Dial Carefully? Grandma Calls 'Idol' 100s of Times, Gets Comcast Warning

By Rory J. Thompson April 03, 2013

In what may be seen as a veiled threat to eager viewers but a PR bonanza for FOX TV’s American Idol, an Illinois grandmother received a termination notice from Comcast for daring to vote several hundred times an hour by phone for her favorite singing contestant.

Media reports say 72-year-old Ilene Henry was initially confused by the letter, as Comcast promotes its Digital Voice service as being “unlimited.”  Yet after calling the Fox TV show by consistently hitting redial, Henry’s actions set off alarms at Comcast HQ, which the company said in a statement were “inconsistent with a residential number,” MyFoxDC reported.

"I've got it down to a science now and instead of counting the calls, I keep hitting redial and I timed it and I get in about fifty calls in ten minutes,” Henry told the DC-area station.

Granddaughter Andrea Holt Batalia jumped to her grandma’s defense, pointing out that “Comcast advertises their digital voice service as unlimited, and it doesn't say unlimited unless you call American Idol and you vote 10,000 times or 5,000 times or whatever the case may be."

Image via XFINITY

Since the story broke, Comcast has since backtracked, now saying it will send warning letters to users with odd calling patterns. The company also says the termination notice was sent to Henry in error.

But it’s not the first time the company has raised the ire of the elderly. The Washington Post reported a few years back about a new Comcast user who, upset with the service, went after a company rep with a hammer. And TV columnist Bob Garfield even started a blog titled ComcastMustDie.com, where unhappy customers could vent online. In his final column, Garfield claimed victory, although Ilene Henry might just disagree.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
Related Articles

Will the Next Generation of Computers be Crowdsourced? Maybe

By: Doug Mohney    10/25/2016

If you have any doubts that the world of PC design has stagnated - looking at you Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and whoever else is left standing this week…

Read More

The Cybersecurity Race to Secure the Internet of Things

By: Doug Mohney    10/25/2016

Last week's wave of worldwide DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks through the use of unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) devices is both distu…

Read More

AT&T Announces Plans to Buy Time Warner

By: Paula Bernier    10/24/2016

AT&T over the weekend revealed plans to purchase Time Warner Inc. in a deal valued at more than $85 billion, driving down both of their stocks and dra…

Read More

Google Adds CBS to its Unplugged Roster

By: Steve Anderson    10/21/2016

Over-the-top Web-based television seems to be the way of the future, as demonstrated by Netflix, Hulu, and a host of developments to follow, along wit…

Read More

A New Stock Price High for Microsoft?

By: Steve Anderson    10/21/2016

It would be easy to think that Microsoft's stock price glory days were behind it, lost with the dot-com bubble and a little song called "Mambo No. 5."…

Read More