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Problems with Alexa? Amazon stresses it’s not at fault

Kids keep proving that they know a lot more about technology than we think they do! Last week, a little girl in Arkansas made headlines for unlocking her mother’s phone to buy Pokémon toys from an Amazon app. And now, a little girl in Texas used Alexa to place an order for a dollhouse and cookies.

The difference between the two is that the first girl unlocked the phone while her mother was sleeping whereas the second girl said Alexa mistook a conversation for an order request. But Amazon is saying it isn’t that easy to accidently place an order.

Megan, the mother of the girl in Texas, said they received an Echo Dot as a gift. She heard her kids playing with it and then, later on she received an order confirmation for a $170 dollhouse and a four-pound tin of cookies. Her daughter admitted to talking about those items in front of the device but said that she did not place an order.


Amazon reached out to GeekWire to respond to the situation. A representative of the company said, “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.”

The company also pointed out that there are other measures you can take to prevent this from happening. In the “Settings” section of the Alexa app, you can make adjustments to the “Voice Purchasing” function.

Prevent Unauthorized/Accidental Purchases

  • Turn off “Purchase by Voice.” This function can be turned on or off with the swipe of a finger.  
  • Require a confirmation code. Create a four-digit code. Alexa will ask for it before completing a purchase request and that code won’t be saved in your voice history.
  • Disable “1-Click” payment option. Select “Payment settings” to disable this feature. It automatically fills in your credit card and shipping information.

The Amazon return policy states that new, unopened items can be returned within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. However, Megan and her family have decided to donate the dollhouse to charity and eat the cookies!

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