What to Do When the Cable Goes Out


Q. Is there an easy way to tell if the cable television service is out for everybody or just at my own house because of equipment problems? I really hate calling.

A. If you have a working internet connection (or access to one on a cellular device or work computer) and an online account from your cable company, you might be able to check specifically about the status of your own equipment. To do that, log into your account on your TV provider’s site and find the technical support area.

What you find there will vary depending on your cable company, but many providers have problem-solving tools available to help lighten the load on the phone lines. Spectrum, for example, lets you select the problematic service (like TV or internet) from a menu to see the status of your service and check for notice of a possible problem in your area.

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Your cable provider’s website can provide specific information about your equipment and the status of your service.

Credit
The New York Times

If there is no systemwide disruption, you can use the available guides and tools to troubleshoot your cable converter box and other equipment. Spectrum has a nationwide page that customers can use to check on storm-related problems, and Comcast has its own Status Center page for Xfinity cable customers. Many companies have their own mobile apps for account management. too.

Even if you do not have an online account to see your home setup, your cable provider’s site might have live chat, general support tips and a service-disruption map. (While it may seem like just another password to remember, signing up for an account lets you check your bill, pay online, sign up for service alerts, control your DVR or even watch live television on a mobile device — depending on what your provider offers.)

Your cable company’s customer-service account on Twitter can be another good source of news. Websites that monitor the status of communications services may also be useful. Down Detector, Outage Report and Is the Service Down? are a few sites in this category.

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