I’ve read horror stories of elderly people who’ve paid thousands of dollars to rent their phones from the phone company (dating from the breakup of AT&T back in the 1980s). Well, it appears that AOL is making money from a similar situation. According to an article in The New Yorker (subscription required) by Ken Auletta, 75 percent of AOL subscribers are paying a $25/month dial-up fee despite the fact that they have DSL or cable internet. If correct, these overpayments add up to $1 billion each year. And as with the phone rentals mentioned above, these customers tend to be elderly.