A little over a year ago when my husband was laid off, we had to cut our spending. One of the first bills we ditched was our home phone line. That was easy, because we used our cell phones most of the time anyway, and it didn’t make sense to keep that thirty dollar service any longer.
But then we had sitters come over, and some didn’t have cell phones. We needed to provide them a way to reach us in case of an emergency, so we ultimately got one of those phone services that works through the computer, it was much cheaper than the standard home phone line so it seemed to be the perfect solution. Until we realized that in order to work, our computer had to be running, burning energy unnecessarily, and we stopped using the service.
When I found that the Ooma Telo connects right to your broadband internet connection, allowing it to work even when your computer was off, I was intrigued. After the initial investment of $200 for the unit, there is no monthly service fee. You pay only taxes and fees which in most cases are about $4 a month. You can check and see what your fees would be with the Ooma Tax Calculator; mine is $3.47. Not bad!
For under four dollars per month, you receive free nationwide calling, caller id, call waiting, voicemail, and 911 emergency. You get to select a local telephone number, or for an extra free you can transfer your existing telephone number.
Installation was a bit challenging, even with the diagram. I managed to bring down my WiFi network, so I called in my husband to fix the mess I created. It took a little fiddling on his end before we were up and running. If you do run into these issues, there is a support line available.
When I first heard the Ooma dial tone through my phone, I was immediately prompted to set up my voicemail. My outgoing message is full of static, I’m not sure if it’s the phone or the Ooma, but I’m going to have to try and resolve this issue. The calls I make seem to be clear.
When I registered the device online, I chose a password and a pin. The password allows you to login in to the My Ooma dashboard where you can see missed calls and hear messages when you are not home. Very cool. You are automatically enrolled with a free trial of Ooma Premier. After the 30 days is up, your credit card is automatically charged. I don’t like being forced into automatic bill increases like this, but I have to say that the premier service does give you a long list of extra features that I like, such as call forwarding, blocking, three-way conferencing and voice-to text, to name a few.
I really like that you get voicemail through the device itself, and you can listen from your phone handset just like a regular phone instead of through the computer.
One of my readers will win an Ooma Telo! (Ends 1/4/11)