Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

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Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by pkeeley0 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:25 pm

I suggest that Ooma offer a Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Allow an Ooma Personal Number to be used as a Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service.

1) The "Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service" should route incoming faxes:
  • (a) to a specified fax number
  • (b) to a My-Ooma Fax Mailbox where it will be stored as a PDF file or TIFF file that is viewable, download-able, deletable, and forward-to-fax-able.

2) The "Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service" should send My-Ooma owner a notice of incoming fax by email, SMS, or phone message.

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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by southsound » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:32 pm

I wonder if a company that had a business model that included offering fax service might be a more likely target for your suggestion? I would hate to see ooma divert technical resources to adding something that could be (and is) offered by others. I think that ooma does a pretty good job at providing awesome phone service - but there are still bugs to be fixed and features (like 311?) that need to be added, honed or made real. Taking a rabbit trail into the fax arena could not possibly help them with the other issues. JMHO. :cool:
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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by Nat Ray » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:02 pm

I strongly agree with SouthSound . . .

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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by lbmofo » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:07 pm

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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by DanCallies » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:38 pm

Why do people still use "fax?" Aren't there like a billion times faster ways of transferring information?

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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by dschmidt_2000 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:21 pm

DanCallies wrote:Why do people still use "fax?" Aren't there like a billion times faster ways of transferring information?
Yes, but businesses still use them. Sure is convenient for handwritten documents and when forms are filled out.

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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by Laughing Laura » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:56 am

I rarely receive faxes, but I need to do so occasionally. I've been looking around at other phone services to get the fax receiving feature. Seems a shame I can't use Ooma.

Southsound makes a good point. I agree -- there are other features and problems Ooma should address first that are more important, urgent, and/or useful to more Ooma customers.

But if faxing were easy and cheap for Ooma, it could be a selling point or an extra income stream that may be worth it. I have no idea what adding the fax option would entail.

Anyway, it doesn't hurt to let Ooma know that we'd like the feature!

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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by scottlindner » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:11 pm

I think it's a brilliant suggestion that would really add to broadening Ooma's market. To address SS's comment about other's being in this space already, maybe Ooma could work out a partnership so it doesn't need to reinvent the wheel. I also wonder if Google is working on something that might be available via GVE. I'm not sure how that would work on the backend though.

There may be some awkward use cases that need to be thought about first because there may be more than one way to approach such a feature.

Either way, expanding your market and looking toward the future is always good business even if you ultimately choose that today is not the day.


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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by sfhub » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:23 pm

Fact is many people need fax and often they are keeping their landline around primarily because of fax.

Many people however don't need fax either because they never faxed that often or have found alternate means.

Gaining new customers is positive for Ooma the company as well as existing Ooma customers as it keeps the doors open and our service running.

Reducing the impediments for people to switch to Ooma as well as adding new features to entice them to switch are both valid ways to get new customers.

IMO based on the number of times fax comes up as a pre-sales question and as a support issue, a reliable solution for faxing would be beneficial for Ooma.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a solution developed completely in-house at Ooma. It could be working with partners, let's say detecing fax tones at the Broadband Answering Machine and redirecting calls to a partner fax service. I don't think the customer really cares, as long as end product is something reasonably integrated.

Telling someone who has had their fax machine connected to their landline for many years that to switch to Ooma:
1) your fax machine may or may not work
2) you might need to buy a new fax machine
3) you need to establish a business relationship with yet another entity along with associated risks and headaches like Privacy, reliability, whether the company will be around, availability of numbers, etc.

Personally, I think being able to receive faxes via virtual fax mailbox after the broadband answering machine picks up and detects fax tones would satisfy most people enough that they'd have no problems switching over. They can adapt their behavior for sending faxes by some combination of *99, getting a different fax machine, scanning documents, using email2fax services, etc. However when they need to receive a fax, they don't have as much control over the sender, so it would be really nice to have that integrated into Ooma without needing to seek yet another third party.

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Re: Virtual Fax mailbox and redirect Service

Post by JasonV » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:21 am

I use a fax service to receive faxes only. It cost me $.99 per month and they charge $.05 per page. My yearly cost is $9.99 (you get 2 month free) for the base service. It works great. Any incoming fax goes to my email inbox in a PDF format. I use my own fax for outgoing ones. This is something I would be glad to pay Ooma.

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