Link to forum thread: Obihai sucks – buyers paid for Google Voice, now they want more!

obihaisucks
Obihai now wants more money to give you the functionality you originally purchased!

This was kind of buried in a previous thread but I thought it deserved its own thread. I have been a supporter of Obihai devices in the past, but no longer! I have an Obihai OBi100 and when I first got it they were selling it with the idea of free connections to Google Voice, with no mention whatsoever of there being any possible future subscription fees. Anyway, today I went to see if I could add a Google Voice account to SP2 on my OBi100 and was greeted with the above screen.

At the time of purchase there was NO mention of needing to purchase technical support in order to keep using Google Voice, which after all was one of the advertised features and probably the primary reason anyone ever purchased an Obihai device. I have no issue with them charging extra to extend the warranty, but there’s nothing wrong with my device, other than that THEY require you to get new firmware before you can add a new Google Voice account or modify an existing one. In my book, this is extremely sleazy and is enough of a slap in the face that I would never consider purchasing another Obihai device.

If you read further down in the thread, you will see that technically-proficient users can still download the required firmware and install it manually (at your own risk) without paying the $10, but I don’t know how long that will last. The full thread is here:
Obihai sucks – buyers paid for Google Voice, now they want more! (DSLReports.com)

EDIT: Also see the post, Read this before you pay $10 to Obihai for support, which tells how to possibly upgrade your Obihai without paying the extortion support fee.

EDIT 2: If you have an OBi100 or OBi110 device that is now considered “obsolete” by Obihai, and has stopped working with Google Voice, you MAY be interested in Crowdsourced updates for Obihai OBi100 and OBi110 ATAs. Unfortunately, they no longer have the ability to make those older units work with Google Voice, and I have NOT tested them personally, so have no idea how well they work, and I take no responsibility if they don’t work as intended). See the thread Obihai OBi200/202/302 + OBi1022/1032/1062 firmware mods for additional information on available third-party firmware for newer Obihai devices. Obihai apparently does NOT want people to know that this alternative firmware exists, and has allegedly banned users that so much as mention the existence of this firmware in their forums.

EDIT 3: Google Voice ended the use of XMPP protocol in mid-2018. FreePBX and Asterisk users that wish to continue using Google Voice now that Google has dropped XMPP support should go here: How to use Google Voice with FreePBX and Asterisk without using XMPP or buying new hardware.

I had formerly hosted several how-to articles about the Obihai devices on this forum, that I had obtained permission from the author to repost when the old Michigan Telephone blog went defunct, but because of this action by Obihai I have taken those articles offline because I don’t want to appear to be encouraging anyone to purchase an Obihai device, or to be providing any kind of support for them. Many of those articles were rather dated anyway, but if anyone really misses them I could possibly put one or more of them back up, but with a suitable disclaimer, or if you have a URL for one of those old articles you could try accessing it via the Wayback Machine. However, at this point I emphatically DO NOT RECOMMEND the purchase of an Obihai device by anyone.

2 thoughts on “Link to forum thread: Obihai sucks – buyers paid for Google Voice, now they want more!

  1. Hi,

    I understand your position, I can clearly understand where you are coming from.

    However, I set up my obi using the guide written by Michign Telecom. You appear to be the last source of the guide:

    How to use the Obihai OBi100, OBi110, or OBi202 VoIP device as a gateway between Asterisk/F—PBX and Google Voice and/or the OBiTALK network (UPDATED)

    It has fallen over and I didn’t keep a record about how I set it up (my bad). I would be really grateful if you could post it up if you have a copy

    Thanks

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