Google’s terms of services does not allow for the reselling of Pixel phones brought through Google Fi and, as some have discovered, it takes the TOS very seriously. Several resellers who had exploited a US tax loophole to sell their Pixels for a profit discovered this after their Google accounts were completely banned.
The exploit in question had several resellers buying the Google Pixel through a Google Fi subscription, and then having it shipped to location with no sales tax. This lowered the price of the phone, and which was later sold for a profit.
However, Google soon caught wind of the situation and banned the resellers’ and their customers’ accounts. That is, their entire Google account which included their Gmail, photos, cloud storage, and just about every other Google owned service. In other words, they were locked out from a large portion of their online lives.
A US based deal spotting site, Dan’s Deals, was the first to notice the bans; although there was little sympathy for the resellers. Essentially, comments believed that the resellers and their customers deserved what they got for violating the TOS; although some thought that the action may have been too heavy handed in its approach.
Google, like all manufacturers, has traditionally turned a blind eye to third party and grey market resellers. Which is why this latest action caught so many off-guard. There’s explanation as to why Google suddenly decided to take action.
The good news is that Google has restored access to some of the banned accounts. Apparently, many of the Google accounts were created for the sole purpose of exploiting the tax loophole; which is why they were nuked in the first place. There’s no telling how many legitimate buyers were affected. Still, it’s a fairly sobering thought to imagine that Google can easily wipe out so much of our lives if it really wanted to.
[Source: Dan’s Deals]