Problems using My Ooma? Ideas on how we can make it better? You’ve come to the right place.
#93237 by EX Bell
Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:36 am
Yep, that sure looks like the Ooma dongle I returned to Amazon. Personally, I'm not angry at Ooma for trying to make a hefty profit on an accessory made in China. The fact that a product can be ordered direct from China just means we would be contributing toward eliminating American and Canadian jobs that would otherwise handle the product in-between (Warehousing, procurement, possibly the printer that printed the card insert for the Ooma packaging, maybe the person who's job it is to remove the product from the bulk packaging and insert it into the retail packaging). My opinion is, the middle-man is trying to make a buck as much as you or I are.

The Ooma dongle is overpriced for what it does, but as you and I have posted, there are options. No Ooma moderator took our posts down or tried to censor us in any why for posting the links to the alternative options. They didn't offer the alternative because they want to make a nice profit on accessories and they don't want to support the alternatives for free if they can avoid it and this is reasonable.

The reason I returned my Ooma dongle is not the price, but rather it did not interface correctly with my Blackberry, it gave random CID information from my both my Blackberry and my wife's iPhone (e.g. Sometimes the Telo sent the name of the cell phone receiving the call, and sometimes it showed the number calling, but never both as stated in the current FAQ), and it occasionally caused the Telo to reboot in the middle of a received cell phone call.
#93249 by lbmofo
Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:24 pm
OomaLurker wrote:Ooma... $30 for a bluetooth dongle? SHAME ON YOU!

I wouldn't put it that way. Ooma needs to sell own bluetooth adaptor to put a handle on compatibility issues. They also need to price it right to pay for additional support costs and other overhead this feature brings about. Originally, this feature was only for Premier customers. Now, it is for all Ooma users. Bringing customers more convenience and making sure they don't lose money on it...nothing wrong with that.
#93268 by OomaLurker
Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:46 pm
Last post from me... since I'm supposed to be a lurker, after all.
I DID order 2 more from that guy again and just already received the "marked as shipped" email, all within 24 hours.
I'm not even sure what I'll use them for right now. I just thought that for $1.29 x 2, they'd be good to have around. Apparently they're pretty "universal" :D

I'd be curious to see how many orders the guy gets after this... Funny if the info went viral, and he awoke to find orders for thousands of dongles. And no, I have NO IDEA who the seller is.

Once again.... Tsk, tsk Ooma. Tsk, tsk.
#94165 by OomaLurker
Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:32 pm
[/LURK]
UPDATE
:D
I just received the two bluetooth dongles I ordered from China on February 21st. Couldn't wait to test them.
They work exactly as the other dongle I described earlier. Flawlessly.
TWO dongles, DELIVERED to my door, for less than $3.00.
Sure, I waited longer than usual to get them. It was around 27 days. I usually get stuff I order from eBay, from China in about 7-14 days. Apparently, they've had some security issues recently that have slowed things down a bit.

Irrespective. There ya go. Ordered. Tested. Verified.
Good luck to all that choose this route. I am pleased with my choice. Your mileage may vary.
And now, I return to:
[LURK]
#110115 by parity_bit
Tue May 21, 2013 2:04 am
Hello, this is my first time posting on these boards, but was interested in this topic.

Here are the problems I see with the OP's method of information digestion:

1. They were dissatisfied with their recent purchase of an Ooma HD handset.
a. Their problem consisted solely of the lack of either a wired or cordless headset capability. (A legitimate wishlist for the Ooma HD/2.)
2. They mistakenly thought the Bluetooth capability of the Telo would enable this feature(Wireless headset).
3. They consistently claimed there were better services out there than Ooma, but never mentioned any.
4. They leveraged their weight as a customer by saying they would return their 4 Ooma Handsets, and also use the Telo equipment as a "passthru" device only.
a. They were obviously confused about what constitutes a pass-through device.

For heading 1, nowhere on any of the sites I've come across does Ooma or anyone else for that matter--make the claim that the Ooma Handset can make use of a headset. To purchase it hoping somehow this feature could be added "aftermarket" was extremely wishful thinking at best. No picture or data convey or display the Ooma Handset with this feature. (A necessity that a headset should be included on a quality portable handset is a given, so why anyone would purchase one without it in the first place is more than a little confused.)

For heading 2, Bluetooth is--for the Ooma Telo's purposes--used exclusively to enable a single device (Namely a portable handset of any type.) to answer cellular calls using said portable phone/handset. Any misconception about the device's nature(Ooma Bluetooth Dongle) is through no fault of the advertising, because it is made clear therein. Though I can admit I was first confused by the concept as well, it's now clear the device's intended purpose. The Telo can be paired to a cellphone. For the cellphone to be able to use a Bluetooth headset--it would of course need to be purchased seperately and then paired to the cellphone independent of the Ooma Bluetooth Dongle. If at that point the Telo was able to broadcast the call to the Ooma VOIP line to the cellphone, that would in effect create the OP's desired functionality of having a handsfree headset. Though I don't see any evidence that it works in reverse of its stated design goal--that of allowing cellular calls to be answered using portable phones attached to the Telo. that would be great.

3, Ooma can be improved. But what exactly is better? I'm certainly happy with mine. I don't know how many people would agree, but it does seem like their inbound Tech Support outsourced infrustructure could be improved (to say the least)
My experience spanning multiple phone calls to them was a trying ordeal. The problem was a bit more involved than the average "Are you sure the device is plugged in?" or "Sir, that is not a cup-holder. Our products don't feature those." variety, but then again those are the type of calls Tech Support departments allegedly train for! ::wink::

4, no one should cry if you return 4 handsets you purchased using faulty information, except of course, you.
We can all sympathize though. I'm sure we've all made impulse purchases without researching what's actually being offered and whether it will suit our immediate or even long-term needs, before. It happens; live and learn. The time you invest researching some product fully is directly proportionate to how satisfied you'll be in the long run.
Genuine blunders in conveying information and ill-thought-up packaging that mis-conveys information would hopefully be met (by a concerned company) with an apology and some rectification of the situation. I, and others don't think such a case occured here, however.

4,a--a pass-through device merely passively bucket-brigade's functionality to another device further down the chain.
Since you receive absolutely no native phone capability from a phoneline without something behind that copper wire providing the phone services, your scenario most certainly does not constitute a "pass-through" in any way, shape, or form.
What you mean to state is that you simply won't use their (Ooma's) handsets anymore. That is understandable.
There is the ability to use the Ooma as a pass-through (or at least there was) by making use of the wall-port for those Telo's that had this port exposed. (Little secret there.)
Though this isn't at all what was implied or rather insinuated by the OP for the purpose of making it sound somehow ominous, like Ooma or other users would somehow miss out? I'm not quite clear on the intention, but whatever it may have been the useage of the term pass-through was ill-conceived at best.

Lastly, I hope your experiences with Ooma have gone better since this 2010 posting! I didn't mean to sound harsh here, I just felt there was a bit of confusion surrounding the issue.
If the five minutes I spent composing this helps anyone down the line, then they weren't spent aimlessly! ::smile::
#110116 by parity_bit
Tue May 21, 2013 2:46 am
An example of slightly misleeding advertising, however, would be be the assertion that 911 service is in any way free.
It isn't; unless, of course, you happen to be a Hub Core user who does not pay taxes and regulatory fees of any kind on your Ooma basic service, or opted in to the lifetime premier buyout.

If like most you do pay the mandatory taxes, the breakdown of those clearly state "911 Service Fee", so to say otherwise is suggestively misleading.

I'm not complaining, mind you, because I'm pretty certain local municipalities force this fee to be charged with no option of a Phone Service Provider to decline.

To be clear though, cellphones even if they have no service at all (Monthly contract, yearly, or pay as you go), will still be capable of calling emergency services without having a cellular service provider. This is truly, free 911 service.

I imagine from a business standpoint the fee comes in as a difference between the type of information keeping required for a fixed location phone verses the cellphone. Emergency services likely require that some sort of responsible record keeping effort be made by companies like Ooma and therefore must keep a database of customer data whereas aside from the other taxes and the possibility of going Premier, they may not otherwise have had to maintain such data.

Also, to be sure, cellphone companies and users do pay the offset of having such services provided free to any cellphone transmitting cellular signals to the network on behalf of a person in need of 911 services even though they don't subscribe to that particular network, or even any for that matter. The cost is always passed on to the customer.
Likewise part of the taxes Ooma and others must recoup have to do with offsetting rural phone service consumers and underprivleged urban callers as well.
#110129 by Telo_BK
Tue May 21, 2013 12:47 pm
parity_bit: I suggest you read the thread linked below. Therein you will discover that the Bluetooth adapter sold by Ooma does not, despite the fact that it's been on the market since 2010, meet the functional claims Ooma makes for it. They have acknowledged this with a bug report (and in my case, a refund). At least they made the effort to redress my grievance. Not all companies do.

http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=15547

In another thread Ooma has acknowledged that they are claiming unrealistic savings from the Ooma Office product. Ooma has the potential to be a great company, and I hope they reach it. But first they have to face reality and release reliable products only when they are ready and meet Ooma's claims and customers' reasonable expectations (which are based in-part on comparisons with other equipment of a similar nature).
#110153 by parity_bit
Tue May 21, 2013 5:10 pm
Telo_BK wrote:parity_bit: I suggest you read the thread linked below. Therein you will discover that the Bluetooth adapter sold by Ooma does not, despite the fact that it's been on the market since 2010, meet the functional claims Ooma makes for it. They have acknowledged this with a bug report (and in my case, a refund). At least they made the effort to redress my grievance. Not all companies do.

http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=15547

In another thread Ooma has acknowledged that they are claiming unrealistic savings from the Ooma Office product. Ooma has the potential to be a great company, and I hope they reach it. But first they have to face reality and release reliable products only when they are ready and meet Ooma's claims and customers' reasonable expectations (which are based in-part on comparisons with other equipment of a similar nature).


Hello, Telo_BK. Thanks for the suggestion! At first I didn't realize why you thought I should read it, but then I understood you were going off a previous statement I made stating I had an interest in this topic, and indeed--I do.
(Sometimes we, on forums in general, get a little defensive when we post because we--by the nature of the medium--pick each other's words apart. I did that with the OP, but again, I hope I wasn't too harsh. It came from a desire to clarify a convoluted topic. I endeavor to hear all sides of an issue with the additional hope that I can be heard in the symphony of voices as well.)

I'd like to ask a theoretical question after merely reading your first post on the topic you referred me to.
Could it be the nature of Bluetooth that you have issue with instead of Ooma's implementation?

From what I gather (And I'll concede I am by no means an expert in Bluetooth technology) Bluetooth is by its nature a dynamic protocol. Everyone understands the DHCP and BOOTP protocols for WIFI assign an IP address on a first-come-first-served basis and that with a meshing network (I use the term here to indicate the transient nature of the addressing scheme when paired with fixed location devices such as set-top boxes, personal computers, docking stations and any number of wired devices in the network that must work alongside their wireless counterparts.) you have IPs appear and disappear at seemingly random times when viewed from a server standpoint. That is to say, if you take your laptop out of range of a WiFi signal that address could be recoup'd and assigned to another laptop user who comes into range.
In a way, Bluetooth is incorporating this structure, but then also has the complexities of an Ad-hoc network as well because the roles of master and slave, I have read, can often times become reversed as needed but not initiated by the user.

So to take your specific scenario... you have the Ooma Telo as the Bluetooth master (That is it provides the core functionality that is being disseminated to the Bluetooth headsets.) the headsets--which I believe you said were totalling 3?--are the clients. I would have done this as a test: Lay all three out in a row and put a removable label on each one...something simple like a,b,c and then take a screen capture of how they are being reported to Ooma via the internal Telo device html page (172.27.35.1)

Now do your star prefix sequence (*15...etc. Not sure how any of that works, not having the product but I assume it has to do with initiating a call on a phone that isn't Bluetooth capable and then porting the call to the Bluetooth headset since they cannot dial having no phone dialing buttons.) Not moving them out of range, is the order in which they are being addressed predictable? (Of course, you can't do this since you stated that you had redress and were issued a refund. I am not entirely sure that it was necessary, though I in no way assess you with the blame, it's just that this is a difficult technology to understand as it's fundamentally different than many others because of its dynamic nature having nothing to do with Ooma's implementation of it.)

If, as I suspect, nothing changes from minute to minute with all devices being in range and already paired to the Ooma Telo--then the issue must instead be their dropping in and out of range. Now if two remain in range and one wanders in and out of range then we can conclude that the addressing should still remain the same as there's only one addressing slot to be vacated and then reoccupied. Where it becomes tricky, of coure is when two or more roam in and out of range and the whole addressing scheme must be reworked and you should refresh Ooma's internal setup page to see the new sequence of addressing.

Again, I suspect that it is a logical first-come-first-served basis as you have stated in your cited thread. So if A remains in a fixed location in range and B and C wander off out of range--if C makes it back in range before B--then C could become the new B! The key is, of course, updating/refreshing the Telo internal setup page to see if this is the case.
Last edited by parity_bit on Tue May 21, 2013 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#110156 by Telo_BK
Tue May 21, 2013 5:29 pm
Could it be the nature of Bluetooth that you have issue with instead of Ooma's implementation?


I don't have time right now for a lengthy reply- but, no. It's what Ooma claims as use-cases versus practical reality. Another line of evidence for my view is that they issued a bug report and are going to fix it. And I am a certified ISM-band designer, and understand the technology and its applications (but I don't do Bluetooth designs).

When I have a little time I will try to elaborate a little and answer more of your post (or at least read it in its entirety).
#110160 by parity_bit
Tue May 21, 2013 6:34 pm
Telo_BK wrote:
Could it be the nature of Bluetooth that you have issue with instead of Ooma's implementation?


I don't have time right now for a lengthy reply- but, no. It's what Ooma claims as use-cases versus practical reality. Another line of evidence for my view is that they issued a bug report and are going to fix it. And I am a certified ISM-band designer, and understand the technology and its applications (but I don't do Bluetooth designs).

When I have a little time I will try to elaborate a little and answer more of your post (or at least read it in its entirety).



Ok, I look forward to it.
I would like to point out, however, that just because one representative issued a bug report doesn't necessarily mean there is one in the strictest sense. The difference between a bug and a working product, at times, can be as little as POV.

To be clear, I am not saying you did anything incorrectly or conversely failed to understand anything, but I wouldn't put it past the customer service arm (as well meaning as they may be) to mollify by issuing a bug report instead of having a qualified tech troubleshoot with you. (I'm not saying I am a qualified tech, or even that a solution could be reached... merely entertaining a plausible hypothetical.)

Again, I look forward to your considered response based on a complete reading.

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