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Amazon 'Alexa' Orders Dollhouses For Owners After 'Hearing' TV Report

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - On Wednesday, CBS 11 reported a story about a youngster who accidentally ordered a pricey toy through Amazon's Alexa device. Now that story has prompted orders for unwanted dollhouses after a San Diego station repeated the story to their audience.

Earlier this week the Amazon device made Dallas girl, 6-year-old Brooke Neitzel's dollhouse dreams a reality. "Alexa ordered me a dollhouse and cookies," Brooke explained to CBS 11.

According to CW6 in that city, their morning show anchor Jim Patton commented on the story and said "I love the little girl, saying 'Alexa ordered me a dollhouse.'" The station reports that after Patton uttered those words "viewers all over San Diego started complaining their echo devices had tried to order doll houses."

According to Amazon, voice ordering can be turned off via the Alexa app that controls the device from a smart phone. They say you can also set a confirmation code that must be used to order via the device.

In the original report on CBS 11, Brooke's mom said her child's innocent interaction with the high tech gadget led to high dollar charges.

"I thought to myself, 'I did not order those,' and I asked my husband, and he said he did not order them," said Megan Neitzel.

"The next morning, I asked my daughter and she said, 'I was talking to "Alexa" about a dollhouse and cookies."

Just like that, a more than $160 KidKraft Sparkle Mansion dollhouse and four pounds of sugar cookies arrived at the Neitzel home.

According to Neitzel's Amazon app, which she now uses to monitor her kids' interactions with the gadget, Brooke asked Alexa, " Can you play dollhouse with me and get me a dollhouse?"

After Alexa confirmed the order, the app shows Brooke responded, "I love you so much!"

The Neitzels said they saw this as a teachable moment. They have now activated parental controls requiring a four-digit code for purchases, and have set clear rules for their kids.

Brooke and her older brothers are back to using Alexa as a source of information for life's most important questions like, 'Who is Santa Claus?' and 'What is a penguin?'

They also rely on her for some kid friendly knock-knock jokes.

While they have been digging into the cookie tin, the family donated the dollhouse. Brooke chose to donate it to pediatric patients at Medical City Children's Hospital according to the family.

Brooke and her family visited Medical City Children's Hospital yesterday to bring the dollhouse to Child Life specialists who will assemble it for patients to enjoy in the pediatric playroom.

"It's Christmas-time. Let's give it to someone who needs it," Neitzel said.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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