When Amazon introduced its Mayday service, it offered an unprecedented level of customer interaction. It also opened up a platform rife for abuse, leading to some rather unusual—but not unexpected—activity. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos this week revealed that customer support staff have run into quite a few odd requests, including marriage proposals, help ordering pizza and plenty of users breaking out in song.
Instead of having customers call over a help hotline, or allowing big box retailers to deal with customer requests, Amazon's Mayday allows Fire HDX owners to video chat with Amazon reps. The video feed only goes one way, but audio channels go to and from the Amazon staff; the staff is also capable of taking the tablet over, giving them the ability to take users through troubleshooting step by step.
According to Bezos, more people than you think need help ordering pizza online, while plenty of customers have no problem singing to a complete stranger. Look: the unusual requests by customers probably aren't all that genuine—why would you ask a Mayday tech advisor to sing you Happy Birthday? They're funny anecdotes for an awesome feature nonetheless, even if it is abused by the occasional joker.
Amazon doesn't share sales figures, so it's unclear how successful its Mayday service has been. We demonstrated how it works on camera, and found that the service is a tremendous perk for HDX owners. The list Bezos shared is below:
- 35 marriage proposals from customers
- 475 requests to talk to "Amy"
- 109 requests from customers needing assistance with ordering a pizza
- 44 instances when the Mayday tech advisor sang "Happy Birthday" to the customer
- 648 instances when customers sang a song to the Mayday tech advisor
- 3 customer requests for a bedtime story