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[Costco] VOIP Ooma Telo Home Phone $110.44 (-$20)

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  • Jan 27th, 2016 12:03 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 24, 2010
184 posts
128 upvotes
Brossard, Qc

[Costco] VOIP Ooma Telo Home Phone $110.44 (-$20)

This is my 1st post.

Looking to move away from Bell home phone which keeps on going up even for basic services.

This looks like a good choice, no monthly charge other than tax and 911 fee (~$5+tx) and has call ID as well as free calls in Canada.

Reviews seems to be good in general, I live in Montreal area and check that my number can be ported over.

Only wild card is whether my ancient alarm system will work with this, I suspect yes but have not seen any comment on that. I need to check with my provider.

The savings relative to Bell for me would be about $25-30 per month not to mention that Call ID cost over $10 with Bell and they escalate the fees several times per year, the next one coming in February that is really annoying. I also have Satellite TV with Bell and that is also getting very expensive.

Does anybody have used Ooma with alarm system? What about line stability and audio clarity. My internet is 30/15 should be enough.
99 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 18, 2003
1159 posts
79 upvotes
Why not just use Freephoneline.ca for one time setup cost $75 voip key + $25 for porting number. Should work fine with your speeds. You can get voip box like spa2102 or better from Kijjij
Member
Feb 16, 2012
232 posts
176 upvotes
Vancouver
Got this for $89 -$25coupon = $64 from staples during BF
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2005
2106 posts
2649 upvotes
Toronto
I've had Ooma for over 3 years now and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who lives on the east coast or even central Canada. The set up is easy, the web interface is nice and the Telo device is very stable. That's all the good news. However, the bad news is the voice quality and lag. Lag is so bad that you constantly feel like you're interrupting the remote party, over and over. Ooma only has server(s) in Palo Alto, California, i.e. nothing yet on the east coast. There were rumors 3 years ago that they were going to establish a data center on the east coast but that has yet to come to fruition and frankly I'm tired of waiting it out. Most calls we make are to people who live in eastern Canada, so every voice packet has to make a round trip across North America (east coast --> Palo Alto --> east coast). This results in a noticeable lag and also often in packet dropping (clicking/touch tone sound heard on the line). This is even the case with Ooma to Ooma, as one of our closest relatives also has Ooma and we call them frequently and always notice the poor quality. In fact, we have more problems with Ooma to Ooma than Ooma to landlines, e.g. sometimes the audio signal path completely breaks down and one of the parties can't hear the other party.

I am well aware that VoIP call quality is highly dependent on internet connection quality. However, while I've been using Ooma, I've been with 3 different ISPs: Teksavvy DSL (QC), Electronic Box cable 60/10 Mbps (QC), and most recently Rogers Ignite 250u cable 250/20 Mbps (ON), and the call quality has been just as bad with all of these ISPs. Even with all other devices in my network not using any bandwidth the call quality with Ooma is bad. Even with the Rogers Ignite 250u cable service which is one of the faster internet connections in Canada the call quality is bad. This is my current Speedtest result, just to show that my internet connection isn't the cause of the poor call quality:

[IMG]http://speedtest.net/result/4967734343.png[/IMG]

Meanwhile, I have a SIP hardphone (Avaya 9641G) provided to me by my employer and their servers are on the east coast and the call quality is excellent. There's no discernible lag and rarely any audio packet drop-outs. Much, much better than Ooma at it's best.

The secondary problem with Ooma is their poor customer service and transparency. They raised their monthly rates recently and did not even bother to communicate this to their customers. They also started charging tax on prepaid long distance top ups and once again failed to communicate this to their customers.

Now, I'm looking for an alternative. If anyone wants to buy my Ooma Telo it'll be up on Kijiji soon :)
Nothing to see here folks...
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
7707 posts
466 upvotes
runeash wrote:
Jan 4th, 2016 12:43 am
Why not just use Freephoneline.ca for one time setup cost $75 voip key + $25 for porting number. Should work fine with your speeds. You can get voip box like spa2102 or better from Kijjij
Exactly, no monthly fee at all
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 21, 2005
1200 posts
112 upvotes
Lévis
loonieryan wrote:
Jan 4th, 2016 10:48 am
I've had Ooma for over 3 years now and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who lives on the east coast or even central Canada. The set up is easy, the web interface is nice and the Telo device is very stable. That's all the good news. However, the bad news is the voice quality and lag. Lag is so bad that you constantly feel like you're interrupting the remote party, over and over. Ooma only has server(s) in Palo Alto, California, i.e. nothing yet on the east coast. There were rumors 3 years ago that they were going to establish a data center on the east coast but that has yet to come to fruition and frankly I'm tired of waiting it out. Most calls we make are to people who live in eastern Canada, so every voice packet has to make a round trip across North America (east coast --> Palo Alto --> east coast). This results in a noticeable lag and also often in packet dropping (clicking/touch tone sound heard on the line). This is even the case with Ooma to Ooma, as one of our closest relatives also has Ooma and we call them frequently and always notice the poor quality. In fact, we have more problems with Ooma to Ooma than Ooma to landlines, e.g. sometimes the audio signal path completely breaks down and one of the parties can't hear the other party.

I am well aware that VoIP call quality is highly dependent on internet connection quality. However, while I've been using Ooma, I've been with 3 different ISPs: Teksavvy DSL (QC), Electronic Box cable 60/10 Mbps (QC), and most recently Rogers Ignite 250u cable 250/20 Mbps (ON), and the call quality has been just as bad with all of these ISPs. Even with all other devices in my network not using any bandwidth the call quality with Ooma is bad. Even with the Rogers Ignite 250u cable service which is one of the faster internet connections in Canada the call quality is bad. This is my current Speedtest result, just to show that my internet connection isn't the cause of the poor call quality:

Meanwhile, I have a SIP hardphone (Avaya 9641G) provided to me by my employer and their servers are on the east coast and the call quality is excellent. There's no discernible lag and rarely any audio packet drop-outs. Much, much better than Ooma at it's best.

The secondary problem with Ooma is their poor customer service and transparency. They raised their monthly rates recently and did not even bother to communicate this to their customers. They also started charging tax on prepaid long distance top ups and once again failed to communicate this to their customers.

Now, I'm looking for an alternative. If anyone wants to buy my Ooma Telo it'll be up on Kijiji soon :)
I hear you. We've just passed the 90 days return policy with costco. I will cancel bell because while the sound quality is poor with ooma, bell prices are insane. We will most probably get ooma basic* and increase a bit our cell phones plans (we're both prepaid) We don't use phones or cell that much. Like you said, the good thing with ooma is the relative ease of setup so it's a good start and with costco you have plenty of time to test it and return it if you don't like it.

Problem is there's no real alertnative to ooma except others voip services which are cheaper but not as easy to setup and most probably with the same sound quality.

* another drawback with ooma is that while the extra premium package is fully loaded, it's also a bit "expansive" (17$/month or 118$/year that add to the 5$/month basic fee). Not a problem if you need many of the features in that package but it is if you only need a few ones.
Pourquoi pas?
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
7707 posts
466 upvotes
If you don't care about the voice quality and just want to get rid of Bell, why don't you just get FPL ? It is free. The ONLY reason I am keeping the Bell insane landline is because of the alarm. Honestly, to me, it is even landline for alarm or use GSM instead. I won't rely on any VOIP service on alarm. In facts, I already have the EnvisaLink self monitoring system installed. I am actually thinking to even drop the $10/month TMC monitoring fee.
SPARTACVS wrote:
Jan 4th, 2016 11:24 am
I hear you. We've just passed the 90 days return policy with costco. I will cancel bell because while the sound quality is poor with ooma, bell prices are insane. We will most probably get ooma basic* and increase a bit our cell phones plans (we're both prepaid) We don't use phones or cell that much. Like you said, the good thing with ooma is the relative ease of setup so it's a good start and with costco you have plenty of tiem to test it and return it if you don't like it.

Problem is there's no real alertnative than ooma except others voip services which are cheaper but not as easy to setup and most probably with the same sound quality.

* another drawback with ooma is that while the extra premium package is fully loaded, it's also a bit "expansive" (17$/month or 118$/year that add to the 5$/month basic fee). Not a problem if you need many of the features in that package but it is if you only need a few ones.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 27, 2008
550 posts
57 upvotes
Etobicoke
I also had Ooma and had my friend sign up at the same time. Both of us had voice delay problems. My solution was to drop Ooma, by an Obitalk 201 and sign up for free phone line.
This was six months ago. It is now equal to the quality I used to get on my landline. I wish I knew this information before investing in Ooma.
Only strange problem I have had are phantom phone calls. The phone rings with called id 10 10 10 and there is no one on the other line. this will then repeat every 15 minutes. I reset the modem and everything is ok again.
The down side is that it is free and you can't simply call in to customer service.
Hope this is some help for people currently making this decision.
Member
Nov 8, 2007
414 posts
105 upvotes
My Ooma has been working well for the most part on the east coast. Voice quality has been acceptable to good but I never use it myself. I've had more problems with the hardware itself going over WiFi - the adapter it came with constantly fails and I don't want to use a bridge. Same problem reported from many users, if I could wire it up I would but I'll probably go with an Obi device before that.

I will say that the online features are pretty cool but you really need to pay for the premium service to get the full experience. IMO pricing for that is pretty unreasonable considering they are targeting customers that want to cut out fluffy costs.
Deal Addict
Jan 18, 2009
1951 posts
711 upvotes
I'm in Ottawa but my ISP is in Montreal. We had ooma and fpl+obi200 at the same time for a month. It's no contest, FPL+obi200's voice quality is way better than ooma.
Member
Dec 28, 2010
357 posts
39 upvotes
Mississauga, Ontario
I am in GTA and I can confirm that Ooma sucks . .... if anybody to buy the device, I am open to selling myself
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2005
2106 posts
2649 upvotes
Toronto
tadk666 wrote:
Jan 4th, 2016 12:07 pm
I also had Ooma and had my friend sign up at the same time. Both of us had voice delay problems. My solution was to drop Ooma, by an Obitalk 201 and sign up for free phone line.
This was six months ago. It is now equal to the quality I used to get on my landline. I wish I knew this information before investing in Ooma.
Only strange problem I have had are phantom phone calls. The phone rings with called id 10 10 10 and there is no one on the other line. this will then repeat every 15 minutes. I reset the modem and everything is ok again.
The down side is that it is free and you can't simply call in to customer service.
Hope this is some help for people currently making this decision.
bogolisk wrote:
Jan 4th, 2016 12:30 pm
I'm in Ottawa but my ISP is in Montreal. We had ooma and fpl+obi200 at the same time for a month. It's no contest, FPL+obi200's voice quality is way better than ooma.
I already have a 289 area code number with FPL that I'm using on Android every now and then. Considering getting the Obi and paying FPL for the configuration file. How difficult was it to set up? Is it free to call Canada-wide? Wasn't clear on the FPL website whether calling to all of Canada is free or just select cities.
Nothing to see here folks...

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