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#60604 by 1kenthomas
Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:40 pm
The protagonist of this tragic comedy is End User.

End User cannot tell the difference between an Ethernet Cable and a Phone Cable. Such is the life of End User.

End User goes away from his beloved OOMA.

End User returns.

End User has VoiceMail when he returns.

OOMA is a cutesy sort of girl. She likes symbols, not words. She likes the feeling that End User can READ HER MIND.

She flashes the Envelope Light. "Listen to ME!!!!"

End User presses the Envelope. Nothing happens. End User holds the Envelope down.

OOMA is thinking: "No! No! Not there! Press that thing down there! Over to the right!"

But OOMA wants to feel her mind is being read, not to state her needs verbally. It's too hard, to speak or write!

End User has not put OOMA into Do Not Disturb Mode.

End User does not know this, and is frustrated. He's not so much interested in satisfying OOMA's needs, as in using OOMA as a means to an end.

He tries to coax OOMA, but gets nowhere.

Then he does the worst thing. He calls Customer Support. He reaches DRONE.

DRONE says: "try this. Unplug OOMA and see how she likes that!"

OOMA stops working. End User is cut off from the DRONE.

End User calls DRONE2 the next day, after much sadness. DRONE2 says, "oh, what's the problem. OOMA not on? Let's unplug EVERYTHING. Take the cables out of EVERYTHING, and try to put them back in, here and there, until we find the way that works."

End User calls AT&T, and says, "look, I though things would work out with this OOMA girl, she seem so low-maintenance and LOW-COST, but I'll pay whatever it costs for one of your girls to come over."
#60625 by DTMF
Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:55 pm
If one doesn't need to do 3-way calling, DND or any other advanced functions from the box, there really is no need to keep the hardware out in plain sight or push any buttons on it at all, ever. End User would do well to keep the Ooma subscription, but have heretofore unmentioned Local Expert hide the Ooma hardware and pay for Premier. ;)

With Premier, voicemail messages can be retrieved via the Ooma connected phone, remotely by phone, the Ooma web site or email. The email version serves as a backup, in the event they are mistakenly deleted from the web site or by goof-pressing buttons on the Ooma box.

Hiding the box has GOT to be better than going back to AT&T. I can think of nothing Ooma could do that would make me want to go back to AT&T. :cool:
#60645 by 1kenthomas
Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:56 am
While I'm trying to make a humorous point about OOMA design and customer support...

Hiding the box, and glue-gunning all the cables, is a possibility. A distinct one when I pass through the area (which has only spotty cell coverage) next month or so. It has the advantage of making "End User," who calls the OOMA box an "answering machine," have a harder path to voicemail-- which is hard enough for an End User as it is.

Fortunately, in this case, I was able to guide End User back to putting everything in place correctly, before they stormed off and ordered the AT&T beast. It just took 30 minutes or so for the hub to cycle and reconnect itself and display blue-- in fact- the critical problem there was that Ethernet was off, so it didn't light up anything on the router immedately.

That cycling is another problem-- the real problem here is the UI. A general End User is not going to remember that an envelope does not actually access VoiceMail. They're going to press it and see what happens and put themselves in Do Not Disturb mode.

And so on. I love the OOMA idea, and I really dislike AT&T. But I can't recommend the thing to anyone who's not tech.

You've got to look at what's happening in the field and respond. If your UI is bad, send out a plastic template (or offer options) to overlay it. If your Customer Service Reps are doing really dumb things which frustrate end-users, and waste hours of their time-- well, track that somehow and respond and change.

I know that's not necessarily the fun stuff of developing a new, exciting product-- but not all of life is a party. It's business. It's hard work. And getting the little details like this, right, is good design and good business.

FWIW-- I hear you can email the Executive Staff, after all, who I just called 'arseholes' in another thread :), but, really, if they want to retail customers and goodwill, shouldn't they have someone monitor this forum? :)

Thanks again for your reply.
#60650 by DTMF
Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:06 am
1kenthomas wrote:While I'm trying to make a humorous point about OOMA design and customer support...

Hiding the box, and glue-gunning all the cables, is a possibility. A distinct one when I pass through the area (which has only spotty cell coverage) next month or so. It has the advantage of making "End User," who calls the OOMA box an "answering machine," have a harder path to voicemail-- which is hard enough for an End User as it is.

If I were setting up an Ooma account for use by my tech-phobic 80-something mother-in-law, I would put the box in a closet, set voicemail to pick up after 10 rings and let her use the answering machine she has now. Other members have indicated that the only limitation to doing this is that inbound DTMF doesn't come through, so a caller can't log in to the machine and pick up messages remotely. I doubt that either my mother-in-law or your End User know how or would be inclined to do that anyway. ;)
#60656 by 1kenthomas
Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:40 am
DTMF wrote:If I were setting up an Ooma account for use by my tech-phobic 80-something mother-in-law, I would put the box in a closet, set voicemail to pick up after 10 rings and let her use the answering machine she has now.


Words of wisdom. It's useful to have voicemail that can be checked remotely, either by phone or web, so that when your :) mother-in-law goes to her daughter's on vacation, and her doctor calls with result, or her insurance agent calls to remind her to pay the premium, ... well you get the picture.

The existing phone system should be able to activate the voicemail from the handsets; and it is somewhat useful to be able to see the status light on the unit, etc; but much of this can also be guaranteed elsewise, for instance, via sshing into the router (in a better setup).

Though it *would* be better to have all settings accessible through the "webmin."

DTMF wrote:Other members have indicated that the only limitation to doing this is that inbound DTMF doesn't come through, so a caller can't log in to the machine and pick up messages remotely. I doubt that either my mother-in-law or your End User know how or would be inclined to do that anyway. ;)


Nope, not much of a consideration in this use case ;)

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