Having trouble placing or receiving calls or using your voicemail system on Ooma Telo VoIP Phones? Post your questions here.
#93007 by verkuilb
Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:41 am
Hi everyone,

My family has been having nothing but trouble with our Ooma service lately, and can't get customer service to help us. I wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions one what to do (other than give up on them and port our number back to another service provider).

We are having trouble with people being unable to call us, or us being able to call others. The problems are intermittent and inconsistent, but extremely frequent. Just this morning, I was unable to call our Ooma from my work landline, and my wife was unable to call from her work landline, but I could get through from my cell phone just fine. Other times, it's just the opposite. We usually notice it most on weekday mornings, but that's likely because that's when my daughter is at home while my wife and I are at work. She's supposed to call one of us to let us know she's leaving, but frequently she can't reach us or vice versa.

When I call customer service (have done it at least half a dozen times on this issue), they keep wanting me to change the wiring of my Ooma to the modem and/or the computer, or they want me to change a speed configuration in setup.ooma.com. (Usually, they're having me change it back to a setting that the prior service rep had me change it away from.) When I explain that we've already been down this route, multiple times, and nothing came of it, they really don't care.

After playing with these settings, they typically then have me call them on the Ooma, and they call me, and when both calls work, they claim that it's fixed, even though I tell them that we've done this in the past, and the problems come back later. And sure enough, the next morning, my daughter can't reach us. The Ooma is typically working at the time I try to call them, so when the calls work after the settings change, it's really no surprise. But when I try to call them to work through an issue at the time it's occurring, they refuse to help me, as I'm at work at that time, and they won't help unless I'm sitting in front of the Ooma.

This really needs to be bumped up to "Level 2" or whatever it's called--but they keep refusing.

How do I get through this wall? (Other than changing the number to either Verizon or Centurylink?)

Thanks!

Bill
#93010 by lbmofo
Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:25 am
There is one simple thing you can do to start. To rule out modem having issues, place your Ooma between Modem and Router if not already. If you experience problems still, put in a new modem and see if you still got issues.
#93011 by verkuilb
Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:42 am
Ooma is already between modem and computer. Modem was just thoroughly tested by Comcast (to rule out that being an issue), no problems found. No issues with Internet connectivity found--pass speed and ping tests with flying colors. Will not be able to try another modem due to costs involved with that.
#93015 by jcanavera
Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:18 pm
Unfortunately VOIP is a concept that requires everything to work well otherwise all hell breaks loose. One of the reasons I've steadfastly refused to use this technology at work is that once your voice goes into the "cloud", trying to resolve quality issues becomes a nightmare.

With that in mind, an intermittent problem like you are having becomes extremely difficult to find and diagnose. You have made some observations though that may have significance. First it looks like you may have an established a pattern regarding the failures. The key then becomes the ability to run diagnostics during that time of failures. I don't know whether you've tested from this site http://www.phonepower.com/speedtest but it may be worth your while to immediately start testing when these problems first occur. Obviously this may be a problem because you said both you and your wife aren't home, but somewhere along the line someone has to immediately start some testing from your home when the problem is occurring.

Other questions abound that you haven't posted in your description. Is the problem a ring no answer situation? Is the outbound calling from your home getting no ring tones? What do your call logs show? Unfortunately, the I can't make outbound calls or receive calls scenario hard to diagnose just on those statements alone. Has anyone checked out the wiring between your Telo and home wiring (voice side)? A broken wire or bad crimped connection could be part of the scenario. Likewise a bad cat 5 jumper between the modem or Telo side can reek havoc.

What is running on your home network when your daughter is having problems? Is she watching any streaming video or using streaming audio applications?

I say all of this as a Telecommunications Manager at a major convention center where I support voice, wireless and data systems. Quite honestly I held off going with Ooma at home for a long time due to my concern regarding the ability to trouble shoot issues when so much of what goes on is out of my ability to directly deal with. It really comes down to you doing everything you can on your end to absolutely make sure the problem is not on your side of the connection. That may not be your cup of tea and my wife has said that she is not comfortable in trying to support a VOIP voice solution if I'm not around. My answer to her is that I understand this and if I pass on before her, she can feel free to call AT&T and order a traditional wired voice circuit, and also go back to writing checks for bills rather than use an Internet bill paying service.

Those of us who jump to this newer technology have to understand that with all of its benefits which include saving money, there is a dark underbelly which requires a higher level of skill for those of us using the advancements. Quite honestly some people should never make the jump.
#93018 by lbmofo
Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:39 pm
verkuilb wrote:Modem was just thoroughly tested by Comcast (to rule out that being an issue), no problems found.

This result can not be trusted.

verkuilb wrote:No issues with Internet connectivity found--pass speed and ping tests with flying colors. Will not be able to try another modem due to costs involved with that.

When modems go belly up, they often act up intermittently. If leasing modem, get another one from ISP to try. If own, buy one to try it. We maybe talking about $50 or so online; if not the problem, then you can get rid of one of them via online.
#93038 by thunderbird
Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:10 am
I was having simular problem also. But from what I understand, the next Ooma Telo firmware update, which should be released within a fairly short period of time (exact time unknown), should help with the one way calling issues.

You can always contact Ooma Customer Support by E-mail, which I have better luck with, and request second level support, which will push the issue. Some people have requested in the past, if there is a next Ooma Telo firmware update in the pipeline, to get an advanced copy pushed out to you.

Customer Support
Email: support@oomacare.com
Phone: 1-888-711-OOMA (6662)
Monday-Friday 7am-7pm PST
Saturday-Sunday 8am-5pm PST
#93046 by verkuilb
Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:28 am
Thanks for all the replies everyone. Responses to some of your questions/comments.

Our phone is DECT 6.0.

I've asked my daughter if she's ever watching Netflix when the problem occurs. Although she can't say for certain that it's never happened during that time, she said that typically, it's occurring either when the TV is off, or when she's watching something that was recorded on the DVR (and therefore shouldn't be impacting this.)

I obviously don't get full reports on what the call results are for everyone who tries and fails to call us. Most people trying to call us on that line are either friends of my wife's, or friends of my 10-year-old daughter's. And needless to say, when they report to my wife/daughter that they couldn't get through to us, most of the time my wife/daughter aren't going to be asking all the "did it ring and no one ever answered, or did it never ring/did it go to a busy signal tone, or did it go to an error message/etc." questions. And even when they do, odds are that those people weren't paying enough attention at the time to know (especially with the 10-year-old's friends), or the message is getting messed up in the relay from caller to wife/daughter to me. But from my own experience, when it happens that I'm trying to call home and can't get through, it usually acts like when you dial a phone number but don't press enough digits--you get the dial tone at the start, then after you dial you get a long silent delay, and eventually it goes to a busy signal.

None of the calls that aren't going through are showing up in our online caller log, nor are they ever going to our Ooma voicemail.

While checking our log, I was just looking through it and noticed something: Although there are some numbers in it that I don't recognize and therefore can't comment on, of those which I do recognize, NONE of them are local landline numbers. They're either out-of-the-region landline numbers, or cell phones, or VOIPs. Thinking back, I don't remember an occurrence of the problem when I've called the Ooma number from my cell phone, or vice versa. Relevant? Maybe the "intermittency" I've perceived isn't so much that the problem is coming and going, and has more to do with the type of phones which certain people are trying to use to contact us.
*EDIT* Going through the log again, I just noticed that I was able to call home from my work landline this past Monday afternoon, even though I can't get through to there right now (Wednesday morning), nor could I yesterday morning, nor could I Monday morning. So it's not as simple as "certain numbers" or "certain phone types. :(
*ANOTHER EDIT* Actually, that call on Monday was going TO my work landline. I'm not finding any recent logs of calls going FROM my work landline TO the Ooma line. So that theory still holds up, at least for incoming calls.

I'm not sure if this matters, but we got the Ooma quite a while ago (I think it's been now over a year), and when we got it we ported the number from our old Centurylink landline.

Modem is owned by us, so can't swap it for another unit with Comcast. But we're not having any issues with internet connectivity, and right now I can't go through the time, effort, and cost that would be required to do the swap test lbmofo suggests, especially when the internet connectivity is fine, the Comcast tests of the modem pass, and the fact that the calls aren't showing up in the call logs leads me to be far more suspicious that the issue is upstream of the modem. Thanks for the suggestion, I definitely do appreciate it--but I'm not yet to the point of trying that. And I suspect that the pressure from my wife is going to result in me reaching the point of dropping Ooma long before I reach the point of that test.

Thunderbird, thanks for the suggestion to email customer support. I hadn't been thinking that it would be any more helpful than their voice support--but based on your reply, I'll definitely give that a try.

Thanks again to all of you for the help!!

Bill
#93052 by lbmofo
Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:44 am
verkuilb, when trying to call home, are you calling the number that is ported from CenturyLink? Or the number you got when you signed up with Ooma? If non Premier the 2nd number drops off from the account after a while.

If talking about number you had with CenturyLink, usually, when number is not reachable, when using phone serviced by previous carrier, there could be some internal routing issue the previous carrier has to fix. But, you have outgoing problem as well...so probably not the case.

I'd try to get Ooma support to look into your Ooma carrier routing. Perhaps something has gone wrong on that front.

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