There’s no doubt about it: signing up for Ooma’s free phone service can help you cut down your home phone bill. Ooma helps you get lower prices by ditching the outdated copper wire landlines past for the relatively new voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) technology.
But does that make Ooma your best option? Maybe not. In fact, you may not want to switch to a VoIP phone system for your home at all. Why?
Because, as is true with most free VoIP phone services, behind the scenes there are some pretty significant disadvantages that you may not be aware of. Plus, there’s actually a better option that gets you all of the major benefits of Ooma’s phone service at equal or lower prices.
In this blog post, we’re going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of Ooma. Afterward, we’ll also look at that better option so you can make an informed decision.
Advantages of Ooma
For home phone services, Ooma offers you two options: Ooma Basic and Ooma Premier. Perhaps the biggest advantage that you’ll notice right away is that Ooma Basic is advertised as being $0.00/month, excluding monthly taxes and fees.
Ooma Premier isn’t too bad either at $9.99/month. When compared to what you’re probably paying for your phone service alone through TV, phone, and internet bundles from the more traditional suppliers, making the switch probably feels like a no-brainer.
The service also comes with a range of features, including:
- Free US calling
- Low international calling ($.014/minute or 17.99/month plus taxes and fees)
- Integration with Amazon Echo
- Option to choose a new number in most U.S. area codes
- Ooma PureVoice™ HD technology for increased sound quality
By upgrading to Ooma Premier, you can enjoy additional features like:
- Integration with Amazon Echo, Dropbox, and other smart products
- A free second Ooma phone number
- Advanced call blocking
- Voicemail monitoring
Disadvantages of Ooma
Despite what Ooma says, even its basic plan is not free. An Ooma phone plan has substantial recurring and up front costs. In addition to the monthly taxes and fees (around $5/month depending on your zip code), you’ll also need to pay for a few other things to use the service.
You’ll need to buy at least one of the following Ooma adapters:
- Ooma Telo: $99.99 (requires a connection to your home router with ethernet cable)
- Ooma Telo Air: $129.99 (to connect wirelessly without ethernet cable)
- Ooma Telo 4g: $129.99 (needed to keep your phone system working in case of a power outage)
You’ll also need to pay $39.99 if you want to keep your current landline number. Or, you can transfer the number for “free” by signing up for Ooma Premier at $9.99/month. (There are cheaper ways to keep your landline number)
You may also want to buy the:
- Ooma Wireless Adapter: $49.99
- Ooma Bluetooth Adapter: $29.99
- Ooma World Plan: $17.99/month plus applicable taxes and fees
Expensive reliance on Internet
In addition to the costs we just mentioned, you’ll also need to spend more on internet. Why? Because like all VoIP phone systems, Ooma relies on you having a consistent, high-quality, and thus expensive internet connection to function correctly.
If the internet goes out for whatever reason, your phone system will stop working. Ooma offers a way to avoid this problem with Ooma Telo 4g. But as we’ve seen, this service costs quite a bit extra. Calls are also likely to drop if the broadband connection of your internet connection is not strong enough.
Limited customer support
Relative to other VoIP providers, Ooma actually offers a lot of customer support options. They have video tutorials, articles, and a 24x7x365 customer support line. So, why are we listing it under the disadvantages? Because the videos and articles still require a high level of technical know-how and their customer support is often outsourced to workers abroad.
A Better Option
With Community Phone, you can get all the benefits of Ooma at equal or lower prices, without reliance on an internet connection. In fact, we promise to make the process much easier: we don’t require any hardware set-up, and we take care of the process of transferring your number for you, at no extra cost.
With 100% US-Based customer support, Community Phone is also available to take your questions over phone, email, or live-chat.
If you want to know more about our service, call us at 1-888-582-4177, take a closer look at our landline plans.