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#14140 by southsound
Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:13 am
<< I edited this post to show the resolution of my concerns and to answer the question I had about ooma support. You'll find my edits in color below. >>
I just had opportunity to call ooma technical support for the first time in a couple of months. When I first set up my system back in February, hold times were sometimes 20 minutes plus. I was on the phone constantly as they worked through making my experience stellar. Then they added a lot of great people and calls were answered within a minute or so. By well trained support technicians who were here in the US. When I sent someone to 888 711-6662 I knew they would be satisfied.

Recently, I decided I'd check to see why I never got my $50 International Calling Credit. I purchased my ooma core from Costco and they were offering the credit at the time. In my first months, my quality and echo problems overshadowed even asking about the credit. Things got good and I would venture to say I'm one of ooma's greatest supporters and love helping others on the forum so they can have my positive experience. Back to the credit. I got a voicemail from Tino (one of ooma's best, by the way) saying that his records showed my unit didn't qualify for the credit. I called back after hours on what I believe is his direct line and left a voicemail with the Costco item number and the suggestion he contact Costco to see how that item was bundled. When I called that number today, it went to... MANILA??? and the person who answered was clearly very new. He didn't know what I was asking about and the call quality was terrible.

I'm sure that ooma will take care of it. They always have in the past - even having received calls from Rich Bucannan to make sure I was happy. But my question is this - is tech support still great or has ooma's success put it into the category of other companies with splotchy TS and lots of offshore support people who don't have a clue? I want it to be great. I want to be able to recommend calling support if the user community here can't help solve a problem. But please, tell us your recent experience with TS to give me the confidence I once had.

Update on my calls and support experience. I received a call from Tino this morning. As I discovered from bw1, the credit would have done me no good as it had an expiration date and I really don't make any international calls. But the real meat of the call was Tino asking me about my experience and concerns regarding support. These folks REALLY CARE. He wanted to assure me that yes, they have moved some support offshore but that they were doing massive training and it should be totally transparent to the customer/user. Except that it will keep call wait times down and quality of resolution at the same level even with them growing so quickly. So my advice, if you have a problem and need to call support, expect great service - but be a tad patient if you suspect a new person. Don't be afraid to politely ask for a higher tier support person if you are not getting satisfaction. ooma still cares! And my confidence is restored. :cool:
Last edited by southsound on Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
#14142 by Aveamantium
Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:43 am
No matter how good a company is, I think it is a great idea to "check in" on them from time to time. To me a company is only as good as their support, so this is interesting to me. I'll be curious to see how this gets resolved!

As for my dealings with support:
1) Billing issue when I signed up with Premier - Response was wonderful and taken care of immediately.
2) Scout scratchy issue - Doing this through e-mail so not a good comparison but the first response was almost immediate and they asked me to try to connect the scout directly to the hub. I sent them back a lengthy e-mail about my troubleshooting (outlined in this forum somewhere) and have yet to receive a response.
3) Caller ID hasn't been updated yet - Again through e-mail but I got a response right away with a trouble ticket ID that said they were looking into it (happend a couple of days ago so I can update the status later).

So overall I'd grade my dealings with CS as a "B" for the time being.
#14178 by Gaelic1
Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:12 pm
I called support and got them with no delay in time. I spoke with a rep and he answered my question right away and took care of my problem. I have never had better anywhere.
#14211 by bw1
Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:07 am
I suppose it was only a matter of time before they started using off-shore support. The advantage is that they should be able to longer support hours and it should save them money.

The key to using off-shore is training and making sure that the support call is transferred to a 2nd level if the issue or question can't be quickly resolved.

I was concerned that Ooma was spending too much money on support calls without much ongoing revenue. Another support change I think they could make is to offer an online ticket submission from the end user.
#14247 by southsound
Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:22 am
See my edited original post. Yes, ooma support is still great - and the fact that they would call me back to talk about it is really encouraging!
#14314 by ggilman
Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:05 pm
I called ooma for the first time two nights ago. Wait time was incredibly low, well under a minute. Probably around 15 seconds.

The tech I talked to was very nice but seemed a bit short on training. There were several times he asked me to hold so he could "look something up" & when he returned to the phone, the things he asked me to do were very routine & simple. He seemed to be confused about the terms "behind" and "in front of" the router, even though he asked for my setup in those exact terms. Several times he also called my router a "hub" which was rather confusing since the ooma device, even though not technically a hub either in networking terms, is called a hub.

The most surprising thing though is that he told me that after we talked (was on the ooma so couldn't disconnect), I should connect my computer straight to the cable modem and run a bandwidth test without my router or ooma. He gave me no other information on the topic. The issue is that this just flat won't work and I assume this is the case for the majority of cable modem users. The cable company uses your MAC address to verify you are a valid user. If I had done as he'd suggested, I wouldn't have any Internet connection and thus no speed tests. I could call the cable company & have them change my registered MAC but it can take up an hour for the changes to happen & I'd have to do it again to go back after. Had I not known better, it would have just been a waste of time & likely frustration.

Anyway, from my very limited experience, big plus for response time. Another plus for the friendliness, but minus on the experience level. In fairness though, my level of knowledge on computers & networking is well above average & it's rare I find a tech center employee that really knows what he's doing. Even so, the ooma support guy I talked to was below average in comparison.
#14316 by murphy
Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:10 am
Cable companies do not use your computers MAC address to validate you. That is done with the cable modem's MAC address. What they do do is program the cable modem to memorize the first MAC address that connects after a power on of the cable modem. This is to prevent you from getting more IP addresses from them than you are paying for. This means that you must power cycle the cable modem anytime you change what is connected to it.

Turn off your cable modem and your computer. Connect the cable modem to your computer with the same cable that was used to connect to your ooma hub or router (you didn't say which way you have them connected). Wait until the cable modem finishes it's initialization. Usually indicated by the cable light being on solid. Turn on your computer. Hopefully you have a firewall running because you are now exposed directly to the internet. You can now run the speed test. When you are done, turn off the cable modem before you re-cable back to your normal configuration.
#14350 by ggilman
Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:33 am
murphy wrote:Cable companies do not use your computers MAC address to validate you.

No. This is not correct, at least not always. I have had two different ISPs that I know utilized the MAC address for verification. I have first hand knowledge of this since I have had to call the ISPs to have them change the number associated with my account. The first time I changed routers, I didn't have a clue as to why it didn't work until I called my ISP, who then explained it & then made the changes on their end to allow me to connect.

As well, there would be no purpose for nearly every single home-based router made to be able to clone a MAC address. Likewise, you are able to manually set the MAC address of the ooma hub. If I recall, when set to "automatic", the hub grabbed the MAC address of my router which was behind it. There would simply be no purpose if this address was not used for some form of verification. Rather than allowing you to set the MAC, the setup guide would just tell you to reboot your cable modem.

I may well have been mistaken in my assumption that most systems used the MAC. I may have been on the only two ISPs in the world that use it. However, I know they do, or at least did when I was on them, and with the extreme commonality of routers that allow you to alter MAC addresses, I would guess they aren't the only ones.

Given the information now that at least not all ISPs use the MAC, I'm not certain if my current one does or not. I moved within the last year and changed ISPs. Have not had any cause to test the MAC requirement under my current ISP. There would be no way for the call center to know the status of this better than I did, and when I mentioned the issue, he did not question my response or even discuss the matter further.

My assumption at this point is that we were both incorrect. I initially assumed, based on my experience that nearly 100% of the ISPs used the MAC and you have assumed 0%. I now feel the number lies somewhere between. Even if the number is relatively low, I don't believe the suggestion the call center made was valid without explanation of the potential issue. The impression I had at the time was that it was an idea he came up with, not standard ooma troubleshooting policy.

The issue you bring up about the firewall is quite valid and another reason I do not think his suggestion was a good one. Assuming an average home user, which he should, you'd have to assume a number of unpatched vulnerabilities. The risk of attack to an unpatched computer is far too high, even in just a few minutes. I keep my system patched better than the average user and still would not consider a direct connection a good idea.

I was rather surprised at the suggestion. Putting a computer straight on the net is just not something you should do. I understand in principle what he was attempting to do; get measurements as clean as possible. However, in practice, his method was both risky & susceptible to failure.
#14421 by ggilman
Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:15 pm
As a follow-up I tested my current connection and was able to connect directly to the cable modem. Though I still don't think it's a good idea to put your PC directly on the net, I quickly ran a few tests before reconfiguring my network back.

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