Setup and Go? Uh, no.

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Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:26 pm

Setup and Go? Uh, no.

Post by klingcam » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:56 am

Let me preface this by saying that I AM now an Ooma fan. But it wasn't always this way (the screen becomes all blurry and wavy as we flashback to an earlier time): Ooma claims that as soon as you're up and running that you can kiss your phone company and monthly bills goodbye. This is simply not completely true. In my extensive research, you will still be paying for your ISP and/or cable internet provider. Most, if not all, independent ISP's require that you maintain basic phone service to receive their service because your local big brother phone company (mine is ATT) bascially "own" the lines in your area. In fact ATT is not even offering stand-alone, or "dry-loop", svce to many of its customers. In my area, they would, but as long as I maintained my basic svce and paid a $10.00/mo. upcharge...and if I'm maintaining my basic svce, then it's really not "stand-alone", is it? They would give me stand-alone DSL for no add'l charge if I bundled my package with DirecTv. This is the route I took since it was cost-effective and I think Comcast is the devil. So I dumped Comcast, and killed two birds.
Next, regarding service: Again Ooma claims that you're basically Plug 'n Play. They advise that u keep your current phone svce intact until your number is ported, if you wish to keep your number...but once you've hooked up the hub correctly and you hear the Ooma dialtone, you are good-to-go and you're making free domestic calls. Uh, wrong! Mine was hooked up correctly, but the Ooma answering machine was non-functional, I couldn't make any toll-free calls, and I couldn't make 95% of my local calls. So it was essentially useless. I had to keep my home answering machine on and use my current ATT phone svce. During this time, I had placed about 4 or 5 different calls to Ooma support totalling approx 8 HOURS. I spent endless amounts of time on hold listening to the same droning hold music as the techs in the Phillippines swore they were documenting all my concerns. But each time I called they put me on hold only to come back on the line and ask me the same questions and perform the same diagnostic hardware procedures.I would like to add, that the techs required I keep the Ooma system online so that diagnostics could be performed. So, this 8 HOURS of frustrating call-in time was made on my CELL phone. Fortunately, I had enough rollover minutes, although on one call I did run out of battery. I must say that all cust svce techs were polite and friendly, but their efforts were fruitless. Finally, I called Ooma corporate stateside, and demanded someone whose first language is english to address my concerns. Again, they were prompt and polite. However, I was shocked when I was informed that all of my svce issues were normal, and when the porting process was complete, the issues would go away.When asked why no one on previous calls could put my mind at rest, I was flabbergasted to be told "that I have to realize that these people are Level 1 techs"! So, I guess no one in the Phillippines got the memo about these incredibly frustrating, and common, problems. Two of the Level 1's told me they would escalate my issues to the next level, but I never received a call back. (pant, pant)
Needless to say, Level 2 stateside was correct. (the screen goes blurry again and we return to the present) My issues did go away once my number was ported. But 8 hours of frustration, monotony, and a near-miss where I almost packed the hub and scout back up in the box could have been easily avoided had someone simply explained the process. And quite frankly, the online and product manual claims of supposed Plug 'n Play are misleading. I'm sure it differs from area to area, BUT A SIMPLE DISCLAIMER STATING THAT FACT COULD HAVE AVOIDED A LOT OF ANGST.
I share this lengthy story because I truly do want to believe in Ooma, they're product, and what they do...and my system seems to perform admirably now. I just feel that the new user must be informed, and the current documentation from Ooma does not address these possible issues. The long and short of all this is that the system now works well and I still have ATT, but I am saving money(approx $100/mo!) because of Ooma and an ATT bundle package. Now you've got the facts people. Spread the word.

Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:03 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Setup and Go? Uh, no.

Post by c_koby » Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:05 am

I agree that the porting process would go more smoothly if OOMA would keep the customer informed of the process and communicate regularly and frequently, by email, with the customer. This would cut down on calls to support, as well as frustration on the part of the customer.

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:14 am

Re: Setup and Go? Uh, no.

Post by duck69 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:29 am

:o You have been misinformed. AT&T will give you a dry loop.
I called AT&T and requested a dry look. All they said was that "in order to have a dry loop I would have to disconnect my regular phone service". They also asked questions. Like, if you have wireless phone service & is it with them etc..
Other than a few questions there was no problem at all.

Oh yeah ! One more thing. In order to have the dry loop you have to have their $40 a month DSL service. If you are on a lower tier, you have to move up to that one.
I was already on their $35 a month service. So, an extra $5 a month to save $25 a month for basic was a really good deal for me. Your individual circumstances may be different.

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