3rd party retailers are NOT the same as Verizon Corporate stores. There are many differences, mainly in appearances, but when you buy from them you agree to their terms AND Verizon's terms. The private store might have had terms outlining your responsibility to them if you cancelled service. Those stores have to buy the phones and may have markups so that they make profit. Yes, Verizon makes money off of those stores, but those stores are there to make money too and run their own promotions and service agreements.