Ooma Hub Upgrade Offer: Discounted Telo + No Monthly Taxes and Fees

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I replaced my landline with Ooma VoIP home phone service over 6 years ago and and haven’t had a monthly bill since. This ended up being one of those deals where early adoption was rewarded. First there was no monthly fees, then it was about $1 a month, then about $3 a month. Today, buyers of the newest Ooma Telo are subject to the upfront equipment cost plus monthly taxes and fees of roughly $4.23 a month (varies by location). I’ve resisted upgrading to Telo as it would have forced me to give up my grandfathered monthly fee waiver.

If you are also a grandfathered Ooma Hub owner, you should check your e-mail for the following message titled “Important Service Update for Ooma Hub Owners”. (Thanks to the readers who asked me about this offer, as I would have probably deleted the e-mail.)

As a valued Ooma Hub owner and one of our earliest customers, we’d like to thank you for your support over the years.

As you may know, we discontinued technical enhancements and customer support for the first generation Ooma Hub product over three years ago. Recently, we made several network infrastructure upgrades for our Ooma Telo product, which unfortunately could cause Hub users to experience reduced service reliability due to the firmware limitations of the Hub.

As one of our earliest customers, we’d like to offer a special opportunity to upgrade to our latest Ooma Telo device for just $79.99 with free shipping. Plus, we’ll continue to waive the taxes and fees for the lifetime of your Telo device!1

When you upgrade to the Ooma Telo, you’ll enjoy better reliability and voice quality with PureVoice. Ooma Telo also supports HD Voice, integration with Amazon Echo, additional connectivity options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and support for our whole family of accessories such as the Linx and HD2 Handset.

Okay, so $80 will get you a new Ooma Telo box and continued no monthly fees for the lifetime of the new box. Is it worth the upgrade? Some considerations…


  • My Ooma Hub is now 6 years old, and the fee waiver is only for the lifetime of the device. This offer would get a a new device and thus a new “lifetime”, which ideally would extend my fee waiver.
  • The Telo-exclusive features may interest you (better voice quality, Amazon Echo and Nest integration, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, Linx and HD2 accessories). Some folks seem to love their Amazon Echo, and using a wireless Bluetooth headset may offer valuable convenience.


  • It costs 80 bucks.
  • The warning of “reduced service reliability” is rather vague. I’m still satisfied with the current voice quality, although I am not a heavy user.
  • Is it possible that my old Ooma unit is more reliable than the new Telo? Or am I just pushing my luck? Running for over 6.5 years x 24/7 is pretty great. I have a Macbook from 2006 that still runs fine.
  • Telo Basic users have to pay extra for certain services that are included for free with Ooma Core/Hub including caller ID name (not just number) and e-mail alerts of new voicemails. It is unclear if this upgrade will cause us to lose these free features.

Bottom line. If you are a heavy Ooma user, it may be worth taking advantage of this offer to “future-proof” yourself for perhaps another 5 years or more. If like me you are a light Ooma user thanks to unlimited cellular minutes and/or robo-calling politicians, then a potential loss would not be as severe. The original Ooma Hub advertised “free monthly home phone service for life” (of the equipment), so I suppose I’ll see how long that ends up being.

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  1. I’ve been pleased with OBI since 2011 and would recommend them as an Ooma replacement if you have any quality issues. Here’s the latest model: https://www.amazon.com/OBi200-VoIP-Phone-Adapter-T-38/dp/B00BUV7C9A/. Google voice provides the VOIP service. OBI just does the hardware.

  2. Feels like a money-grab/way to retire unprofitable Ooma users to me. All the companies that offered ‘too good to be true’ services/rates find a way to sneak in increasing fees over time. All the while touting whatever is new and cutting edge as ‘better/faster/awesome’.

    I love my Ooma hub and will ride it into the ground. I’m kinda surprised they haven’t found a way to upgrade the system to disallow perfectly fine dinosaurs! ha.

  3. Any specific reason why you are not going with OBi and Gooogle Voice? I have been using this since Oct 2012 and except few months in between when Google changed API, absolutely no problems.

    • Scott Guirlinger says

      My understanding is that e911 is included with Ooma. I know it is not included with OBi, which we have (with e911 support through gv911.com for $12 per year).

    • Ooma came out before OBi. Why have two free home phone alternatives?

    • Yes, I had Ooma before Obi was even an option. I did buy an Obi as well as test other VoIP apps just to try it out for my parents, but Obi relies on Google Voice and their continued good graces. (I also did SunRocket way back in 2004-ish, back when $199 for 2 years was an awesome deal, ha…)

      • Oh man–SunRocket. That takes me way back. Sounds like you jumped to Ooma at a good time. In 2007 SunRocket shuttered its operations without any warning, leaving customers like me in the lurch. Many of us did another prepaid deal with ViaTalk who was courting SunRocket refugees at the time. Within a year or two I made the switch to Ooma. Still not sure what to do about this email.

  4. I’m embarrassed to say that I still have an old copper landline that I am paying good money for each month! I was just looking at Ooma the other day and may finally pull the trigger here in a few weeks. I’ll check out OBi as well.

    Nice to see so many happy Ooma users even though I won’t get the “free for life” deal!

  5. Thanks for posting this. Wasn’t sure if I should jump on the offer. I didn’t know about some of those cons. I think I’ll just ride it out as well and if it dies I’ll go with obi. If that’s not an attractive option in the future then I’ll just drop the land line and go with cell phones only in our house.

  6. Srikanth Siva says

    hahahaha damn…i forgot about sunrocket….i got 1 year out of the 2 before they went bust!@

  7. I bought my Hub in May ’09 and it still works great – a fantastic product. Being an early adopter I haven’t paid even 1 cent for ANY monthly fees since the day I bought it so I’m reluctant to rock the boat here despite their claims. Not sure if I truely need to upgrade hardware like they allude to in the email and I don’t feel the upgraded services with the new hardware are worth the $79. The offer ends October 31- if I stand pat and then start to have trouble after that I will not be a happy Ooma advocate.

    • I just had an online chat with “Patrick” at ooma, who said the discounted upgrade offer is good only through Oct. 28. So maybe don’t procrastinate if you’re going to order the Telo. After a rather long chat, I’m still not convinced that the Telo offers me anything better than the Core (Hub), except possibly being grandfathered in longer with no fees if the Core should give up the ghost.

  8. I bought a couple of hubs back in ’09, and also encouraged a couple other relatives to buy as well. We have all had totally free phone service ever since. I wonder what is the expected life of the Telo; and would a company be so devious as to design built in obsolescence into a product, in order to lower the expected lifespan of the device. I cannot imagine a company that is paying monthly costs for the free lifetime service of it’s HUB users, offering an upgrade to those same customers that would potentially EXTEND the comapny’s unreimbursed costs into the forseeable future. In the email it sounds like an altruistic gesture extended as a token of appreciation to the “early adopters” who helped get the company started. But without knowing these executives and their motivations personally, my instincts tell me that business is about making money, not rewarding non-paying customers. If the company was sitting on a glut of Telo refurb units that they needed to unload in anticipation of a next generation device, this would be understandable. Otherwise, I would be inclined to believe that the Telo for HUB users would somehow become obsolete in a few years, forcing us to switch over to paid services. I like my HUB, it has worked fine thus far, and I’m inclined to stick with it and not believe that the Telo is Ooma’s way of saying thanks! I think some execs somewhere are trying to figure out to get these freeloaders off their service. Maybe build a device with capacitors that are known to dry out and fail after 6 or 7 years… yes, very cynical view indeed… but again, after 8 years of totally free service, are they making or losing money by providing me with free phone service?

  9. I pulled the trigger early last year and purchased the Ooma Telo. The device lasted about 8 months. I called customer support and they promptly sent me a refurbished unit, which lasted 4 months. I went back to Comcast VOIP. Not worth the headache.

  10. This last comment from Dean seals the deal for me – I will not upgrade. I’m also a light user who bought my Ooma Hub in early 2009. If and when it dies, I believe that calls will still go direct to voicemail with email alert, and that probably works for me. I’ll simply return calls on my cell. The only reason I don’t completely ditch it now is that it’s (a) free and (b) I live in Manhattan and this thing keeps my hard-to-get 212 area code number alive.

    • You can always transfer your number to Google voice for a one time fee. Google voice supports email alerts and you can even have the calls forwarded to your cell phone.

    • Interestingly, the Ooma IOS app lets you return phone calls with the “free” tier of service. You just can’t answer calls with the app. Nor do you get a push notification when a new voicemail has arrived. Not sure if that is intentional for free users or if the app has a bug.

      My hub has been running like a champ since 2009. The scout, on the other hand, has been showing signs of eminent death.

  11. As recently as the week ending October 15th my Ooma Hub service has been misbehaving. I can send and receive calls, however the clock starts ticking as soon as the call is connected. I’ve had calls last 30 seconds before disconnecting and some as long as a few minutes with most being somewhere between 60-90 seconds. I’m pretty upset. I am feeling squeezed out and don’t feel comfortable getting a telo because they don’t seem to last like the hub has.

  12. Hub CouldGoOn says

    Will it work? What if I order a new Telo, but continue to use my Hub for as long as possible? This way I would extend the life of a new Telo, of course if my Hub continues on satisfactory for quite a while. I could make a switch at a later moment. For how long my Hubby will be connected OK to their network?

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