This was nothing more than a unscrupulous attempt that BW tried to slip by people in the guise of a bug, intended or not. I have no doubt it would have ultimately affected the Cartel Shop, directly or indirectly. Sugar coat this any way you like, it was a poor business decision.
I just wanted to step in here to let you know that we are actively investigating this and we will update you as soon as we have more information. We apologize for the inconvenience, but rest assured that we're looking into it.
Now that people are not only threatening to leave the game, but are actually canceling their subscriptions, you will get back to us when you have more information. aka "oops, that didn't work"
I'm sure most of us do not want a free ride, but most of us also have lives, and don't sit behind the keyboard twelve hours a day.