back to article Google offers $150 gift card for Chromebook Pixel data shutoff

Google has chosen to issue gift cards to customers who spent $1,449 on a shiny Chromebook Pixel with free Verizon LTE data only to find that the telco decided to ditch the offer early. At launch, the Pixel was touted as coming with two years of free LTE data from Verizon. Admittedly you only got 100MB a month, but that's enough …

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Meh

Double Accounting.

So presumably will get the money from the original Google deal, then win again from people picking up Verizon LTE services from this new Google deal? And also do some clever tax trickery to avoid paying tax.

N.b. are the Pixels locked to the network, or can you use another provider?

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Silver badge

Not really an occasion for "this is America, after all"

Consumers saw a particular product advertised and paid for it. Verizon then unilaterally decided they weren't going to supply it. In which country would you not use the law when a major corporation decides just not to do what it has accepted money for?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not really an occasion for "this is America, after all"

"In which country would you not use the law when a major corporation decides just not to do what it has accepted money for?"

In any country where said major corporation controls the government... in other words, the country of, for and by the peop... errrr, woops, wrong century... in other words, in the US.

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Re: Not really an occasion for "this is America, after all"

Point of law: An advertisement is not a contract.

Now, in some countries consumers are afforded protection from companies playing fast and loose with their advertising, but even in those cases the offence is deemed to be one of transgressing advertising regulations, not contract provisions since the consumer is still expected to have fully considered the terms of the CONTRACT they voluntarily entered into, irrespective of any advertising claims made that may have induced them to consider entering said contract in the first place.

NZ recently tightened it's consumer protection in this area, making Unsubstantiated Representation an offence under the Fair Trading Act, carrying much stiffer penalties than false/misleading advertising claims might otherwise lead to.

I don't know what the specifics of US law are in this area, but I am fairly certain that the specifics of the contract terms offered to Pixel customers will have far greater bearing on the obligations of Google/Verizon than any advertising will.

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Silver badge

Re: Not really an occasion for "this is America, after all"

In England and Wales at least, an advertisement is an invitation to treat; if a customer likes the offered terms then he makes the seller an offer; if the seller accepts the offer then that's a contract. E.g. that's why the well-known wisdom is that if you see something advertised at what's obviously the wrong price then you can bind the seller to that price only if they confirm the order — that's the point at which they accept the contract you offered.

The main relevant constraints are those terms that are implied and which may not be overridden (that's the Sale of Goods Act-type stuff about products being fit for purpose for a certain period, etc). There are also caveats about "mere puff" — statements that are clearly subjective and not intended to be enforceable, like one cafe's being the best cup of coffee in London or a particular make of car making you more popular at work.

With the Pixel it sounds like the terms suggested in the advertisement were specific and intended to be enforceable, and the contracts formed between Verizon and the consumers were exactly on those terms.

Even though a lot of the specifics are post-1776, US and British law is similar enough that it's the only area I can think of where a US case is commonly cited in British courts as being sufficiently informative as almost to be treatable as a precedent — Shuey v US on the extent to which the revocation of a unilateral contract needs to be communicated (though, oddly, I think British people tend to take it to be that the revocation must have the same notoriety but US people tend to think it must go through the same channels, so the conclusions drawn are not quite the same).

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Silver badge

What's good for the goose.....

Well, maybe those with Verizon contracts yet to expire should decide it's not worth it to them, and quit early too!

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Headmaster

"reached out"???

Where has this stupid phrase come from, and why am I seeing it so much lately?

What the hell is wrong with "contacted"?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "reached out"???

Agreed - I make a point of not replying to anyone who "reaches out" to me, because I can pretty confidently predict that they are a tosser (often a consultant with too many meaningless "management" qualifications).

I'm not a lost soul searching for guidance or salvation. I'm not a long lost family member. I do not require any form of reaching out.

I'm an employee at a company. If saying "e-mail" or " 'phone" is too precise, then "contact" does the job just fine.

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Headmaster

Re: "reached out"???

On a similar note, I just stopped reading and binned a message as soon as it used the non-word "webinar"

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