Dammit, Verizon, cut that out.

Arrgh. I was all excited about the prospect of switching to Verizon’s FiOS this summer when it becomes available in Arlington and getting three times our current speed from Comcast down (and about 10x up) at the same price. Then I saw this Slashdot pointer to a Boston.com article: an appeals court ruled that Verizon can charge dial-up customers on a per-minute basis, even if the number being dialed is a local call.

On the one hand, I suppose that Verizon is free to set whatever dialing and billing rules it wants—after all, why should it change now? On the other hand, there is no way that I would consider doing more business with a company that is capable of pulling a stunt like this.

I suppose that some strategist somewhere figured that this was a win-win for Verizon: tons of money from dial-up customers in the short term, and tons more DSL customers in the long term. I think this is a lose-lose: if customers are informed that Verizon pulls this crap, they should be fleeing the company like a sinking ship.

In the meantime, the small local ISP gets screwed.

What a wonderful business model.