The misheard auto-response meant that the homeowner had “smart home” devices that he wasn’t able to use for a week.
I have never understood the appeal of putting in a number of always-on, always recording listening devices made and run by woke corporations into your home to create a 24/7 surveillance version of The Clapper, but some people are really keen on doing just that.
Here’s a perfect example on why a “connected smart home” might not be the best idea.
In a recent post on Medium, Brandon Jackson wrote about his week-long lockout of his Amazon account that left him with a number of “smart” devices in his home unresponsive.
“On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, I finally regained access to my Amazon account after an unexpected and unwarranted lockout that lasted nearly a week, from Thursday, May 25,” begins Jackson. “I have a smart home, and my primary means of interfacing with all the devices and automations is through Amazon Echo devices via Alexa. This incident left me with a house full of unresponsive devices, a silent Alexa, and a lot of questions.”
He explains that it started out rather innocuously.
On May 24, he received a delivery and everything was fine. The next day, however, he noticed that his Echo Show had signed out and he was unable to interact with his connected smart home devices.
“My initial assumption was that someone might have attempted to access my account repeatedly, triggering a lockout,” he wrote. He added that he uses an old email address and his password might’ve been caught in a data breach, so he checked his social media and streaming accounts, but they were unaffected.
“Puzzled, I followed the advice of the Amazon app and dialed the customer service number it provided. That’s when things began to take a surreal turn,” wrote Jackson.
He said that as he dialed the number, he “half-wondered if Amazon was experiencing some issues” and “was unwittingly falling into a scam.”
“When I connected with the executive, they asked if I knew why my account had been locked. When I answered I was unsure, their tone turned somewhat accusatory. I was told that the driver who had delivered my package reported receiving racist remarks from my “Ring doorbell” (it’s actually a Eufy, but I’ll let it slide),” Jackson wrote.
The kicker is that the Eufy has an auto response and no one was home at the time.
Jackson said that he has video cameras everywhere, so he reviewed the footage.
Here’s his explanation:
Here’s where things got even more baffling. First, I have multiple cameras recording everything that happens on my property. If the driver’s claims were accurate, I could easily verify them with video footage. Second, most delivery drivers in my area share the same race as me and my family. It seemed highly unlikely that we would make such remarks. Finally, when I asked what time the alleged incident occurred, I realized it was practically impossible for anyone in my house to have made those comments, as nobody was home around that time (approximately 6:05 PM).
I reviewed the footage and confirmed that no such comments had been made. Instead, the Eufy doorbell had issued an automated response: “Excuse me, can I help you?” The driver, who was walking away and wearing headphones, must have misinterpreted the message. Nevertheless, by the following day, my Amazon account was locked, and all my Echo devices were logged out.
But that wasn’t good enough for Amazon. Jackson stayed locked out.
Despite promptly submitting video evidence immediately upon learning of the issue, my account remained locked. The timing couldn’t have been worse: the onset of Labor Day weekend was approaching, and I was keen to resolve the issue before the long weekend. However, despite numerous calls and emails, it wasn’t until Friday afternoon that I received confirmation that the investigation had started. I was told to expect a response within two business days, meaning not until Tuesday of the following week at the earliest.
In the end, my account was unlocked on Wednesday, with no follow-up email to inform me of the resolution. This incident stands as a stark reminder of the need for better customer service and a more nuanced approach to incident management.
Jackson brought it to the attention of Louis Rossmann, a YouTuber he watches along with the photos and video. He didn’t want to publish the video of his home and “doxx” himself.
Rossmann breaks down what happened here:
Later, Brandon Jackson made his own video to make a few clarifications:
Jackson says that if you buy a device, you own that device and it isn’t up to Amazon or anyone else to determine whether or not you can use it.
He adds that you should be fairly tech-savvy if you’re going to have these “smart” devices in your home in order to implement workarounds so you aren’t beholden to the protocols of one private company.
We now live in a world where someone is guilty until proven innocent when it comes to accusations of racism or any of the new labels that have been given the suffix “phobia”.
And it’s everywhere.
As we saw with COVID and the debate on the transgender ideology, social media giants can police what you say and retroactively punish you for your wrongspeak.
News and commentary sites like this one are punished by Newsguard’s ranking system and rejected by Google Ads for reporting on things that the Regime Media refuses to report.
In Canada last year, we saw how GoFundMe and banks will work with the federal government to punish people for donating to truckers protesting against government overreach.
Heck, a pregnant woman can get suspended from her job and called a racist for being harassed by a bunch of teens who feel entitled to a particular rental bike and comfortable enough to record themselves bullying her.
Now it seems, a shopping and streaming website will shut down a guy’s smart home devices and lock him out of his account if one of their drivers mishears the auto-response on a video doorbell.
We didn’t elect these companies, nor do we have a say in the “laws” they arbitrarily pen.
But we handed them control over our lives.
We are trading freedom for shiny beads and trinkets.
— Grummz (@Grummz) June 12, 2023
It isn’t going to be long before our refrigerators decide whether or not we can eat.
— Jevaughn (@Jevaughn_Brown) June 12, 2023
All of those dystopian novels like Fahrenheit 451, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, and Minority Report are beginning to coalesce into a single, technocratic, fascistic hellscape run by an oligarchy of leftist globalists who tell you “Love wins” as they grind your freedoms under their heel.
But don’t worry, there is an alternative.
Psalms of War: Prayers That Literally Kick Ass is a collection, from the book of Psalms, regarding how David rolled in prayer. I bet you haven’t heard these read, prayed, or sung in church against our formidable enemies — and therein lies the Church’s problem. We’re not using the spiritual weapons God gave us to waylay the powers of darkness. It might be time to dust them off and offer ‘em up if you’re truly concerned about the state of Christ’s Church and of our nation.
Also included in this book, Psalms of War, are reproductions of the author’s original art from his Biblical Badass Series of oil paintings.
This is a great gift for the prayer warriors. Real. Raw. Relevant.
Jackson, Brandon. “A Tale of Unwanted Disruption: My Week Without Amazon.” Medium. June 4, 2023. https://medium.com/@bjax_/a-tale-of-unwanted-disruption-my-week-without-amazon-df1074e3818b