Amazon is about to hang up on Echo Connect, an adapter that allows Alexa users to make landline calls with voice commands.
The last remaining Echo Connect owners say they’ve received emails in the past few days warning that they would “no longer be able to make or receive call on your landline using your Echo Connect device, including emergency calling,” as of February 29.
Amazon stopped selling the Echo Connect years ago, but the accessories have continued to work up until now.
Annoyed Echo Connect users have been sharing the Amazon support email on the Amazon Echo subreddit, and there’s a notice about the Echo Connect’s impending shutdown on an Amazon help page.
Contacted by TechHive, an Amazon rep confirmed the February 29 shutdown date for Echo Connect services and added that U.S. Echo Connect users would each get a $10 Amazon gift card. The Echo Connect had a $35 list price.
Launched back in 2017, the Echo Connect lets Alexa place calls over your landline while using an Echo speaker as a speakerphone. Echo Connect also lets Alexa dial 911.
The black rectangular Connect box has an RJ-11 landline jack in the rear, and it was bundled with a splitter if you wanted to keep your regular phone.
Of course, there are other ways to place calls with Alexa. You can connect Alexa to your mobile number via a wide range of cellular carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the U.S., although some carriers charge extra for the service.
Besides making outgoing calls using your mobile number, Alexa can also announce incoming mobile calls, and you can tell Alexa to either take the call or send it to voicemail.
Alexa will also place free calls to numbers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. But there are limitations to free “Alexa-to-phone” calling—namely, Alexa will only place outgoing calls, not accept incoming ones, and the feature is limited to just 10 contacts.
Another limitation of free “Alexa-to-phone” calls is that they can’t be used for dialing 911. For Alexa to call emergency services, you’ll either need to link Alexa with your mobile number, or sign up for Alexa Emergency Assist, a new service that offers access to 24/7 urgent response agents for $5.99 a month.
You’ll also need Alexa Emergency Assist if you want Alexa to listen for smoke alarms or breaking glass, a feature that used to be free.
Amazon has halted service for other Echo devices in the past, most notably the Echo Look, a $200 camera that snaped photos of your outfits and makes Alexa-powered fashion suggestions.
Amazon nixed service for the Echo Look back in 2020, rendering the camera useless.
Updated shortly after publication with more details from Amazon.