A while back, I wrote about how Verizon was defaulting FiOS users to slow DNS servers and suggested a workaround. I used the workaround for a while, then they broke those servers, so I went back to the defaults and things seemed OK for a while. Lately, though, they’ve found a new way to use DNS to annoy me and thousands of others. They have a new “Advanced Web Search” feature which pops up a Verizon search page whenever you click on a broken link or type in an incorrect URL. Unlike some people, I don’t think this is a particularly terrible thing in and of itself. What really bugs me, though, is that it keeps kicking in when it clearly shouldn’t. I mean, is it really credible that their DNS server can’t find Google? GOOGLE? Give me a break. That record’s requested and refreshed so frequently that there is exactly zero chance of the information it contains being truly unavailable, but several times just in the last few days I’ve tried to bring up Google Reader and ended up on Verizon’s stupid search page instead. This is just a sleazy way to create hits for their Yahoo-provided search results.

Cut it out, guys. If you want more traffic, provide more value. You only make yourselves look like creeps when you do stuff like this.

UPDATE: apparently Verizon does provide instructions for disabling this “feature” but hasn’t widely advertised them. What it boils down to is specifying your DNS server addresses statically instead of getting them automatically, which is less than ideal because then you won’t hear about it if they change (I got burned by this once before), and modifying the last octet for each server’s address from 12 to 14.