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Magic Jack has Real Competition (OOMA)

I began wondering how nice it would be if you could get a standalone unit that did not require being plugged into a PC and still not have to pay a monthly phone bill. "Lo and behold," while at BestBuy the the other day, I happened to see the "OOMA" phone solution. Imagine the vonage router without the friggin' "suprise" overage charges nor monthly charges: »www.ooma.com/

OOMA even does virtual numbers and simultaneous ring like vonage does. I'm actually looking at giving my magicjack away to a friend of mine if OOMA is what it claims to be. The one thing I'm leary about is their "Premier" support. Some of the features you get for free with Vonage, but hey, isn't there always a tradeoff somewhere along the way?

I've been looking to ditch Vonage, and it looks like this "might" be a good technology...


Sacramento, CA
Ooma has been around for a few years now. Surprised you haven't heard about it before now. Ooma tends to have satisfied customers. Call quality and reliability tends to be better than other similar services but you'd expect that with what they charge you for service. Ooma's price is much higher than MJ and netTALK, the other 2 major pay up front services that I'm familiar with.

If you have the cash to spare, Ooma is a good choice. Lots of great reviews out there. Very few complaints.

I have MJ and it's largely problem free for me. My kids use it most of the time. I have netTALK in my bedroom and it's reliable but the it has frequent audio problems, enough that I would not recommend it to others at this point.

As for Ooma being competition for MJ. I really doubt it. Ooma's price is a huge turn off for most people. People (including myself) are willing to fork over $40 for an MJ since $40 isn't too much to risk if they disappear or something. Forking over $200 is just too much for me to risk. All of these pay up front companies won't last. When new customers stop signing up, they'll either get sold or go belly up and we'll all lose our "lifetime" service.

Ooma units are $219 at Frys.com, $249 at BestBuy.com
That's just way too much money for me.

There's no shortage
Sty in Sky
·Optimum Online
reply to DocLarge
OOMA is not in the same class or category as MagicJack. OOMA could be considered competitive with other VoIP services that require an ATA device - such as VoipO, Future9, etc.

These discussions take place regularly in the VOIP TECH CHAT forum, where you can find many quite engaging threads on OOMA over the course of the last year.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

as Mr. Pink as they come
Phoenix, AZ
reply to prestonlewis
said by prestonlewis:

All of these pay up front companies won't last. When new customers stop signing up, they'll either get sold or go belly up and we'll all lose our "lifetime" service.
Sounds like a ponzi scheme to me.
When I gez aju zavateh na nalechoo more new yonooz tonigh molinigh - Ken Lee


said by dvd536:

Sounds like a ponzi scheme to me.
That was my impression of Ooma too. There's no way anyone can provide free service forever, for a one-time $200 charge. The new customers will be paying the freight for the existing customers.

My guess was that they would terminate service after you consume about $200 worth of call time. They'd coyly scratch their heads and say "your hardware must've gone bad." In effect, the hardware would be a proxy for prepaid time.

But, an Ooma customer said it's in the ToS that they reserve the right to begin charging for service after 2-3 years.

If true, that makes more sense. And, makes Ooma similar (price wise) to Vonage, et. al. at about $80 per year.

Like Preston said, it's a lot of money to put at risk. A person can get MJ with twice the time for half the price (device and 1 initial year + 5 years for $100). Or, have the option of going yearly for $40, and $20 each additional year).

I wouldn't doubt Ooma has more features and higher quality/reliability. For someone who wants always-on, whole-house service it might be a good choice.

Ooma has a bit of a dark spot in its history. They had a strange idea to share each customer's landline (if the customer had one) to terminate calls of other Ooma customers. They apparently snuffed that out after all the negative publicity (violating the customer's agreement with their telco, calls subject to eavesdropping or termination by the owner of the landline your call is terminated on).