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For early upgrades (when your device is 50% paid off or more) they require you to be in a store so a rep can evaluate the device to make sure there isn't any damage. A rep over the phone can't see if the phone is damaged. Now if your phone is 100% paid off, you can purchase a new device for that line either online, by calling, or visiting a store.
I get that but I don’t understand why someone at Comcast can’t look at the phone
Heylookitschels, I understand your concerns. We are working to expand the footprint of our XFINITY Mobile stores! Those stores are staffed with specifically trained XFINITY Mobile specialists who can better access your device in the process of an upgrade. Please visit an XFINITY Mobile store to begin the early upgrade process.