We have previously discussed the issues businesses have with prioritising commercial success and customer care when it comes to the PlayStation 5 launch. In the latest episode of bot-buying PS5 stock, we have seen Twitter name and shame Carnage as the culprit for over 2000 checkouts on UK retailer Game’s website.
From the beginning of PS5 launch we have seen Sony time and time again thanks it’s customers for a successful console launch, although the sheer amount of customers without a console shows the lack of legitimate business to customer sales.
What has happened instead has been sales from business to business, shifting stock to resellers, and increasing the market price. When it has been made so easy for this to happen and no attempt at resolution being made you begin to realise that businesses aren’t interested whether the custom they receive is from genuine customers or traders looking to cash in on the increased demand and lack of supply.
UK second-hand retailer CEX are an example of a named business operating on the same level as resellers, offering trade in value higher than the retail selling price, and selling on for almost double the retail value.
There has been no crackdown on third-party bots from businesses like Game and although they have the means eBay and Facebook Marketplace have seen no attempt to cap the selling price at which someone places a PS5.
Why should businesses care? At the end of the day, there is a fine line between customer satisfaction and commercial value. Having worked for one of the businesses mentioned I can let you know that the customer is only worth as much as the amount of money they put in the till, and once the transaction is complete the product is theirs to do as they like with it. This is where businesses wash their hands of customer care and look forward to the next transaction.
Of course, it’s not technically the responsibility of the business to crack down on a trader using bots to buy up all available stock. And why shouldn’t CEX cash in on the demand while they can?
Sony of course can sit proud after a successful console launch on paper, but how many of those sales are currently attached to active accounts, for a console generation to thrive the players are going to need to make the jump. But if they can’t, then what does that spell for Sony’s subscriptions in the future? Likewise with companies like CEX and Game where they drive most of their profit margin from second-hand sales, are they not playing a dangerous game of feeding into potential competition?
The short-term gain for these businesses can result in long-term pain if they continue to prioritise ticking their targets rather than their customer satisfaction.
The PS5 launch has been the latest wedge driven between consumer and business, and the signs are becoming abundantly clear, capitalism is a plague on the industry and allows for a malpractice when not in check. It’s up to businesses to get their shit together and realise that feeding the monster is going to result in a bite in the arse.
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