Krzysztof is a lifelong future tech junkie investigating the latest stories from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon.
How to Fix a Broken Amazon Echo
Is your Amazon Echo not functioning properly?
If the problem is really bad, then you can always buy a new one, but do you really want to spend another $100 to $150?
Before you replace your Echo you have to make sure it can't be fixed.
Please follow these steps to see if you can get your device to work again:
- Step 1: Reboot the gadget by unplugging and removing the micro USB from the Echo.
- Step 2: Plug everything back in after about 30 seconds and see if it functions.
- Step 3: If that doesn't work, then try resetting the Echo by using a paper clip to press the reset button on the bottom of the device.
- Step 4: Reboot the product again and check to see if that solves anything; you may be prompted to setup your Echo if reset is successful.
- Step 5: If the issue is a command delay (takes a while for Alexa to carry out your command), then create a new Amazon account or update Router's firmware.
- Step 6: Use the new Amazon account and follow through with the setup process.
Those are the main steps you should take to ensure your device is 100 percent damaged, and if you call a customer service representative, then they'll likely take you through a similar checklist.
There could be other issues if Alexa struggles to hear you including:
- Too much background noise.
- Echo is too close to the wall (should be at least 8" away on all sides).
- Echo positioned far from your router.
- Accumulation of dust near/on the microphones.
The Echo will struggle to pick up your voice if there's too much background noise or if it's located near a wall. Ideally it should be in the center of a room near your WiFi router to work properly.
If your internet connection is the problem and you can't place the Echo near your router, then I'd suggest getting a mesh network like the eero Home WiFi system or a multi-pack router from Google WiFi. These two platforms can fully connect your home without leaving local blind spots.
Finally, make sure to dust off your product because that may dilute/block the microphones from hearing you properly. You should clean your Echo at least once a week.
How to Contact Amazon's Customer Service
If you followed all six steps and your Echo still has an issue, then the next action is to check how much time you have left in your warranty.
The Amazon Echo has a limited 1-year warranty with the option to add a 2nd or 3rd year when purchasing from Amazon. Occasionally an Alexa device will come with a 2+ year warranty like the Echo Dot Kids Edition ($79.99).
If you're still under warranty, then it's possible to get a replacement after you've contacted customer service.
Use the contact us page to get in touch with someone and select the phone option as it's the best way to get help or a possible replacement. You can choose to e-mail or talk to an agent on the website, but they'll recommend you speak to a representative directly.
On the help page you'll be prompted to enter your number and an agent will contact you in about 5-10 minutes.
Do not contact them in hopes of getting a free device if your current Echo is working. Amazon has gotten a lot stricter with false returns & replacements.
You should only try getting a replacement if there are serious issues with your product because the representative will go through an extensive check-list to make sure your Echo is damaged.
For example, if your device doesn't power on at all then you'll be prompted to plug it into every outlet available. If there are connectivity issues or your requests to Alexa are getting delayed, then they'll ask you to update your router's firmware and reboot the device multiple times.
The entire check-list could take up to 2 hours from start to finish and even then you're not guaranteed to get a new apparatus.
How to Return Your Defective Echo
After going through the setup process with a customer service agent, they'll either send you a new power adapter or you'll be prompted to return your old device for a replacement.
If they send you a power adapter, then make sure to test it out and give them a call immediately after you've received it. Usually the agent you've spoken to previously will call you in a few days to ask if the new adapter is working.
If it doesn't work, then they'll likely tell you to send in your old device for a replacement (if purchased within 30 days) or refund you for the defective Echo.
To return your broken Echo you must do the following:
- Sign into your Amazon account & locate your Echo purchase
- Click on return & replace item
- Follow through with the return process
- You'll be asked to print out a label
- Mail out your product
If it's a broken device, then you won't have to pay a return shipping fee. However chances are your Echo purchase is older than 30 days, so you'll have to go through this process with your customer service agent.
How to Get a Refund for Amazon Echo
If your Echo is under warranty but older than 30 days, then the agent will either give a refund or send you a new one.
Of course this is after they're completely sure your old device is faulty.
The last thing a customer service representative wants to do is give you a new Amazon Echo.
In fact, they're more likely to refund your purchase before giving you a brand new product.
For refunds, you won't have to return your broken Echo. The representative will give you a full refund for your purchase without sending a replacement.
In my opinion that's the outcome you want because instead of purchasing a brand new Amazon Echo, you can either buy a discounted one during special promotions or get an Echo dot for less than a third of the price of the Echo.
To some this might be a great way to take advantage of the system, but again I strongly advise tricking Amazon into getting free products because you may be liable for fraud. The company has even started banning suspected fraudulent accounts due to too many returns or replacements.
If found guilty of fraud, then you'll be paying a hefty fine and may even end up in jail.
Amazon loves its customers and they want to make sure they're happy, but they're not stupid either. However if you do have a broken Amazon Echo, then I'd highly recommend contacting customer service to try getting a replacement or refund.
The last thing Amazon wants is a dissatisfied customer, and if you're honest, then they will work with you to find a solution to your problem.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: I dropped my Alexa, and the top came off in two complete pieces. The power light will come on, but the system doesn't work. Can it be repaired?
Answer: If it's under warranty, then you might be able to get a replacement or have someone fix it. There's a 1-year limited warranty with service included for most Alexa devices. I would go to Amazon's customer service page and speak to someone.
Question: Our cat peed on Alexa, and since then, a green light constantly flashes even though no messages or notifications are received. When asked anything, Alexa starts responding but goes mute after a few words, so I don't hear the rest of the sentence. When I unplug then plug it back in, it works for a few minutes, but then the situation repeats. Would you know what to do to fix Alexa?
Answer: If you're still under warranty (usually within one to two years), then contact Amazon and let them know about the situation. They may allow you to replace your device.
As far as a fix goes, it sounds like a serious internal hardware problem that may not be fixed. You can try resetting your device (the reset button is at the bottom of the device) and restart it, but if that doesn't work, then definitely contact Amazon about the situation.
If you can't get a replacement and the fix doesn't work, then I highly recommend getting a 2nd Gen Echo Dot, it's usually on sale for as low as $30, and it's an excellent and affordable replacement.
Question: My baby knocked the Amazon Echo onto the floor and the top came off. It can be put back together to look normal, but the top doesn't 'fasten' to the body. Also, there appears to be a plastic riggon that is broken. Is Amazon Alexa repairable and where do I send it for repairs if you feel it's repairable?
Answer: If you've recently received the Echo, then contact Amazon via their support page and let them know about the situation. It's likely still under warranty and could possibly get replaced.
If they say it can't be replaced, then try opting for an Echo Dot, which is much cheaper. The 3rd Gen Echo Dot is less than $50 and the 2nd Gen can be found for as low as $20 to $25 especially around the holidays.
Question: Where can I send my Echo device for repair?
Answer: You'll have to contact Amazon's customer service in the help section of their website. There's usually a chat or email option, they'll likely send you a replacement or a power adapter if it's within the warranty period.
Question: I do not have a receipt as my Amazon Echo was a gift. How do I go about getting it repaired as Amazon is asking for a receipt?
Answer: I don't have the answer for that as I've personally never come across that situation. Amazon does require some sort of order or tracking information before solving your inquiries.
Maybe you can get that information from the person who gave you the Echo otherwise you can try letting them know it was a gift and see what happens.
Vishwas on September 16, 2020:
Suddenly stopped my alexa.it was under varenty
Venugopalappala on September 16, 2020:
Suddenly stopped my Alexa
Paige on May 09, 2020:
I accidentally dropped my Alexa into the sink while washing up I quickly got it out but the wire was also plugged into it at the time I have tried turning it back on and no lights around Alexa turn on like used to but the red light to make Alexa no listen to you is red and when trying to press it it won’t turn off and no other lights are turning on no volume I bought this December last year
Bitter disappointment on March 28, 2020:
Answer the question: you just say use your warranty or buy a new less expensive unit how do I buy a replacement part?
Noah Douglas on January 30, 2020:
rhythim kumbhat on September 27, 2019:
i got my amazon from airport now where i should go for my 1 year warenty
johnnie dickerson Sr on January 04, 2019:
When I insert the plug into the Alexa for charging it is bent it won't get a good connection
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on August 23, 2018:
If you had it for less than a year, then definitely try to contact Amazon's customer service to see if you can get a replacement.
Orange light indicates WiFi setup mode, but if she doesn't say anything at all then there are bigger issues.
andrew osborne on August 19, 2018:
my amazon echo 1st edition will not speak to me , I have rebooted numerous times but no joy, the orange light comes on but she doesn't speak
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on January 25, 2018:
I've had issues with other Amazon exclusive products once outside the warranty period.
If the product is a must-have, I'll always recommend the Echo Dot because of it's often discounted for $30 and is, in my opinion, just as good as the $99 Echo. You can connect it to another speaker via aux cable or through bluetooth for louder, crisper sounds.
Good luck with everything.
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on January 25, 2018:
I've noticed that the company itself can be very stingy once you're trying to obtain a replacement passed the warranty period. I've had a lot more success with third-party suppliers.
If you'd like another Echo product, then the Dot is the best option, it's frequently discounted for $30 throughout the year and you can always plug it into an existing speaker unit for a louder, richer sound or via bluetooth.
Carl L. on January 25, 2018:
Just went through the phone support process with Amazon troubleshooting Echo not powering up. Tried the "free" replacement power adapter but still had the same issue. Amazon customer service reps were very courteous and did all they could do to resolve my Echo failure issue including offering a New Echo at a discounted rate.
My disappoint is that Amazon would market a product that can't be repaired because there are no parts available from Amazon or anywhere else.
I now have a $100 electronic device that I have had for only 1 1/2 years that is worthless.
Leslie on January 23, 2018:
At the 13 month mark (1 month out of wararanty) my Amazon ($99) Echo's top plate fell off. No help from Amazon, since it is out of warranty. They offered to sell me another for $85. It works fine, just the top falls off and is "sprung" up on one side. It has not been dropped or even tipped over. Probably was a problem before the warranty expired. Just did not check it. Now they say they will reimburse a repair bill if Home Depot (where I bought it) has it repaired. I am not holding my breath.
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on October 17, 2017:
Thank you, I understand your concerns. I do know that all of the newest Echo products have an upgraded microphone array for better listening.
The Dot's lack of listening to my request when music was playing is one of my biggest gripes, and I hope the next version of the Echo Dot makes drastic improvements.
I would still at least try contacting them and see what they say. Sometimes they'll give you a new Echo, a new charger, or other perks like an additional month of Prime even if the Dot is past warranty.
NikkiRoxi on October 12, 2017:
Great article. Honest people will get a lot out of it.
One of my Dots gives me trouble if she is playing music. Once she starts playing music she can no longer hear me over the music. It is so frustrating. I find myself yelling at the device, but since the cord is really easy to pull out of the wall. I just unplug it then plug it back in and walk away lol. Not a reason to contact support or have it replaced. I heard the latest updated Echo devices have better microphones and can hear you even if music is playing. I don't think I am not going to get one though. I don't feel like buying yet another device. I already have 5 Echoes.
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on September 01, 2017:
I had the same issue and went through a similar process. My other issue was that the device has on a delay in carrying out my command, but I was able to solve that by switching to a different Amazon account. I still got the free cord though.
Timothy Arends from Chicago Region on August 25, 2017:
The power cord on my Echo suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason and Amazon replaced it free of charge, even though I had my Echo more than a year. ironically, i was calling support about another Echo issue when I discovered the problem with the cord.
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on August 17, 2017:
Thank you so much you're very kind.
FlourishAnyway from USA on August 14, 2017:
This is a well written and thorough article which should be helpful to people having this problem.