Techie puts up "Ooma Revealed" site

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mike Pierce has started a web site at where he dissects the new "free US domestic calls for life" startup Ooma

Mike says:

I hope that this provides the information that prospective subscribers will need to evaluate the product in regards to its pros and cons.

Although I have to say I don't see many "pros" on the site, mostly just "cons". The site details various technical, operational, legal, and security/privacy "issues" (i.e. problems) with the Ooma approach, characterizing many as "fundamental errors in the plan... that cannot be fixed by engineers."

Mike points out one of the biggest ironies with the Ooma's claims.

They further claim that they are letting everyone have "the right to screen calls" and then define a system in which normal calls from an Ooma subscriber to a PSTN subscriber will have the Calling Line ID blocked, thus denying the PSTN subscriber this "inalienable right".

The site includes some interesting recommendations for using the service, including this tidbit:

Whenever placing a call over the Ooma network, begin the call with *82 to force the call through a "secure" Ooma Gateway and to include Calling Line ID so that your friends who screen their calls will answer.

Update: per the comment from Mike P to this post, the site was taken down - a copy of the website is available for download here (per Markus Göbel's Tech News).


Mike P said...

The web site was taken offline under threat of legal action by ooma, claiming that it contained many untruths and was slanderous. They would not detail what they though was untrue or try to provide corrections.

Average Phone User said...

So, I guess this thing has pretty much died on the vine, huh?

I participated in the White Rabbit program, but my box died less than a week into the trial, and I have been trying to get a replacement ever since.

There is certainly some fine print to using this service..........the changes they make can be charged for by your local phone company. that much is a given. In my case, I was charged $10.80 to add CF-B to my line, which is an additional $1.75 a month. Then, when my Ooma box broke, I didn't have VM for 2 weeks. So, after no signs of getting a new box in the mail, I pleaded w/ Ooma to add my VM back until I get a new box. So, they do, which adds an additional $10.80 charge to my phone bill. To add insult to injury, the customer care reps w/ Ooma had the audacity to tell me that they never removed my VM to begin with, and moreover, that my phone company stated that I never had VM w/ my service. Someone must have been giving it to me for free for the last 2 years then.........please!

So far Ooma has cost me $23.35 and w/ Unlimited LD only costing $5 more a month, I could have gotten more usage out of my money by upgrading my account w/ my local carrier; 4 monhts of US domestic calling versus 2 days.

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