Having trouble placing or receiving calls or using your voicemail system on Ooma Telo VoIP Phones? Post your questions here.
#30027 by DCbeachboy
Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:59 pm
For anyone who wants to use their existing non-Ooma 2-line phone with a Telo to fully access both lines, while keeping 1 existing landline and porting the other number to Ooma: Don't bother. Apparently it can't be done. :x Despite assurances from support staff BEFORE I bought my Telo that it would be no problem using my Vtech 2-line phone with the device, I have encountered a series of problems trying to get both lines to work. I literally have spent the past 7 hours troubleshooting with Ooma support, and have placed no less than a dozen or so total calls to their support line since recently purchasing my Telo.

I have received exactly 4 different answers as to whether fully integrating 2 existing phone lines into the Telo is even possible at all at this point in time ("yes", "no" or "yes, but..."). In fact, the answer to almost any question you ask varies, depending on who you speak with. Clearly no training at all has been done on this issue, and judging from responses I've received on other problems as well, little coordination seems to be taking place. At times it has seemed as if they are making up answers as they go along.

PROBLEM #1: "Phantom" calls from one line ring to the other line continually...sometimes 1-2 minutes apart, other times 5-10 minutes or even 30 minutes apart. No clear pattern at all. The phone rings, you answer it, but no one is there....you only hear a dial tone. If you don't answer, you receive a voice mail from these phantom calls -- again, the message is simply the dial tone.

PROBLEM #2: When talking on the phone line (including calls to Ooma support) and one of these phantom calls comes in, it rings about 3 times then disconnects the 1st caller. AND the phone goes dead -- you can get no dial tone at all afterward, forcing you to disconnect the power from your cable modem, your router, and your Telo, then boot-up all 3 again in order to get a dial tone again. (Of course, in the meantime, you are left without any way for Ooma support to call you back -- forcing you to call again after you've restored service and reiterate the problem again to yet another support rep.)

PROBLEM #3: You must choose which of your 2 phone numbers you want to show up in the caller ID for ALL outgoing calls you place with the Telo -- regardless of which of your 2 lines you use to place the call. So calls from both Line 1 and Line 2 all show up as if they were made from Line 2 (or Line 1, depending on which line you prefer).

PROBLEM #4: No caller ID appears for incoming calls -- every call shows only as "unknown". Pre-Ooma, when I used only my landline service, caller ID was automatic. I "ported" one of my 2 landlines to Ooma (effective yesterday), and attempted to integrate the 2nd non-Ooma number. But no incoming caller ID shows for either line now -- even though I'm still paying my landline provider for it, and even though Ooma itself is supposed to show it.

PROBLEM #5: You cannot place 2 separate calls on the Telo at the same time, using your 2 phone lines. If you are on 1 line and a call comes into the 2nd line, you can place the 1st call on hold to answer the 2nd line, then either join the 2 lines together for a conference call OR return to the 1st call after you've completed the 2nd call. But if there are 2 people in your home who each need to use a different line at the same time, forget it. Not possible.

Although the phantom calls seem to have completely baffled the various support reps I've spoken with, I'm told that some (not all) of the other problems may be resolved when the new Telo handset begins shipping in mid-November. Which means I'm essentially without 1 of my 2 lines for the next 3 weeks -- and am uncertain if even then I will have acceptable service. Given the string of issues thus far, I'm not that hopeful.

(UPDATE: Corrected previous general references to Ooma to specify the Telo instead, as appropriate.)
Last edited by DCbeachboy on Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:59 pm, edited 6 times in total.
#30028 by southsound
Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:28 pm
I'm sorry that you may have received bad information regarding two lines with ooma. But before ripping the company and saying it can't be done, you need a little more ACCURATE information. If you want two hard wired lines, the Telo is not for you at this point. In fact, it may never be for you as ooma has never spoken about the possibility of having two hard wired lines. But the ooma core - that's the one with the hub and the scout that you can still buy at Amazon, Costco, Best Buy and a host of other companies DOES support two wired lines. It requires Premier at $99 per year to get the extra number, but it works well. I have both the ooma hub and the Telo. Many folks use the hub for line 1 and the scout for line 2 and use two line phones throughout their home to have two distinct hard wired lines.

My advice is to return the Telo - it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Then purchase the hub/scout package at the dealer of your choice. Those of us on the forum can walk you through the steps to have two wired lines throughout the house. Again, I regret that you have received bad advice. It was because of bad training buy not something the company wants to have happen. ooma has proven to me that it is an outstanding company wanting to do everything it can to satisfy customers.

And no, I don't work for ooma - something about a minimum height requirement and raccoons just aren't tall enough. Feel free to respond and let us help you become a satisfied ooma customer. :cool:
#30041 by DCbeachboy
Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:32 pm
Thanks for replying, Southsound. I do appreciate your taking the time to try to help.

But let's be clear here: I would like nothing more than ACCURATE information. And that has been the problem from the very start with Ooma. I receive different answers almost every time I call their support, so now I'm relying on unofficial information from other users to try to determine what's accurate and what isn't. Out of the at least 1 dozen calls I've made trying to remedy this dilemma, not even once has a support rep ever informed me what you are now suggesting -- that the Telo will NEVER support 2 fully independent phone lines (i.e. ability to both make AND receive calls from 2 separate lines, such as a home line and a home office).

Instead, twice I've been told that I will need to wait for the Telo handset before integrating both my existing phone lines -- and that all features will work at that point. Another rep informed me that both lines would only work correctly after 1 of my 2 numbers was ported to Ooma -- that the Telo could only handle 1 non-Ooma line. (The port happened yesterday, and that info, unfortunately, proved false.) Others have indicated that 2 lines indeed could be integrated into the Telo, but you can only use one line at a time. Of course, the biggest misinformation of all came at the outset -- before I even purchased the Telo, when I explained precisely what I needed the Ooma to do, and was assured that it would "absolutely" handle such a 2-line set-up. No caveats whatsoever.

So, far from "slamming" the company, I'm simply dismayed and more than slightly annoyed at the horrendously poor communication and coordination of answers I'm receiving from the very people who SHOULD be able to provide me with accurate info -- both before and after purchase. You try spending literally an entire day -- 9 hours -- in search of accurate info, while constantly rebooting your modem/router/telo, and we'll see how annoyed you become. A common issue such as this would seem to belong in online Q&As. But the exact issue is never addressed -- although in fact, Ooma's web site strongly implies that the Telo does support 2 lines. If what you are saying is true, then that fact should be communicated loud and clear so that other future customers can avoid becoming stuck in the situation I'm now in.

As for my choice of the Telo rather than the Hub/Scout: As a former news reporter, I carefully and methodically researched my options before purchasing, and opted for the Telo for several reasons. Apart from the obvious design upgrade, more importantly it seems to be a more advanced 2nd-generation system that offers future enhancement potential as well. I may very well opt to switch yet to the Hub/Scout, or possibly just buy a separate 1-line phone to use with 1 of my 2 lines, keeping my existing landline and using the Telo-connected 2-line system with the other line. Neither option is anywhere close to ideal, but then ideal really is no longer an option for me with the Telo, it seems.

On the plus side, I will say that the call quality (when a call does manage to get through) is outstanding -- far superior to any other VoIP I've ever heard, and every bit as clear as my old landline -- if not more so. I'm sure the Telo is a perfectly fine system for users who need only 1 fully operating line and use a single-line phone. But for those of us with 2-line phone setups, I'm beginning to believe it's just not a solid option. Ooma, please prove me wrong. :|

If this issue is somehow resolved, I'll gladly post an update.
#30045 by WayneDsr
Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:00 pm
As an added voice in this discussion, I want to verify Southsound is correct. 2 lines can be obtained with the Hub and Scout and NOT with the Telo. The Telo, has 2 lines, but only 1 is controlled by your phones and the other is controlled by the telo handset, wirelessly. There is NOT a hard wire port for the second line connection.

At this time ooma is having a hard time juggling a new product release, new webpage, and a surge of customer service (I know this is no excuse, but it is happening). IMO you will get more acurate information here than CS, but that is temporary from what I understand.

Welcome to the forums and I hope everything turns out positive for you.

Wayne
#30049 by Shutterstuff
Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:27 pm
I am glad I found this thread!

I was frustrated with my call to CS this evening and almost canceled my order with Amazon because of it. But I am glad I ordered the Hub and Scout set and not a Telo.

So, in order to use my Panasonic 2 line cordless phone system, I will have to have the Hub and Scout next to the base unit?

Will I have problems porting BOTH of my Vonage numbers to Ooma? They were formerly Qwest numbers before Vonage. I assume I will get one free with my Premium subscription and will have to pay for the 2nd.
#30050 by DCbeachboy
Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:38 pm
WayneDsr wrote:The Telo, has 2 lines, but only 1 is controlled by your phones and the other is controlled by the telo handset, wirelessly. There is NOT a hard wire port for the second line connection.


Wayne -- thanks, very good to know that. And thanks to both for your words of welcome....even if I'm not feeling particularly gung-ho on my Ooma transition as it now stands.

I'm still not quite clear though on the need for a "hard wire port" as you call it, for the 2nd line. Is such a port really necessary? I really don't care whether there is an actual jack for the 2nd line on the Telo. Wirelessly or not, I simply want to be able to make AND receive calls on 2 separate lines from anywhere in my home -- 2 lines that existed pre-Ooma.

For several years I've used a Vtech base phone with 4 wireless Vtech handsets around my home. On each of these 4 handsets (as well as the base), I can both make and receive calls from either Line 1 or Line 2, by pressing the appropriate button. I initially was told that would continue to be the case by plugging the base into a Telo. Wrong. (Under the VERY best-case scenario that may even be possible, using line 2 will require selecting "2" on the Telo itself; the 2nd line on my 4 handsets is now inoperable.)

2 Questions:

1. If I replace the Vtech system with 4 new Telo handsets (after they're available next month), would that enable me then to both make and receive calls from either of my 2 lines from any of the 4 Telo handsets?? If so, that's all I need, and I'd be perfectly happy! (assuming the random calls stop and the caller ID issues are resolved)

Due to these phantom calls, I've temporarily had to unplug the Telo and reconnect my phone directly to the wall jack. Of course, this means that I now have no access at all to the 2nd line that was ported to Ooma.

2. Is there any reason at all to believe that porting my 2nd number to Ooma somehow would resolve any of the problems I initially described? One of my 2 numbers is now an Ooma number, but the other line is still with Verizon. I'd happily port that too if I had good reason to believe it would correct the problems, but given the series of issues I'm having...I'm highly reluctant to switch both lines to Ooma at this point.

Thanks again.
#30101 by DCbeachboy
Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:28 am
Yes. But from what I'm learning, there appears to be more than one definition of a "2nd line". :? And therein is the problem. For the Telo, I'm beginning to believe that Ooma doesn't define a 2nd line in the traditional sense.

For those of us who have grown accustomed to having 2 distinct traditional landlines in our home, having a 2nd line means the ability to:
*Place or receive a call on either of 2 lines, even concurrently if desired.
*Use a single 2-line phone to access both lines, or multiple 2-line phones to access both lines from anywhere in the home.
*For each outgoing call, automatically have the respective line's caller ID (name, phone number) displayed on the receiving end, rather than attaching the same caller ID to both lines.

Here is the exact language Ooma uses in the Telo handset brochure:

Instant Second Line
If there’s a phone hog in your life, it’s no longer a problem. With Ooma’s Instant
Second Line, all you have to do is go to another Ooma Telo Handset in the house,
pick it up, and you’ve got a fresh Ooma dial tone. Plus, you can make or take
a second call without missing a beat.


This does a fine job of implying that there are 2 distinct phone lines -- especially the part indicating that you can "make or take a second call". But it remains to be seen whether the Telo handset will offer all 3 of the traditional "givens" noted above for a 2nd line. None of the 3 presently are available by connecting the Telo to a non-Ooma 2-line phone.

Ooma, how about some clarifying language here to explain exactly what will be possible with the new Telo handsets, with regards to a 2nd line?
#30105 by southsound
Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:39 am
DCbeachboy wrote:For those of us who have grown accustomed to having 2 distinct traditional landlines in our home, having a 2nd line means the ability to:
*Place or receive a call on either of 2 lines, even concurrently if desired.
*Use a single 2-line phone to access both lines, or multiple 2-line phones to access both lines from anywhere in the home.
*For each outgoing call, automatically have the respective line's caller ID (name, phone number) displayed on the receiving end, rather than attaching the same caller ID to both lines.

Here is the exact language Ooma uses in the Telo handset brochure:

Instant Second Line
If there’s a phone hog in your life, it’s no longer a problem. With Ooma’s Instant
Second Line, all you have to do is go to another Ooma Telo Handset in the house,
pick it up, and you’ve got a fresh Ooma dial tone. Plus, you can make or take
a second call without missing a beat.


Ooma's description of the Instant Second Line is correct - but what you want is two distinct separate numbers that may be accessed independently. What you have described in your own request is indeed possible with one or more Telo handsets and Premier. One of the features of Premier is the ability to have a second number at no extra charge. You will not be able to easily access that number from the Telo base as the phone port on it is only for line 1 - but it will work great on the handsets, once available. Note that some need a wired second line if they have a problem with distance greater than the range of the DECT 6.0 handsets. In my case, I have a barn well beyond the physical limitation. But in your situation, it should be an ideal situation.
#30112 by DCbeachboy
Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:12 am
Southsound,
Your message offers me great hope -- if I can just manage somehow to do without full access to both of my lines until the handsets are available in a few weeks. I'd still like confirmation from Ooma, however, that all 3 of the features of a traditional 2nd line I described will be available using the upcoming Telo handsets. That will determine whether I need to exchange the Telo for a Hub/Scout before my 30-day return period expires in a few days.

For now, the most critical issue I'm grappling with are the ongoing phantom calls. Help -- somebody please make them stop! :shock: I disconnected the Telo overnight to avoid waking me throughout the night (and also to avoid accumulating numerous v/m's for each of these calls). But assuming Ooma is looking into this issue, as the support rep promised, I reconnected the Telo again this morning in case that helps them pinpoint the problem. At some point I'll need to disconnect it again, as one can only handle so many of these calls/day before going nuts.

The calls come in quite regularly...usually just a few minutes apart, but sometimes longer. The phone rings, "unknown" shows on the caller ID, but you get only a traditional landline dialtone when you answer (not the higher-pitched Ooma dialtone). A few times, I've noticed that the caller ID indicates "Call from Line 1" rather than "uknown"...but this is rare.

Because I'm hearing a traditional dialtone rather than an Ooma dialtone, I am suspecting the culprit has something to do with the set-up/integration of my Verizon landline (line 1) into my Telo. Line 2 has been ported to Ooma. Thoughts, anyone?

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