Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

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syxbit
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Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by syxbit » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:30 pm

It's surprising that in this day and age, this is happening.
some examples:

Customers didn't know if lifetime Premier would transfer from HUB to TELO. (and numerous forum posts point to conflicting responses from Official Ooma reps.)
Customers don't know if any Google Voice integration features will ever come to the HUB. (though I believe it was promised in an official Press Release)
Customers don't know if PureVoice works/will work with the HUB, or if it's just TELO.
The import feature for Ooma Contacts supporting Google Contacts (promised months ago, still not available)
see here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6350&p=58722&hilit ... cts#p58722

I could go on. But really, with the internet, blogs, outreach, why aren't we told plainly and clearly what the deal is!

I'd rather this thread turn into helpful comments, and specific facts of good/bad communication rather than people ignorantly attacking/defending Ooma.

My example of purchase was a little screwed up. I wanted an Ooma, but was going to buy one just when the TELO was announced. The TELO seemed identical in everything except cooler looking, so I waited. It was delayed. I continued to wait. This is all fine, but then they made the announcement that they would charge taxes and remove voicemail on the TELO. So I'd been waiting all this time for a device that I now found out was significantly worse (based on my needs). So I deliberately bought the old HUB.
Then, after my purchase, they announce that they're bringing back Voicemail to the Telo. Yes, it's a nice gesture, but I'd already made my purchase.. A little annoying.

I do love Ooma. Their Service is excellent, as is their call quality and pricing, but they have a LOT to learn when it comes to communication with customers, customer support, and transparency (just look at all their blog post apologizing)
Yes, apologizing means they're improving, but many of those confusions with pricing should never have happened.

Lets keep the comments polite :)
Last edited by syxbit on Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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southsound
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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by southsound » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:44 pm

syxbit wrote: I'd rather this thread turn into helpful comments, and specific facts of good/bad communication rather than people ignorantly attacking/defending Ooma.

I do love Ooma. Their Service is excellent, as is their call quality and pricing, but they have a LOT to learn when it comes to communication with customer, customer support, and transparency (just look at all their blog post apologizing)
Yes, apologizing means they're improving, but many of those confusions with pricing should never have happened.

Lets keep the comments polite :)
Great idea for a thread. I share your same love of the product and respece for the people with whom we interface on a daily basis: Dennis P, Bobby B, Norm Toy. These folks, along with many of the people on this forum, are the ones who are keeping ooma from certain disaster. Sometimes I think some of the executives use Dilbert as a reference on how to run a company. That said, I would like to see a group of users who would act like a "continuing focus group" to help weigh the importance of certain features and fixes and add input to help guide ooma into satisfying customer needs that will build a loyal customer base. Maybe this thread is a good start.

(edits are due to a pesky problem with quote syntax and fat fingers syndrom)
Last edited by southsound on Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ooma customer since February 2009
VoIP hardware: 2 Telo w/3 handsets & Linx / ooma core
Total Lines: 8 / Numbers: 11 / Handsets: 20
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DTMF
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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by DTMF » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:46 pm

It's a small startup tech company. Everything in the next paragraphs is an educated guess, based on what I know about small startups.

Small startups operate in a "lean and mean" fashion and devote far more resources to engineering than PR and support. Having engineers push out firmware and feature updates is the top priority, bar none. Bugs get fixed along the way, but they're not part of the overriding goals, which are to grow in the areas of revenue, customers and features. Companies like this would rather have their product knock your socks off than have a PR person tell you in flowery language how the product will knock your socks off.

You'd probably be shocked if you knew how low the Ooma employee headcount is. ;)
Last edited by DTMF on Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ooma customer since November 2009.
Formerly employed at another VoIP company.
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southsound
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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by southsound » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:29 pm

DTMF wrote: You'd probably be shocked if you knew how low the Ooma employee headcount is. ;)
Let's see, there's the Pointy-haired Boss, Alice, Asok (the intern), Wally, Ratbert, Dogbert, Catbert, Dilbert, Carol, Bob the Dinosaur, Garbageman. That's eleven plus our forum moderators unless I missed someone! :P
ooma customer since February 2009
VoIP hardware: 2 Telo w/3 handsets & Linx / ooma core
Total Lines: 8 / Numbers: 11 / Handsets: 20
Lifetime Premier Member
Friends don't remember what Landline Integration was or why we did it.

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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by Groundhound » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:43 pm

southsound wrote:
DTMF wrote: You'd probably be shocked if you knew how low the Ooma employee headcount is. ;)
Let's see, there's the Pointy-haired Boss, Alice, Asok (the intern), Wally, Ratbert, Dogbert, Catbert, Dilbert, Carol, Bob the Dinosaur, Garbageman. That's eleven plus our forum moderators unless I missed someone! :P
Don't leave out the Elbonian contractors! :D

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nn5i
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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by nn5i » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:14 pm

DTMF wrote:It's a small startup tech company.
Alas, it's beginning to show characteristics of a small startup tech company that is in financial distress and unable to respond -- except with promises -- to customer concerns and customer requests. I do hope we don't all end up with attractive but useless doorstops called "Hub" and "Telo". At least, not before the projected savings have actually repaid the cost of the device. For me, they've got to last out the year, anyway, before shutting down. I wonder what probability I ought to assign to this?

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DTMF
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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by DTMF » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:37 pm

nn5i wrote:
DTMF wrote:It's a small startup tech company.
Alas, it's beginning to show characteristics of a small startup tech company that is in financial distress and unable to respond -- except with promises -- to customer concerns and customer requests. I do hope we don't all end up with attractive but useless doorstops called "Hub" and "Telo". At least, not before the projected savings have actually repaid the cost of the device. For me, they've got to last out the year, anyway, before shutting down. I wonder what probability I ought to assign to this?
None of us customers really know what's going on behind the curtain, but having been behind the curtain at another VoIP company, I don't see what you listed as signs of a company on the decline. I just see Ooma as a small company with limited resources to respond to "concerns and requests." Often the reasons for not delivering on a promise have to do with changes in strategy that aren't discussed in public.
Ooma customer since November 2009.
Formerly employed at another VoIP company.
My opinions are my own.

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southsound
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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by southsound » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:11 pm

nn5i wrote:
DTMF wrote:It's a small startup tech company.
Alas, it's beginning to show characteristics of a small startup tech company that is in financial distress and unable to respond -- except with promises -- to customer concerns and customer requests. I do hope we don't all end up with attractive but useless doorstops called "Hub" and "Telo". At least, not before the projected savings have actually repaid the cost of the device. For me, they've got to last out the year, anyway, before shutting down. I wonder what probability I ought to assign to this?
I'd guess 95 to 99 percent. ooma has had some great rounds of funding and I don't think that there is much chance of them failing. Of course, I also owned Nortel, JDS Uniphase, Worldcom and EMC so what the heck to I know? I have already broken even with ooma at this point so every continuing day of good service is a real blessing. I hope for many many more.
ooma customer since February 2009
VoIP hardware: 2 Telo w/3 handsets & Linx / ooma core
Total Lines: 8 / Numbers: 11 / Handsets: 20
Lifetime Premier Member
Friends don't remember what Landline Integration was or why we did it.

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nn5i
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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by nn5i » Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:24 am

I'll cross my fingers, thumbs, and toes.

Dang -- shouldn't have tried to walk that way. Ouch.

mattwj2005
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Re: Why is Ooma so bad at communicating with its customers?

Post by mattwj2005 » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:58 am

Hey guys,

In all seriousness, according to LinkedIn Ooma only has 40 employees! :o

http://www.linkedin.com/companies/ooma

No wonder it is hard to get a hold of anyone. :)

I just thought I would let you guys know.

Matt

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