Thanks for posting the full sticker language.
After reading it, it sure looks like the sticker can only have been intented to be used with a TOS, probably one that was worded similarly to the Terms and Condition of Sale that used to be on the NPLI web site until 7/1/00. While it is now gone from the site, it basically provided that once you received the I/O, you had 30 days to "activate" your service and that if you did not do so and continue to purchase the service for 90 days, you had to pay a $499 "termination fee". The escape clause was that if you returned it within 30 days of purchase in "new condition" the fee did not apply. In effect, you had about 30 days to try out the service with no risk. Perhaps someone who recently signed a TOS at CUSA or CC can confirm that it contained these same or very similar provisions.
Some of the sticker language really makes sense only if it is tied to a TOS. For example, by its terms the "obligation" to use and pay for the service only arises upon the opening of the box. This could be years from now, if ever. The next sentence talks about a "deactivation fee" if you deactivate the service within 90 days of receipt. What if you don't open the box for more than 90 days and thus neither "agree" to start using the service nor "deactivate" it within 90 days of receipt?
Another sentence pertaining to the "deactivation fee" says: "You understand that this fee does not apply if the i-opener system is returned within the stated return period, in new condition and with all its components and the seal on the i-opener device intact." What is the "stated return period" and when does it start to run? Presumably this was intended to refer to the period set forth in the TOS to return the unit without penalty after trying it out.
Then there is the more fundamental question of whether by putting a sticker on the box Netpliance can alter what (without a TOS) is simply a transaction between the buyer and CUSA or Circuit City. Probably at most it serves as a warning that if you sign up for service, you are expected to pay for it for 90 days. Even if you do sign up, there are real questions about whether the $499 "deactivation fee" can be charged if you cancel within 90 days. Netpliance's damages if you don't keep the service for 90 days can't logically exceed the price of 90 days of service.
I will be very surprised if Netpliance actively tries to enforce the sticker language against anyone who did not sign a TOS or activate their account on line. A firm NO from the potential user should be sufficient to get them to stop. If they persist, there will be a huge number of complaints to consumer authorities and a real potential for litigation. NPLI, CUSA and Circuit City don't need or want this.