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#14742 by FinnyD
Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:01 pm
After struggling with Ooma setup for far too long, I finally got it working, sort of, but have decided to return the unit due to way too many call security concerns with the way the device terminates calls locally. There are far too many cases for my comfort of people with technical know how bringing up concerns that I felt were not adequately addressed by Ooma. I cannot take the risk that someone could simply mod their own Ooma device in a way that masks any voltage change to the line and then is able to tap the line as it converts in analog back to the the telco land line. I simply cannot take the change when the device is not proven. The nail in the coffin was when I learned that Ooma's claim of free service for life is not true - they only guarantee "free" service for three years, right about the time the device ends up paying for itself (already using Vonage)

I loved the idea of Ooma, but they really need to mean "Free for MY life" for me to want to take my chances - especially with so many reports of financial troubles. I would love to support the company, but there were just too many concerns. The call quality, once the device was set up (which was ridiculously & needlessly difficult - poor documentation for how to set up behind a router with Static IP - finally got it) was better than anything I have ever used. Ooma call quality was better than Ooma, AT&T landlines, Cell service from AT&T & Verizon, even better than Sprint.

It's too bad all the other issues and concerns were not specifically addressed.

So my question, is do I need to do anything to cancel the account? I was still in the trial & never provided billing info.
Thanks for the info.
#14745 by but2002
Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:12 pm
OOMA DOES NOT TERMINATE CALLS OVER OTHER PEOPLES TELEPHONE LINES ANYMORE(Sorry if this is over the top, but these things are driving many potential customers away)

They use their OWN Voice over IP servers now, and they terminate from the company servers, and calls are not terminated over anyone else's telephones lines. I am running an ooma system with no telephone line involved whatsoever.


Call quality has not been a problem for me

Ooma is guaranteed free for the life of the unit. If the unit is taken good care of, I could see that being 30+ years. Unless your device is taken poor care of

Very sorry if this post seems sour, I just mean to be informative
#14746 by southsound
Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:50 pm
You bring out a lot of points in your post as to why you are leaving ooma. Well though out points but possibly with incorrect data. I think that you have done a lot of research to find out the problems with ooma's original business model - but sadly, it was the model that was discarded years ago. As But2002 notes, ooma does not terminate any calls, except your own, on your device. They use a more secure encription process than you have with cell or even landline services.

They are a privately held company that has had a lot of cash infused because of their excellect product - you noted that call quality, once configured, was better than many other services. You noted that there was a 3 year breakeven compared to Vonage. I don't use Vonage but have seen a lot of their commercials. Even if they can some how avoid FCC fees and taxes, they quote a price of $24.99 a month. At 3 years, that comes to $899.64. If you had ooma with Premier for 3 years, it would come to (at list price of $249 for the hub and $99 a year for premier) $546. Ad some sales tax on the $249 and you still have a $300 plus savings for 3 years.

Here is the worst possible case: Lets say that your ooma only lasts 14 months. $249 + $99 + 60 days of free Premier trial = $348. Your Vonage for 14 months would be $349.86. I fail to see how you could NOT see a positive payback using ooma.

Here is some reliability information that you might find interesting. ooma runs their business using, you guessed it, ooma hubs. I talked with Tino recently. Tino is one of ooma's super technicians. He has had an ooma hub on his desk for the last 3 years using it every day for incoming and outgoing calls at the call center. I'd say that was a LOT of usage. It has never malfunctioned. Many of his peers have had similar experiences.

I'm very comfortable with ooma. In the past 6 months I've had my system it has worked without hardware fault. In the beginning there were some echo problems that were sorted out by changing routing and termination through different partners. Since those early days, service has been stellar.

FinnyD, I hate to see you go. Not because I'm paid to think so, I'm just a fellow user like most of the others on this board. My feeling is that you have had some problems, worked through them, experienced great quality and value, but are giving up because of misinformation and fear. I suggest you reconsider, but if not, may you be blessed with success in your next venture for quality telecommunications.
#14748 by bw1
Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:29 am
In case your looking for something more official:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=710&p=3075&hilit=termination#p3075

Bobby B wrote:scots is right, we are no longer using Distributed Termination -- there are a lot of old articles out there. Perhaps we should add something to the FAQ page or Knowledgebase about this.

This was a blurb that I posted to the Amazon forums (topic: "Questions about security and privacy") recently...

Just a FYI -- ooma is not routing calls over other user's landlines (e.g. Distributed Termination). Any mention of this was removed from the user T&C's and the ooma website from the website a few months ago. The original intent of this "people-powered" network was to save costs with calling. Unfortunately it lent itself to be a poor user experience due to the fact we needed to block the outgoing caller-ID (e.g. a call going over another user's landline would show as "unknown" as the caller-ID instead of the caller's true name). Also, our business plan went through a couple revisions last year (starting with separating out enhanced features -- ooma Premier -- from the core service features and further recognizing calling economies of scale). As a result, we are able to continue to offer free phone service as a sustainable and scalable business.


And the free phone service is for the life of the product, not 3 years or your life. From the terms and conditions:

providing the customer with the ability to make a reasonable amount of calls within the United States consistent with normal residential use for the life of the product


And if you still want to cancel:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1958&p=12753&hilit=cancel#p12753

Bobby B wrote:Also, I'd give a call to support if you're going to cancel. It'll prevent you from getting any further account notifications and also helps us free up resources.
#14764 by oomg
Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:27 am
southsound wrote:Here is the worst possible case: Lets say that your ooma only lasts 14 months. $249 + $99 + 60 days of free Premier trial = $348. Your Vonage for 14 months would be $349.86. I fail to see how you could NOT see a positive payback using ooma.


That is an interesting way of looking at the cost comparison. However, for the benefit of others, don't forget that during August, the ooma equipment can be purchased at Costco for $200 (plus state sales tax, if any). So, assuming a single line, the break even point for ooma vs. Vonage is 8 months.

Assuming that the individual ooma customer had been using two lines with Vonage, and opted for ooma Premier service at the $99/year rate, ooma would cost about $299 over a 14 month period compared to $700 for two lines with Vonage. Under this scenario, the break even point would be six months.

Now consider the following: "All ooma devices come with a one-year limited warranty for material defects. This means, we'll replace or repair your ooma device for one year from the date you received the device. You can extend the one-year warranty to three years for the one-time fee of $69." Even if the ooma customer were to add this fee at the outset, the single line break even point would be less than 11 months, and the two line break even point would be less than 8 months.

southsound wrote:FinnyD, I hate to see you go. Not because I'm paid to think so, I'm just a fellow user like most of the others on this board. My feeling is that you have had some problems, worked through them, experienced great quality and value, but are giving up because of misinformation and fear. I suggest you reconsider, but if not, may you be blessed with success in your next venture for quality telecommunications.


Copy that and add the following: I could be wrong here, but it seems that a number of people who decide to return the equipment see themselves as being up against ooma's 30 day return policy.

Although I was sold by ooma's voice quality (along well ooma's other great features), and thus, opted into the Premier service within a few days after acquiring my equipment, it took me more than 30 days to learn the nuances of the system and feel comfortable with it, even though I had spent quite a bit of time planning my installation before actually connecting it. I also spent a fair amount of time reviewing the issues experienced by other users on this forum.

I think many who decide to abandon ooma do so simply because they have not had sufficient time to understand the nuances and features within the 30 day period, and thus, have not become comfortable with the system. As such, I would suggest that ooma extend the trial period to 60 days. A 60 day trial period is coextensive with the Premier service trial period, and either way, the unit that is returned is a used unit.
#14768 by oomg
Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:44 am
oomg wrote:
southsound wrote:Here is the worst possible case: Lets say that your ooma only lasts 14 months. $249 + $99 + 60 days of free Premier trial = $348. Your Vonage for 14 months would be $349.86. I fail to see how you could NOT see a positive payback using ooma.


That is an interesting way of looking at the cost comparison. However, for the benefit of others, don't forget that during August, the ooma equipment can be purchased at Costco for $200 (plus state sales tax, if any). So, assuming a single line, the break even point for ooma vs. Vonage is 8 months.

Assuming that the individual ooma customer had been using two lines with Vonage, and opted for ooma Premier service at the $99/year rate, ooma would cost about $299 over a 14 month period compared to $700 for two lines with Vonage. Under this scenario, the break even point would be six months.

Now consider the following: "All ooma devices come with a one-year limited warranty for material defects. This means, we'll replace or repair your ooma device for one year from the date you received the device. You can extend the one-year warranty to three years for the one-time fee of $69." Even if the ooma customer were to add this fee at the outset, the single line break even point would be less than 11 months, and the two line break even point would be less than 8 months.


Yikes... I may have misunderstood the ooma/Costco promotion. See:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2154

If the promotion is for the Hub only, my single line analysis is correct. However, for a two line system (which adds approximately $50 to the cost of ooma), the break even point would be extended by one month.
#14825 by niknak
Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:58 am
but2002 wrote:OOMA DOES NOT TERMINATE CALLS OVER OTHER PEOPLES TELEPHONE LINES ANYMORE(Sorry if this is over the top, but these things are driving many potential customers away)

They use their OWN Voice over IP servers now, and they terminate from the company servers, and calls are not terminated over anyone else's telephones lines. I am running an ooma system with no telephone line involved whatsoever.


Call quality has not been a problem for me

Ooma is guaranteed free for the life of the unit. If the unit is taken good care of, I could see that being 30+ years. Unless your device is taken poor care of

Very sorry if this post seems sour, I just mean to be informative



I agree with you!

...I cannot take the risk that someone could simply mod their own Ooma device in a way that masks any voltage change to the line and then is able to tap the line as it converts in analog back to the the telco land line


This is easy to prevent, just wrap the ooma box in aluminum foil
#14836 by southsound
Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:39 am
niknak wrote:This is easy to prevent, just wrap the ooma box in aluminum foil

I find a product by product approach to shielding to be tiresome and less effective that a holistic approach.
Image
Here is some information from my mentor and fellow psychotronic deflection theorist, Lyle Zapato. Feel free to check out some of the other articles on his website dealing with current threats, conspiracies and other diversions and affecting us all. :shock:
#14840 by niknak
Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:55 am
southsound wrote:
niknak wrote:This is easy to prevent, just wrap the ooma box in aluminum foil

I find a product by product approach to shielding to be tiresome and less effective that a holistic approach.
Image
Here is some information from my mentor and fellow psychotronic deflection theorist, Lyle Zapato. Feel free to check out some of the other articles on his website dealing with current threats, conspiracies and other diversions and affecting us all. :shock:


Yes, but then you have to go around wearing that funny hat all day!
#14865 by WayneDsr
Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:36 pm
So far, it seems to be working!

Wayne
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