Because they "All" do it dosnet' make it OK. It is a straight out rippoff. Don't call Verizon nor Comcast nor any other provider. Call your state legislator. Have them pass a law that rquires EVERY cable provider within the state to allow purchase of the box at a fee that is not more than their cost plus 10%. Yes it will cost them, but only to the extend that they will no longer be able to make obsene markup profits.
How do you determine their cost +?
It is a lot more than just the price of buying the box.
They have to maintain the box.
And they are updating software to give you new features.
You don't have to use their rental box.
You can buy your own cable card ready device and just rent a cable card.
And how many calls do you think they will have to handle when people have service issues with the box they own and they have an issue? How upset you think people will be if the cable company has to dispatch a tech only to find out it was the customer owned equipment and the customer gets a bill?
Keep in mind, you will end up paying one way or another.
I remember when you didn't need a box. You paid a fee for every TV you had connected.
I disagree. I have three TVs with DVR access on each one and my total costs for Fios equipment is $4.99/month. And no I do not have any special promotions on my account.
I bought my own equipment (a Tivo Bolt and Minis). I save at least $35/month this way. After the first three years, I recouped all of my costs for the Tivo and now just enjoy the savings!
Different cost models. If one of your owned boxes dies, you have to buy buy a new one (assuming out of warranty).
And TiVo does not give access to vod content.
To some each of these items are something worth paying extra for.
Others it is not.