Google is up with strong arm on unwitting users who violate the company’s policies. It may lead to cut off from Gmail account, online photos, and other vital digital services.
Quite a lot of Google Pixel phone users who recently bought Pixel phone from a New Hampshire dealer are now in trouble after the company detected their online purchases and found to be violating its terms of service. Those rules mentioned in a document which few people read closely prohibit the acquisition of the Pixel smartphones for “commercial” resale.
“There isn’t an hour that doesn’t go by that I don’t think about the enormity of what Google has done to me. This is like a digital death sentence,” says, one of the affected resellers, Shmuel Super of Brooklyn, New York.
Super along with his fellow resellers has got into trouble for buying five Pixel phones from Google’s online store and delivering them to New Hampshire for resale. They gained $5 for each phone, and as of Sunday, few came to find themselves locked out of their Google accounts.
In a statement on Thursday, Google explains the resale arrangement as a “scheme” planned by the dealer looking to sell the Pixels at marked-up prices in violation of its policies. Google refuse to say about how many people were affected by the account lockdown.
A consumer-focused website, DansDeals first reported Google’s crackdown and concluded that over 200 people were blocked from their Google accounts after the Pixel buying spree. The Associated Press failed in its efforts to identify and interview the dealer.
The crackdown comes as a surprise to millions of people who depend upon Google, Apple, Facebook and other tech companies as the caretakers of their digital lives. Few involved in this situation have backed up their data outside of Google.
The search engine giant is planning to restore its customer accounts of users who were unaware of the rules. However, Google didn’t specify about the time bounding.
Google doesn’t give any prior notice before it shuts down an account and also doesn’t have any distinctions between major and minor violations. Affected users can request for a reinstatement, though it’s doubtful how long that it might take or what criteria Google uses in such cases.