If you’re a Nextdoor user in Seattle, your new point person for Xfinity customer service is Shelli. Maybe you’ll bump into her at the neighborhood block party, too.
Nextdoor, the private social network for communities, is launching a pilot program in the Seattle area this week to give its users a dedicated, local Comcast Xfinity customer service representative who is trained to field questions about Xfinity service and products, provide technical support and share information about service outages.
Comcast Ventures, the cable giant’s investment arm, is among the investors in San Francisco-based Nextdoor, whose board members include Rich Barton, the Zillow and Expedia co-founder and Seattle-area entrepreneur and investor.
Nextdoor informed community leaders in the Seattle area about the pilot program late last week, explaining in a message that the initiative will give users in Seattle “access to VIP Comcast XFINITY customer support directly through Nextdoor” starting this week. The message explained, “Comcast service is a frequent topic of discussion on Nextdoor, and this program provides dedicated customer support resources to all neighborhoods in the Seattle area.”
The arrangement promises to give Comcast more inroads into local communities. We’ve contacted Nextdoor to find out more about the financial terms of the pilot program. Update: A Nextdoor spokesperson says the partnership is unpaid.
Shelli, the Xfinity “ambassador” for Seattle, explains in a Nextdoor post, “I’ll be providing assistance to our community and answering any questions you have concerning your XFINITY service— kind of like a neighborhood concierge. I’m not a salesperson, just your conveniently located link to a larger team that’s dedicated to providing customer service for you. So, whether you need help with a moody modem or want to know how you can watch the first episode of Wayward Pines (before it airs!), just reach out to me. I’m at your service. Yes, really.”
She’ll also be giving out offers and passes to special events.
Here’s how the program will work, according to the Nextdoor message:
Current XFINITY customers will receive an email invitation in the next few weeks to participate in the program. Any Nextdoor member may also choose to opt-in and subscribe to the XFINITY page or send private messages to Shelli by following the new “Local Pages” link on the Nextdoor website or mobile app.
This program is meant to provide an additional benefit to Nextdoor members. Members will only receive messages from Comcast if they have opted into this program. As with Nextdoor‘s partnerships with the Seattle Police Department and other city agencies, Comcast will not have any access to neighborhood messages, the neighborhood directory, or any private Nextdoor member information.
This FAQ on Nextdoor has more information about the program. We’ve also contacted Comcast, and we’ll update this post as we learn more.