News that Google has suspended nearly 200 accounts suspected of violating the company’s terms of service, surfaced today. Around 200 people bought Pixel and Pixel XL phones via Project Fi with the express intent of making profit.

The devices were shipped directly to a re-seller based in New Hampshire – a sales tax free state, according to deal monitoring website Dan’s Deals. The scheme goes like this – after the phones were resold the (small) profits were split with the original Pixel buyers.

Buying a handset on Project Fi for yourself or a loved one is perfect legal, but Project Fi’s terms of service specifically state the phones are not to be commercially resold. So Google took action by suspending a number of accounts suspected of wrong doing. Affected users found they were unable to access Google services including apps for email, photos, documents and social media. Aouch, don’t mess with Google, people!

some-pixel-owners-want-to-make-moneyMore than that, in some cases it appears Google locked the secondary accounts that were listed as a backup account on the users’ Google profiles.

A Google spokesperson sent Dan’s Deal an official statement saying the company has “identified a scheme in which consumers were asked to purchase Pixel devices on behalf of a re-seller, who then marked-up the cost of those devices.”

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The statement also notes that “after investigating the situation, we are restoring access to genuine accounts for customers who are locked out of many Google services they rely on.

Well it seems like Google already reversed the decision of locking users out of their accounts, after receiving a deluge of complains, reports The Guardian.

google-pixel-and-pixel-xlIt turns out Google send an email to affected parties it has reviewed their appeals and it’s granting them access once again. However Google does note that “repeated violations of our terms may lead to account termination.”

Voices online have been questioning whether the punishment actually fitted the crime, calling Google’s initial decision to ban users a “digital death penalty”. But in the end Google proved to be merciful once again and everything went back to normal.

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  1. These people should have had their accounts permanently deleted in the first place. Project Fi and the Google Store are not wholesale outlets designed for resellers. They are only designed for individuals who will actually be using the phone(s) they buy.

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