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pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Comcast
·Future Nine Corp..

1 recommendation

Ooma halting development, limiting support for hub ..

Ooma has been sending me emails, that the Ooma hub will have no future development. An upgrade to the Telo is available for just $99. Accepting a Telo requires accepting current Ooma terms of service.

The email contains the following

Having launched our second generation product, the Ooma Telo, in 2009 with higher-performance and more advanced functionality, we have now made the decision to concentrate our activities on the Telo going forward. Your Hub will continue to function on the Ooma network and operate as before, but we will not be providing any future enhancements and will be limiting our customer support activities going forward.

As a Hub owner and one of our earliest customers, we'd like to thank you for your support with a special offer that will upgrade you to our latest technology. For a limited time, you can upgrade to an Ooma Telo for just $99.99, plus free shipping. If you need to replace an Ooma Scout device in your home, you can add an Ooma Linx device for just $30 more.

When you upgrade to the Telo you will transition to our latest terms and conditions, which will require you to pay the applicable taxes and fees in your area. In return, you will receive our lowest price ever on an Ooma Telo and all of the benefits that come from upgrading:

Improved call reliability with PureVoice technology
Hear the difference of HD Voice when you talk to other Ooma Telo and Ooma Mobile users
Take advantage of Telo-only features like personal caller-ID with Contact Lists
In addition, the Ooma Telo supports a wide-range of accessories to further extend its capabilities:
Place your Telo anywhere in your home with the Wireless Adapter
Link your cell phone to your home phone with the Bluetooth Adapter
Enjoy smartphone features on your home phone with the optional HD2 Handset
Connect additional phones and fax machines quickly and easily with the wireless Linx device
Take advantage of this limited time offer before Feb 15th to upgrade now and enjoy the newest technology by calling us at 1-866-452-6662. But don't wait, this offer won't last forever!

I'll be keeping my hubs, until Ooma forces migration, then on to Google voice via Obi.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


Bhutan Bob

@optonline.net
Thanks for the news!

While it is understandable that Ooma will freeze development on the hub, the fact that they will limit the customer support seems to be in bad faith.

This is a poor decision by the company....

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric

1 recommendation

reply to pandora
Clearly the light has dawned on them that their original business model is unsustainable, and further that those still working under that model are a net loss to them. Not at all surprising and worth riding it out as long as they let you. Hopefully they'll start having a positive cash flow soon and can continue long term.

JTS33

join:2003-05-03
USA
I hadn't realized development on the Hub was still ongoing, but I don't think anyone in their right mind would spend $100 for the privilege of reduced service (no CNAM) and monthly fees.

They just announced a business product targeted towards small businesses. I hope that brings in some good cashflow for them to sustain the Hub users.

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
reply to garys_2k
I just received the notification yesterday.

As for support, the Hub has been around long enough that any serious bugs will have been worked out of it by now (I can't even remember the last time that I needed to contact the company regarding any Hub problems). If the Ooma network itself is down, I would expect them to respond and fix it, regardless of whether I am using a Hub or a Telo.

Just to cover myself (in case the company should do a Sunrocket and close up suddenly), I found a Polycom IP 331 phone in a thrift shop the other day for almost nothing and I am looking at my options to set it up for a free (or a very low-cost) plan as a backup VOIP solution. From what I have read, this model is not as full-featured as more expensive Polycom IP phones, but it should be "good enough".

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Comcast
·Future Nine Corp..

1 recommendation

reply to garys_2k
said by garys_2k:

Clearly the light has dawned on them that their original business model is unsustainable, and further that those still working under that model are a net loss to them. Not at all surprising and worth riding it out as long as they let you. Hopefully they'll start having a positive cash flow soon and can continue long term.

For me, on each line it's been around 5 years for an average price of $180 total. If needed, I'll migrate to Google voice. I believe overall I'm ahead at this point.

Though one of my "free" devices (device with the old zero cost service) is a Telo from the beta program. Assuming Ooma eventually does away with Hubs, I'll still have a free account on a Telo. Though I'd move my primary numbers to Google Voice and let Google handle what are currently premier features on Ooma.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Vonage
·net2phone
·Cincinnati Bell
·Skype
·Callcentric
·ooma

1 recommendation

reply to pandora
It's not practical for a company to provide endless support for a product. The Hub is old and becoming outdated. It cost any company a lot of money to support their older technology. Like every tech product, sometimes you have to move on.

FYI - I use Google Voice in connection with my Telo. My number was ported to Google and the Telo integrated with the GV service.

Using GV only, as in no Ooma, here is what I noticed. The audio quality is horrible.

But when I use GV to just forward the calls to Ooma, it works fine with both incoming and outgoing.

Google needs to work on the quality of the actual telephony service. But as a forwarding service and a voicemail system it seems to work fine. The transcription service is horrible. It rarely transcribes accurately.
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
said by jduffy:

It's not practical for a company to provide endless support for a product.

Agreed. Maybe they should have thought about it before they labeled their product as "free for life". If their definition of "life" was 3-4 years they should have stated it to begin with. That's always been my problem with Ooma- it's impossible to provide free service for life, so they should never have advertised it as such.


jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Vonage
·net2phone
·Cincinnati Bell
·Skype
·Callcentric
·ooma

1 edit
Free for life is a sort of ambiguous statement. Who's life? Your life? The life of the box? Or its supported life?

So in this case, it appears its a little of free for its supported life and free for the product life. It is not going to be actively supported, but as long as it works, it will be able to make and receive calls.

Seems to me Ooma is living up to their commitment.

I dunno know, I have two Ooma Telos right now and both have premium service. It has an incredible amount of services built-in for less than $14 a month per Telo.

It's worth it for me. One of the reasons I never went with Ooma to begin with (pre-telo days) is because I did not believe that it was a viable business model with only selling a box with no monthly fee.

Now that they are charging a very modest fee, it gave me confidence to move forward.

One Telo has the number ported to that account and the other Telo is using Google Voice integration.

Very happy with Ooma. Especially like the community and personal blacklist features.
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.

exeter

join:2011-02-07
Reviews:
·Bright House
reply to pandora
I am not surprised. They will always need a way to "upgrade" their platform to stay in business. With company charging next to nothing for service "kinda like MJ", they have to continue fighting to gain customers and or inject cashflow by churning equipment.

I saw it coming, and MJ is next. I can smell MJ will be coming out with a new "upgraded" device that you'll need to pay $50 for.


jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Vonage
·net2phone
·Cincinnati Bell
·Skype
·Callcentric
·ooma
No different than anything else in technology. Computer equipment has a life of 3 to 5 years. If you don't upgrade, computer manufacturers jack up maintenance fees to get you to upgrade. EMC wants it at 3 years, IBM and HP are OK up to 5.

Frankly as far as Ooma goes. I don't mind paying for Premium, it's a good deal and it's cheap. I only paid $99 for the Telo on a Woot deal. Since I was paying $33 a month for service from TWC, I'm ahead the first year.

Ooma works well and feature rich. It's worth it.
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.

mazilo
From Mazilo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
Lilburn, GA
kudos:4
said by jduffy:

Frankly as far as Ooma goes. I don't mind paying for Premium, it's a good deal and it's cheap. I only paid $99 for the Telo on a Woot deal. Since I was paying $33 a month for service from TWC, I'm ahead the first year.

Sauce for the goose is (not) sauce for the gander.
--
don't and stop are the ONLY two 4-letter words considered offensive to men, but not when used together.

mazilo
From Mazilo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
Lilburn, GA
kudos:4
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

said by jduffy:

It's not practical for a company to provide endless support for a product.

Agreed. Maybe they should have thought about it before they labeled their product as "free for life". If their definition of "life" was 3-4 years they should have stated it to begin with. That's always been my problem with Ooma- it's impossible to provide free service for life, so they should never have advertised it as such.

I smell some lawyers are going to make a lot of $$$.
--
don't and stop are the ONLY two 4-letter words considered offensive to men, but not when used together.


VexorgTR

join:2012-08-27
Sheffield Lake, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·voip.ms
Ooma indeed stepped in it....... with the "lifetime" thing. It's not a sustainable business model. I have an Antivirus vendor that at one time offered that....... 99$ lifetime per computer. They HAVE honored that, but still they wised up after six months. The new model is X for the first computer, Y for each additional, renew yearly.


jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Vonage
·net2phone
·Cincinnati Bell
·Skype
·Callcentric
·ooma
reply to mazilo
You cannot get money from a company without a lot of money. Lawyers sue Ooma, Lawyers win, Ooma files bankruptcy, Lawyers lose all the money they spent, Ooma resurfaces with zero debt and new business model. The Lawyers (sharks) will only feed where there is a meal. No meal at Ooma.
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.