Yes, Alexa calling is free up to an extent. It further depends on if you are making Alexa-to-Alexa calls or Alexa-to-Phone calls. You can make both video and voice calls through Alexa. You can also leave voice messages and send text messages. However, you need to make sure:
- You are using Alexa calling in the countries it is accessible
- You are using a particular Alexa device that has Alexa calling enabled.
Further reading: What Is Alexa And What Does Alexa Do?
How do you make calls from Alexa?
To make calls from Alexa, you will need:
- Echo Show, Android Fire tablet, or similar device
- An Amazon account
- Alexa app downloaded on your mobile device
This means you cannot place calls using your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. Either use an Echo Show (any version) or Amazon Fire tablet. Once you meet this requirement, placing calls is smooth.
To set up Calling and Messaging on Alexa
Steps to follow:
- Open the Alexa app on the mobile device
- Go to Communicate in the lower navigation menu bar
- Tap on the Contact icon in the top right corner
- Select the menu option in the top right corner.
- Now, Alexa will sync your phone’s address book and add contacts to Alexa. To add contacts, tap on ‘Add contacts; individually or tap on ‘import contacts’ to sync all the contacts with Alexa.
If your Alexa device is connected to Alexa app, try saying, “Alexa, call [contact name]” and it will place a call. When to say so, you are allowing Alexa to either:
- Place call on another compatible Alexa device
- Place call on mobile and landline numbers (if you are in the US, the UK, Canada, or Mexico)
- Place a call on another Alexa app (if you are in the US, Canada, and Mexico)
- Place international calls (in countries where Alexa calling is allowed)
- Place group video/voice calls on Echo Show.
You also need to remember that Alexa Calling is not available everywhere. You can enjoy it only in the US, the UK, Canada, and Mexico. Also, Alexa can’t be used to call 911 (there’s a workaround, though), three-digit numbers, numbers starting with 1-900, and dial by letter numbers.
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Is Alexa calling free?
Alexa-to-Alexa calling is free and unlimited i.e., one can place calls from one Alexa device to another Alexa device for free and to unlimited contacts. You can place both audio and video calls.
However, Alexa-to-Phone calling is free but only limited to 10 contacts i.e., one can place calls from a compatible Alexa device to a mobile phone only to selected 10 contacts in selected countries (i.e. the US, the UK, Canada, and Mexico). Furthermore, if you want to call a new number other than the 10 contacts, you need to delete one of the contacts, add the new contact and proceed with the calling.
However, the terms don’t end here. Now, things are made easier, but you have to pay the price for the same.
This makes Alexa calling on the Phone NOT entirely free. If you are an AT&T user in the US, you can use Alexa-to-Phone calling for free using AT&T’s NumberSync free service. This allows you to place free calls on an unlimited number of contacts if you link your mobile number to Alexa. This will also allow you to make 911 calls and also take incoming calls.
Recently, Verizon has also entered into this. If you have Verizon SIM, you can also now get your mobile number linked to Alexa and enjoy Alexa calling through Verizon’s Number Share home service. However, the users have to pay $5 a month per line for the same.
Doing so will allow you to call 911, take incoming calls on Alexa, and also outgoing place calls.
Using Verizon’s Number Share or AT&T’s NumberSync will also allow you to enjoy Alexa’s Routines feature. By this, users can add ‘Away’ to Alexa’s Routines and when someone calls you, Alexa will disable your incoming calls.
Though Verizon charges $5 per month per line, they say that they are providing three months of free service if you choose to buy the Alexa-enabled device from Verizon.com for enabling the service.
However, if you are placing Alexa to Alexa calls, you don’t have to worry about these. Since Alexa to Alexa calls are placed over Wi-Fi (or mobile data), you don’t need to make unnecessary investments.
You may also like: How To Add Contacts To Alexa?
To place and receive Alexa-to-Phone calls, you must first link your AT&T or Verizon mobile number to Alexa using the Alexa app.
- Go to More > Settings
- Select Communication
- Select your sim carrier provider (i.e. AT&T or Verizon)
- Follow on-screen instructions to link your account
Once done, you can place calls from your compatible Alexa device to a supported mobile number
How to make group calls on Echo Show?
If you opt for Alexa to Alexa calling, you can also place group calls on Echo Show for free. For this, first, you need to create a calling group. To create a calling group, follow the Alexa app:
- Go to Communicate in the lower navigation menu
- Select Contacts> Add New> Add Group
- Add group numbers and tap on Continue.
- Name the group and tap on Create Group.
Next time when you want to make a group call on Echo Show, just say, “Alexa, call [group name]”. You can also place group calls manually through the Alexa app. For this, go to Communicate> Call and select the group you want to place a call with.
With this, you can place free video and voice calls.
In short, Alexa calling is free for Alexa to Alexa calls and not for Alexa-to-Phone calls. If you wish to make a free Alexa call, you need to ensure that the recipient of the call is also using an Alexa Calling compatible device i.e., an Echo Show or Amazon Fire Tablet.
You also need to ensure that you are placing calls to the US, the UK, Mexico, and Canadian residents.
Users must pay and link their mobile number to Alexa to receive incoming calls or call 911 on Alexa-to-Phone calls.