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Google lifts ban on Pixel phone resellers

Earlier this week, Google banned hundreds of users who took advantage of a tax loophole to profit from reselling the company’s Pixel phones.

The customers in question bought the phone through Google’s Project Fi carrier and ordered the handsets to be delivered to a reseller in New Hampshire, where there is no sales tax.

This allowed the reseller to split the profit with customers, but the whole thing backfired once Google banned the accounts of those involved.

Related: Pixel review

Now, The Guardian reports, following numerous complaints, the company has reversed its decision, emailing users who had been banned, to say it had reviewed its appeals and re-enabled their accounts.

Google said in the email that 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… Repeated violations of our terms may lead to account termination.”

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As originally reported by Daniel Eleff, owner of US money-saving site Dan’s Deals, Google users who took part in the practice of shipping phones to New Hampshire for reselling had their entire Google accounts suspended.

That left them unable to use Mail, Photos, Documents, or any other Google apps linked to their account.

One user even reported that a back-up account was also banned as it was listed on the main account used to buy the Pixel phone.

Google’s terms and conditions do prohibit any reselling, stating that customers “may only purchase Devices for your personal use [and] may not commercially resell any Device”.

But the company was criticised for its outright banning of those involved, as it prevented the users from accessing stored photos or email, and was seen as a particularly hard line to take.

Google emailed Eleff following his report, saying: “We prohibit the commercial resale of devices purchased through Project Fi or the Google Store so everyone has an equal opportunity to purchase devices at a fair price. Many of the accounts suspended were created for the sole purpose of this scheme.

“After investigating the situation, we are restoring access to genuine accounts for customers who are locked out of many Google services they rely on.”

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Let us know what you think of the whole debacle in the comments.

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