Ooma VOIP goes down and people get stupid

I woke up to an Ooma outage today. Ooma is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service which I have had for years. It’s mostly been reliable, except a few glitches.

However, today’s outrage was major — across the country. Ooma suffered a similar outage in 2009, but apparently didn’t learn any lessons.

The company’s communication was poor. Even though it has a Twitter account (ooma_status), it did not communicate to customers that there was a problem. Worse, the entire system seemed to go wacky. One could not log into the website and forward numbers to cell phones. Voicemail was also not working.

Luckily, I was able to find out from others what was going on via the Ooma Facebook page. Ooma subscribers were reporting the failures. Ooma did not respond for four hours. Guess they weren’t awake on the left coast, eh? The outage last about four hours and Ooma finally communicated what was going on. However, their comments were even less than reassuring:

Network connectivity has been restored and affected boxes should be coming back online (Tweeted at 1 p.m. EDT)

Outages occur. I understand, but it seems Ooma doesn’t have a good backup plan and did not learn lessons from the 2009 outage. That is of concern. Further, the company was uncommunicative during the incident. That’s bad business. A company should communicate the status of its service because it is basic customer service. It is also good PR and brand protection.

I suggest Ooma look at separating data centers and implementing a better protocol for communicating outages.

Enough pounding on Ooma, though. What has really irked me are some of the stupid comments left on the Ooma Facebook page. The comments make me wonder if there should be a test before someones gets a computer. Here are the lowlights:

The problem was quite evident. Ooma was down. The cause, solution, and timeline are a completely different story. What did you want them to do? Post that the service was down? I think even the non-techies figured that out by themselves.

Huh? Yes, I do think they should post their service was down, especially if they have a Twitter account being used for that purpose.

Your all complaining about not having service or no response from the company on here and wanting something free. Just think of this, had it been a landline company they WOULDN’T have given you squat!

I’m not wanting something for free. I pay for Ooma.  I disagree that a landline company wouldn’t have given me squat. AT&T would have answered the phone, tested the line, informed me of the problem, and, if needed, sent a repair crew out.

 To the rest of you bitching about it, remember one thing, your paying less than $5/mo and you are using someone elses internet to deliver your phone service. If its “absolutely mission critical” then don’t blame ooma, blame yourself for being a cheap asshat. Otherwise shutup and be grateful for the money your saving.

Actually, I’m paying more than that. And since I am a paying customer, I believe I have a right to complain. Ooma is not mission critical for me, but the arrogance and ignorance of the above commenters just astounds me. So, Sean AndradeJames Huff, and Ray Dzek, y’all get the insightful comment awards today, my friends.

And  let’s add a new one:

REALITY CHECK!!! Everyone who is complaining about a brief interruption of service needs to relax! Do you get this worked up when your high speed internet (that you pay for) is out, or when your online banking is unavailable, or when your expensive cable/satellite programming is messed up? Or how about when the electric service to your home goes out? Or when the water company has a main break? Or how about when your cell phone drops a call???

Yes. Also, I get worked up when people tell me not to get worked up, so don’t do it, Tom Stimson

And the hits just keep oncoming:

 You get what you pay for Scott. If you want a service with 100% guaranteed no down time, you would pay a lot for it and probably wouldn’t even be able to find a company that could support that.

The problem yesterday is that paying customers were not getting what they paid for. Valerie Gary is also mistaken that I and others expect  100% guaranteed no down time.










Published by Scott Davis

Former newspaper journalist, now government webmaster. Life-long geek.