Most helpful critical review
46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Had to return Ooma Telo
on March 8, 2012
I purchased the Ooma Telo partly on the basis of the many positive reviews the unit has received on the Canadian & US Amazon sites, so I regret having to provide a less than positive review, but perhaps it will help other prospective buyers.
I was attracted to the Ooma solution because of the reputation for high quality voice, the ability to port my landline number and the great feature set - especially with the premium level. Even with paying for the premium service, I thought this would be a much better solution than what I currently pay for on my landline.
However, despite having a good quality cable broadband internet connection (7 MB down & 1 MB up) and a good quality router (D-Link DIR-655) the call quality was simply not consistent. I tried many different configurations to improve the Quality of Service (Ooma between my modem & router, Ooma on the router with QoS on the router etc etc) and there were still problems with echo, delay (latency) and one-way speech path (no voice) on probably 1 in 3 calls. In the end, this is our main house line and the primary line for my wife's home-based business, so the quality has to be consistent. My wife & I both liked the voice mail features and the Ooma portal, but that didn't make up for the call quality problems. By comparison, I use Skype for my home-based business for hundreds of hours each month with very few issues.
To be fair to the Ooma people, I did NOT call their support line or follow up with my ISP. I spent 10 days working through various combinations on my own and using suggestions from other users on the Ooma website. Perhaps Ooma support would have magically solved the problems, but I suspect they don't have as many points-of-presence (where their VOIP hands off to the regular phone network) in Canada yet and/or it could be to do with my local ISP (Rogers). After 10 days, it was just easier to return the unit. Besides which, the way they handle 911 calls still left me a bit dubious anyway.
To others thinking of purchasing the Ooma solution - your mileage may vary. Perhaps it would work better over DSL than cable? Perhaps I missed some setting? Maybe if I lived in a bigger town nearer to an Ooma POP to the PSTN? I like the concept and the feature set and this would have saved me a ton of money, but it just wasn't right for my family. Amazon has a very good and civilized returns policy (up to 30 days for the Ooma) so I would encourage anyone thinking of the Ooma to give it a try for a couple of weeks, but keep your original packaging!