Customer Review

600 of 657 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great looking and improved Ooma VOIP device, October 3, 2009
This review is from: Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service (Personal Computers)
The Ooma Telo replaces or will replace the Ooma core system. The core system included a hub and scout. The scout and services of the scout are gone from new Ooma devices. In the future, some (but not all) services of the scout may return via the proprietary wireless Ooma Telo handset.

For those who don't know, Ooma is an internet telephone company. This means it uses the Telo to make and receive telephone calls, instead of using your local phone company and its wired network, Ooma uses your internet connection. Companies that use internet to make and complete telephone calls are using Voice Over Internet Protocol usually referred to as VOIP. Older phone technology to a home is often referred to as POTS (plain old telephone service). With Ooma you can replace your current home phone, or you can use Ooma to supplement it. Ooma lets a customer decide how they want to use their service with respect to existing POTS service.

[...]. This will allow the Telo to make and receive calls using your current home phone number. Your number will be switched to Ooma, but still be in your name (you can port it to any other phone company if you want). Ooma becomes your host.

A reason people purchase a product like the Telo is to have low cost phone service. Most VOIP (including Ooma) do not discriminate between long distance and local calls. Ooma permits up to 5,000 outgoing minutes of calls within the U.S. per month at no charge. Incoming calls are unlimited and not timed.

Ooma has established itself as a high voice quality company with its first product (the Ooma Core). The Telo continues to build on that tradition. With any Ooma product voice quality is usually as good as a problem free home phone. The Telo builds on this, by offering higher quality voice than any traditional phone company, and better voice quality than most other VOIP companies by using a proprietary wireless handset. This looks like a traditional land line type wireless phone, but has much better call clarity than is possible for most other providers. This is one of the new, improved features of the Telo.

Ooma is also very easy to set up and operate. Many people report setting up an Ooma device within 10-20 minutes from the time they open the box. This means they can make and receive calls literally within minutes of getting their Ooma device home. Set up involves a physical set up, where the Telo is placed between the router and cable / dsl modem or behind the router. [...]and follow the step by step instructions for a free activation. Part of the activation usually includes selection of a local phone number. Once you have completed the online activation, the Telo should be able to send and receive calls in minutes.

The Telo IS a work of art, it looks very nice, and has a wonderful aesthetic appeal. There are pressure sensitive buttons, and just about every button, plus a lot more is lit up with beautiful blue LED's. When a line is busy, or the hub isn't working properly the color of the appropriate indicator changes from blue to red. For example if you pick up the phone, the line 1 button will no longer glow blue, but will turn red to indicate line 1 in use. If there is any connection problem, the Ooma trademark symbol will glow red, this is very easy to see even across a large room. It usually indicates an internet failure.

The Telo works with wireless Ooma proprietary handsets which are optional. These handsets will support high quality (better than regular phone quality) calls between Telo users. The Telo continues to support traditional phones as well. You do not need a Telo handset to make and receive calls, your old phones will work just fine. In my home, I have disconnected the phone company wires outside the house, and plugged my Ooma Telo into one of my jacks. This permits the Telo to run all the existing phones in my home as if they were still attached to the phone company. The difference is not getting a monthly phone bill.

The Telo has a more advanced processor and is overall a more capable device than the older Ooma Hub (the Hub is the primary component of the older Ooma Core system). Ooma has promised new features to be released, which will be restricted to the Telo alone. This makes the Telo a natural upgrade path from the Core in terms of overall capability.

Current Ooma Core customers can upgrade to the Telo, and switch their account entirely to the new Telo device. The older Core / Hub can be sold or discarded. The old Ooma hub can be reactivated for a $[...] one time fee, at which point it will be considered as a new service.

The Telo is superior in almost all regards to the older Ooma hub.

The Ooma Telo will continue to provide free voicemail as the older Core systems did. This means voicemail will be supported by the Telo adapter, by your phone or online via the Ooma website. However the basic Ooma Telo plan will not include incoming caller-id name (it will include incoming caller-id number). This is a change from the older Ooma Core system. Ooma has indicated the cost of incoming caller-name lookup was significant, and that by eliminating this expense on future basic plans Ooma will be more viable.

As with all Ooma devices, Ooma Premier is free for the first 60 days. During the first 2 months, a new user will be able to make free calls to Ooma technical support. Thus any set up issues can be handled by a live Ooma customer service representative. After 60 days, Telo users are put on a Telo basic tier, where future support is handled via email and through the Ooma forums which remain free.

In summary, the new Telo is a great product. In years 2 and beyond there will be a $[...] per year regulatory recovery fee for Telo users. This is new for the Telo, those who bought new Ooma Core systems do not have to pay an annual fee ever. The fee is to cover regulatory costs Ooma is charged, not to charge for making or receiving calls.
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Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 36 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 5, 2009 6:17:22 PM PDT
C. Jones says:
"To overcome the limitations of the basic Telo plan, users will be encouraged to purchase the Ooma Premier plan. This will cost $12 a month, or $12 year."

I believe this is a typo. It should read, "This will cost $9.99 a month, or $119.99 a year."

The old Ooma Premier service plan cost $12 a month or you could pay $99 for a full year, which gave you a little bit of discount.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 9:32:16 PM PDT
Pilchard says:
Yes it is, I am trying to correct it but apparently Amazon limits the number of updates you can apply to a post per day.


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2009 12:31:30 PM PDT
K. Ponder says:
I just ordered a Ooma telo from Amazon on Oct 2 2009 and received it Oct 5, 2009.

Pilchard makes 2 very important points regarding Ooma telo's basic plan. There is no free voicemail and no Caller-ID name (just number caller-ID). I was disappointed to see the lack of caller ID name. I have an answering machine so didn't think I needed voicemail. Anyway, I'll probably take the plunge and buy the optional $120 a year premier service. If it keeps working as advertised, ooma telo should pay for it self compared to traditional wired phone service in less than a year. I will post a full review once I have more experience with the device.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 1:01:54 PM PDT
E.G. says:
Thank you for this review. I wasn't aware of the voicemail and caller-ID limitations and was just about to buy a Telo. You changed my mind and I bought an Ooma Core instead.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 3:57:59 PM PDT
K. Neman says:
Don't Forget there is a difference in the processor between the telo and the core. Don't just make the decision based on the voicemail and caller id issue.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2009 10:48:26 AM PDT
J. Page says:
Good review. As a long time Ooma Core owner I am very interested to see what new services and capabilities are added to the Telo and what Ooma might do for current owners to upgrade to the new equipment.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2009 12:53:30 PM PDT
Pilchard says:
Current Ooma core owners can upgrade to the Telo. You do this by NOT activating online. Instead call Ooma customer support they will ask for your current phone number, and the MAC ID of your new Telo. Your old Ooma core account will be transferred to the Telo, and WILL be grandfathered. Your old Core will become deactivated. If you sell your old core, or want to re-activate it, you'll have to pay a $60 re-activation fee. The newly re-activated Ooma Core will have the Telo basic plan (NOT the old Core plan). It will be subject to the $12 per year regulatory recovery fee after the first year.

Your Telo with the moved Core account will continue to provide you with free voicemail, full free incoming caller-id (name and number) and no annual $12 regulatory recovery fee.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2009 6:14:43 PM PDT
ck says:
What would your advice be to someone who's considering migrating from a landline? Buy a Core that is new (ie not reactivated) to see if we like it and then later on buy a Telo ... or buy a Telo and miss out on the Core pricing plan? FWIW, we have a Panasonic DECT 6.0 system with voicemail and several handsets; probably has several good years left. Thanks!

Posted on Oct 16, 2009 5:44:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 16, 2009 5:45:27 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2009 6:59:34 AM PDT
Pilchard says:
Hi CK,

It is up to you. The basic plan for the older Core system is better than the basic plan for the new Telo system. While the Telo has more potential the Core still offers very good quality voice.
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