In my last entry I wrote "Just don't put the [Amazon Echo] remote control down on anything that a magnet can bother. " Why?
On Tuesday my new gadget the Amazon Echo (think a desktop cylinder version of Apple's iPhone Siri with natural language processing and really nice speakers) arrived. Tuesday night I unpacked it. One of the pieces in the box was a storage caddy for the remote control: wrapped tightly in clear plastic, the underside felt squishy. I turned it over and saw the underside had a piece of double-sided sticky tape. Fine.
Crowded for desk space I put the caddy onto the palmrest space on my MacBook Pro. A few minutes later I heard a repeated clacking sound and the spinning beachball of death had replaced the cursor on screen. Rebooting the laptop produced a series of clacking sounds then the folder-with-question-mark icon on screen.
Picking up the caddy I unwrapped the plastic to find the double-sided tape was not attached to the caddy but held to it by the wrapper as an optional accessory, and that the caddy contained powerful magnets. So I fried the hard drive heads by putting a magnet on it.
The caddy wrapping did not have a "Warning: Magnets" label on it, and while the quick start guide mentioned the magnets in the caddy's description, that was not highlighted in the quickstart text.
Amazon Echo support's response:
"I am so sorry to hear what has happened to your computer's hard drive. I appreciate that you have let us know how we can improve the Echo Remote packaging.
Customer feedback like yours is very important in helping us continue to improve Amazon Echo. I have specifically forwarded your message to our Amazon Echo development team as we are making further improvements.
Again, I'm sorry to here [sic] about your experience and I am glad to hear you were able to save your computer.
Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback.
Did I solve your problem?
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If no, please click here: [link]"