That sounds like one of the worst policies I've heard of. Bell Satellite and Bell Fibe TV in Ontario aren't nearly as bad.
I wouldn't recommend dropping the equipment on the counter of an MTS Connect store, since those stores aren't run by MTS. They are run by licensed dealers, such as Advance Electronics in Polo Park.
Many years ago I switched from MTS to Shaw for a promo and dropped off my equipment at the MTS dealer store as recommended by the telephone rep. She said to be sure and get a receipt for the equipment and I did. Sure enough, my next MTS bill had a huge charge for the equipment. I had to call the billing dept. with my receipt number and wait while they looked it up to get the charge cancelled.
Imagine what would happen if you dumped the equipment on the counter and walked away.