Step away from the Dot, tiny online shopper.
When a 6-year-old girl in Texas managed to get herself a big tin of cookies and a fancy new dollhouse thanks to Amazon’s voice-enabled assistant Alexa in her family’s Echo device, the incident was referred to as an “accident.”
But it takes a little bit of effort beyond just mentioning “dollhouse” and “cookies” in front of Alexa before she’ll just charge mom and dad’s credit card and send the things to your doorstep.
Amazon reached out to GeekWire on Wednesday to stress that “you must ask Alexa to order a product and then confirm the purchase with a ‘yes’ response to purchase via voice. If you asked Alexa to order something on accident, simply say ‘no’ when asked to confirm.”
Megan Neitzel told Fox News that she figured her daughter Brooke was behind the $170 dollhouse and 4 pounds of cookies that got ordered. Her kids had been using the new Dot to tell knock-knock jokes.
But Amazon says Neitzel could have further avoided the “accidental” order by managing her shopping settings in the Alexa app, such as by turning off voice purchasing or requiring a confirmation code before every order. It’s all spelled out here.
And the company likes to point out that, additionally, orders that are placed for physical products are eligible for free returns. The Neitzels aren’t taking advantage of that perk, though. They planned to give the dollhouse to a charity and they were already eating the cookies.
Alexa, order some milk.