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France : unlock US skills ?

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Offline Gee

France : unlock US skills ?
« on: June 14, 2018, 07:58:05 am »
Hello,

Last night, I received a couple of Echo I pre-ordered last week.
Those are linked to a French Amazon account.

Now my problem is that when the speakers are set up in French, I need to force a real french accent when trying to play american music. It's just not very natural. Alexa has less knowledge in French

Yet, when set up in English, I do not have the skill activated (only skills by french developer are activated. Not sure why)

Can I reset those Echos and link them to a US Amazon account ? What do you advise. Would this do the trick even though i'm located in France (Alexa's got my french postal address)

Thank you

Offline be

Re: France : unlock US skills ?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 12:43:10 pm »
Hello,

Last night, I received a couple of Echo I pre-ordered last week.
Those are linked to a French Amazon account.

Now my problem is that when the speakers are set up in French, I need to force a real french accent when trying to play american music. It's just not very natural. Alexa has less knowledge in French

Yet, when set up in English, I do not have the skill activated (only skills by french developer are activated. Not sure why)

Can I reset those Echos and link them to a US Amazon account ? What do you advise. Would this do the trick even though i'm located in France (Alexa's got my french postal address)

Thank you

Well, I am in the same situation here. I'll try the next days to "hijack" one of my Dots on another account ... US or UK based. I am thinking on a nice and virgin new user ... ;-) Maybe some VPN stuff in the same time will help. Keep in touch.

Offline Jerome

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Re: France : unlock US skills ?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 05:11:33 pm »
Hello,

Last night, I received a couple of Echo I pre-ordered last week.
Those are linked to a French Amazon account.

Now my problem is that when the speakers are set up in French, I need to force a real french accent when trying to play american music. It's just not very natural. Alexa has less knowledge in French
You either set up the French language and will have to speak in a broken English to hope launch English-titled songs OR you set it up with English language and you won't be able to invoke French tracks.
There is no ideal setup unfortunately : it all comes down to the language you're most comfortable with and/or the language of the music you most listen to.
#tradeoffs
1 Echo (1st gen) - 2 Echo Dots (2nd gen) - 1 Google Home Mini | in France

Offline Gee

Re: France : unlock US skills ?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 05:13:28 pm »
Well, I reset my echos, opened a brand new US amazon account and linked them to that new account : it does not work either.
Got Amazon Support on the phone. You indeed need a VPN : they identified your IP address.

I finally decided to have on Echo in English called Alexa for the music and to set the other one in French called Echo for anything else

Re: France : unlock US skills ?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 05:36:00 pm »
Got Amazon Support on the phone. You indeed need a VPN : they identified your IP address.

No they don't, and no you don't.

Just do what the non-Alexa-supported-countries have done for the last 2 yrs: use a USA account and set the address in that account to a usa company address or similar (your account > Content and devices > Settings > Country Setting), set the address of your devices to your own, and voila.

Only caveat: you may lose any France-specific skills.
My Alexa stuff:
Echo Show, Echo Spot, 4 Echo Dots, Fire TV, 2 Fire tablets,
Vobot Alarmclock, Logitech Harmony Hub, house full of Hue lights,
Domoticz server connecting e-thermostat, smartplugs etc.

Offline Gee

Re: France : unlock US skills ?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 12:41:16 am »
Got Amazon Support on the phone. You indeed need a VPN : they identified your IP address.
No they don't, and no you don't.
Just do what the non-Alexa-supported-countries have done for the last 2 yrs: use a USA account and set the address in that account to a usa company address or similar (your account > Content and devices > Settings > Country Setting), set the address of your devices to your own, and voila.
Only caveat: you may lose any France-specific skills.

I tried setting up this way but for some reasons, it did not work.
I was still identified as a French user
I did not have access to US skills
When setting up those Echos in French with this US Amazon.com account, I had access to French skills.

They do now identify your IP address, be it only for the opening of the account. Again Amazon confimred it to me on the phone

Re: France : unlock US skills ?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 05:46:49 am »
VPNs don't work for me.  I'm in France with a UK Echo and Firestick and no way can I fool either of them into thinking I'm in the UK.

My VPN is a Cloakbox which manages to fool the ITV and BBC catch up services, but not Amazon.

My specific problem is Prime video.  If I link to my UK Prime, then the videos will not play here in France due to "geographic restrictions"
If I try to get ANY skills, I'm blocked because my account language and Echo language are not the same (they are)

Amazon are going to have to sort this out now the Echos are sold in more countries.  For example, there are lots of Brits in France!!

Offline Jerome

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Re: France : unlock US skills ?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2018, 08:09:43 am »
...
They do now identify your IP address, be it only for the opening of the account. Again Amazon confimred it to me on the phone
I've never had such a problem with my Echos but I've always used a US account so I'm not sure about your specific scenario.
If Amazon does check your IP address now, you could use the free trial of a VPN just to fool them at registration.
I did so a while back when I created accounts on the Pandora and iHeartRadio websites in France to bypass the geo-restriction of those 2 US-only services. I was then able to plug those 2 services in the Alexa app. Works like a charm.
1 Echo (1st gen) - 2 Echo Dots (2nd gen) - 1 Google Home Mini | in France