Many smart home users are adopting Amazon Echo devices as their digital assistant.
If you have a smart speaker, chances are it’s an Amazon Echo with the Alexa speech assistant integrated in!
While it’s obvious that the Echo gadget is expensive, what about Alexa’s voice assistant technology? Is there a monthly charge or any other expense associated with this service?
How Much Is Alexa?
The voice assistant is completely free to use. There is no monthly cost or ongoing equipment fee. Your Amazon Echo device will only be charged once.
However, you may be charged extra monthly costs if you want to add premium content such as Alexa Together, Spotify Premium, or Amazon Prime.
It is critical to note that “Alexa” and “Echo” differ.
- The primary distinction is that Alexa is software while Echo is hardware.
- Alexa is Amazon’s cloud-based AI virtual assistant technology. Amazon Echo is a brand of smart speakers that includes Alexa AI technology.
- After purchasing your Echo device, you may set it up and use it to gain free access to Alexa and her library of content and skills!
You can then subscribe to premium skills and services such as Amazon Prime, Spotify Premium, or Alexa Together.
How Much Does An Echo Device Cost?
Finally, Echo devices are simply speakers with the Alexa voice assistant built-in (though some of the Echo Shows have fantastic display and touch technologies packed in as well).
The price varies greatly depending on whether you get the Echo Dot, Echo Studio, or Echo Show:
- The Echo Dot (speaker) costs between $40 and $100.
- $200 for Echo Studio (speaker).
- The Echo Show (display and speaker) costs between $40 to $330.
Other Alexa Skills And Features
Although Echo devices are simply speakers/displays, Alexa, the voice assistant, is capable of several various capabilities and “skills” that come included with your device:
- Interaction through voice
- Listening to music
- Making shopping and to-do lists
- Setting alarms/timers while watching the news
- Playing video games
- Listening to podcasts and audiobooks
- Reading from a recipe
- Providing real-time information such as traffic updates and weather warnings
A Smart Hub
You can link any Alexa-enabled smart gadget to your phone’s “Alexa” app and set automated routines, such as turning on your porch lights at nightfall or locking all your doors when you’re more than a mile away from home.
You may also operate those same smart gadgets manually using the Alexa app. So, if you want to switch on your downstairs lights, simply click them on in the app.
Premium Alexa Services
In 2017, when Amazon had captured 70% of the smart speaker market, they began enabling third-party developers to monetize their voice apps (or “skills”). These are referred to as “in-skill” purchases by Amazon.
Alexa customers may now upgrade to a premium membership for additional benefits. This approach is quite similar to the iPhone and the App Store in that you may download an app for free, but you can pay extra for greater features.
Extra Purchases With Alexa
One-time Purchase – Provides access to certain features or materials inside a skill. accessible to use on any compatible Alexa device linked to your account.
- Themed game collections
- Additional equipment
- Levels of bonus
Consumable – Depleted as a result of use. Purchases can be made as needed.
- The game currency
- Hints for extra lives in games
Subscription – Content or features that need recurring pay regularly.
- Subscriptions to magazines and newspapers
- Premium features and content
Other Alexa Services
- Amazon Prime – If you have Prime, you can listen to Amazon Music on Alexa without advertisements, get savings while shopping with Alexa, and get free audiobooks, among other things. Some in-skill purchases are even reduced for Prime members.
- Alexa Together – A subscription service that uses Amazon Echo to help you care for aging loved ones. Consider it a “Life Alert” for the elderly.
- Alexa Guard – Guard is a home security function built into Alexa. It provides 24-hour access to an Emergency Helpline (9-1-1) that you may dial using only your voice.
- Audible – An audiobook and podcast service that allows you to buy and listen to audiobooks and other spoken word material via an Alexa-enabled device.
- Spotify Premium Subscription– It lets you use Alexa to listen to music ad-free and search for any tune on demand.
Tired Of Services, How To Cancel Them?
If you received an unexpected Amazon charge, it’s most likely because you or a family member added a premium skill or service (such as Amazon Prime or Spotify Premium).
- To cancel an Alexa in-skill subscription, first launch the Alexa App.
- Then, in the bottom right corner, select More, then Skills & Games, and finally, “Your Skills.”
- Locate the app that has the subscription for which you are being charged.
- Choose Manage Subscriptions. Go ahead and sign in to your Amazon account if prompted.
- Finally, click the End Subscription button.
If you wish to cancel additional in-skill subscriptions, follow the methods above! Check your credit card statement to ensure that the charges have been deleted.
How To View Your Hidden Amazon Memberships?
To check the history of your Amazon memberships and subscriptions, go to:
- Sign in to your Amazon account when requested.
- You should then see a list of all of your Memberships and Subscriptions.
You may also sort by current and former subscriptions if you’re looking for any old charges you suddenly discovered.
Remember that invoices billed directly by a service, such as Spotify Premium, are unlikely to display in your Amazon account purchase history. You must contact these businesses independently.
How To Disable Voice Purchases On Alexa?
Sometimes our children make purchases with Alexa without our knowledge. For example, if they attempt to get Alexa to play a certain song, she will ask if you want to subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited (playing individual songs costs more).
Amazon Music Unlimited demands a monthly fee, and because your Alexa is linked to your Amazon account, they already have your payment card on file!
- To prevent future voice purchases with Alexa, first launch the Alexa App.
- Then, in the bottom right corner, select More, Settings, and “Account Settings.”
- Disable this option by selecting Voice Purchasing. Go ahead and sign in to your Amazon account if prompted.
If you realize that you have registered for a premium service using Alexa, you can always cancel it in the Alexa app or online through your Amazon account.
If you have trouble determining the charge or how to cancel it, we recommend contacting Amazon help directly.