Forum Thread

The Official Guide: Ooma vs. Vonage vs. Obi

getdealsonline 6,482 6,475 January 20, 2012 at 04:31 PM
We have many VOIP players in the market and I am starting this forum to have a collective discussion on the major services .. please feel free to add more services and their reviews if you know some: I am starting with putting out:

Ooma vs. Vonage vs. Obi

Need for:

1. Call Locally within US/Canada
2. Call Internationally, one or two odd countries

what do you guys think? suggestions please
Ooma vs. Vonage vs. Obi - Choice of SD?
Ooma (84)
37%
Vonage (16)
7%
Obi (122)
54%
Calling Cards (6)
3%
Return to Poll

66 Comments

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#31
Just got an email from Ooma saying they are increasing the fee. Not much but this is the first step to charge higher State and local fee.
https://go.ooma.com/tax_calculator
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#32
no surprise to me, OBI won this poll, heck for only $40 your up and running with no monthly payments. It does have its moments now and then using google voice, but for free no complaints here.
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#33
Obi working with Google voice but why when I get a call on my cell phone does it ring my Obi home phone after a time? I have turned off forwarding in my settings on Google Voice but it still does it. Is it some setting in the Obi I'm not seeing or what?
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#34
cisco SPA > all - will work with ANY voip provider, even GV for free
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#35
Quote from getdealsonline View Post :
We have many VOIP players in the market and I am starting this forum to have a collective discussion on the major services .. please feel free to add more services and their reviews if you know some: I am starting with putting out:

Ooma vs. Vonage vs. Obi

Need for:

1. Call Locally within US/Canada
2. Call Internationally, one or two odd countries

what do you guys think? suggestions please

I've had 2 Ooma hubs for 3-4 years (1st gen) and still haven't payed a cent over original purchase price....can't be beat practically
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#36
Quote from slapshot136 View Post :
cisco SPA > all - will work with ANY voip provider, even GV for free
What VOIP provider won't Obi work with?
I have g-voice for USA and Localphone for overseas setup on the Obi - works fine.
AFAIK Obi device will take any SIP credentials in addition to having easy setup for g-voice.
I think cisco SPA is beyond what most people need or care to learn how to set-up, more for special setups or situations or for the true SIP/Voip geek.
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Last edited by Redrotors February 29, 2012 at 09:19 PM
#37
I currently use Vonage. Make lots of calls to India. Is Ooma cheaper than vonage for my situation?
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#38
Quote from drdomore View Post :
I currently use Vonage. Make lots of calls to India. Is Ooma cheaper than vonage for my situation?
It depends on how much is your "lots of calls"
Vonage charges $25.99/mo for unlimited calling with 1-yr contract.
http://www.vonage.com/international-voip-rates/

Ooma charges $9.99+$5 tax for 1000min/mo or $0.085/min + 15-18% fees without contract.
http://www.ooma.com/products/international-rates
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#39
Quote from drdomore View Post :
I currently use Vonage. Make lots of calls to India. Is Ooma cheaper than vonage for my situation?
Quote from teetee1 View Post :
It depends on how much is your "lots of calls"
Vonage charges $25.99/mo for unlimited calling with 1-yr contract.
http://www.vonage.com/international-voip-rates/

Ooma charges $9.99+$5 tax for 1000min/mo or $0.085/min + 15-18% fees without contract.
http://www.ooma.com/products/international-rates
as you may see, i started this thread coz I have been in similar situation! finally I purchased 3 Obi devices and now will have free calling
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#40
Quote from getdealsonline View Post :
as you may see, i started this thread coz I have been in similar situation! finally I purchased 3 Obi devices and now will have free calling
just curious why do you need 3 of them?

also, anyone know if you can use vonage equipment with google voice?
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#41
Quote from 45root View Post :
just curious why do you need 3 of them?

also, anyone know if you can use vonage equipment with google voice?
one for our home, one for sis and one for mom
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#42
I've been an Ooma customer since Dec. 2009. Perhaps because I bought it through Costco, the purchase price was my only cost for the first year. Jan. 2011, I incurred an $11.75 charge to cover yearly taxes and related fees. Didn't like it, but I seem to recall that this was part of the deal when I first signed up - that there would be a yearly fee to cover these expenses.

2012 brought new costs, and have me considering leaving Ooma. The $11.75/yr tax and fee bill was increased to $3.47/mo, which equates to $41.64/yr, a nearly four-fold increase. While still considerably cheaper than a landline, or the Vonage service I had before we bought the Ooma device - I specifically purchased the Ooma to get away from a monthly subscription fee. Further, there is no increase in service to off-set the new pricing structure (discount on Premier service or something) ... sorry, I don't buy that Ooma isn't pocketing a portion of these higher fees - it seems very unlikely that the relevant taxes went up by such a huge margin).

Reading the Obi reviews, I'm very very tempted. We already use a Google number, so migrating would seem to be pretty easy. And since we bought the Ooma at Costco, could probably still return it based on the significant ToS changes since we purchased it.
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#43
Quote from 7up1n3 View Post :
I don't buy that Ooma isn't pocketing a portion of these higher fees - it seems very unlikely that the relevant taxes went up by such a huge margin).
Ooma was eating the cost before, now they are passing it on to the customer. Some of the regulatory fees does pay for administrative costs, but I bet it's about a quarter a month. Obi is free because Google is eating these costs (and not providing 911 service) - as soon as Google starts charging for Google Voice, I imagine the costs will be similar.

My current Ooma costs are:

Regulatory Compliance Fee - $1.78
911 Service Fee - $1.59
Federal Universal Service Charge - $0.40
State 911 - $0.20
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#44
Quote from Shink View Post :
Ooma was eating the cost before, now they are passing it on to the customer. Some of the regulatory fees does pay for administrative costs, but I bet it's about a quarter a month. Obi is free because Google is eating these costs (and not providing 911 service) - as soon as Google starts charging for Google Voice, I imagine the costs will be similar.

My current Ooma costs are:

Regulatory Compliance Fee - $1.78
911 Service Fee - $1.59
Federal Universal Service Charge - $0.40
State 911 - $0.20
"Eating the cost" is an interesting term. Ooma whole business model is sell customers the device at high price (the device probably cost them less than $20 to make in China). And their business plan is every 3-4 years, they bet everyone will BUY newer version of Ooma expensive device and that's how they make money.
The initial cost of the device is how Ooma planned originally to cover all these expenses. They are not "eating the cost" since their original business model supposed to cover it. And later on, they change their model a bit by offering Ooma Premier services and hoping enough people signup for it to cover their business expenses and still make money.
Either their business model failed or they are trying to make more money.
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Last edited by MozartA March 14, 2012 at 10:30 PM

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#45
I don't disagree, just pointing out that Ooma is likely not making a profit on the regulatory/911 fees. My guess is that their business model was broken when Google Voice became open to everyone. I like my Ooma and don't regret the purchase one bit, but the company is not profitable and probably never will be. Obi + Google Voice is the way to go IMO, unless one of the following means $200 to you (assuming Google will start charging similar pricing in 2013) - 911 service; proper caller id; not having Google listen in on all of your phone conversations using this line.
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