Google has reversed its earlier decision to disable accounts of customers involved in reselling of Google Pixel phones. In the incident termed as ‘digital death penalty’, Google had banned accounts of users who had shipped out the Pixel phones from Project Fi mobile carrier to a New Hampshire re-seller, The Guardian reported.
Google, in an email, notified the banned users that it was re-enabling their accounts after reviewing their appeals. The company, in the email said it, “takes violations of our terms very seriously, and we ask that you review relevant terms and product policies to ensure that you understand them”. It further added: “Repeated violations of our terms may lead to account termination.”
Customers whose accounts were banned were accused of taking advantage of ‘no sales tax’, in the US state of New Hampshire. Essentially, customers bought Google Pixel phones directly from Project Fi mobile carrier and had them shipped out to a New Hampshire re-seller, where after reselling them, the profits would be shared between the re-seller and the customer. After Google caught wind of this, it banned accounts of hundreds of customers involved in the ‘arrangement’, stating it was in violation of Google’s policy.
Customers involved in the ‘arrangement’ reportedly faced account suspensions where they lost access to mail, photos, documents or anything else linked to their Google identity. In addition, customers’ access to Google Store was revoked.
Daniel Eleff, who first reported the bans said, “I’m not defending those who violated the terms of the sale, but I do think it is heavy handed for Google to block access to all of their services for doing so. Was violating Google’s phone resale policy really worthy of an effective digital death penalty?” Google’s letter to Eleff stated, “After investigating the situation, we are restoring access to genuine accounts for customers who are locked out of many Google services they rely on.”, The Guardian reported.
Google in the letter also stated that active users of Google services can take take a backup of their account data from Gmail, Photo, and Drive by creating an archive or backing up to another service.