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Amazon reveals craziest 'Mayday' customer support calls

The "Mayday" button on Amazon's Kindle Fire brings up a live feed of a support person right there on the tablet. Pizza, marriage proposals -- it's inspired some unique customer requests.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
2 min read

Hey, that's Stephanie, not Amy! A Mayday service rep responds to a customer request. CNET

The "Mayday" feature on Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet summons a live feed of a customer support person right there on the slate. And apparently it's inspired a bit of, well, unusual activity.

Mayday technicians have found themselves in some humorous predicaments since the feature's appearance last September, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a letter to shareholders Thursday. Among them: marriage proposals, and requests to speak with "Amy," the tech advisor played by an actress in Mayday TV ads.

Mayday uses one-sided videoconferencing (and two-way audio) to help Kindle Fire users troubleshoot problems. Amazon's unveiling of Mayday with its latest Kindle Fire tablet created a lot of buzz as a unique approach to customer service. The Mayday technicians can take over users' screens to help them navigate their tablets, or help with any number of tasks, including how to order a pizza online, according to Bezos' letter.

"By a slim margin, Pizza Hut wins customer preference over Domino's," Bezos wrote.

Though Amazon wouldn't say how many of its customers use Mayday, Bezos did break out the numbers for some of the more unique requests:

  • 35 marriage proposals from customers
  • 475 requests to talk to "Amy"
  • 109 requests from customers needing assistance with ordering a pizza
  • 44 instances when the Mayday tech advisor sang "Happy Birthday" to the customer
  • 648 instances when customers sang a song to the Mayday tech advisor
  • 3 customer requests for a bedtime story

These are some quirky anecdotes for a flashy feature that's meant to set the Kindle Fire apart from rival tablets. Amazon doesn't share its sales figures, however, so it's not clear if Mayday has helped the tablet's sales. Gartner recently reported that Amazon's share of the tablet market has gone down by 1.8 percent, to 4.8 percent, over the last year.

We have an email in to Amazon to see if any of the Mayday staffers accepted a marriage proposal. We'll let you know what we find out.