Amazon touts record-setting holiday season after customers complain of Alexa outage across Europe

December 26, 2018

Amazon on Wednesday boasted of the company having a record-breaking holiday season, but an Alexa outage across Europe made customers hardly as happy this Christmas.

Amazon customers around the world ordered more products off the website than ever before this season, including more than a billion items shipped in the United States, the Seattle-based company said in a statement.

“This season was our best yet, and we look forward to continuing to bring our customers what they want, in ways most convenient for them in 2019,” said Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division.

Amazon’s victory lap came hardly a day after owners of devices designed to work with Alexa, the company’s voice-enabled virtual assistant service, complained about an outage reported across Europe.

“For a short period yesterday morning we had an issue that intermittently impacted some Alexa customers’ ability to interact with the service,” said an Amazon spokesperson, TechCrunch reported Wednesday. “The Alexa service is now operating normally.”

Amazon declined to state a reason for the outage or how it was resolved, The Guardian first reported, and the company did not immediately return a message seeking further details.

Customers purchased millions of more Amazon devices this season than last year, however, the company said Wednesday, making it possible that the outage was caused by an onslaught of new Alexa users simultaneously trying to connect to servers controlling the service.

Amazon first made Alexa available through the company’s smart-speaker, the Echo, starting in 2014, albeit initially only in the U.S. The service was expanded to more than two dozen other countries in Europe and Latin America in 2017 prior to launching in Italy and Spain earlier this year.

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