Ooma Review

By: Tara Tuckwiller on August 16, 2016

Bottom Line

Ooma differs from other VoIP services in that it charges only for the initial hardware. You start with the Ooma Telo hub (Est. $100), which promises great call quality and works with your regular home phone. If you want more extensions, you have to buy Ooma handsets (Est. $50 each). There are no monthly fees for the basic service, except for applicable taxes and fees, but step up services aimed at businesses will incur a monthly charge.

Pros

  • No monthly charges (except taxes/fees)
  • Good call quality
  • Free long distance in U.S.

Cons

  • Initial hardware cost
  • Advanced features incur monthly fee
  • International calls not the cheapest
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Performance

Good call quality. Reviewers continue to be impressed with Ooma's quality, cost and customer service. PCMag.com names it and the Ooma Telo interface an Editors' Choice and praise usability, call quality and value. Customer service is largely reported to be good, if you need it. Reporting on several years of service with Ooma, G.E. Miller of 20SomethingFinance.com praises performance and ease of uses, noting that he's never had to contact the provider about an issue of any kind, and that when an outage did occur, Ooma fixed the problem promptly and kept subscribers informed.

Plans and costs

Fee for hardware only. The only fee for basic Ooma VoIP service is the cost of the Ooma hardware, but you will have to pay government taxes and fees every month. You'll need to buy special Ooma handsets if you want any extensions. Domestic calls are free and international calls start at 1.4 cents per minute, or you can subscribe to an international plan for $10 per month for 1000 minutes to 61 countries. However, calling another Ooma customer anywhere in the world is free. Some reviewers do grouse, however, that some services that require the Ooma Premier package (Est. $10 per month), such as three-way calling and voice mail forwarding, are free with other services. A 60-day free trial is available.

Features

The basics are free. The free Ooma service has all the basic features including voice mail, caller ID and 911 services, plus a virtual second line, so two people can make calls at the same time. Voice mail, call waiting and caller ID are also included. Even without the Premier plan, you get email notifications of new voice mail messages, but, as noted above, you'll need to buy a Premier subscription (Est. $10 per month) if you want some of the features that come standard with some other providers, such as three-way calling and voice mail forwarding. Also, transferring your existing phone number -- free with some VoIP providers -- is a $40 option with the basic Ooma plan. Ooma also has a mobile app for Android and Apple.

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