Something on your mind? Want to give us feedback on something in particular or everything in general? Tell us how we are doing!
#80439 by rex_tf
Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:27 am
I bought an Ooma Telo about 6 weeks ago, more or less on a whim. I figured I'd give VOIP a whirl. So far, I am reasonably satisfied with Ooma, but I have several pieces of advice to potential customers. Depending on your priorities, these may or may not be terribly important, but at the very least these things are large time-wasters which you should avoid.

1. Ooma email support is pretty bad. I have had multiple instances of asking simple questions - some which could be answered "yes/no" - and gotten back a 2 paragraph non-answer or the wrong answer. My advice is to extract from Ooma their support phone number, call them, and then still be prepared for lack of information and misinformation.

2. If you have a POTS line *and* DSL from AT&T, be prepared for a hellish experience when/if you try to "port" your phone number. There are very clear instructions about porting on the Ooma website, and I carefully confirmed these with a human being at Ooma before I pulled the porting trigger. Unfortunately, the instructions are the exact opposite of what I was subsequently told by AT&T. Based on my experience and several hours on the phone with AT&T DSL support, I predict that you *will* blow away your DSL when you try and port your POTS number. In my case, the only way I ever resolved the problem was to drop my DSL in favor of Comcast (internet cable modem) FIRST, and then port the POTS number. If there is some reason why you want to keep your DSL, then my advice is just forget Ooma.

3. You should be aware that the Ooma website does not work completely with the Safari (Apple) web browser. It took a fair amount of Perry Mason style interrogation to squeeze out of Ooma support that there are known issues with MyOoma and Safari (and with Google Chrome, btw). This can be a real time waster.

So far (knock on wood) the actual VOIP service from Ooma has been fine. The actual setup process is pretty painless, so if I weren't a DSL customer trying to port my AT&T POTS number, AND if I weren't a Safari user, I would never have been exposed to Ooma support in the first place, and I would be happy as a clam. So far, I haven't been dropped, haven't had echos, and haven't had excessive delays. It is still quite possible that a year from now I will be satisfied, on balance. But I certainly wish I had been tipped off about these traps. So, here I am, trying to tip YOU off.
#80592 by Bobby B
Mon May 02, 2011 9:07 am
Thanks for the feedback -- I had a couple questions:

- When you asked for dry-loop DSL from AT&T (separate your POTS line from your DSL service), what was their response?
- I'm not aware of any Safari-specific issues with My Ooma - what pages or functions aren't working for you in Safari?
#80600 by DTMF
Mon May 02, 2011 12:15 pm
rex_tf wrote:If you have a POTS line *and* DSL from AT&T, be prepared for a hellish experience when/if you try to "port" your phone number. There are very clear instructions about porting on the Ooma website, and I carefully confirmed these with a human being at Ooma before I pulled the porting trigger. Unfortunately, the instructions are the exact opposite of what I was subsequently told by AT&T.
This situation is not undocumented here.

I had the same problem when I switched to Ooma from AT&T 18 months ago and I have posted about it here in several threads. If you had read my posts about it in the forum, you would have been better prepared. Some of the replies to my posts document an approach that has worked better for customers who've moved over since I did.

AT&T quoted me a 3-week turnaround to correct their mistake that cancelled my DSL broadband. I was able to get Time-Warner service established and self-installed within 4 hours. I'm not a fan of either company, but Time-Warner gained some respect from me by delivering on such short notice.
#80613 by webbbi
Mon May 02, 2011 4:00 pm
Gee, the forum has a 30 character password length limit whereas your normal account page that has all your personal information has 6. What a joke! These people do not take security seriously.
#80615 by nn5i
Mon May 02, 2011 4:14 pm
webbbi wrote:Gee, the forum has a 30 character password length limit whereas your normal account page that has all your personal information has 6. What a joke! These people do not take security seriously.

Pretty sure you're mistaken on that. Mine's rather longer than six. I'm paranoid.
#80652 by rex_tf
Tue May 03, 2011 11:16 am
Bobby B.:

Ooma told me that to initiate the port, I first had to get my DSL dry-looped. The first AT&T person I spoke to confirmed this, however, when that order was actually executed, what actually happened was that my POTS was continued and my DSL account was *cancelled*. At that point, I descended into AT&T hell. Along the way, I was told by AT&T that the proper sequence of events was that Ooma must initiate the dry-loop request. This is the exact opposite of what Ooma states.

To determine what is actually correct, I would have to understand AT&T internal procedures. On the one hand, you want to preserve the existing POTS account, on the other hand, when the dust settles you either want the DSL to be associated with the existing twisted pair on your drop, or, alternatively, you want the DSL to be associated with a second twisted pair which exists on most drops. But you need to know that so you can swap the connection at the house junction box.

All I know is that after spending 5 days with AT&T tech support, I opted to tell them to return things to the original condition (POTS plus DSL on the same physical pair). I then got a Comcast coax internet connection. I then dropped my AT&T DSL. I then initiated a simple POTS-only port.

Regarding browser compatibility, I could not update my credit card info in Safari. When I spoke to Ooma support, I was told that there were known issues with Safari and Google Chrome, and that the only supported browsers are IE and Firefox. I fired up my Vista box and updated my CC info in IE8 with no problem.
#80657 by ydnar723
Tue May 03, 2011 1:37 pm
As one who used to work in the provisioning portion of telephone companies (no not AT&T) it is a tricky area because some small phone companies and some large phone companies have different expectations with port requests and DSL with phone numbers attached.
This is where a struggle comes in within the industry, and I will be clear I am not an employee of Ooma.
We used to take port requests for a phone number with DSL on it and drop the circuit as a whole, the problem was we did not know that you were reusing the circuit, in fact we couldn't call you due to state law to ask you questions such as why you are leaving, did you know you were loosing DSL, etc. We assumed you took your business elsewheres so we dropped everything. If we learned after the fact that you were to keep your data with us, we could easily restore your service within hours if not minutes (it depended if we had to move your wiring at the CO or not to free up data pairs and equipment)
We later implied that because of how we billed products and yes a phone company could indicate on the port request with a specific field as to whether or not you lost your circuit.
The downside that made it more complicated for us as a smaller company, was that most companies do a CSR request then an LSR request. The CSR only identifies your circuit info (sometimes not everyone disclosed this) and your number, the LSR is what is sent to the loosing company, BUT not every phone company displays the same information, therefore not every phone company knew you had DSL with this phone number. So the request would go through asking for your number and essentially the loosing company (AT&T in this case) would decide if they dropped your circuit or not. It is too bad they are too big because they could restore the data in no time.
In my opinion I think Ooma is right, they shouldn't need to tell the other phone company to keep data, the reason being as I mentioned is depending on what AT&T gives for information about your service, they may not have mentioned DSL at all because since some FCC rules a few years back, it is really not the new phone company's business to know you have DSL or not. It is really a norm that in this case Ooma didn't need to tell AT&T to keep someones DSL on. They are technically two separate services, you can have phone with or without DSL.
That is just a tidbit of info of how the communication works, I really wish they would make better rules in the industry as to who makes these calls in these cases with Voip becoming popular.
#80698 by FiveThumbs
Wed May 04, 2011 2:54 pm
I recently switched from "standard" AT&T DSL to U-verse DSL. They screwed this up many, many ways before I had both services up and running properly. And I did not even try to port.

My suggestion is, if you have AT&T, don't bother with the port. Just drop the landline service to the bare minimum, $12/month, and you have a backup line. One of these days I'll hook my alarm dialer into it.

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