I’m having second thoughts about OOMA.

As I’ve written here before, I’ve had OOMA phone service for home land line for 2 1/2 years now and have been pretty happy with it.  I’ve even upgraded to OOMA Premier to stop phone spammers… But our relationship is getting testy.

First Incident – As I wrote in my Review of OOMA Telo Home Phone Service, neighbors and local businesses using Cox Digital Telephone cannot call the house.  In one particular instance the business using Cox Digital Telephone was the Water Utility.    Mrs. Gubmints missed payment on a monthly paper bill, so the Water Utility gave our house a call on our land line.  OOMA/Cox told them our ‘Number was Disconnected or Not in Service’, so the Water Utility naturally figured we had abandoned our house.   They sent the service truck out to shut off our water, padlock the meter, and placed a red Danger Tag on the meter for some added humilitation/inconvenience  (I guess they figured since the lawn was in good shape and that the house appeared in decent condition that the failed phone call was just a ruse).

So, long story short, a series of unfortunate events kicked off by OOMA (or Cox Cable) denying local inbound phone calls to our home got our water shut off and cost us a fine/fee to get it restored.

Second Incident – Grandpa GubMints decided to take OOMA for a spin after his Cox Bundle jumped by $35 per month.  Grandpa Unbundled, keeping Cox Internet, DirecTV for TV, and OOMA Telo for phone service.    Last Sunday his buddy phoned the house asking for a ride to Church- But instead of getting hold of  Grandpa GubMints, he heard the voice of Lily Tomlin telling him our phone was disconnected:

OOMA Telo Blocks Local Inbound Phone Calls

So, faithful readers, we now know that it’s not just an isolated incident-  It’s not just me purchasing a faulty OOMA Telo box.

If your’e a Cox High Speed Internet customer using OOMA Telo, you need to be aware that your friends and local businesses using Cox Digital Telephone cannot reach you on your OOMA land line.   Make sure you give them an alternate phone number so they can reach you.  And God Help You if you’re relying on your OOMA Land Line to receive a Reverse 9-1-1 Call to alert you to about wildfires approaching your neighborhood.

Will I keep OOMA?  Time will tell.  I’m not going back to a 3-Letter Phone Company, and I’m not going to pay the Cable Company $40/month for a land line.  I’ll likely start sniffing out Vonage or consider switching my ISP next time there is an internet rate hike.

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4 thoughts on “My Relationship with OOMA gets Complicated

  1. I enjoyed free VOIP phone service for over a year using Google Voice and a Obihai Obi202 device. Unfortunately Google announced the end of support for XMPP based VOIP calling effective 15 May 2014 so the free VOIP telephone service ride is over.

    However, Obi partners with other commercial VOIP service providers, so I signed up with Phone Power and will now use my Obi202 with them. $34.99 / year for unlimited inbound calls, 300 minutes/month outbound, and E911 service. The “Open System” Obi devices provided a lot more options to switch providers…I think it is a better solution than OOMA, “Magic Jack,” or other combined hardware/single service providers.

    • Max –

      Thanks for the recommendation. The Open-Source VOIP solutions are likely beyond my skill level right now. You lost me at ‘XMMP’…

  2. Ouch, that’s awful about the water.

    I haven’t had that specific problem with OOMA, but I never give out that number. I’m not even sure what it is. My primary number is a Google Voice number, that rings my OOMA and my mobile. I have had some weird connection issues sometimes. I wonder if it’s related.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I would be surprised if that wasn’t on Cox’s end. They have a huge incentive to either not support Ooma, or be lax in fixing compatibility issues.


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