We finally switched to Ooma, and I only wish I had done it sooner!
For those of you not familiar with Ooma, it’s a VOIP service akin to Vonage. Except it doesn’t charge you anything besides taxes. This month’s bill was $3.85. Vonage was charging us a little under $37 a month.
The only downside is that Ooma has a slightly annoying sound when you make a call. It chimes when you hit Talk, but it takes literally two seconds. Then it’s over, and you can get down to business.
The benefits far outweigh that minor inconvenience.
There’s the cost, of course. But I’ve also noticed a difference in call quality. I was frequently getting echoes on Vonage calls lately. Nothing like that in the past three weeks with Ooma.
And let me be clear: We’re not just getting a basic line. We get free calls anywhere in the U.S., plus call waiting, caller ID, voice mail, etc. And yes, it has 911 services.
You can view your call activity in your online account, which is a great way to find a number no longer in your caller ID. It also makes it easier to check your voicemail without calling in.
Want a cheap way to call friends outside the U.S.? Have them get Ooma too. There’s free calling between Ooma numbers anywhere in the world.
You can also buy a Bluetooth adapter to pair Ooma with your mobile phone or Bluetooth headset.
But perhaps the most immediate benefits has been the quiet in our house.
Before, we were sharing the line with Marc and Nadine. That meant a single line fielded calls for four people — all with health issues, no less. What’s more, Marc and Nadine didn’t always hear the phone, which meant we’d have to pad out to the guest house and tell them to pick up.
We’d get calls/messages on the machine for appointment reminders (Nadine has several doctors, and Marc has been going to more appointments lately), automated messages about prescriptions being ready (usually four each time) and, perhaps worst of all, Tim’s brother.
Tim cut Matt out of his life for a reason, and seeing him call — multiple times a day, at that — wasn’t great for Tim’s mental health. His parents told Matt to only call their cells. And he did… as long as they picked up. Otherwise, our phone rang.
Now it’s blissfully quiet, all the calls are for us, and no telemarketers have our number yet. It’s lovely.
The one caveat is that you do have to purchase the Ooma device. But saving $30ish a month will quickly make up for the initial outlay. And if you don’t like it, return it to the store or to Ooma directly within 30 days.
I really can’t recommend this service highly enough. If you use any other kind of landline, you’re almost certainly losing money.
To help you along, I made a list below of the costs at various stores. I included all the ones I could find, just in case you have coupons, store rewards or gift cards to lower the cost.
- PC Richards & Sons (currently 3% at Mr. Rebates and 1.5% at Ebates)
- Fry’s Electronics
- Staples (2% at both sites)
- Walmart (2% at Mr. Rebates, 1% at Ebates)
- BJ’s (currently 3% at Mr. Rebates, 1% at Ebates)
- OfficeDepot/OfficeMax (1% at Mr. Rebates, 2% at Ebates)
- Best Buy (1% at both sites)
- TigerDirect (currently 2% at Mr. Rebates, 1% at Ebates)
- Costco and B&H Photo
Do you have a landline? If so, which service do you use?