Chromebook Pixel skimping on 2 year Verizon data contract

This is sounding like a bit of a strange story and I would love to know what is actually going on. 

Yesterday the news broke that the two years of free Verizon service on the Chromebook Pixel had quietly been cut back to a year. After being widely publicised at the time, it was cut short without any notice. 

Now, Google has announced that they are giving a $150 gift card to customers who purchased the original device, which is probably the right thing to do.

This fiasco seems a little weird to me. Surely some of the largest companies in world don't get involved in any sort of agreement without a contract and a battalion of lawyers getting involved. It seems like quite an oversight that one of the companies wouldn't be aware of the fine print.