November 03, 2008

In the office: Ooma (free phone calls for life)

Before last week, all I knew about Ooma was that it was some kind of Net-calling service and that Ashton Kutcher (yes, that Ashton Kutcher) was involved somehow. (Hmmm ... shades of Tom Cruise and Helio, perhaps?) Anyway, the folks at Ooma reached out to me (no, I didn't get Punk'd) and sent me a review unit, which I've just now hooked up in my cubicle; all I need now is an old landline phone to start testing. 

The deal with Ooma? For $250 (used to be $400), you get free domestic calling for life. Interesting. My first question to Ooma execs: What happens if (and when) Ooma goes belly-up, and I'm out $250? Well, the Ooma folks note that they got a big round of funding back in September (about $16 million worth), and that if you consider the cost of a standard landline, the "payback period" for an Ooma unit is about a year.

I'm not planning on reviewing Ooma this time around -- the current box is about a year old -- but I'll be familiarizing myself with the system in preparation for Ooma 2.0, which is apparently on the way (think wireless). Stay tuned.

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