The Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo!
This is the Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo - it started just before Christmas 2016, when I received an email from Gene Richardson, Chief Operations Officer at Experts Exchange, telling me I had won an Amazon Echo, see this blog - I won an Amazon Echo - Thanks @ExpertsExchange.
I’ve been so excited waiting for the day it would arrive….So I’ve been eagerly tracking it from the US via the USPS website…
Captured on 10th Jan - still in transit?
it all started going “Pete Tong”, when it had arrived in London, UK, but then departed on another flight to it’s destination…. I don’t live that far from London to justify a flight..(as of 10 January, time of writing this blog, it’s still in transit!). But at least it had cross the pond I thought.
On Saturday 7th January, whilst I was washing, polishing my car and new alloy wheels outside my house, the Postman pasted me, and I said hello, I later found he had secretly deposited a Charges Card through my letterbox!
UK Customs Charges
Damn it, the Local Sorting Office is now not open until Monday morning, I’ve got to wait all weekend, until I can get my hands on my Echo, and pay £28.77 GBP Customs Charge!
There is an option on the card to pay by plastic online, but unfortunately that would trigger a re-delivery and I would not be at home to receive it, so the only option was to go to the Sorting Office on Monday I thought using my mobile phone, pay the charges (at the Sorting Office door) online via plastic, and collect the parcel - NO that’s not an option, because the Sorting Office does not get notified that quickly by office mice or something, so it’s very slow.
Sorting Office does not accept plastic, only cash and postage stamps!!! So I ran round to the Post Office, purchased £28.77 GBP of postage stamps to stick onto the card, via plastic! and then returned to the Sorting Office, handed the card, got the package, but needed a receipt!
Box from Experts Exchange with Customs Duty stickers!
20 minutes later……I’m on the road again to the office….now very keen to open the box, and get it setup!
So excited I can taste the Amazon Echo (I must admit, the build, box is of very high quality - Impressive!), and here it is
and the first issue, it has an American Plug, not a problem I thought it’s bound to use a micro-USB, and I’ve got plenty of them - NO it uses a standard jack type plug, but not a problem, I’ve got variable voltage supplies, with correct adapters, but that didn’t work, because the power socket is recessed under the body, and it would not fit. So I immediately ordered a UK replacement PSU from Amazon.
But good news, I’l order a US-UK converter from Argos UK, some luck we had some in the stock cupboard…..Best News all day, at least I can power it on, I did check the PSU supplied was 100-220v AC.
So Google Nexus 4 in hand, Alexa App is already installed, turn on Amazon Echo, Alexa greets us, we are in Setup Mode, start the Alexa App,
hit the connect WiFi button on the App, Amazon Echo goes bong, and responds with You’ve Connected to Echo, now use your App to setup Echo…..wait….wait…..wait…..wait….long wait….
with the Echo orange light circling around, and eventually it will time out, and sayh WiFi not setup, and display a nice purple ring.
The same happens with a Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Windows 8.1 laptop. So time to call Amazon support! (first call!). In fact it was a Live Chat, which was not resolved, so they phoned me.
After lots of discussion, it was suggested that the device was locked to the Amazon Account, that purchased the device, and Amazon could not tell me the email address of the person, and I had a guess it was @experts-exchange.com, and they told me that bit, and said I would need to contact the person, so they could Deregister it from their Amazon account, it would not work with my account, unless this was done.
So we played guess the email account with Amazon, listing the many employees names I know at Epxerts Exchange, it was not any of them! So I have up on this and pinged an email off to Experts Exchange….
later that evening at my home, I tried a different Android device, iPad and iPhone, Windows 10 PC, exactly the same issue, so it’s nothing to do with the environment in the office!
Another few discussions with Amazon….it’s getting late now … and I’ve been at this all day, and still no working Echo….
An Amazon Technical report specialist stated that it needed to be Reset to Factory defaults, and he would monitor his screen, whilst I did it, to see if the Registered User - disappeared when I did it - I had a discussions with him, as to how is that going to happen, because how can the Echo communicate with anything to do this, but he swore blind, it would do it…..
After a Factory Reset - no change to the registered user - what a surprise, he then told me, it sometimes does it…..by random.
I asked if they could let me know the Registered user, so I could contact them, Amazon then revealed they do not know, and all they have in the control panel was firstname.lastname@example.org, later an email from EE, stated they had no record of it, and then it appeared against the Finance Controller’s Amazon account, which he had Registered…
Very late last night….I thought brilliant now I can get to use it….. but still I get….
So back on the phone to Amazon, and this time a Smart Person informed me that the Echo I had was a US model,which has a US Profile, and this has to be migrated to the UK Profile (EMEA)…..I’m still not sure how this CLOUD setting works with my Echo which at present has not and connect connect to the internet, because as of yet, it’s not been configured for WiFi, but I was told that the Amazon App, which is connected to my Account, would not be able to connect to a US Echo….
So how does my Echo get a UK Profile?
So I’m still here 22.43 still waiting for a communication from Amazon, this US to UK migration has been completed…….
Anyway for shits and giggles this evening, trying to prove something, if this Echo is really working, and is a US Model, what if I was to use the US Amazon Alexia App for iOS and Android….so sideload APK onto my Anrdoid phone, and some black-magic with iTunes, grab a Amazon.com account…
I’ve got both Amazon Alexa Apps from US, on Android phone
this should work right ???
Umm.. WRONG it does not!
and guess what THE SAME!
The SAGA continues…….here Part 2
22.49 Jan 10 2017 Still not working!