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Amazon Echos mass-order dollhouses after local news clip

Published Jan 9th, 2017 5:31PM EST
Amazon Echo Alexa
Image: Amazon

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If you give young kids access to a high-tech Internet-connected device like an iPhone, history has shown that they’ll eventually figure out — or accidentally stumble across — a way to start racking up charges to your credit card. Indeed, some parents have even sued companies like Apple and Google for not implementing more stringent safeguards designed to prevent unintended charges from piling up.

In a similar vein, some Amazon Echo owners recently discovered how easy it is for kids to make inadvertent orders via Amazon. Just a few days ago, a six-year old in Dallas, Texas was using an Amazon Echo when she naively asked, “Alexa, can you play dollhouse with me and get me a dollhouse?” Lo and behold, her parents were somewhat shocked when, a few days later, a $170 Kidcraft dollhouse showed up on their doorstep, not to mention four pounds worth of sugar cookies.

That, however, is just the beginning of our strange Alexa-themed story. In a news broadcast highlighting the quirky story, San Diego news anchor Jim Patton said that he found the entire ordeal endearing.

“I love the little girl, saying ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse,'” Patton said.

Seems innocent enough, but CW6 out of San Diego reports that Patton’s remarks caused viewers with Amazon Echo devices in their homes to see fresh orders start going through.

“As soon as Patton said that,” the report says, “viewers all over San Diego started complaining their echo devices had tried to order doll houses.”

Video of the innocent misstep can be seen below at the 1:56 minute mark. Of course, Amazon Echo owners might want to view this at their own risk.

If you’re an Echo owner and are at all worried about something similar happening to you, make sure to adjust your settings such that verbal orders can only be processed with a requisite password.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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