Wondering If You’re In a Reported Outage Area? Now You Can Text Comcast and Know

Update from February 2013: click here for an updated post on Xfinity’s many self-help resources.

Aug. 29, 2011 update: There’s now a way to check online if there’s a known problem in your area. Click here for more information.

The folks who bring you this friendly neighborhood website also bring you a friendly neighborhood Twitter address, @ComcastWA. Among the types of Tweets we see is something to the effect of “My service is down. Is Comcast having an outage?” And of course that means someone is awaiting an answer.

Here’s some great news: if you have a mobile device such as a cell phone capable of sending and receiving text messages, now you can find out whether or not an outage has been reported in your neighborhood. If a Comcast service outage has been detected in advance of any calls, or reported by calls, you know we’re working on the problem. Otherwise, if you’ve got a service problem you are definitely going to want to call Comcast so we can help.

I have to say something quickly here. The majority of the people I have met on Twitter do not have an outage in their neighborhood. They have a problem at their home. Now, that’s still a problem … and it’s still a big problem for them … and it needs solving. One thing you should almost always do if the Internet is misbehaving is power cycle your modem. If your TV box is locked up – this can happen after one of those random emergency alert system tests – you can power cycle your TV cable box.

All that said, outages happen. Here’s how to find out if one’s been reported for your area.

The first thing you have to do is tell us what text-messaging phone you are using. You’re going to have to do this before any possible problem, since we’re going to use the Internet to register. The reason you have to register your mobile with us is that we may only have the phone number that you used to originally build your Comcast account. That could be a landline phone. It only takes a minute to register your mobile device. By the way: in case you ever turn your phone off, you’ll want to have your phone switched on when you register with us.

Here’s how you register a mobile device in Customer Central, our hub for customer service help:

  1. Login to Customer Central. If you need a Comcast ID, Get it here!
  2. Click the Alerts tab. Right under that tab you’ll then see a choice called View Alert Preferences. Click on View Alert Preferences, shown below.

screenshot from Comcast customer central web page

  1. Select Register a mobile phone number.
  2. Enter a mobile phone number and accept the terms and conditions. You’ll receive a text message with an activation code on your mobile device. Aren’t you glad you already had the device on?
  3. Complete the activation by entering the activation code in Customer Central.

So here’s what you do to find out if you’re in an outage area. You will see that you got your activation code from 266278. If you want to know if there’s been an outage reported in your area, text OUT to 266278. You’ll either get a confirmation that says yep, we’re on it, or a message that says “We are not currently aware of a service outage in your area. If you are having trouble with your service, please call 1-800-COMCAST.”

We hope this helps the next time you’re wondering if there’s something going on in your neighborhood.

About wtneary
Community relations director, Comcast in Washington State.

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