The week has been great, but not for everyone out there, especially those who rely on a number of core Google services such as Gmail, Google Photos, Google Maps, and so on.
As if to remind its users that it’s in control, Google shut down accounts for some 200 people after they were found to have violated the company’s terms and conditions with respect to buying and using the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones. Apparently, these people live in New Hampshire and here, there are no sales taxes applicable to products.
Google discovered that the Pixel and Pixel XL phones that were being shipped and sold in the region were meant for purposes of reselling for a profit and not personal use or gifts as stipulated in the terms and conditions. The only authorized third-party reseller of the two phones is Verizon Wireless, otherwise, you will have to get the phone from the Google Store or via Google Project Fi.
Speaking of Google Project Fi, the mobile wireless carrier is owned by Google, of course, but it works with the support of three other 4G LTE network providers – Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. This is to ensure that you are connected to the best 4G, 3G or 2G network available in your location at any given moment. If there is a better Wi-Fi network available than any of the three carriers can provide, Google Project Fi, through its Wi-Fi Assistant feature, will cut the use of cellular data and seamlessly connect you to the free public Wi-Fi hotspot using a secure VPN. This means you save data and use Wi-Fi for internet access.
As mentioned, Google has provided those who are willing to join this platform an easy channel of buying not just the Pixel and Pixel XL phones, but also the Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. Apparently, the New Hampshire smartphone dealer has been doing business with Google before – buying their products and reselling them to other people in the region – but this was the first time the deal was made through Google Project Fi.
Whether this is a change of how things are done since the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are now products made by Google or it is the power of Google Project Fi that led to the discovery of the tax loophole is still unknown. But the result of this was severe to some over 200 people as they were limited to access some of the things that their Google accounts hold the key to.
Moral of the story: don’t sell the Google Pixel and Pixel XL as warned by Google. Also ensure that you always have different backups for your most precious data – including having it locally.