Yesterday, our Comcast cable modem began resetting the Intenet connection almost continuously. Time to swap it out! From speaking with Comcast support, this is as easy as heading to your nearest service center and trading it in – no technician necessary.
A quick Google search landed me here, at what appears to be a pretty standard “store locator” on Comcast’s site:
(1) I’m a Comcast subscriber, accessing the Internet from my Comcast Internet account. Comcast knows I’m physically inside of their network and it knows my modem is associated with my account (to activate your modem, you have to provide your account number). If Comcast knows who I am, and where I am, then why do I have to provide any information?
(2) Is the apartment number query necessary? Do service centers split service down the middle of an apartment building? I realize it’s marked as optional although I can’t see why providing it helps the person filling out the form. Taking it one step further, only the zip code might really be necessary.
(3) Whenever you see this option you have to wonder in what context the creators of this form imagine you to be using it. At a coffee shop? In school? When would it be appropriate to forget the information someone provided in a form, unless it was their username or password, neither of which are present here.
(4) (not numbered) What purpose do the gigantic colon characters between form fields serve?
Points (2) – (4) are not as important as (1) because they are improvements that assume prompting you for your address is necessary.
Given what Comcast knows about me from (1), this is what I hope to see the next time I’m looking for a service center.
- What you don’t see: No prompts for location. Comcast should figure this out from the modem/account pairing.
- What you didn’t know: The nearest location for each type of service center is shown. Previously you only learned that there were different types of service centers once you started searching.
- What you didn’t know: Your nearest service center might not service you. Each service center only “serves” different accounts.
- What you didn’t know: If you have a Comcast voice account (as I do), you cannot exchange your hardware. In that case, this page would show a different message rather than your nearest service center – a UI to schedule an appointment for a technician to replace your modem. I drove from Mountain View to Sunnyvale with my modem to find this out.
- Thumbnail map view should be zoomed out enough such that you can make gross location decision making (“Oh I see Sunnyvale there, that’s 2 hours away.”)
- If the guess is accurate, one-click access to directions (although I could see directions provided here too). If the guess was inaccurate, one-click access to finding additional service centers.
There’s certainly room for improvement here. What are the service center hours? Are they currently open?
All of those improvements assume Comcast buys into the notion of not asking their customers for what they already know about them.