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Amazon Tears Alexa Paid Celebrity Rumors, No Words on Refunds

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If you paid extra for the privilege of making Alexa look like a celebrity, bad news: The option is about to disappear, and it’s unclear if you’ll get your money back.

As The Verge reportsnotices have appeared on the Celebrity Voice Pages by Alexa for Samuel L. Jackson, Melissa McCarthyAND Shaquille O’Neal notice that vocal skills are no longer available for purchase.

Additionally, the notices say those who bought the McCarthy and O’Neal voices will only be able to use them through Sept. 30, while the option to use the voice of Samuel L. Jackson expired in April.

Here is the full text on the Alexa celebrity voice page for Melissa McCarthy:

Melissa McCarthy’s Alexa voice is no longer available for purchase. Customers who have previously purchased the experience can continue to use the skill until September 30, 2023 by saying “Hey Melissa”.

It’s unclear whether users who purchased celebrity voice skills will receive refunds once the voices are pulled from Alexa. We reached out to Amazon for more details.

A secondary note on each Alexa celebrity voice page reads, “Contact customer service if you have any questions about this update,” so it’s possible you’ll be able to get a refund if you ask for one.

Each Alexa celebrity voice costs $4.99, although Samuel L. Jackson’s voice initially cost just 99 cents.

Alexa’s celebrity voices debuted in 2019, starting with Jackson’s voice. Originally you had to say “Alexa, ask Samuel” to have Alexa answer questions using Samuel L. Jackson’s voice, but by 2020, you could just say, “Hey Samuel.”

When you use the voice of a celebrity, Alexa can tell jokes, tell you the time, and recognize basic task performance (“OK”), among other things. However, purchases, lists, reminders, and skills weren’t supported.

In addition to celebrity voices, Alexa has finally added the option for a male voice in 2021.