When it comes to ISPs, Comcast is everyone’s favorite whipping boy, as the company has consistently done things that amaze and irk its customer base. From imposing limits on previously unlimited accounts to ruining the day of many a torrent downloader, the company does not do much to endear its customers.

Yet, as was shown in a recent survey, the company does have the highest delivered average speeds in the United States.

The latest in the Comcast series of what we could call escapades, is the subject of a piece from Maximum PC

Yep, you read the title correctly. [ Comcast Cracks Down on Customers With a ZERO Balance ]  Comcast, the seemingly masochist ISP that gets repeatedly beat up in the press, is again taking a flogging, this time for billing a customer with a $0.00 balance and demanding remittance.

“To avoid an interruption of your service, please pay $0.00,” the confused customer’s bill reads. “As your account is currently delinquent, your Digital Voice, High Speed Internet and Cable services may be subject to interruption. While interrupted, you will retain the ability to place calls to 911 using your Digital Voice service.”

According to some readers who caught wind of this quirky bill, this isn’t a one-time SNAFU on Comcast’s part, as others have reported receiving similar bills. And Comcast isn’t alone, either. One reader said he received a notice from Charter Communications to pay a $0.00 balance, and when he failed to return a blank envelope or a check written out for absolutely nothing, the ISP allegedly shut off his service and wanted him to pay a $25 fee for the whole ordeal.

Does no one do any error checking on these companies’ billing software? What about when the problem is reported – are the idiots that are not apologizing profusely and offering up free months of service being fired immediately?

This is why there really should be competition in the marketplace. Oh, sure, the law supposedly calls for a form of competition, which is cable and satellite service in the same service areas , but to many people, and for the cable companies themselves, that is no competition at all.  With FiOS now becoming available there really is a similar service offered, but how many years was it between the offering of fiber service by telcos and the law that was, at its inception, almost as stupid as the billing cases above.

I wonder what manner of havoc is wreaked when a customer overpays their bill by a penny…




Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.



Sometimes it does make you wonder…