The Stopping Grinch Bots Act Is A Last Ditch Effort To Save Christmas From Greedy Scalpers
A group of congressional Democrats hope to save Christmas from greedy scalpers using bots to steal all of Santa's gifts online. The legislation called 'The Stopping Grinch Bots Act' was rolled out Monday.
PC enthusiasts are well aware of the damage scalpers using bots can cause. It seems that each time a graphics card is back in stock, it is gone in seconds upon release for sale online. Some companies have implemented methods such as a lottery in which customers enter into a queue in hopes of being chosen to be able to purchase an available GPU at full cost. The only other way to get your hands on a GPU is to pay an outrageous amount of money for one from a scalper on sites such as eBay.
While congress may not have paid attention to the grief of gamers, they are seemingly paying attention to the threat of little Timmy's Christmas being hijacked by a bot. The bill being proposed would build off of previous legislation that protected online ticket sales from bots. That legislation was signed into law in 2016. The proposed bill would apply the same principles to all online retail sales.
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) stated, "This bill seeks to stop Cyber Grinch greed from ruining kids' holidays. New tools are needed to block cyber scammers who snap up supplies of popular toys and resell them at astronomic prices." Blumenthal, who is among the Democrats sponsoring the act, went on to say, Price gouging hot toys by Grinch bots should have zero tolerance."
It is hard to say just how much this would help Christmas shoppers at this point, being Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have already happened. Many shoppers have probably already completed most of their shopping because of the worry that supplies would be limited and shipping could take longer. But for anyone that has endured having a bot swipe a product out from underneath them online just as they were about to hit the button to complete their purchase, any help at this point is welcome.
The bill is also being sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) and Representative Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). Schumer added in a statement, "The average holiday shopper is unable to compete with the light speed of the all too-common Grinch bot and are then held at ransom by scalpers and third-party resellers when trying to buy holiday presents." He continued saying, "After a particularly trying year, no parent or American should have to fork over hundreds-or even thousands -of dollars to buy Christmas and holiday gifts for their children and loved ones."
One would have to think that if this bill were to have any influence on this holiday season of shopping, that it will have to pass very quickly. Christmas is less than a month away, and time is running short on securing gifts if one hopes to have it under the tree on Christmas morning. However, if Congress acts now it could ease some of the issues that have plagued many over the last couple of years in the long term. That alone should be reason enough for politicians to do something about the ever growing battle against bots for all consumers.