This is not a new gimmick. At present Sprint is giving "free" tablets if you sign up for a framily plan I think it's called.
You must set up service for it and sign a two year contract. So it is not free. Verizon is not the only company doing this free thing.
What you have to remember is these gotchas are in place to generate revenue.
Just returning the tablet costs $70 restocking fee because it cannot be sold as new. But is that really a loss of $70?
If unopened then no restocking fee could be accessed. It is solely a money maker
So just walk up to a stranger (even me) and hand me $70
But remember you will spend more money over two years with device fees $240 plus data charges.
Customers have to read everything today!