An Echo Dot owner claims that Amazon’s Alexa assistant has started calling him a ‘s*******’ whenever he asks the personal assistant to play his music.
Micheal Slade, 29, was reportedly shocked when his Echo Dot speaker began to swear at him following the cancellation of his Amazon Prime subscription.
The incident has reportedly left Amazon engineers puzzled — with the tech firm offering Mr. Slade gift cards and a year of free Prime membership in compensation.
Software is available for the Echo Dot speaker that can make Alexa curse — but it is unclear whether someone might have deliberately uploaded this to the device.
Online business owner and Cwmbran, South Wales resident Michael Slade, 29, said that the trouble began the day after called Amazon to cancel his subscription to their Prime subscription service.
‘I tried to cancel my subscription and had a short conversation with someone in customer services and the next day my Alexa is calling me names,’ Mr. Slade told The Sun.
When he later asked the personal assistant to play him some music, Alexa reportedly responded: ‘Sure, here’s your playlist s******* on Amazon music. Sorry, something went wrong.’ The Alexa reportedly bleeped out part of the swear word — but her owner was still taken aback.
‘I couldn’t believe it,’ Mr. Slade said.
‘I normally asked it to play music. I’ve never made a playlist,’ he added.
‘When I ask it to play music, it would say “here’s something you might like” and it’s normally some pop or student favorites.’
‘I’ve spoken to technical support and they’ve never heard of this happening before,’ Mr. Slade said.
‘They kept saying sorry but they didn’t know what had happened.’
Mr. Slade claims he has no idea why the assistant has begun to call him names.
‘All I wanted to do was cancel my Prime subscription because I wasn’t using it. I’ve wondered if someone has changed something on my account,’ said Mr. Slade.
‘Although it’s strange because everything else works fine and it is still calling me Mike,’ he added.
Software is available for upload into the Echo Dot smart speakers that can make Alexa say rude words.
It is unknown whether such additional programming might have been installed by Mr. Slade, his friends or family, or alternatively an Amazon employee.
‘I swear I haven’t done anything to it,’ Michael said, however.
‘Hand on heart I haven’t made it say it, or know why,’ he added.
‘Nor do any of my housemates.’
After Mr. Slade reported the incident to Amazon, the tech firm reportedly sent him a £5 ($6) gift voucher as compensation.
‘I was a bit annoyed at the gift card they send me,’ Mr. Slade said.
‘Five pounds is hardly enough for being called a s*******,’ he added.
However, after being approached to comment by The Sun, the online retail firm is reported to have increased their offer of compensation to a £250 ($317) gift voucher and free membership to Amazon Prime for a year.
Amazon has reportedly requested that Mr. Slade permit them access to his Echo Dot’s logs so that they might investigate what went wrong with Alexa.
An Amazon spokesperson told the MailOnline: ‘Customers are able to personalize their Alexa experience, including playlist names.’
‘Alexa would not respond in this way without some customization from the user.’
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