Any Obi1xx box users here?

Over the last couple of days both our newer & older Obi boxes went down.
The newer box came back online after making it get a f/w upgrade - and even though there's nothing wrong with the older box, as an Obi110 it was declared 'end of life' and gets no more updates.

This matters right now because the Big G changed its certificate requirements again for connecting stuff with google voice - which gave the Obi folks good reason to make lots of replacement sales.
Meh.

Ditch a perfectly functional ATA because of forced obsolescence ?!?
I think not.

A 3rd party service exists which very easily connects google voice as a SIP connection so that any SIP capable phone or device can get free phone services - it is called Simon Telephonics Google Voice Gateway, and is here: https://simonics.com/gw/

We've been using it for our Panasonic SIP phone for months already after paying its 5.99 lifetime fee and it has always worked perfectly.

So, rather than having to buy a $50 new box, we shelled out the 5.99 for the line needing it, followed the really simple directions to change the settings, and all is well with our 'home phone' once again.

I am terribly spoiled after having 7 or 8 years of totally free VOIP as the home phone, and maybe after another couple of years pass I'll be OK with maybe needing a new ATA, but not now.

I am not affiliated in any way with any of these concerns - just an end user - and wanted to make sure to pass this along in case anyone else here gets this same nasty surprise.

Best Wishes to All.

Hi E_Z, Good to see you here. As you know, I also use an Obi100 with GVSimonics Gateway and also do no care for the seedy practices of the Obi powers that be. And your absolutely right to recommend forking over a whole $6 one time fee for connecting to GVGW Simonics. The original Obi 1xx devices were gifts that keep on giving, in spite of the bad guys who are trying to bury them.

I had to sign up for Simonics a couple of days ago.

Found a link after to save a $.

There is also a link to improve redundancy through a few obi settings changes. Its on the Simonics forum and should be easy to find.

There will also be a one second delay connecting the caller after pickup.

Yes, the one second delay took a while to get used to, but I've learned to pick up the phone, sigh, and then say hello, how are you, won't you tell me you name.

I didn't find the $1 off link, but the $6 is OK for how good the product is !!
Also did the redundancy tweaks - no idea how much is gained by them, but WTH, right ??

The lag is quite normal in VOIP I've found, so I just don't let it be a bother & I wait a second before speaking.

As has been said by others - sure, the Obi boxes are a great idea, but the company has become greedy.
Certificate updates are said to be minor things & they could have kept many customers by avoiding the absurd 1st try at forcing fees for updates as well as the 2nd offense with the EOL.

If/when we may need another ATA it will NOT be from Obihai.

Posted at the Obi forum (Re: OBi 100/110 GV Update request), here:

As a man who chose long ago to avoid coding...I see this differently=>
From a customer relations & business POV.

Before I collect any sniping comments from anyone here:
Yes, I am qualified to utter such as follows simply from managing to operate a thriving IT business for 20+ years, which I attribute to dedicated support along with reasonable pricing.

My thoughts on these matters:
Many business folks fail in their works because of profit-centeredness;
When too solidly concerned with the 'bottom line' folks tend to give too little attention to the BOSS...who pays them..the customer.

So instead of 'how do we scrape more $ out of this ?', a better starting query is:
What do we know about our customers ??

In the case of the original Obi box customers, there are some very simple facts which easily apply to most:
[list]
[li]We wanted an alternative instead of expensive landlines;[/li]
[li]We tend to be at the technophile vs. the technophobe end of the scale;[/li]
[li]We wanted to keep using our landline style phones;[/li]
[li]We were thrilled with the idea of ONLY spending $40 to ditch a large monthly bill;[/li]
[li]We were OK with making changes to accomplish all the above.[/li]
[/list]
Most likely many of us are also very economy-minded (call us frugal or cheap if you wish, its not any insult to those whom it fits properly !!).

Now, having made those points - it becomes obvious that from a customer service POV, the most efficient way to push such folks away will be to kill off their devices & service access.

No matter who or what may be bottom-line responsible, they will look to the seller of their equipment for help first & foremost, and if/when that seller does not help - they made no friends that day.

Specifically in the case of 'older' Obi boxes, the seller could have made & kept such good friends by simply engaging a 3rd party for needed updates, then setting a date for users to change to that update provider.

This replacement update provider will naturally charge a reasonable fee either per update, or per year; and is independent of the original seller - allowing them to move forward minus that problem.

This way keeps the users in control of their choices of whether to keep the old stuff, or to spend a bit more and get newer stuff from the original seller.

The actual way that this matter was handled was the exact opposite of the suggestion above, and it obviously ignored the full range of other, inexpensive VOIP options as well as rather obviously assuming that there is an infinite number of potential buyers to replace those being repelled by making such forced changes without friendly alternatives being offered by the original seller.

An extreme example of such silliness was shown in the antics of a company called 'RingPlus' that has failed spectacularly - followed by another called 'Cellnuvo' which is presently in the process of haltingly trying to reinvent itself after making very similar blunders as that other company did.
The silliest part of the above was that when the 1st company failed - plenty of users went to the 2nd company, which could have been a great opportunity for them - but instead they continued to provide their users with 'the mushroom treatment' rather than engaging them...and missed out thereby.

My bottom line suggestions to the Obi Folks:
Find a way to make friends with your users so as to keep them willing to buy from you;
Earn their trust and be there for them, even if that means helping them to keep your well made devices longer by paying a 3rd party for updates.
This is better than having to suffer their permenent loss as paying customers.

Just my 2 cents as such a customer; I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in my observations & opinions written here.

Good post E_Z----- Good point about trust in the company is more important than having to pay a few dollars more. The first time that Obihai shut off Obi 1xx user's phones, or let their phones be shut off, without any warning whatsoever, when they knew it would happen, is about the worst way imaginable to treat customers. And when these customers with dead phones logged into the Obi portal to see what was wrong, they were greeted with a message saying in effect that $10 was required to get their Obis working again, without mentioning that one could update their Obis manually without paying the $10 to get their phones working again, a method that spread across the forums quickly. So, would it have been that difficult to inform members before killing their phone service that Obihai will now have to charge customers $10 a year for service in order to keep their Obi1xx devices? Instead they lost the trust of many Obi users, many of whom are now moving on to Simonics GVGW rather than buy a new Obi device. I'm thankful that informed Obi users discovered the workarounds to a sad CS problem.

Later in that same thread I linked above, everyone's favourite giant ego troll (Steve, from Google) posted a reply alluding to how much has changed in the tech realm - defending telecom companies and such - and including a photo of an ancient bit of tech gear to solidify his claimed point - which is really to dominate ALL threads & bury as much as possible under his unhelpful & hypercritical nonsense.

Here is what I just posted in reply a bit farther down...:
( OBi 100/110 GV Update request )

Now we'll see how quickly his next useless, snarky reply takes to show up - most likely within just minutes as it sure looks like trolling there is ALL that guy actually does...

@E_Z------That Steve fellow knows a lot about voip and phones, but I'm not sure why, for I suspect he rarely gets a phone call from anyone.

Howdy Isamorph !!
Makes me wonder if such poor behaviours are endemic to also having no REAL close relationships, thereby substituting imagined ones in the cyber realm ??

Those having vast knowledge and/or experiences do best to help others - whereas that fellow seems only to want to strike out at others and is almost constantly very acerbic in his pretended 'helpfulness'.

I surely prefer to avoid him as much as possible & very glad to think that he probably resides far enough away that there is zero chance of having his immediate company ever afflicted upon me !!!

He's a long ways from me, too, but even if he were close, I doubt that he leaves the house much because people sometimes react badly when insulted in public.

Folks tend to use care with outright offense in parts (like here) where it is normal & common for the average pickup to have a loaded gun rack behind the seat...makes for more cordiality in public, methinks !!

Ha---that's a surefire way to communicate and keep the peace, and it's much better than voip with the lag time and all.

BTW Isamorph - I had posted at the Obi forum about GVGW presently being closed to new sign-ups, and got trolled by that Steve creature...again, so I finally pulled out the stops and posted this:

Followed by this addendum:

I hope I have not just made more troll food by bothering to do those replies ?!?

Holy Wall of Text.

@ E_Z There's something about Steve: I've visited the Obi forum a few times since about 2012 when I got my Obi, and you are certainly not the first person who has commented on Steve's incivility. Given that it has been six years or so, and from what I can glean, he's still being himself, I believe he is unaffected by people's disdain for his behavior, and perhaps welcomes and enjoys it. The fact that he is quite knowledgable, has the solution to many problems, and receives many thanks, outweighs in his psyche any pangs of conscience, if he has one, he might entertain about be hostile to some forum posters and getting taken to task for it. Somewhere on this forum, there was mentioned that a Leopard doesn't or can't change its spots, a trait that could well be applied to him, or anyone for that matter. Your eloquent post highlighting his unfriendliness may say what others have wanted to say, but may ultimately fall on Steve's death ears. Too bad this is not like a movie where the the detestable person has an epiphany and becomes the good person that has always been in them.

It's a common thing with tech savvy people. They have little understanding how they come across. I would try not to take it personally, although that is easier said than done.

I'm sorry that, for you, it's that way, but for me, its actually pretty easy.

You're entitled to your opinion!

:slight_smile:

Hi Isamorph & other Folks !!
There are definitely people - too many of them I suspect - totally devoid of conscience, compassion and incapable of remorse.
These are definitely scary sorts, and I suspect that mr. troll is very much like that.

As a man who worked pretty much 24/7 in IT for decades, I can only add...:

Both perspectives have merit IMO - the difference being whether or not the techie was forced to confront a need for face to face contact with users, possibly along with the realization that lacking in a decent 'bedside manner' would assuredly (and inevitably) cause bankruptcy very quickly !!

One 'secret' of my practice during its busier times was always the very old fashioned way of making simple courtesy calls at client's offices & businesses - and checking in via phone with residential clients every so often.
Giving folks a little time & attention willingly, at zero costs brings huge rewards in appreciation.

Obviously mr. troll is very solitary & has zero people skills - a very sad way to simply reach old age in unending loneliness; pathetic & pitiable, really.