International Minutes - Parking

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csherid
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:33 pm

International Minutes - Parking

Post by csherid » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:43 am

For those with share our homes with children, nannies or other non-family members, it would be very useful to be able to park international minutes so that they are not available unless the person with the ooma account (Me) wants to use them.

I am constantly adding $10 every Saturday to make a $2 phone call to my brother in France, and needing to add another $10 the following Saturday because someone in the house has figured out that there were international minutes available and used them up. This means that it effectively costs me 11 cents per minute to call France, instead of 2.2 cents that is ooma's actual rate. As a result, I find myself not using ooma for international calls, but purchasing $2 phone cards to make them.

I think a Park/Unpark feature would be very useful for those of us in this situation, and there must be many people in this situation

cetacea
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:23 am

Re: International Minutes - Parking

Post by cetacea » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:28 am

Temporary solution would be to go through the call logs and see what international numbers are being dialed and confront the abuser with a log of the calls and a bill for the time they have used.

I'm not sure if it works for outgoing calls, but you could try to block those numbers from the Call Log manager as well.

Would be interesting to see if it works! :)

Good Luck!

koehn
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:57 am

Re: International Minutes - Parking

Post by koehn » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:38 am

I think actually confronting whomever is using your minutes would be more effective than a technical solution.

Another easy alternative would be to use a long distance service like onesuite.com which has competitive international rates (less than eleven cents per minute) and would require a PIN.

csherid
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:33 pm

Re: International Minutes - Parking

Post by csherid » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:23 pm

Writing code is always easier than dealing with people and trying to change their behavior. People are unpredictable, but code once correctly written and debugged will work every time. I think it is a feature that many people would find useful.

My wife is from Costa Rica and if given free reign, she'll be on the phone to family there every day. One reason that ooma was so attractive to me is that I have more control over international calling and there is no surprise bill at the end of the month. But if I could park minutes, I'd have complete control over international minutes, which is what the person who pays the bills ought to have.

If I could park minutes, I would actually use ooma more for international calls, instead of buying the $2.00 cardboard calling cards, even though they are usually cheaper for long calls; dialing direct is just so much easier.

scots
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:26 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Re: International Minutes - Parking

Post by scots » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:44 am

I don't make international calls, so don't know how the purchasing of time works. Why not just buy $2.00 of international calling time from ooma, or does ooma require purchasing international minutes in $10 increments?

Other VoIP providers I've used had a feature that allowed you to log into your account and enable/disable international calling. I guess ooma doesn't have this feature since international time has to be purchased separately in blocks rather than direct dial/monthly billing like other providers.

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Mojo
Ooma Moderator
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Location: Palo Alto, California
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Re: International Minutes - Parking

Post by Mojo » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:02 pm

Perhaps we'll add an optional access code for international calling in the future. We're currently implementing a new international calling backend system, so I think it'll be easier to add such features.

csherid
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:33 pm

Re: International Minutes - Parking

Post by csherid » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:10 am

Thank you for your reply. I think an access code would inconvenience everyone unnecessarily. If we could just toggle international minutes ON / OFF or PARK / UNPARK, that would be great, because only those needing the feauture would need to deal with it. It doesn't seem like this would be very difficult to implement. I hope they will consider this when they redo the back-end software for international minutes.

Thanks,
Chris

oompa
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:09 am

Re: International Minutes - Parking

Post by oompa » Fri May 01, 2009 9:10 am

Mojo wrote:Perhaps we'll add an optional access code for international calling in the future. We're currently implementing a new international calling backend system, so I think it'll be easier to add such features.
I'll be watching this one.

I also hope Ooma can lower the call rates to the Philippines. Somehow, it seems that call to the Philippines is much higher compared to other countries.

buzzman
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:04 pm

Re: International Minutes - Parking

Post by buzzman » Fri May 01, 2009 11:45 am

Same here - the two countries I call the most have rates 2-4 times higher than a calling card I use. If the Ooma rates were competitive with my calling card, I'll start using Ooma for international calls in a flash.
oompa wrote:
Mojo wrote:Perhaps we'll add an optional access code for international calling in the future. We're currently implementing a new international calling backend system, so I think it'll be easier to add such features.
I'll be watching this one.

I also hope Ooma can lower the call rates to the Philippines. Somehow, it seems that call to the Philippines is much higher compared to other countries.

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