If you still have a landline telephone and have considered cutting it off but aren’t quite ready, then you may want to consider an Ooma.
Ooma is a low-cost home phone calling service that lets you replace your traditional landline with an internet-based service.
Unlike most other VOIP (voice over internet protocol) systems, Ooma doesn’t require a PC or separate headset – it uses your regular landline as you normally would.
It also includes a handy wifi adapter so that it can be placed anywhere in the home (without this it would need to be plugged into the phone).
- Free local calls and low international rates (a world calling plan gives unlimited calling to 61 countries for $18/month)
- Voicemail, caller ID, call waiting and 911 service
- Wifi adapter that allows you to place the unit anywhere in the home
- Purevoice HD technology – making for crystal clear calls
- Voicemail that can be accessed from any web browser
- The option to create a new phone number or port your current number over to Ooma (this costs about $40)
- The calls are very clear – as clear as any regular landline. I had no issues hearing the caller on the other line
- Cost – at $130, this unit could pay for itself in a matter of months
- The wifi adapter allowed us to place the Ooma unit in an area away from the phone which meant it fit nicely in our home office
- The setup is very simple – it took me less than 20 minutes, and I’m not very ‘techy’ when it comes to new products
- Delays with speaking during calls. This is a huge drawback for me. I noticed there was a 1-2 second delay on every call I made. It was like I was calling a far-off country, except I was really calling someone who lives 2 hours away from me. It made for some frustrating conversations!
- Customer service. I called to ask about the delay in calls and they suggested I not use the wifi adapter and instead plug the unit directly into the phone. When this didn’t work, they suggested I plug it directly into the modem. That still didn’t work, so they suggested I plug it directly into the modem (rather than through the router). This meant I wouldn’t be able to use the internet at home if the Ooma was in use, which wasn’t realistic for me. I should also note that even when plugged into the modem the delays were still there.
- International calling. I don’t make any international calls but if I did, I’d question whether the Ooma is really worth it. The unlimited plan is $18 per month (plus taxes). Again, I don’t make international calls so this isn’t an issue for me but I felt like they should be included for free
- Porting your own number. I created a new number instead of porting my current one, but I’ve heard negative customer reviews from people who weren’t able to port their number from their other carrier. Even if you are able to, it costs $40 to do so
Judging from other customer reviews, it seems like Ooma is somewhat polarized – people either love it or hate it. Some people love the clarity of the calls, while others get frustrated with the setup or customer service.
Personally, I am not a big fan of Ooma. I am always looking to reduce my monthly expenses, but I make enough long distance calls (within the country) to shell out the monthly cost of $25.
I love cutting costs, but I would rather pay $25/month than have to deal with awkward delays in calls.
The calls I did make were crystal-clear, but the delay was a deal breaker for me.
Conclusion: I returned my Ooma after a couple months because I found the delay in calls to be frustrating. The setup was easy, the unit comes with wifi and the monthly taxes were only $3/month. But I use the phone often enough to be annoyed with the call delays. Luckily I bought it at Costco, so I returned it with no questions asked.
For those interested, here is what others have to say about Ooma.
Have you tried Ooma? If so, how has your experience been?