>is it possible that i messed things up when i removed the ! before the isset($_POST)) ?
quite possibly. `!` means “not”, therefore `if( ! isset( $_POST ) )` means “if POST index ‘comments’ do _not_ exist.” By changing it to `if( isset( $_POST ) )`, you change the meaning to “if POST index ‘comments’ _do_ exist.” You changed it from **requiring** the field to be filled out to requiring that it **not** be filled out.
>i did not make the comments field a required field as i figured folks would be contacting the company with questions and hence would be filling out the comment section anyway.
I don’t follow: if you want/expect them to fill out the comment section, why do you _not_ want to make it _required_?