This post was not sponsored by Ooma, it is not an advertisement, nor was I paid in any way. I merely like my Ooma phone system and want people to consider it over regular home phone service. I am shocked when I find out how much people are paying for traditional home phone service and why they still have it when there are good VoIP options.
Like everyone else, I have a cell phone. I even have two extra lines thanks to T-Mobile giving away extra free lines for a weekend. I never seem to not have access to cell phone, however, I like having a home phone just in case. Even then, I rarely made calls from my home phone and wondered why I even still had it. I considered cancelling home phone to save money, but I decided to keep it. I use the Ooma voice over IP (VoIP) phone service and only pay local fees (Regulatory Compliance Fee $1.49, 911 Service Fee $1.00, Local Interconnect Recovery Fee $1.60, State and local taxes, and fees and surcharges $0.26), which is a whopping $4.35 per month. I already had the Ooma base unit (which are much cheaper these days) and it has been totally reliable since I purchased it in August 2010. I have not need to change anything or deal with any issues. I have unplugged it a few times and it always reconnects without issue.
I have had this service for so long that I do not pay for the premier service that includes call blocking that filters out spam callers. Anyone that gets service now must pay $9.99 per month for this, and additional features. I consider the call blocking a must because it seems to work quite well. Our home phone rarely rings and the unwanted calls are rarely the spam type (fake IRS, fake Microsoft, etc.). Whenever I do receive a spam or unwanted call, I log into the Ooma portal and block it. If they call back they will get a no longer in service message. This also gets the spammer in the community blacklist to help block them before they can call other Ooma customers.
You may receive voicemail from the Ooma unit or have a recording emailed to you. I use email since my Ooma is in a junction box in my closet. You can have the phone itself handle the voicemail if your phone supports it.
I really like that this VoIP phone service supports 911 and will show your home address to emergency dispatchers. You enter your home address when setting up service, so make sure your get it right! This may be more reliable and quicker than using a cell phone since some cell phone 911 calls go to CHP. They must figure out where to transfer the call. When seconds count, this could be the difference of life and death. Ooma also includes a feature that notifies my cell phone if someone calls 911 from home.
Ooma is also much smarter than a regular home phone. There are smart phone apps that support making and receiving calls from your home phone number. The basic plan only allows free outgoing calls, but the premier plan allows incoming calls. I don’t have an Amazon Echo, but Ooma can have Alexa initiate calls by number or by contact name and check voicemail. This is listed as being included in the basic service that only includes the local fees. The premier service, which includes call blocking and more, is $9.99 per month. I would certainly pay for this if it were not included in my plan.
Though I really like Ooma as a “landline,” it is not the same as a traditional landline over copper wire. If the power goes out you will not have phone service unless you take a lot of caution to have proper battery backups keeping your data connection powered. Most people do not do this. A traditional landline over copper wire will stay connected during a power outage. However, many “landlines” these days are actually voice over internet and and true landlines because a lot of new houses don’t have copper to the house. Though I didn’t need it or want it, an internet service provider included home phone. This consisted of a separate modem for the phone that did not include a battery. I could buy have bought one on my own, but I didn’t. I doubt many people actually do this.