MP calls for PlayStation 5 resale bots to be banned
Thousands of consoles are being bought up by bots
An MP is calling for a ban on the bots used to buy up PlayStation 5 stock by resellers.
Douglas Chapman, SNP Member of Parliament for Dunfermline and West Fife, told Radio 4 that the situation was "beyond the pale."
If it seems like PS5 stock is selling out instantly everywhere, it is because bots are buying the games consoles in bulk to then sell for over double the recommended retail price.
As revealed on Twitter by @UKPS5Notify, an account dedicated to alerting people to new stocks of the console dropping in various stores, a bot bought thousands of the console in one go from the latest restock on the GAME website, before selling them eBay for over £1,000.
UKPS5Notify posted screenshots of a private account named @Carnagebot, bragging about acquiring a bulk supply of the PlayStation 5 to sell on for a profit, with the caption: "Any chance of stopping this anytime soon?", tagging GAME's accounts.
— ?? UK PS5 & XBOX SERIES X/S STOCK ALERTS (@UKPS5Notify) January 19, 2021
"It is simply not in the consumer's interest to have lots of stock of in-demand, very exciting new products, just being bought up en masse," Douglas Chapman told host Winifred Robinson on You & Yours.
"It doesn’t give the ordinary consumer fair access to the consumer. There’s obviously a lot of money to be made reselling, and it is just so unfair to the ordinary person in the street, who just wants to play their game, or give a gift to a child for their Christmas."
"I know there’s been a lot of disappointed young people over Christmas, and this situation is just going to get worse and worse."
"I think I’ve been very disappointed in the initial response from the government. That’s one of the reasons I want to put down a Ten Minute Rule Bill in parliament and really take this as far as we can. Because we just can’t have these situations develop that are going to get worse over time."
Chapman suggested that the bots could cause trouble in other sectors, including essential food and retail.
"For instance, if supermarket [delivery] slots are seen as an in-demand service or product, then these are the sort of things that could be bought up by these bots, and make it more [difficult] for vulnerable people to access their supermarket account and so on."
"I think we should be banning the bot, and using that as our starting point."