Amazon is getting rid of its celebrity “personalities” for Alexa. The featured famous voiceovers Shaquille O’Neal, Samuel L. Jackson and Melissa McCarthy, priced at $5 each.
“After three years, we’re stopping celebrity voices,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “Customers will be able to continue using these voices for a limited time and can contact our customer service team for a refund.”
If you’ve already purchased the McCarthy or O’Neill celebrity, you’ll be able to use it until September 30th. If you purchased Jackson’s voiceover for Alexa, you can use it until June 7th.
The celebrity voice feature is compatible with most Echo devices except the first-generation Echo and Echo Dot and wearables, according to Amazon. To use a celebrity voice, you have to activate Alexa by saying “Hey O’Neal” (or Jackson or McCarthy) and then ask them to set a timer, set an alarm, tell a joke or story, or whatever tricks came with that particular voice. (As The Verge previously reported, any famous “personality” on Alexa is restricted. Amazon says celebrities can’t make “shopping lists, reminders or skills.”)
You can still choose from a variety of accents for Alexa, including American, Australian, British, Canadian, and Indian. To change it, say “Alexa, change your voice” or go to the device’s settings in the Alexa app.
How to get a refund
Amazon said it is notifying customers who purchased McCarthy’s or O’Neill’s voice of the discontinuation in the coming weeks. (Jackson’s voice will be disabled earlier, until June 7, and Amazon said customers who purchased his voice should be notified starting in December.) If you bought one and want your money back, Amazon says you can contact the customer service team.
To get a refund, you can try going through Amazon customer service page. As Pocket-lint reports, the fastest way to get a refund may be to choose “Anything else” button and then “I need more help” option, which should then open a live chat where you can ask about Alexa voice recovery.
If you encounter problems with live chat this way, you can also try going through again customer service pagechoose “Delivery, Order or Return” button, find your celebrity on Alexa, click “Refund or Exchange” then “Anything else” to receive a chat prompt again.
If all else fails, try calling Amazon Customer Service at 1-888-280-4331.
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