Originally Posted by atmuscarella
I don't know if TiVo takes them for granted but this is the basic model being used by lots of companies the most notably being cell phone and cable/satellite providers. With cell phone's they hide the cost of phones in the subscription price and never lower it and with cable/satellite they change you rental fees forever and/or build the cost of hardware into subscription costs.
My take on this is that many (most?) consumers don't want to pay for hardware upfront and/or don't want the risk of ownership. Companies understand this and make lots of money by offering monthly payments. One of my friends told me they found out a few years back that there elderly Aunt who had died was still paying a rental fee to the telephone company for her phone and had been paying it on the same phone for over 30 years. Talk about being ripped off.
Only ripped off if she did not know about it. If she read her bill, like any consumer should, she did know about the fee. And just decided to continue paying the fee.
The same goes for the inside wire maintenance fee. My parents are near their 80's but any internal issue with the phone lines and my dad could easily fix it. But they still pay the inside wire maintenance fee because they want to.
And they pay a monthly remote fee to Comcast even though they can use their Harmony remote. And they pay a monthly fee for the Comcast TV guide, even though it's not needed to find out what's on. And they pay over $70 a month for just phone service from Verizon, when they could pay less than half that to Comcast for phone service through them.
They pay those fees because they made the decisions to do so.