Local businesses are getting unsolicited sales calls from a company saying they’re from Amazon Alexa. The local business apparently can purchase a listing on Amazon Alexa for a one-time fee of $69 plus a monthly maintenance fee of only $19 per month. I’ve spoken with at least four separate businesses across the United States, from South Florida to Texas to Indiana to South Carolina. They all say they’ve been called by someone saying they’re from Amazon Alexa, selling a similar listing service.
Amazon Alexa Calls
I’ve spoken with four different businesses today who have received unsolicited sales calls from someone saying that they’re from Amazon. I spoke with Lisa Parziale from Portside Marketing. Lisa told me:
“They call saying that they are with Amazon. They they go on to say that they can get you listed with Alexa… your business can come up in voice searches.”
One business owner told me that the offer is a one-time fee of $69 and a monthly fee of $19 per month to show up in Amazon Alexa voice searches. As far as I know, Amazon is currently not calling local businesses offering them such a service. This is the first time I’ve heard of such a “service”. While there are services that integrate with Amazon Alexa, I do not know of a service being sold currently by Amazon Alexa or Amazon directly.
Yext Integrates with Amazon Alexa
In July 2019, Yext announced that they added Amazon Alexa to the Yext Knowledge Network. But, the Yext Knowledge Network is one that adds local business information from multiple sources such as Google, Apple, Bing, and Yelp to their knowledge network that can be heard on Amazon Alexa. But, this is different than the sales calls that are being done, and the caller is not saying that they’re from Yext. I do not believe Yext makes unsolicited sales calls to local businesses.
Amazon Voice Searches Aren’t Very Good
I just performed a voice search with Alexa (using the Amazon Alexa app), and I asked Alexa for “chicken restaurants near me”: “Hey Alexa, show me chicken restaurants near me.” All of the results are actually from Yelp–which kind of surprised me. The first listing is Pearl Chinese Restaurant, 69 miles away. There are actually 3 chicken restaurants (they serve or sell fried chicken) within 15 miles of my current location. While one is 6.9 miles away and is listed by Alexa, and another 11.2 miles away, one that is recommended by Alexa is 1422 miles away! That’s insane that they’d even suggest the Chicken Ranch Casino. It does not appear to be a sponsored listing.
So, the Amazon Alexa voice search isn’t that great–although a few local businesses are, in fact, listed. I’m curious as to why all of the listings, though, appear to be from Yelp. As you might be aware, I’ve written about Yelp before.
Currently, if you receive a call from Amazon Alexa, asking you to sign up for a business listing for $69 and then $19 a month, I cannot recommend it right now. I would pass, and get as much information from them as possible about the service. At this point, I am not aware of Amazon Alexa selling such a service, so I would pass.
If you’ve received a similar phone call, let me know, I’d be interested in your experience with this.
Amazon Selling Service
If you offer a professional service, Amazon has a service called “Amazon Selling Services” that allows you to be listed on Amazon, and I can imagine that this would work with Amazon Alexa. Those looking for a professional service could find you through Alexa. For example, according to Amazon Selling Services, “Selling Services on Amazon allows top Pros, like Assemblers, House Cleaners, Handymen, and more, to sell professional services directly to Amazon customers in their area.” There is no fee for this service–professionals sign up, go through a verification process, and then they only pay Amazon a percentage of the final sales price. This is different than the “Amazon Alexa voice search listing” service that is being sold via an unsolicited sales call for $69 and $19/month. H/T goes to Jordan Pearce for mentioning this service to me.