A mother has cla!m-ed her children used Alexa to order $400 worth of toys from Amazon. Veronica Estelle, 26, from Sterling Heights, Michigan, was shocked when a UPS delivery driver turned up with boxes full of Barbies, PJ Masks toys and LOL Surprise toys that she hadn’t ordered.
The mother-of-two soon discovered her daughter Aryss, six and son Cameron, four, had bought the early Christmas presents for themselves, paying for them by using voice assistant Alexa and the credit card linked to her Amazon account. Alexa makes it possible for Amazon customers to order products using saved preferences, including payment method and delivery address, although it is possible for child-safe measures to be put in place.
A Facebook video of Veronica confronting her two opportu-nistic children has gone viral, racking up over 5million views.Veronica jokingly asked her children: ‘How come you didn’t buy me anything?’
While some parents praised the children’s creativity, others questioned whether the entire situation might be a stunt set up by Veronica in a bid to find fame online.When the parcels first arrived, Veronica thought they were gifts from family members. Veronica said: ‘My husband was leaving out for work and received a package in the mail and brought it inside.’When I looked in the box, it was a bunch of toys, so I assumed that it was from family because their grandmother lives in Texas, or maybe even my sister.
However it had no name on it.’Then I received another knock at the door and there was another package on the porch. And then another.
’My daughter came in and said, “Cam, our toys that we ordered from Alexa are here”. I then said to her, “you ordered all of this?”, and with confidence she said “yeah we just asked Alexa and she got it for us”. ‘They ordered some LOL Surprise toys, a Barbie Dreamhouse, PJ Masks toys, a pack of 48 batteries, and some Barbie dolls. ‘The cost was close to $400. They actually got some things on sale and Amazon was able to stop the other purchase before it was shipped.’
The mother-of-two told their children they would be pun!shed for the order and joked they would ‘go to ja!l’ for ‘credit card fra*d’.
She later revealed Amazon had agreed to refund the orders.Viewing the video, one person wrote: ‘They just did their own Christmas shopping, them kids saved you from all that shopping.Wrap it up and put it under the tree, hope they got everything they wanted.’ Another said: ‘Awwwwww! Can THEY keep it? I wish I had the money I’d just send it to you so they can keep it… LOL.’A number of responses to the footage came from those a*cus!ng the mother of fa*ing the iIcident to gain viral fame.
One person wrote: ‘So you mean to tell me mum didn’t know between the time children ordered and time of order arrival that there was a $700 d!screpancy charge on her credit card? C’mon man!! B*******’Another said: ‘So let’s get this straight.
First they had to go into your purse. Second they had to steal your credit card out of your purse. Third then they went online and order the s*uff, was able to give them your credit card number and the expiration date, the pin number on the back, how did they learn all that information to give. A third added: ‘I don’t believe this, this internet attention seeking stuff is getting out of hand & the sad thing is people believe it.’
A spokesperson for Amazon said: ‘We’re currently in touch with this customer. When customers order using Alexa, we send mobile notifications to their phone, giving them quick links to easily review the orders.
‘Customers simply download the Amazon App, log in using the same Amazon account used for their Alexa device, and enable notifications. Customers can also manage shopping settings in the Alexa App, such as requiring a confirmation code before every order or turning off voice purchasing. ‘To learn more, customers can visit Manage Voice Purchasing Settings. Additionally, orders customers place with Alexa for physical products are eligible for free returns.
’He’s always ready to swoop for a bargain – and swears by early bird offers.Rocco the parrot, who was rehomed from a sanctuary after cursing too much, has been acc!dentally placing orders on Amazon by chatting to voice-activated personal assistant Alexa.
So far, the African Grey has ‘bought’ a range of fruit and veg – including watermelons, raisins and broccoli – ice cream, a light bulb, and even a kite. Rocco was rehomed from the National Animal Welfare Trust sanctuary in Berkshire because staff feared his use of swear words would upset visitors.Sanctuary worker Marion Wischnewski volunteered to foster him and took him to her home in Blewbury, Oxfordshire.
But he has since been using her Amazon Echo to order all the things he likes to eat.The African Grey – a breed renowned for its ability to copy words – added shopping to a virtual supermarket list by speaking to the device.
Miss Wischnewski said: ‘I have to check the shopping list when I come in from work and cancel all the items he’s ordered.’ Alexa talks back to the parrot and plays music, with songs by American rockers Kings of Leon the bird’s favourite.Miss Wischnewski said of Alexa and Rocco’s relationship: ‘They chat away to each other all day. Often I come in and there’s music playing.’A young girl has a*cus-ed an Amazon device of ‘accidentally’ ordered her hundreds of dollars’ worth of cookies and a fancy dollhouse.
Six-year-old Brooke Neitzel, from Dallas, Texas, gave her mother the shock of her life when she received a confirmation email for an order of a £140 ($170) Kidcraft dollhouse and more than four pounds of cookies.
Confused by what could have caused the charge, Megan Neitzel cast her mind back to the Amazon Echo Dot that her in-laws had recently given the family as a present.The mother-of-three said she then remembered hearing her kids talk to Alexa – the voice-based operating system at the heart of the new gadget – and immediately began to get susp!cious.The mother told Fox News she then spoke to her daughter about the costly online order.
And while Brooke denied placing the order, she did confess to ‘asking Alexa about cookies and a dollhouse’. From there, it appears as though the operating system took the question as a request, and an order was placed.