Founded in 2004, Ooma is among the leading telecommunications companies today. Their early offering of peer-to-peer VoIP services allowed users to make home phone calls over their landline services. Since then, they’ve successfully focused themselves on basic services for residential (or ‘non-commercial’) use allowing up to 5,000 minutes of outgoing calls per month. Their signature service is remarkable for the fact that it is absolutely ‘free’ of monthly charges paid to the company. After the initial investment of purchasing their device, the Ooma Telo, your monthly charges consist only of mandatory government taxes and fees.
Ooma also provides a host of different plans catering to homes, mobile users and small businesses in the United States and Canadian markets for their communications solutions and ancillary connected services. Their range of service plans include several options such as: Ooma Telo (basic and premier), Ooma Mobile HD app, and niche hardware devices including the Ooma Linx, Ooma Safety Phone, proprietary wireless + Bluetooth adapters, noise-cancelling headsets etc.
What Is Ooma Premier?
Ooma premier is the paid version of their home service and takes the basic features as outlined above and amps them up with additional features which suit more demanding lifestyles and small home-based businesses with low calling needs.
Service Plans & Cost
One time purchase of the Ooma Telo (previously, the Ooma hub) is a bargain buy, including their award-winning service package of caller-ID, call-waiting, voicemail and 911 emergency service options. The breakdown of their service plans and corresponding costs are as follows:
|Cost||Ooma Telo Basic||Ooma Telo Premier|
|Phone care support service||Free||Free|
|Updating phone number or name||$19.99/change||$9.99/number|
For Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska numbers – there is a $29.99 annual fee, waived completely with Annual Home Premier Subscription. Calls nationwide within the United States and Canada are free.
International calling plans offer options of pay-as-you-go, and fixed plan rates of $4.99 per month (500 minutes for premier paying customers only), or unlimited world plans for 60 countries ($17.99 per month), or 70 countries ($25.99 per month). All U.S. residents are required to pay Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) on every international calling plan, added as a monthly charge on your Ooma bill. It typically amounts to 15% of your plan cost. International calls made from your pay-as-you-go account levy a connection fee of 4€ per call.
There is no additional or hidden charges for service from Ooma, Inc. To get a better estimate of the monthly charges, you may use the Tax Calculator to gauge the payable amount in your region by simply entering your zip code.
How Much Can It Save Me?
At $9.99/month, your savings Ooma Premier are totally dependent on how much you are currently spending. No matter what it is clear that it is cheap! We have seen it save people anywhere from $20 to $250 per month, in extreme cases where the person made a large number of long distance and international calls. The longer you use it, the greater the savings, since all you pay is the $9.99 + $3.99 monthly taxes after the initial investment of approximately $99 on the Telo device
To learn more, cal the Ooma phone number at 877-950-6662.
A host of these features are exclusive to Ooma hardware devices or service technologies. From blacklisting bothersome callers, to integrating with e-commerce applications, online storage, and mobile apps, Ooma premier has plenty to offer.
The signature features of Ooma Premier are:
- Advanced Calling features – Make most of your calling service with features like:
- Three-way conference calls – ideal for business applications, or families with members in multiple geographical locations.
- Back-up number – asynchronous call forwarding feature even when your power or internet are down, so you never miss important calls despite Ooma device being unreachable.
- Premium call-waiting and caller-ID features – to help you recognize the caller, and be able to attend to calls even when you’re busy with another call. All phones connected to the Telo would ring and show the caller ID.
- Premium call-forwarding to your cellphone, iPad or other reception device if you’re away from your primary phone.
- Advanced Privacy features
- Top notch privacy features to block telemarketers, robo-callers, spammers, and all kinds of unwanted calling services by blocking individual numbers.
- Expanded blacklisting and community blacklisting is available with premier package.
- Activate the ‘Do not disturb’ mode to have calls directly end up in voice-mail.
Voicemail monitoring is available as a premier feature to check back on all calls later. Other advanced voicemail features include
- Instant SMS notification for every voicemail
- Direct to-email VM forwarding to listen to them at your convenience.
- Private, password-protected VM account for every number if you’re using a shared hub.
- You can set up a second number (up to nine numbers) from any area code nationwide, to ring for specific extensions and forward to a different voicemail box. Your family members of business partners can keep their conversations private, and access with personal login.
- Exclusive Personalization features – Too often, handling multiple calls is as much about convenience, as it is about smooth transition, personalization, and mobility. Ooma Premier is at your service for the following:
- HD Mobile app – so you can avail the best of Ooma features on your smartphone or portable device. You may connect to any iOS device, add automation features, utilize the wearable features, and enjoy true mobility
- Sync with Google, Dropbox, Nest, or visual applications of Philips HUE/ LIFX etc. – So you need the Ooma call forwarding to your inbox. Just sync with Google! You fancy storing all your important home-based business calls somewhere. Call on Dropbox! Need to have a flash light feature to wake up your kids for basketball games – Philips HUE or LIFX can automate their visual technology. You may even pre-record door locking, thermostat adjustment and many more connected home features by linking Ooma with Nest. Smart home with Ooma!
Like business class flyers in any airline, Ooma premier customers are always a step ahead. Get exclusive email offers, promotional deals, get sneak-peeks into upcoming innovations and enjoy the perks of the best technologies Ooma has to offer.
Ooma Premier vs. Ooma Basic
While the call quality and basic features are the same, having the Ooma Premier does give you more control over several telecommunication options which might be useful, especially if your Ooma box is shared between multiple household members or business co-workers.
Our comparison of the two was simple. In addition to the basic features offered by Ooma Telo, Telo premier offers:
- Free unlimited calls to Canada – ideal for family or international business calling options. The $29.99 fee is also waived for Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska numbers.
- Premium call forwarding features – personal, community, and expanded blacklisting features as well as blocking anonymous calls.
- All voicemail features like: forwarding to email, private voicemails for each additional line, notifications via text messages, monitoring, and email transcription or audio attachment.
- Advanced calling, mobile calling, smart home features, back-up number, three-way conference and instant second line.
- Multi-ring for every handset attached to Ooma calling hub, with distinct ring patters for each. Now you can simultaneously ring your home and mobile phones with identifiable, distinct ringing pattern for each.
While the features above might not be for everyone and basic features might suffice for residential / non-commercial users, there are several benefits of the premier package above which small businesses, or geographically spread out households would immensely benefit from.
The Customer Service
Reaching the Ooma Inc. customer service is easy and convenient in three quick ways:
- The Dedicated customer service page which also has pointers to frequently asked questions and customer reviews to help resolve common issues.
- Direct Phone # 1-888-711-6662 (USA) and 1-866-929-6662 (Canada). After the pre-recorded message, customers may press 1 (one) to be placed in the queue for speaking to the next available representative.
Service available 5 am to 5 pm on weekdays; 8 am to 5 pm on weekends
- 24/7 Live chat option.
For additional news, updates, service interruptions, promotions, or any other relevant customer information, Ooma provides a feed of its news section.
What We Like
There’s much to love about the Ooma Premier. Listed below are the things which we found particularly worth the extra monthly amount.
- Voicemail features – from transcriptions, to direct email of audio files, SMS notifications, and password-protected privacy for multiple line accounts, it’s a great value for someone who uses Ooma as a true land-line alternative.
- Security – While the basic version also shows up caller-ID numbers, the premier one taps into the rich database and identifies the name. No more annoying telemarketing, spamming, or credit card pre-recorded messages via calls either.
- Three-way conferencing is particularly handy, especially since Skype still doesn’t have it, Google voice and Facebook calls frequently lag or drop off.
- International calling plans are great value for money. For a small business in particular, if you don’t need to call 60 or 70 countries, there are options of paying $4.99 a month for 500 international minutes (not including the Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) and FCC regulatory fees).
- Saving on hardware accessories which are available for FREE with the premier package, like Bluetooth adapter ($29.99) and Wireless adapter ($49.99). Several hardware options like Ooma Telo, extension box or DECT headset are markedly better quality and built to last, compared to cheaper VoIP service competitors like MagicJack.
What We Don’t Like
Despite several good features and some excellent services as part of the premier package, there are things we would like to see improved, especially when I’m paying at additional $10 odd per month.
- Latency issues – Ooma devices, like any other VoIP and telecommunication device, allows lag to creep into your calls which last longer. Lack of enough servers in every region causes unintentional talking over, interruptions and isn’t ideal. For premier services, you’d hope a telecommunication company would lock down a frequency, target the 5G band, get more servers, or refine the technology to reduce echo or overlapping issues.
- Number porting is a tedious process. Given that competitors like Google Voice or Obihai make it happen in a few days – Ooma’s average porting time of a couple weeks is definitely not ‘premier’.
- Lack of a softphone, compared to other cheap VoIP options is a slight downer.
Ooma Premier FAQs
What is the starting cost of Ooma Premier?
Ooma setup requires you to purchase the Ooma Telo box – available both through their website (recommended, at $99) or via e-commerce retailers like Amazon, TigerDirect or other sites. Amazon could fetch you a Telo for as low as $60. Additional hardware (adapters, splitters) would cost you another $40 to $70 odd. And the monthly charges would be $9.99 + mandatory taxes and fees.
Keep an eye out for special referral coupons available through retailers, or online review blogs to further offset your initial costs. Typically $120 to $160 is the initial investment.
Do I need to worry about hidden fees?
None at all, though it’s good to remember that there is mandatory fee and taxes amounting up to $5-8 per month depending on what region you live in. But the total is still less than $20 a month for premier services.
Are Minutes Actually Unlimited?
Since 2008, Ooma has changed their business strategy to limit the use for non-commercial purposes, unless you’re opting for Ooma Office. Hence, the minutes cap out at 5,000 minutes per month.
I don’t need international calling plans to 60 or 70 countries. Is there an option for pay-per-use?
Yes, there is! Check the regularly updated international rates so you can estimate your calling costs. There is also a $4.99 a month plan for 500 international calling minutes and other unlimited international plans starting at $17.99.
Is there a return policy?
There is a full refund 30-day return policy for all merchandise through their website, including hardware, international calling plans, and basic services. Simply reach out to their customer care. Purchases made from third party retailers would need to follow their policies; Ooma is not responsible for them.
Is your MyOoma Account any different with a Premier subscription?
The login process is exactly the same but you will see extra features in your dashboard if you have a Premier plan rather than the basic option.
To sum it up, Ooma Premier offers several great features for a nominal increase in the monthly fee. For residential or non-commercial needs, these may not always be necessary. However, for larger families, with separate telecommunication needs for kids and adults in particular – the premier features are quite handy. Ditto for small business, businesses with distributed operations, satellite locations, or international calling requirements. If you are a business just be sure you stay under the non-commercial use limit of 5,000 minutes of outgoing calls per month.
Ooma Premier is excellent for interfacing with connected, VR, and smart home technologies, and equipped with a state-of-the-art mobile app, further adding value in terms of security and exclusivity. Setup and installation is a cinch, and has wireless and Bluetooth capabilities.
Monitoring calls, voicemails, multiple lines, personalizing rings, and ensuring that you are always notified and abreast with missed calls is a definite advantage, especially for those dealing with important business calls and unpredictable internet.
On the whole, Ooma Premier is a recommended product for the reasonable price and the ground it covers.
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