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Amazon Review

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:03 am
by realsol
Can anyone from Ooma comment on this review I saw on Is it true?

In the terms and conditions for the ooma phone, it clearly states that you are limited to 3,000 minutes per month (which would be easy to go over with multiple family members using the same phone line):

"In addition you agree that any usage of more than 3,000 minutes per month will be deemed dispositive proof of Prohibited Use. In the event you engage in Prohibited Use, ooma reserves the right to terminate service without notice or, at ooma's sole discretion, to charge you at a rate specified on our Web site for calls that exceed the 3,000-minute per month limitation. This rate may be modified on our Web site from time to time."

See: [...]

However, everywhere else on the website says you get "unlimited" calls (without even an asterisk refering you to the terms and conditoins). To me this seems completely dishonest and misleading, to say nothing of false advertising.

Even in the ooma knowledge base where they explain "ooma Pricing Information" there is no mention of the 3,000 minute limit. "In order to make the ooma system affordable to as many customers as possible, we're now offering the ooma Hub for the one-time price of $249. This gets you unlimited US calling and bundled features with no monthly fees!" "Unlimited" is repeated everywhere on the website. Also, I cannot find anywhere on the website where they specifiy the fee you will be charged for going over 3,000 minutes. That's not really reassuring either.

ooma seems like an intriguing product. But it seems crazy to use a service, where you implicitly agree to pay a fee, even though you're told you get unlimited use, and then you don't even know what the fee is that you have been misled into agreeing to. Shame on ooma.


Re: Amazon Review

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:19 am
by skellener
Yes it's listed here...

5 Use of Equipment and Services

If you read the whole thing the idea behind it is to prohibit Ooma's use for telemarketing. I am surprised, but I think this is understandable.

I'm sure somebody will come up for a legit reason that will break the 3,000 minute per month concept and we'll see what happens. But that would be when using the system for commercial or for-profit use. That is where the 3,000 minute limit comes from. So if you are a business, this issue could come up. The Ooma system is aimed at home users. So if you are not making for-profit calls, then I would imagine this wouldn't apply. I'm not really worried about it myself.

Still it is rather annoying knowing there is a limit even though it's more of a legality. There is no "contract" with Ooma to cancel (unless you are using Premier), so I suppose you could always leave the service if you aren't happy with it. It's not like a cellphone contract.

Re: Amazon Review

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:28 am
by scots
Pretty much every single VoIP service provider in existence has an item like this in their terms of service which states a limit on the minutes per month (usually anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 minutes). All of them advertise "unlimited" calling and make no mention of a limit other than in the terms of service (which most people don't read). This is nothing exclusive to ooma. In most cases it's to give the service provider an "easy out" in case the customer makes excessive use of the service or uses the line for business purposes when the service is meant for residential use only. Connecting the calls costs ALL VoIP service providers money, and there is a certain point where excessive use by a customer can start costing the VoIP provider more money than what they're taking in from that customer. If they get too many customers who consistently do this, the VoIP provider can lose a great deal of money. They have to have an item in place in the terms of service that either allows them to terminate the account, charge the customer additional fees, or move the customer to a more expensive plan (such as a business plan) for the few customers who consistently "abuse" the service.

Re: Amazon Review

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:08 pm
by realsol
Well, it makes sense to me. I for one didn't read the 'fine print' when signing up. The 3000 minute usage will never be a big deal to me. I would though like to see Ooma respond to this comment on, only to help explain the same.

I have Ooma and love it, although I have had a few local callers tell me I sounded like I was in a cave, and sometimes get an echo on my side. I am just hoping whatever causes these problems will be addressed in the future. I am keeping a running review for my website visitors at and haven't mentioned the above, hoping I can figure out some sort of settings that will improve it. If it was for these small problems, I would be pushing everyone I know to Ooma, even my non tech Father, since I feel setup was just a breeze.

Re: Amazon Review

Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:06 pm
by Soundjudgment
I agree. Ooma's usage time-limit does seem a bit excessive. Most VoIP providers I see or dealt with have double that amount of usage minutes per month (or more) as their cutoff. I thought if you signed up with Ooma Premiere those limits would double anyway. I guess not.

But then you can ask yourself: "Do I plan to gab on the phone all-day?" Probably not. So then, wouldn't even Ooma's smaller 3000 Minute/Month limit still be enough to get all the time you need for phone calls?

Re: Amazon Review

Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:51 pm
by skellener
Soundjudgment wrote:But then you can ask yourself: "Do I plan to gab on the phone all-day?"
Again, the limit is to discourage telemarketers and for-profit businesses from using the service. If you are using it at home, I don't imagine it would apply. Talk all you want.

Re: Amazon Review

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:52 pm
by sgrunspan
this may be a problem for me. I have a remote sales person in the UK and we speak for a few hours every day. I bought, registered and shipped him an ooma. We had previously used unlimited international plans from skype for $8/month and never have to worry about going over 3000 minutes, which we do. given the up front cost of the ooma, it would take 2.6 years to break even compared to skype, unless ooma adds surcharges for more than 3000 minutes. if this happens (we are still in our first month), I think there will be a slightly used ooma for sale on

Re: Amazon Review

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:19 pm
by mosteve
i thought i read something about unlimited ooma to ooma (in network) calling...