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Ooma Office: VoIP Small Office Phone System Review

thumbs ooma logo Ooma Office: VoIP Small Office Phone System Review

Is your home business or small office continuing to grow that it’s time you need more than a single telephone line, are you looking for a phone system that has features better suited for business use, or are you looking for a low cost alternative to your current office phone system? With high-speed internet costs continuing to come down, the market has several VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions with some being aimed for home use and some for business. The folks over at Ooma have had a lot of success with their home VoIP product, the Ooma Telo which released back in 2009 and has since been very well received. Now Ooma takes on small business with their recent release of their Ooma Office product or in their words:

“Building on our success in home phone service, Ooma has recently announced our first-ever small business phone service. Ooma Office offers everything you’d ever need in a business phone system at a fraction of the cost while offering the quality of service you’d expect from Ooma.”

If you’ve done any research into VoIP alternatives, you will likely know that there generally isn’t much in the way of hardware or work to migrate to one of these solutions, but can a company that has traditionally offered a home VoIP solution be able to provide a solution feature rich enough to satisfy the demands of a small office? Before we “kick the tires” on the Ooma Office product, here is a quick feature list:

  • Calling:
    • Unlimited calling in U.S and Canada
    • Low international rates
    • Caller-ID and Name
    • E911 service
    • Free number transfer
  • Setup:
    • Easy installation
    • No special wiring required
    • 24/7 customer support
    • Directory listing
    • No special phones needed
    • Easy Line Expansion: Capable of hosting up to 10 lines and five phone extensions
  • Office features:
    • Virtual receptionist
    • Extension dialing
    • Voicemail
    • Call transfer
    • Modes for business and after hours
    • Ring groups
    • Music on hold
    • Conference bridge
  • Mobility features:
    • Call forwarding
    • Voicemail forwarding
    • Multi-ring
    • Virtual extensions

Packaging:

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The packaging for the Ooma Office is well designed and adequately constructed minimizing the chance that the contents inside will be damaged while in shipping transit. The outer carton is clearly marked with the company/product logos and identification. Additionally, Ooma made smart use of the packaging real-estate to evangelize the products features and functionality. With the Ooma Office unboxed, here are the contents:

  • 1 x Ooma Office base unit
  • 2 x Ooma Linx devices
  • 1 x RJ45 Ethernet cable
  • 1 x Power adapter
  • 1 x Quick Start Guide

Initial impressions:

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With the Ooma Office out of the packaging, my initial thought and comment was “This looks like a standard home network router or wireless access point.”. The base unit was much smaller than I expected, and the entire Ooma Office kit seemed for less intimidating once unboxed than I was originally expecting. This inevitably lead to my second thought, can this little device really deliver on its touted “business” feature set and handle the demands of a small office? At this point, skepticism was beginning to creep up, but I had to remind myself that the Ooma office leverages the “Cloud” and this might afford the luxury of keeping the equipment on the customer end pretty minimal. If done right, this could be a pretty big positive, if not…well…you get the drift.

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2 Comments... What's your say?

  1. I bought Ooma Office a week ago and was very excited when I received my hardware and registered online.

    My first disappointment was the bate and switch tactic of Ooma. The video uses an example with “Claire’s Cupcakes” and says Ooma Office redirect calls, “for Claire, press one” as one would expect from an office phone system. What the video does not say is that “for Claire, press one” is an extra $9.99 a month and “for Jane, press two” is an extra $9.99 a month and “for Jill, press three” is an extra $9.99 a month etc…

    If you do not buy extensions you pretty much paid $250 US for an answering machine.

    Then, the problems started. First, I got a 404 error when trying to access the “virtual receptionist” settings on my account. Then I found out that anyone calling my Ooma Office got cut off after 20 seconds.

    Calling customer support ends up in the Philippines where you are greeted by totally clueless people who only know a few basic things. Beyond that, the only thing they are capable of doing is submit a ticket and tell you not to expect any resolve of your problem before 24 to 48 hours. SAY WHAT?! 24 to 48 hours????

    Well, nothing happens even after 48 hours. When asking to speak to a supervisor you will be redirected to speak with a Filipino supervisor and his crying baby.

    I was so disappointed with the customer support by phone that I tried my luck by e-mailing Ooma, only to receive a useless e-mail telling me I have to call customer support.

    After a week of irritation and useless tickets, phone calls and e-mails, we finally shipped the Ooma Office back to Palo Alto for a refund and decided to pay a bit more and go with Verizon’s Virtual Communication Express. No more calls to the Philippines, no more Ooma.

    The company totally messes up with the worst nightmare support that renders the product useless. I would highly discourage anyone from buying Ooma.

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