Verizon currently charges $3.99/month to rent a cable card. Essentially when one rents a Set Top Box, currently $11.99/month, the set top box rental fee is $8.00/month + cable card rental fee of $3.99/month.
Verizon FiOS should provide the first CableCARD in a retail device (e.g.: TiVO) for free of charge to its customers. I recently got a retail device and Verizon is charging $3.99/month to rent it. Usually when a customer purchase their own device (e.g.: TiVO, Ceton InfiniTV 4) that requires a CableCARD, it is owing to the fact that Verizon or a cable provider charges to much to rent its devices (e.g.: set top box, multi-room DVR).
Why can't Verizon follow Comcast's lead? Comcast is your competition.
How much will I be charged to use a CableCARD?
The first CableCARD in a retail device (e.g., TiVo devices or CableCARD equipped televisions) is free to Comcast customers. If a second CableCARD is needed for the same device (i.e., TiVo Series 3 boxes), the cost is $1.50 per month for the additional card. Again, this ONLY applies to a second CableCARD in the same device.
The question is will Verizon consider provide the first CableCARD to it customer free or at least consider reducing the rental fee of a CableCARD (e.g. $1.50/month or $2.00/month).
At the end if you can't do the above, I would suggest offering the option for a customer to buy the CableCARD legitimately. It is essentially a PCMCIA card. I've seen CableCARD on eBay, the only question becomes if they are legitimate or not (that is possibly stolen).
Hopefully Verizon will consider the above idea with regards to CableCARD fees.