February 4, 2013
A big night of TV viewing at the Neary household is when my wife and I devour programming on the DIY Network. A recent night of DIY glory got me thinking that it might be interesting to put all of Comcast’s self-help resources together.
The company has built out a robust set of Xfinity self-help tools that you can use to do anything from understanding equipment to paying your bill online or managing your DVR. And of course, when things go wrong, it’s handy to find out from another location or your phone whether there’s an outage or something has gone south on your equipment. (by the way, if you came across this article because your account might have an outage, click here for our cheat sheet on how to troubleshoot what might seem to be, and could be, a Comcast outage)
This post is an effort to capture what’s out there in terms of self-help resources. If something’s missing, please let me konw. So enough intro; here is what I found.
The personal portal: This is the bread and butter of the system: My Account. This is all about you, online with Comcast. Among the things you can do here:
- Manage automatic payments.
- Set up users for your account. You or they can receive alerts, such as when a bill’s been paid
- Set up your parental controls online
- Choose whether to get your bill online or on paper.
- Get help with equipment. This is a gold mine of resources. A partial list of what you can find here: how to find and watch programs online; schedule your DVR from anywhere; browse what’s On Demand; get the Xfinity TV app that turns your smartphone into a mega-remote control.
- The final link is to a general portal with tons of help with all of our products. There is a lot of troubleshooting information here, both from Comcast and from its user forum. Here is where you can learn the simple stuff, like how to do parental controls, to the advance stuff, like error codes.
And that’s a whole other subject, isn’t it? The Comcast user forums are where you can learn from other DIYers with advice or guidance. If you look to the right of the page, you see the ‘recently solved’ section.
I dunno about you, but I’ve spent time on forums for both a cell phone company and a computer maker, and I’ve found them golden. In both cases, I got clear instructions from real people who are competing, in a friendly collaborative way, to provide good advice to their peers.
But back to that general portal, which is called “My Services and Equipment.” Depending on what you get from us, there’s a lot here.
- How to receive your voice mails transcribed in your email
- How to watch live sports online
- How to text message from your landline phone number (which is very handy if you’re on a cell phone plan that limits texts)
If you browse these sites, you’ll find the help of interest to you. I always enjoy the top questions page, where some of the most common questions get answered. We’re seeing tons of questions and ideas for Xfinity Home, the new smarthome and security product, reflecting its popularity.
OK, so I said three main locations. So far we covered your personal account portal, and we covered user forums. The third gateway doesn’t require account information, Comcast customer service. There’s a lot here. You can see for yourself, but here are some examples:
- How to set up your remote control (or re-set up your remote control)
- How to understand your bill
- How to pay your Comcast bill
- If something seems funky about your Internet connection
- How to get alerts. We have a lot of alerts that you can sign up for! These include:
- Learning your account balance.
- Checking to see if an outage has been reported. If it’s not, and you’re having a problem where you need us, use these resources or call.
- Find the closest bricks-and-mortar service center.
- Cancel a service appointment.
You will notice that a lot of the content in the customer service portal is similar to what’s in the account portal; that’s because your bill, or your configuration of equipment and services, are unique to you.
Between the links above and the user forums, you can get almost any question answered. But you know, not everyone wants to just read text. A number of links lead to videos that also provide DIY assistance. Here are some of our favorites
- How to self-install Internet, Video and TV Below is just one example of these helpful videos, how to self-install your Xfinity Internet and phone service.
- By the way, before those videos were produced, we filmed some of our own in Lynnwood, Washington. If you want another view of how to use a self-install kit, click here to see those older videos.
- How to powercycle your equipment, which a lot of the time clears up an equipment issue. Here’s a video on how to powercycle a modem.
- You will find more self-help videos compiled at ComcastMark’s Pinterest page, Tips and Tricks. Among the videos he’s linked to: how to set up Comcast voice mail, how to set parental controls, and more.
Note: If you have a service-related question, you can Tweet the digital care team at @ComcastCares or reach them via email@example.com