OpenAI is blocking new ChatGPT Plus subscriptions — and creating a black market for selling existing accounts – LSB

OpenAI, the AI ​​giant behind the popular chatbot ChatGPT, announced some big updates earlier this month, ranging from a more powerful GPT-4 Turbo language model to a custom GPT marketplace.

These upgrades have led to “surge in usage,” according to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. And because of that, the company has decided to temporarily pause signups for its $20-a-month ChatGPT Plus subscription service.

Altman posted the following on x: “we are pausing new registrations for ChatGPT Plus for a while :(. usage growth after development has exceeded our capacity and we want to make sure everyone has a great experience. You can still sign up to be notified within per app when subscriptions reopen.”

However, by pausing new subscriptions to ChatGPT Plus, OpenAI inadvertently created a black market for users wanting to sign up for the service.

Users sell their ChatGPT Plus accounts

Like first noticed from Business Insider, ChatGPT Plus subscribers are putting their accounts up for sale on aftermarket platforms like eBay. Others also on social media noticed the phenomenon and shared screenshots from the classifieds online.

Third-party reselling of subscription services is certainly nothing new. Many subscribers to all kinds of services, including Netflix and Grammarly, try to sell access to their account to make a quick buck. However, there has been a noticeable uptick in ChatGPT Plus reselling since Altman’s announcement.

Technically, these aftermarket sales aren’t outright scams for the most part. Users often get access to the premium service they purchase from the reseller. However, they do not receive an account exclusive to their purchase. They get access to an account that will be shared by countless people. This is also why resellers can sell access for less than the actual retail price from the company providing the service – they are selling access for the same account to multiple buyers.

Reselling or sharing accounts in this way is often against these companies’ terms of service, so don’t be surprised if the advertised “one year” access to ChatGPT Plus is cut off well before then if OpenAI decides to shut down resold accounts.

Our advice? If you want to secure a ChatGPT Plus account, register on the official waiting list to subscribe directly to the company and access your personal account.

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