Xfinity Home is a home security and automation operation designed to make Comcast customers stickier: Now, they can get cable, broadband, telephone and home security/automation from the same mega-company. That’s good news for people who think bundling home services saves them time and money, which could be the case. Comcast has some sweet deals to make your home smart, connected and able to access 140 channels for about $110. On the other hand, security is not the cable giant’s reason for being, generating a tiny part of its nearly $70 billion annual revenue. How much would you care about a mini-division whose main purpose was to keep customers happily paying for other services?
Xfinity Home Standout Features:
- One-Stop Stopping: Get all your telecommunications, security and home automation services from a single company.
- Brand Recognition: You may not like Comcast, but you’ve heard of it, unlike some other alarm companies.
- Cancelling Hassles: Cancelling Comcast is like getting gum off your shoe – hard and messy.
- Questionable Priorities: We’d think twice about buying home security from a company that doesn’t live to protect our home. Although it’s getting harder to find a security-only company – so many are going into solar and home automation – there are plenty whose top priority is keeping you safe.
What Customer Reviews Say About Xfinity
In the galaxy of Comcast reviews, it’s hard to parse which comments pertain exclusively to Xfinity Home, tough it appears that familiar cable customer complaints about billing and collections hold true for Home as well. We advise you to thoroughly read your Xfinity Home agreement so you won’t be surprised by monthly bills or drills for handling product and service issues.
Comcast isn’t Better Business Bureau accredited, although it has an A rating from the BBB, which closed more than 14,000 complaint reviews about the company in the past 12 months. Xfinity Home, itself, isn’t BBB rated.
In one online review, an unsatisfied Xfinity Home customer wrote: “Service is a scam… Worst home security ever… Customer service is horrible. I left town for a few days and secured my house. I ended up having a break in and had 1000’s of dollars of my belongings stolen. I was never contacted and police were never called.” Another customer said, “I was purposely tripping the alarm to see if I would be getting any notifications. The result was that I received 0 notifications even though I was taking off the sensors.”
Are you an Xfinity Home customer or former customer? We want to know what you think about the company. Love it? Hate it? Don’t just sit there; write your own review.
What Employee Reviews Say
Working for a cable colossus has its challenges, and Comcast employees in general complain that management doesn’t reward initiative and provides few tools to solve customer problems (which could be why so many people are dissatisfied with Comcast customer service). A TheVerge.com investigation said customer service is really a sales tool, technicians are understaffed, and the company “is hobbled by internal fragmentation.’’ Eventually, employees say, customer complaints corrode workplace morale.
Too bad, because Comcast has good benefits – medical, dental and vision – and unique perks like free digital TV and Internet; and discounts on phone service, mobile broadband and home security services, which is like receiving an after-tax, cash bonus every month.
What Glassdoor Says about Comcast
- 3.2 stars (out of 5).
- 58 percent of reviewers would recommend Xfinity Home to a friend.
- 74 percent approve of the CEO.
- Top Kudos: Good benefits and discounts on cable and Internet.
- Top Complaints: Employees feel unappreciated and unsupported.
What Indeed Says about Comcast
- 4 stars (out of 5).
- Top Kudos: Good perks and casual work environment.
- Top Complaints: Poor internal communication and micromanagement.
What Everyone Else Says
Comcast’s customer service reputation is in the toilet. In 2014, Comcast and Time Warner Cable garnered the lowest customer satisfaction ratings of any U.S. company mentioned in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a quarterly product of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of business. The good news: Comcast has nowhere to go but up. CEO Brian Roberts recently announced a campaign to boost customer service by creating more than 5,500 customer service jobs and giving a $20 credit if a technician is late.
Xfinity Home has all the expected credentials: It’s UL-listed, FM-approved, IQ-certified and even has a CSAA 5 Diamond certification. It also won Greentech Media’s Home Area Networks Smart Grid Innovation Award in 2013.
However, Xfinity Home and Roberts have landed in some legal hot water. A Kirkland, Washington family is suing Comcast alleging that the company’s security system failed to provide an “intruder proof” home, as promised, and prevent home invaders from entering a basement window and torturing and nearly killing their 18-year-old son. The Chicago Tribune reported that a local man claimed his pregnant wife and 2-year-old son were left freezing in their home after their Comcast-controlled thermostat went on the fritz numerous times. The man said he fought with Comcast over a $1,000 early termination fee, which eventually damaged his credit. And in 2011, Roberts agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that he failed to file required notices before acquiring Comcast shares between 2007 and 2009.
Who Is Xfinity Home
In 2012, Comcast launched Xfinity Home, a broadband, cloud-based platform that adds home security and energy management to the communications giant’s portfolio of home-related services. Xfinity Home is professionally installed and features 24/7 monitoring by COPS Monitoring, the largest wholesale alarm monitoring provider in the United States with five stations in New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, Tennessee and Texas.
Xfinity Home’s suite of home automation services and equipment includes lighting controls, digital thermostats, live video monitoring and remote arming and disarming capabilities through any web-enabled device. Its equipment and monitoring are UL-listed, FM-approved, IQ-certified and CSAA 5 Diamond certified.
So far, Xfinity Home has collected 500,000 customers and, according to Comcast Cable president and CEO Neil Smit, “That business is really starting to catch on.”
The whole point of choosing Xfinity Home is to get the might and reach of Comast, which can bundle its new home security and automation services – different but compatible services — with its established TV and internet offerings. For example, you can buy the basic security package, Xfinity Home Secure 300, for $39.95 per month, or pay $94.99 per month to bundle security with 140 TV channels, Internet with 105 Mbps download speeds, HBO for 12 months, a free camera and $100 VISA prepaid card.
This appeals to homeowners who prefer to pay just one bill at the end of the month. If you’re not a Comcast customer, the company makes it worth your while to sign up for some or all of its communications services, and knocks $10 off the monitoring fees of both the Secure 300 and Secure 350 packages for the first year of the two-year contract. OK, that adds up to only $120, a drop in the bucket for telecommunications bills that can swell to as much (or more) than a monthly mortgage payment. But if you’re already buying Internet, TV and telephone services from another cable/satellite company, it could make sense to transfer them into Comcast’s bucket.
What Does Xfinity Offer?
Comcast has gotten Xfinity Home up and running in just a few years, making headway into the crowded home security market. The signal goes out over broadband and cell towers, and COPS Monitoring says its average response time to a confirmed alarm event is 45 seconds.
Xfinity’s Home Security Equipment
- Xfinity Home App: Allows you to control your security system from any web-enabled device.
- Touch Screen Controller: Arms, disarms and controls home security system.
- Keychain Remote: Mini-controller that arms, disarms and contacts authorities.
- Wireless Keypad: Arms and disarms system anywhere.
- Powerline Device: Connects touch screen controller and cameras to a router via the Ethernet.
- Remote Siren: Extra siren that provides emergency lighting.
- Door/Window Sensor: Sends alerts when doors and windows are opened.
- Motion Sensor: Detects motion in monitored rooms.
- Targeted Motion Sensor: Detects motion in a specific, targeted area, like an entryway.
- Glass Break Sensor: Detects breaking glass on windows and doors.
Home Security Cameras
- Indoor Camera: Streams live video to any web-enabled device.
- Indoor/Outdoor Camera: Weather resistant camera that lets you see in the dark.
- Carbon Monoxide Detector: Sends alerts when CO in your home rises to dangerous levels.
- Smoke Detector: Detects smoke and alerts you and the monitoring station; also periodically tests itself.
Smart Home Automation
- Light Switch: Controls and schedules lights remotely.
- Lighting/Appliance Controller: Remotely adjusts and schedules lights, and turns off small appliances from any web-enabled device.
- Thermostat: Controls home temperature remotely from any web-enabled device.
- Water Detector: Sends alerts about leaks that can lead to flooding.
- Kwikset SmartCode Door Lock: Remotely locks and unlocks doors through the Xfinity Home App.
What You Get With Xfinity Home “Security Packages”
Some scant equipment comes with each Xfinity Home package, and you must pay for extra hardware a la carte. A simple window sensor costs nearly $50. Plus, Xfinity Home charges an extra $20 to install each item.
Seems steep to us: How hard it is to peel and press a sensor to the wall, then program, maybe, three buttons to sync it with the system? Nice work if you can get it (insert smirk here).
Standard Security Equipment:
- Door or window sensor
- Motion sensor
- 2 window decals
- 2 yard signs
Home Security Monitoring Levels
Xfinity Home – Control 150 unmonitored ($19.95/month; $99.99 installation): Real-time text and email alerts; enhanced video monitoring; remote lighting and small appliance control; EcoSaver technology that learns your heating and cooling preferences; remote thermostat control; mobile access from any web-enabled device; equipment includes hub, 1 motion sensor, 1 door or window sensor, 1 indoor/outdoor camera or 1 thermostat, 1 lighting controller.
Xfinity Home- Secure 300 ($39.95/month; installation starts at $99): 24/7 security and professional monitoring; fire and carbon monoxide monitoring; battery and cellular back-up; remote arming and disarming; real-time text and email alerts; live video monitoring; remote lighting and small appliance control; remote thermostat control; mobile access from any web-enabled device; equipment includes 1 touch screen controller, 3 door or window sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 wireless keypad.
Xfinity Home – Secure 350 ($49.95; installation starts at $399): 24/7 security and professional monitoring; fire and carbon monoxide monitoring; battery and cellular back-up; remote arming and disarming; real-time text and email alerts; enhance video monitoring; remote lighting and small appliance control; remote thermostat control; EcoSaver technology that learns your heating and cooling preferences; mobile access from any web-enabled device; Xfinity Home warranty plan; equipment includes 1 touch screen controller, 3 door or window sensors, 1 motion sensor, 1 wireless keypad, 2 indoor/outdoor cameras, 2 lighting controllers, 1 thermostat or 1 additional indoor/outdoor camera.
- Warranty: Limited warranty includes free service and equipment replacement for the first 30 days after installation; Xfinity Home Warranty Plan costs $4.99/month (included in Secure 350 plan) and covers service calls and equipment replacements for Comcast-purchased devices; also covers labor charges for battery replacement.
- Risk-Free Trial: No early termination fee if you cancel within 30 days of installation or activation and return equipment.
What To Expect When Talking To Xfinity Home
Your Xfinity Home experience starts with a call to its sales center where a rep will discuss your security needs (theoretically) and introduce Xfinity Home packages. The company does a credit check through Comcast records or, if you’ve never been a Comcast customer, through credit agencies.
After you’ve selected equipment and a monitoring package, you’ll schedule installation, which happens within 2 to 10 days. After the installer sets up your system, you’ll sign a two-year contract. Early termination will cost you $1,100, less $100 for every three full calendar months during which you maintained service; if you have basic service, it’s $770, less $70 for each three, full calendar months during which you maintained service.
Xfinity Home’s limited warranty includes free service and equipment replacement for the first 30 days after installation. At day 31 and thereafter, service calls cost $39.95 to $49.95 depending on where you live. The company’s extended warranty plan costs $4.99/month (it’s included in the Secure 350 plan) and covers service calls and equipment replacement for Comcast-purchased devices; it also covers labor charges for battery replacement.
The sales rep we landed during our secret shopper call seemed like she was new to the job. Where other security company reps spend the first few minutes asking about your house, history and concerns, our Xfinity Home rep just launched into deals and promotions, offering either a traditional or state-of-the-art package.
The rep didn’t know some basics, like who made the equipment or if we could add third-party equipment, common questions in the security space. And when we asked why we should go with a cable company that offered security, rather than a security-only company, she said, “It boils down to price.”
Well, in fact, it boils down to more than price, like service, commitment and quality equipment: a security expert should/would know that.
- Where Xfinity Home is Headed: Total home domination! Comcast wants to be your one-stop, home systems integration company. Through its partnership with Icontrol and equipment innovators, look for more gadgets and services that make the acquisition of information and entertainment even easier. The company recently announced a new software platform that will run new products and third-party devices, including Nest. Also, Comcast has some new partners, including smart locks maker August, lighting giant Lutron, and video doorbell maker SkyBell.
- Cool Stuff on the Horizon: Comcast already provides widget-based news, weather and information, and the ability for customers to listen to voicemails through the Xfinity Home security panel. Down the pike, we expect to see media sharing, home computing security, home health and smart grid services.
More Xfinity Home Reviews
If you’re an Xfinity Home security customer please share a review of your experience below. Your voice matters, help others determine if Xfinity is right for them by sharing your opinion with us. All of the feedback we receive on providers is also factored into our reviews when we update them, to ensure that our visitors have the most accurate and up to date information.