It’s Cheap But Does It Really Work Well?
Many people are skeptical at the notion of ultra-cheap home phone service, thinking it surely must be low quality or a potential scam if it is priced so cheaply. This is exactly what the traditional landline phone companies want you to think as they continue to take over $70 per month on average from consumers. Constant up-charges for long distance calls and extra features that should now be the standard with the most basic of plans. I mean, do they really still charge extra for caller ID?
Ooma – What’s the catch?
Ultra-cheap unlimited VoIP plans have been the norm in the VoIP industry for years and it understandably makes people skeptical at mentioned above. Anytime something is incredibly cheap our subconscious mind inherently thinks something must be wrong with it. With Ooma you’ve got to wonder what’s going on, considering their VoIP service is actually FREE. Yes, that’s right it comes with no monthly service fees and includes unlimited local and long distance calling to the U.S. and Canada. So one might ask, “What’s the catch?” or “How can a company make money offering service for free?”. The truth is there is no catch. The basic plan is free and sufficient for most, but they offer premium features for a monthly fee.
How does Ooma make money if most customers choose the free plan?
Well the answer is quite simple, Ooma makes money on the initial hardware investment from its free customers. In order to use the service users must purchase the Ooma Telo VoIP Adapter. The Telo is required for the service to function and retails for around $100, though it can typically be found on sale for about $60. As mentioned above Ooma also offers a higher level of paid service called Ooma Premier, which costs $9.99 per month and includes extra features that don’t come with the free service. Another revenue stream comes from their offering of business phone services through Ooma Office. They also charge for various other things such as the porting of numbers, multiple phone lines for dedicated faxing, etc. Finally, they make money by charging for international calls. Users have the option to either pay for these calls on a per minute basis or get a flat rate monthly international plan.
Is the basic plan actually free?
People have been quick to point out that even with the free service there is a monthly fee. While this is true it is not a fee that Ooma charges but rather a tax that your state and local government charges for all home phone lines (just another excuse for them to get more of your money). This fee is generally under $5.00 and you will pay it regardless of what provider you choose for your home phone service so it’s not relevant if you are set on getting a home phone.
Okay so it’s free but how well does it work?
So in the end the questions begs to be asked, “How well does Ooma service work?”. From our experience using the product and from taking a look around the Internet they have very good reviews. Their customer service is often praised by a wildly loyal customer base (almost cult-ish) and they are at the forefront of developing the newest technologies in the VoIP Industries (Advanced Voice Redundancy, Wire-speed QoS, SureFax) that help to greatly enhance voice quality and the ability to fax over VoIP.
So Ooma really can save me money?
Well that depends, if you don’t have a home phone right now getting Ooma will actually cost you money. If you have nearly any other home phone service then yes it will save you money. How much you might ask? Well that also depends on how much you are currently paying. If you only need the basic service it will cost you about $5 per month. If you decide to go with their Premier service it will cost you about $15 per month.
Our Final Thoughts regarding Ooma
Though Ooma works incredibly well in most cases we can’t say everyone will love it because people have different situations including hardware, internet connection speed and bandwidth needs. However we can say that Ooma certainly looks like a winner and usually if something looks like a winner then it is a winner. You can of course always consider it buy purchasing the device via the 30-day trial the company offers. If you don’t like it send it back for a full refund.
Author Bio: Jesse is an avid and competitive runner and he enjoys blogging frequently in various topics related to saving people money. His work has included extensive VoIP reviews.