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#17320 by oomg
Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:53 am
mikepa wrote:For all the bad will this is generating, I can't believe Ooma just doesn't say OK, we'll give people a year to use the credit. I believe even in a year many people will still not use the credit so it's not like the move would cost Ooma megabucks. To do nothing will cost them in returned hubs. Mine for one.

The fact stands now that to many places where Americans would call they would have to spend 30 minutes a day on international calls just to use up the $50 which is clearly stupid.


First, we don't know for sure who is paying for this promotion. It may well be that Costco has agreed to compensate ooma for the actual cost of the international calls used, up to $50 per unit sold.

Second, although I may take more time than most to read things (and know that I still sometimes miss things), I was fully aware that the Costco.com promotional offer of $50 international calling credit was limited to 90 days. However, I'm not quite sure at this point just how I learned that fact. In any case, I don't believe the policy is "stupid," even though I might believe there is a better policy. I simply don't know all the facts, and thus, there may be a logical, legitimate reason underlying the existing policy.

Nevertheless, as I said last week:
"Having said all that [regarding Ohio's statute], and while I personally agree that the terms are not deceptive, I think there may be a legitimate question as to why have any expiration date at all. O.K., chances are few people will ever use the full credit, but then again, those same people will likely never use the credit at all, and thus, the promotion is probably not attractive to these purchasers. The bad P.R. and/or the returned item that must thereafter be sold as a used or refurbished item, even if it only affects a small percentage of purchasers, would seem [IMHO] to outweigh the benefit of having the relatively short termination date." Edited portions in brackets.
#17474 by dr150
Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:26 am
Lola wrote:Can someone please post a link to the page that states that the credit has a 90 day expiration? The only thing I can find on ooma.com is the refer-a-friend promotion.


The "refer a friend" link I posted is the only 90 day mention for that promotion.

The Costco $50 promo has no advertised 90 day expiration.....anywhere.
#17519 by oomg
Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:49 pm
dr150 wrote:
Lola wrote:Can someone please post a link to the page that states that the credit has a 90 day expiration? The only thing I can find on ooma.com is the refer-a-friend promotion.


The "refer a friend" link I posted is the only 90 day mention for that promotion.

The Costco $50 promo has no advertised 90 day expiration.....anywhere.


But, the "refer a friend" promo applies only to the current ooma customer who refers a friend. And, if I recall correctly, the referring party may choose between the $50 credit or an 6 month extension of Premier service.

Don't forget, the Costco refer a friend deal is for a Hub only system. I personally believe the Costco.com system is a much better deal for the buyer since it includes Hub, Scout, extra 4 months of Premier service, and that $50 international calling credit. I have expressed my preference to each person to whom I have recommended an ooma system, and explained why. Frankly, I wouldn't want a friend to think I recommended a lesser deal, just so I could get a bonus.

Having said all that, I became aware of the Costco $50 credit limitation independent of the "refer a friend" deal... at least, that is my current recollection. Ask me again tomorrow.
#17524 by oomg
Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:04 pm
sclin wrote:I just got off the phone with Ooma support and they confirmed the Costco's deal with $50 International credit has a 90 day expriation. I like to Ooma service and product, but I felt I was cheated because there is no mention from either Costco's web site or Ooma's web site. In fact the call agent does not even know, and he had to to through 3rd level of the support in order to verify 90 day expriation. I am thinking about returning the product. It's a readlly bad PR for Ooma. I am one of their better costumer that also sign up for Permier service for $99.00 a year. I would stay with Ooma if they can make my $50 cedit without expriation date.


Well, did you return it? It seems to me that would be a huge hassle for something less than $50 (I am assuming that some portion of the $50 credit was, or would be used during the first 90 days), particularly given the other positive aspects of the system.

sclin wrote:May be we should report it to Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC).


Ah... jeez! BBB... a truly worthless organization in my opinion. FTC, they tend to be heavy handed, but usually only after receiving an inordinate number of complaints.

Stop and think about this for a moment. In the last six months or so, I have already saved about three times what my system cost me, and that includes the cost of Premier. Now, my circumstance may not be quite typical, but come on you guys. I will go out on a limb and say that almost everyone will save enough in their first year to pay for the product. Assuming for the sake of discussion only that the $50 international calling promotion were found to be deceptive (and I don't agree that it is), how many of you are willing to hammer ooma over this? What was that story about the guy who killed the goose who laid golden eggs?
#17554 by mikepa
Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:44 am
oomg wrote:Stop and think about this for a moment. In the last six months or so, I have already saved about three times what my system cost me, and that includes the cost of Premier. Now, my circumstance may not be quite typical, but come on you guys. I will go out on a limb and say that almost everyone will save enough in their first year to pay for the product. Assuming for the sake of discussion only that the $50 international calling promotion were found to be deceptive (and I don't agree that it is), how many of you are willing to hammer ooma over this? What was that story about the guy who killed the goose who laid golden eggs?


You're missing the point Oomg. What if Ooma suddenly decided the free US long distance deal expires six months after purchase and after that you now have to pay for long distance? Would you be so happy then?

Returning the product to Costco is quick and easy and sends a message to Ooma that we don't like your tactics. It will cost them much more than the $50 credit they should have given me. You can then (or even before) buy another system from elsewhere (at lower cost) and easily switch your account to that hub if you think, as I do, that the Ooma service is worthwhile despite their misguided business practices.

The FCC and BBB are probably not appropriate, but the Attorney Generals office can be effective in dealing with bait and switch advertising which is what this would be classified under. I am somewhat shocked Costo hasn't leaned on them to sort this out, but maybe most people don't know they are about to be screwed so the complaints so far are limited.
#17563 by mikepa
Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:12 am
J&R has the Ooma Hub & Scout for $189. This is $50 less than Costco's price with free shipping and no tax unless you're in NY.

I'd rather have the $50 in cash - I know that never expires, plus I save the $13.74 tax!

(Yes, you lose the 4 extra months of Ooma Premiere, but frankly I wasn't that enthusiastic about the premiere extras anyway - Google voice gives you many of the capabilities for free.)
Last edited by mikepa on Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
#17589 by bw1
Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:46 am
mikepa wrote:
oomg wrote:Stop and think about this for a moment. In the last six months or so, I have already saved about three times what my system cost me, and that includes the cost of Premier. Now, my circumstance may not be quite typical, but come on you guys. I will go out on a limb and say that almost everyone will save enough in their first year to pay for the product. Assuming for the sake of discussion only that the $50 international calling promotion were found to be deceptive (and I don't agree that it is), how many of you are willing to hammer ooma over this? What was that story about the guy who killed the goose who laid golden eggs?


You're missing the point Oomg. What if Ooma suddenly decided the free US long distance deal expires six months after purchase and after that you now have to pay for long distance? Would you be so happy then?

Returning the product to Costco is quick and easy and sends a message to Ooma that we don't like your tactics. It will cost them much more than the $50 credit they should have given me. You can then (or even before) buy another system from elsewhere (at lower cost) and easily switch your account to that hub if you think, as I do, that the Ooma service is worthwhile despite their misguided business practices.

The FCC and BBB are probably not appropriate, but the Attorney Generals office can be effective in dealing with bait and switch advertising which is what this would be classified under. I am somewhat shocked Costo hasn't leaned on them to sort this out, but maybe most people don't know they are about to be screwed so the complaints so far are limited.


It's not bait and switch. Bait and switch is where the retailer advertises one item that is at an unprofitably low price and when you go to buy that item, says that item is not in stock and offers a similar but inferior item at the same price.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bait_and_switch

While Costco should have clearly stated the 90 day limitation on their website and Ooma should be following up with Costco to have that done, I wouldn't expect Costco to tell Ooma to rescind that limitation.

You have the right to return the product under Costco's return policy, but I don't think it's right for you to use up some or most of the calling credit for 90 days and then return it and turn around and re-purchase it for less somewhere else. I'm not even sure if you could transfer your account in that case.

If you don't like Ooma's business practices, why would you re-purchase it anyway?

BTW, here's something to read that may give you some insight to Ooma's business practices for their existing customers:
http://blog.ooma.com/2008/07/16/number-porting-updates/
#17602 by mikepa
Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:46 am
The bait is "Ooma service with free $50 international credit". No mention of expiration date.

The switch is ""Ooma service with free $50 international credit that expires 90 days after contract start".

The advertised product is not available, but hey do we have a deal for you? We have an inferior product to the one advertised.

Ooma strikes me as a good company with a good product that isn't handling marketing screw-ups very well. Hopefully they will learn.

I have no intention of using any international minutes before switching the hub out for the J & R hub. I'm still using up my Skype minutes!

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