I, too, tried. Same thing, only free if within 90 days. I agree with most on the thread that charging for the replacement remote makes no sense. They certainly can limit how often people can replace, but should assume that it is part of the overall rental price (which is not I insignificant) since the remote is essential in operating the set top box. It is also logical that because the setup box stays stationary, but the remote is handled daily, they will have some turnover of that equipment and should replace it on a reasonable schedule. This should not be a cost to the customer unless there is a pattern of carelessness.
As an aside, this is how Sprint lost much of it's customer base. Upon coming up with new charging models they frustrated their customers... resulting in many of their customers contracts being bought out by competitors. Very short sited.