many people here that have tackled similar problems as you have/will encounter. Visit often - you will likely find solutions, or you may be able to help new ooma users.

I wish your experience with oomsa CS was unique, but it seems plenty of people reach the off-shore help-line and leave with similar stories. Personally, I think the CS group could help many people by referring them directly to these forums! Lets hope that most new ooma customers never find a reason to call CS!

At the end of the day we all want this company to thrive and grow!!
#29224 by Leeway
Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:49 am
ibscott, First I must say that I'm glad you have it all of your jacks working. I wish you had found these forums before you went through the frustration of the new support. After reading so many disgruntled posts about the customer service perhaps the foreign support people should only have one statement

"Go into the forum on the web".

That would be the best support ooma could offer.

Donna
#29225 by Stackowax
Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:56 am
feartheturtle wrote:I wish your experience with oomsa CS was unique, but it seems plenty of people reach the off-shore help-line and leave with similar stories. Personally, I think the CS group could help many people by referring them directly to these forums! Lets hope that most new ooma customers never find a reason to call CS!

At the end of the day we all want this company to thrive and grow!!


I've had just as bad or worse customer service from State-side customer service reps who appeared to be very high up in the customer service food chain. Like any company, the problem starts at the top so let's not go blaming "off-shore" reps who are, undoubtedly, receiving their instructions from the folks in California.

In my judgment Ooma will not survive unless they fix their customer service. And it won't get fixed until the higher ups in California figure out that this is important. As far as I can tell, they don't think CS has any value whatsoever.
#29240 by ibsscott
Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:06 am
I could be wrong but I believe my service rep was in the U.S. However, I would really like Ooma to succeed. I really hope the people at the top read these forums and take the criticism seriously. The concept is brilliant but you only get one chance to make a first impression. As a new company, their customer service will define them and their future. It doesn't take too many negative blog posts and magazine articles to spread like a virus and ruin their reputation. I had even told this woman that I am writing a technology article in a local business magazine next month about creating a virtual office and I wanted to include a positive review about Ooma. Her level of service did not improve one bit. Perhaps my next article will be about customer service. I have left many companies because of poor service and I know I am not alone. The biggest example is that I stopped buying Dell computers because they insist on outsourcing their CS to India. There is nothing more annoying than a person you can barely understand reading off a cue card and repeating everything you say. I now will only buy Apple computers even though they are more expensive because their customer service is in California and is excellent. Steve Jobs gets it. I think Ooma should follow suit.
#29380 by Davesworld
Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:35 am
I can't imagine a responsible customer service rep telling you to mess with the phone wiring at the home entry point since it belongs to the telco and not ooma so they acted properly in a legal sense. If ooma CS did tell you to mess with the telco wiring outside the premises, just what they would need is for you to have a ring signal come in while you had the wires in your hand, you'd get shocked and blame ooma. You can barely feel a tingle if even that when no ring signal is present. Sure, we'll tell you to unhook it at the junction because we don't work for ooma and don't care about the telco, we simply are sharing tribal knowledge. Still, I'm surprised that no one ever talks about what happens when a ring signal comes in while you are touching the wires. It's about a 70 volt shock.
#29491 by southsound
Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:56 pm
Davesworld wrote:I can't imagine a responsible customer service rep telling you to mess with the phone wiring at the home entry point since it belongs to the telco and not ooma so they acted properly in a legal sense. If ooma CS did tell you to mess with the telco wiring outside the premises, just what they would need is for you to have a ring signal come in while you had the wires in your hand, you'd get shocked and blame ooma. You can barely feel a tingle if even that when no ring signal is present. Sure, we'll tell you to unhook it at the junction because we don't work for ooma and don't care about the telco, we simply are sharing tribal knowledge. Still, I'm surprised that no one ever talks about what happens when a ring signal comes in while you are touching the wires. It's about a 70 volt shock.

Actually, if the phone wiring was done in the last 20+ years, there is a very simple way to disconnect the home wiring from the telco wiring. In a standard POTS installation, there is a network interface box on the outside of the house. There is a portion that is meant to be opened by the consumer and a portion that is secured by a special screw and is only for telco installer access. The consumer side will include wire with a modular plug or a hinged version of the same for each line. The purpose is to provide a way to verify if a problem is with your internal wiring or the telco. Before calling repair it is always recommended to open this box and unplug the wire (or swing it aside) and plug in a wired telephone. If the phone works, the problem is not with the telephone company and you can save yourself a bill by checking your internal wiring. When the plug is out of the jack, the house is disconnected from any source of ringing or talk battery. I am sure that is what the CS person was describing. It is recommended that if you are using ooma to power up your home jacks (and do not have DSL) that you disconnect your home wiring this way. If you have DSL you need to keep the connection alive that supplies DSL signal to your modem.
#29493 by southsound
Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:04 pm
ibsscott wrote: I read numerous postings say that you needed to disconnect the landline where it enters the house. Being inept at such things I was very wary of being able to disconnect my phone without disconnecting my UVerse internet. However when I had ruled out any other way of making it work, I decided to open up the phone box on the house. Surprisingly there were 2 labels, one said "telephone" and the other said "data". Since the UVerse installers had previously told me that the orange lines were for UVerse and the blue lines were for the phone, it was easy to see that the labels were indeed accurate. I disconnected the blue lines from "telephone" screws and voila, all the phone jacks in the house started working. it couldn't have been easier. Now how hard would it have been for her to just tell me that? Ooma Customer Service can suck my big toe. I don't know why I waste my time with these inept people. I remember when customer service used to mean something and people went the extra mile to solve your problem.

Next up, I'm going to find an installer to connect the input cable of my alarm system into the phone jack of the Ooma. From my research, this seems to be the proper way to install the alarm and have all the jacks in the house connected as well. And another tip, I've read that you should prepend *99 to any number dialed by an alarm, fax, dish network, etc to decompress the voip data being sent. I'll try that very shortly but I certainly won't call customer service if it doesn't work right away.

If you connect the "phone" port of your ooma hub or Telo to the blue wires you disconnected from the UVerse box, your alarm system should work without needing an installer. This is the pair of wires that feeds your alarm system and through it, the rest of your home. The reason your alarm system will not work by just powering up the phone jacks in the house is that alarm systems are wired through an RJ31X jack that allows the alarm system panel to disconnect the house jacks in the event of an alarm report. So if you are powering things by just connecting to a house jack, as soon as the alarm trys to report, it disconnects the source of dialtone. Using the blue/white pair of wires you disconnected from the UVerse box puts the ooma where it needs to be to make the alarm regain control. You can either use an unused pair of wired (maybe the green/white pair) or run a new wire if it is not too difficult. Remember to insulate the connection using either ScotchLock gel filled connectors (Home Depot or Lowes) or gel filled "beanies". More questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

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