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Parrot places accidental Amazon order

26 September 2017 - 10:04 by Mike Price

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When Amazon first offered customers the opportunity to order products via safe shopping online using its Echo speaker and the Alexa voice-controlled assistant, it was only a matter of time before flaws in this system were unearthed.

Last week the Sun reported on the fact that one parrot-owning consumer found an order had mysteriously cropped up on her Amazon account, only to later work out that her pet bird was the culprit.

By mimicking the voice of Corienne Pretorius, the exotic avian was able to activate the Echo speaker and use Alexa to buy a gift box set worth £10.

Corienne had not actually been using Alexa to place orders via safe shopping online, but her parrot, called Buddy, was able to copy her instructions when she was out of the house. It took her a while to establish exactly where the phantom order originated, but the adorable mistake was a source of hilarity rather than a cause for annoyance.

A representative of Amazon said that there are a number of measures which customers can put in place to prevent the misuse of the Echo speaker and Alexa. Online ordering capabilities can be disabled altogether, or users can pick their own code which is required to confirm transactions so that accidents like this do not occur.

Another benefit is that if an order is placed via Alexa which customers later regret, they can return it free of charge and get a refund. So other parrot owners who end up in similar situations do not need to worry.

Voice activated online shopping is something that Amazon has been pioneering, although it is just one of its many technological experiments to have hit the market in recent years. Other less successful offerings have included the Dash button, which has been eclipsed by the Echo speaker and Alexa in terms of user numbers.