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#26146 by raincity
Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:03 am
I've been using Ooma for about 3 months and have been generally very pleased with the service, but after finding that Ooma blocks Touchtones (DTMF) I've maintained my second line with a different service so I can access my existing answering machine.

Since Ooma Basis will no longer include voicemail, will Ooma be passing Touchtones so basic users can remotely access their answering machines? If so, will Ooma Premier also pass Touchtones? If so, I'll sign up for Premier today.
#26147 by niknak
Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:06 am
it's not a matter of the service level, it is a hardware issue
the hubs will never be able to pass DTMF
The Telo was supposed to be able to do so, but I don't think it is implemented yet
#26157 by MikeekiM
Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:00 am
raincity wrote:I've been using Ooma for about 3 months and have been generally very pleased with the service, but after finding that Ooma blocks Touchtones (DTMF) I've maintained my second line with a different service so I can access my existing answering machine.

Since Ooma Basis will no longer include voicemail, will Ooma be passing Touchtones so basic users can remotely access their answering machines? If so, will Ooma Premier also pass Touchtones? If so, I'll sign up for Premier today.


As noted, the incoming DTMF is a hardware issue... But something confused me a bit...

If you are willing to pay for premier to get touchtones so that you can access your existing answering machine, why would you not consider premier to actually get the enhanced voicemail? I used to have an answering machine, and while it was great for call screening, etc...it couldn't take a message when I was on the phone... and my telco VM could...

Now with Ooma enhanced voicemail, I actually get both the ability to take messages while I am on the phone, as well as screen my calls...

Just wondering...
#26166 by raincity
Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:21 am
Since Touchtones are passed within standard voice frequencies, the only reason a piece of telephony hardware won't pass them is if it has been been specifically designed to block them. I don't know the specifics of the Ooma Voip implementation and the blocking of Touchtones may be done at the remote end with the Ooma Hub simply being unable to regenerate them. With standard DSP's (Digital Signal Processors) this kind of limitation is established with firmware at either end. I understand why Ooma would have done this because it prevents commercial use, but since commercial use is now effectively prevented through the minute limitations, I'd like to request a firmware update that will allow Touchtones to pass.
#26168 by raincity
Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:27 am
Good question. My answering machine is completely integrated into my cordless phones system, as is the case with nearly every cordless phone. I have message waiting lights on every phone and multiple mailboxes, but the most important feature is time-of-day call routing. Wrong numbers at night are routed right to voicemail without ringing my phones. An emergency call can get through by pressing zero - but only if touchtones are passed.

MikeekiM wrote:If you are willing to pay for premier to get touchtones so that you can access your existing answering machine, why would you not consider premier to actually get the enhanced voicemail? I used to have an answering machine, and while it was great for call screening, etc...it couldn't take a message when I was on the phone... and my telco VM could...

Now with Ooma enhanced voicemail, I actually get both the ability to take messages while I am on the phone, as well as screen my calls...

Just wondering...
Last edited by raincity on Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
#26169 by hpepper
Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:44 am
raincity wrote:Since Touchtones are passed within standard voice frequencies, the only reason a piece of telephony hardware won't pass them is if it has been been specifically designed to block them. I don't know the specifics of the Ooma Voip implementation and the blocking of Touchtones may be done at the remote end with the Ooma Hub simply being unable to regenerate them. With standard DSP's (Digital Signal Processors) this kind of limitation is established with firmware at either end. I understand why Ooma would have done this because it prevents commercial use, but since commercial use is now effectively prevented through the minute limitations, I'd like to request a firmware update that will allow Touchtones to pass.


Dennis and Bobby with Ooma have stated many times throughout the forums that Ooma does not intentionally block DTMF - that is is a limitation of their codec used and I think another reason. Also, as niknak said, they also said they are working to make the Telo pass DTMF... not sure when.
#26218 by niknak
Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:44 pm
...but since commercial use is now effectively prevented through the minute limitations....

commercial use was always prohibited under the TOS. There always was a limitation of 3000 min/month ..it was only recently raised to 5000 min/month

...I'd like to request a firmware update that will allow Touchtones to pass...

this will never happen...ooma has stated that the firmware cannot be altered due to a contractual agreement with the manufacturer
#26220 by hpepper
Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:12 pm
niknak wrote:this will never happen...ooma has stated that the firmware cannot be altered due to a contractual agreement with the manufacturer


Just to clarify - niknak is correct about the older Hub - but Bobby said this about the Telo:

Bobby B wrote:Right now, inbound DTMF doesn't work on the Hub due to a limitation with a proprietary hardware component/driver.

We are planning to support inbound DTMF on the Ooma Telo, since the device is not limited by this proprietary component.
#26222 by MikeekiM
Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:15 pm
raincity wrote:Good question. My answering machine is completely integrated into my cordless phones system, as is the case with nearly every cordless phone. I have message waiting lights on every phone and multiple mailboxes, but the most important feature is time-of-day call routing. Wrong numbers at night are routed right to voicemail without ringing my phones. An emergency call can get through by pressing zero - but only if touchtones are passed.


So what if Ooma's enhanced voicemail incorporated most of these features? Would you be inclined to abandon the built in answering machine for the Ooma voicemail?

Honestly...I'd love to see some of these features in the enhanced voicemail... I particularly like the emergency call button which I would like implemented using white listing of certain phone numbers (like my parents) even when my phone is in "Do Not Disturb" mode...
#26234 by Davesworld
Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:04 pm
Ever since I started using VOIP, I deliberately chose DECT phone systems that do NOT have a built in answering machine but instead just have a voicemail indicator which DOES work with VOIP. For some reason, the US market is flooded with phones that have built in answering machines yet more and more people cannot use them nor would want to.

Why would I want to dial into my home phone and enter a pin just to retrieve messages when you can easily do so via the web or even an email attachment? This is so 1989.

A few years ago when VTech came out with the 6000 series DECT Phones, to get the 6041 which has voicemail indication rather than an answering machine as the US model 6042 did, I had to buy from Canada. Now I upgraded to the 6200 series which actually does have a US model with just a voicemail indicator, the 6215-2 and then I added two 6205 handsets to it to have four total. It's so disheartening to see a flood of phones in the store with a bunch of answering machines. Frankly I find it to be an insult from the manufacturers to the US market.

A side note: My old phone's built in answering machine did not work with Packet8 either.

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