By: Mary Fran Bontempo

I ran this column this past summer, but after my most recent adventures with Comcast, a mere six months later, which involved five phone calls and one visit to the store today still with no resolution, I decided to run it again. The circumstances today are a bit different, but the result is the same–Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! Feel free to pass on the rant.hell


“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

Despite what you may recall from high school, this has nothing to do with entering the gates of Hell. Well, actually, it does, but not the Hell in Dante’s Inferno.

The Hell in Comcast.

Dante did a pretty good job, what with naming the nine circles of Hell. There’s lust, gluttony, anger, fraud, violence and treachery, among others. At its worst, the ninth circle of Hell houses Satan, encased in a block of ice, lording over the world’s evils as his gigantic wings beat slowly in a terrible rhythm.

But Dante got it wrong. Because even deeper in the recesses of Hell, in a tenth circle so terrifying that the poet couldn’t bear to venture into it, resides Comcast.

My husband and I know of this evil, because we have witnessed it firsthand, and it is the worst kind of evil. It is the evil that promises riches and knowledge and offers only frustration, confusion and madness, which it then charges you for.

Consider the following:

1.) My husband, Dave, called Comcast to confirm whether he had unlimited long distance service on one of his business phone lines. The Comcast representative on the other end of the call first put Dave on hold for fifteen minutes and then told him, “Well, I checked and we have no way of knowing that. You’ll have to wait until your bill comes in and see if you’re being charged for it.” Um, huh?

2.) Despite assurances via another call to Comcast that our cable and internet services were turned on at our shore home, we arrived at our house to find only limited television channels and no internet.

Dave drove to the Comcast trailers (the offices were flooded back during Hurricane Sandy, likely in an effort by God to remove the scourge of Comcast, but they figured out a way around the Almighty), where long lines of unhappy prisoners, I mean customers, were being serenaded by a DJ—a DJ!!!—as grinning gatekeepers to Hell with walkie-talkies herded hapless captives into trailers housing more smiling tormentors full of empty promises.

After explaining the problem, the Comcast minion told Dave that yes, indeed, we were being billed for full service, but no one took off the hold codes on the account, so were weren’t getting what we were paying for. Surprise, surprise.

3.) Assuming the issue was resolved—another trick of Comcast Hell—Dave returned home, only to find that we still weren’t getting service, at which point our son tried to resolve the situation via phone. Hahahahahahahahaha!

Forty minutes and a spike in blood pressure later, the faceless phone demon advised my son that we had to take the cable box back to Comcast, as it appeared the equipment was broken, much like Comcast’s entire customer service department.

4.) Returning to the trailers, Dave was gifted with Comcast swag as he waited in line—water, sunscreen (captives were being held outside on a blacktopped parking lot, after all) and, the crowd was breathlessly informed, soon to arrive Frisbees! Woohoo!

He picked up a new cable box, which he plugged in upon returning home. Do I even have to say it? It was broken.

5.) Eventually, the television and internet issues were resolved. Until they weren’t. This past weekend, we returned to find that we couldn’t get on the internet. Actually, some of us could, but other devices were getting some weird “Authenticate your service” screens. Which surprised the Comcast denizens, as no one had ever heard of that page before.

Well, maybe they had, but I was on the phone with a Comcast representative from India, and I couldn’t understand anything he was saying. Nothing against India, and I’m not saying they are part of the tenth circle, but when you can’t understand what someone is telling you to do to solve a problem, what’s the point? And while we’re at it, why do I have to do anything? Isn’t that what I pay Comcast for?

I understand why Dante couldn’t venture further to warn all of the tenth circle. It’s a scary place. And I haven’t seen him in person, but I understand that the guy who lords over it all has horns, a pitchfork, a nasty grin and a giant salary. Something like $29 million dollars a year. I also think his initials are B.R., but that’s just a guess.

What I do know is that he’s way more frightening than Satan and his minions far more evil. So should you have to deal with Comcast any time soon, I’ll pray for you.

But I’m telling you right now, it’s hopeless.

What are your experiences in the tenth circle of Hell? Click “comments” below and share!