Ever buy some kind of product to find that it doesn’t work? Or maybe you just couldn’t understand how to get it to work? A while back, I purchased an iPod and assumed I knew what I was doing, installed it onto my computer wrong, resulting in an error. Luckily, one of my friends had experienced the same problem and helped me get through it. My friend knew how to help because of experience and this is exactly what I believe Fixya, a new product support site, has realized. They found that sometimes, manuals just don’t help and that the manufacturer sites just may not provide enough support. So, what does help? User feedback with experience. Users can relate to a problem that you may experience with a product and easily point out what the issue may be and how to fix it. This is very interesting, especially because support is user generated, and until I came across the service, I had not realized how much I depended on others to help me solve product related issues because they have had experience with the product. Now, I don’t have to bug them! I can just search for support or simply ask and receive.

(Directs to external site Product: Information)

Basically, Fixya is a product support site that relies on users to submit feedback to those in need of help. Fixya also states that a lot of support information provided also comes from various sources on the Internet, although it does not say which sources they use. But, on top of receiving feedback from people like you and viewing aggregated support material, you can also easily find information about the product itself like specifications and original product manuals (in HTML format). You may also search on the product if you can’t find the information you are looking for.

(Directs to external site: Problem Page)

So, lets say you purchased something and it isn’t working. Simply go to Fixya, search for the item or select it from their directory of products. On the product information page, you will see an area for troubleshooting, more specifically, the “Most common problems” area of the page. See if anyone else has had the problem before and if someone has answered the problem. If you find one relating to your issue, go to the problem page and you will be presented with the problem in detail and a solution (if any) in a blog or discussion-board type format. Each solution that is shown will be user submitted, which I found to actually be more helpful then real product support documents. But what if you can’t find the answer to your problem? Easy, signup to Fixya for free, find your product, submit your problem, and hope you get some helpful feedback from other users. If a solution does end up solving your problem, or even if it doesn’t, be sure to take advantage of the rating system because it will help other Fixya users find the best solution for them by the ratings on feedback.

That about covers it, for the most part. I found Fixya to be very informative and helpful. Simple in concept, but seems to work rather well. I feel it is a lot easier to solve problems based on user experience rather then relying on a product manual. There have been numerous times that I have come across a problem on Fixya that I have wondered about myself and when reading the solutions made me think, “Oh, wow. That makes sense.” But there have also been times when I’ve come across solutions that are of no help with users saying, “Yeah,” or something pointless as a reply. I have expected this though because solutions are user generated and is not something unusual to see. This is also a reason why you should rate the feedback you read because it will help maintain the quality of solutions for problems. Overall, Fixya is a simple way to find a problem with a product and get user feedback to help solve the problem. I found it to be very helpful, maybe you will too.

View Fixya (via Mashable)

6 Comments on “Fixya Product Problem!”

  1. Razvan Antonescu says:

    Without some ways to reward users this site will die. For that type of problems there is Google or already established Google & Yahoo Answers.

    Basing your business entirely on user created content is not always the brightest solution

  2. Brian Benzinger says:

    Thanks for the comment, Razvan. You are definitely correct that is is hard these days to pull off a service using only user created content. But their company isn’t based entirely on user created content. They also aggregate answers and other information from other sources. But it does appear that users enjoy helping at Fixya and do provide fairly good answers. As Pete Cashmore (Mashable) state in his post, it is much like your average support forum but with a few twists. A user looks for help, submits a thread, and other users gladly try to help.

    It definitely is a challenge and Fixya seems to be doing rather well so far with user collaboration. Would be great though to somehow rewards the members, other then giving users a rating and rank. We’ll see how it goes. It’s always a hard move these days.

  3. George Papadakis says:

    Splitting large ideas and projects into smaller ones (easier to swallow) seems to be a rather dominating trend in the Web2.0 series.

    As Razvan noted, this could be considered a “googleAnswers.extend” thing. Does it make it a clone or a different focused approach to an already given theme?

    If the 2nd one is the case and brands like Yahoo or Google will not make a user prefer the generic (1st) road trip, then I guess fixya will succeed.

    I believe new web applications should get more innovative than this case, and the reason I believe that is because I am convinced they can be.

  4. Yaniv says:

    Hi Brian,

    As one of the founders of Fixya, I first want to thank you for using the service and complementing about it.

    I think I can shed some light on the issues mentioned throughout the article and its comments.

    As far as the compensation to experts issues, in the near future we are going to recruit the most active experts on Fixya into an affiliate program where they will be offering their advice to other users for money. Through a unique platform that combines email, chat, and voice, these experts will be available to help in all product categories.

    Since these experts will set their own rates and their ratings will be set by the community, each user will be able to select an expert out of a whole list, in each product category. This will give reach benefit for the professional and active solution contributors on the site to stay active. In addition, we strongly feel that “non professional” experts will continue to provide solutions for free as they do today.

    About the value Fixya provides versus yahoo, google, and other forums, as you mentioned yourself no such site leverages user-experience into a support related troubleshooting setting.

    In addition, we mash up content both from outside sources and user-generated content on our site. In addition, we will fetch back problem posts we initially took from forums after they have been answered on fixya. So these forums will include the original post AND a preview for answers which are posted on Fixya. So over time, Fixya will have lots of links pointing to its relevant threads all over the web.

    I hope this answered some of the issues.

  5. Emilio says:

    I have a Teac Model #AG-SV150 Stereo Reciever 2 Channel…..My problem is the volume modual/Relay switch….I need the Scamatics/diagram/Part for this unit, I just can’t seem to find it……Please help?


  6. Playground says:

    Looks like FixYa.com is doing quite well. Look at their alexa rating.