Horrible behavior with Alexa

I’ve been using Alexa and less-so google home hub for about 3 years. I keep hearing the hype of AI/ML. Yet 2 months ago, Alexa lost it. I have a simple routine, “Alexa, watch TV” that turns off several lights and dims the kitchen to 30%. Worked great for over a year, now she starts talking back about how she cannot control my TV or listing shows and movies I could watch. I have the maximum of 6 different phrases to do the same, none )of them work. I abandoned the TV in the words she is looking for and added Chilax, veg out, set the lights for evening (“a few things share the name lights, which one do you want?) I speak the exact phrase for the routine, and she is clueless.

I’m also running into two other issues. I tell her to turn a light on and get the two beep confirmation, while nothing happens. Other times, she says a device is not accessible, but yet the light does what I asked.

What do I need to do to fix this? I feel like I’m doing something stupid and need some help.

Not sure what they are “improving” but between Alexa and my FireTV I can name several things that no longer work they way the did a little while back. Best bet may be to replace your Alexa routines with RM rules and let Alexa turn on/off a virtual switch to initiate.


I agree. The AWS outage, and depending on our 1 google mini, made us realize how much "verbiage" (polite word for CRAP) that Alexa spews. My attempt to fix it, purchase a 2nd mini. We may soon giving out Amazon products for Christmas :christmas_tree:.

A few observations, which may suggest alternative approaches in your workflow:

• For maximum WAF (and so that I help myself remember the various triggers I've typed into Alexa Routines), I always begin those phrases with, "Alexa, time for..." (examples: Time for Cooking; Time for Reading; Time for a Movie; Time to use the Computer, etc.).

• By using the name of the activity rather than words that might be misinterpreted as devices or verbs, this seems to minimize confusion on the part of Alexa. I would never advise using the word "Lights" or "Switch", for example.

• Double-check the actual Routines in your Alexa app, as they will readily "forget" without warning things like devices you've renamed, or 3rd party integrations like SmartLife / Tuya. Classic "double beep confirmation but nothing happened" syndrome.

• Lastly, the bit about Alexa complaining that "X is not responding" has mostly to do with her timing out -- not receiving the expected "OK" response from the target -- yet I don't believe that is adjustable. It's just going to happen with slow-to-respond devices.

• If all else fails, DO contact Alexa Support via the app or online chat to let them know what's going wrong. They have the power to elevate complaints to their back-end team. Even if all you do is click on "Did Alexa respond as expected?" ► "No" in some of your "Recent Activity" cards, that's better than no report at all.