how can I increase the local merchant contact information for Amazon Echo (2nd generation)?

GMartin
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Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

          I am wondering how I might be able to increase the local merchant contact information for my Amazon Echo (2nd generation).  It seems to be pretty limited on this capability at the moment.

          Thank you

          George
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Martin NguyenHelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi George,

Can you clarify what you mean by increasing the local contact information? Are you hoping to have more local merchants come up when you ask Alexa a question like "Where is the closest donut shop?" If so, this guide from PCMag.com should help make local searches more robust https://www.pcmag.com/feature/361730/how-to-get-local-information-from-amazon-s-alexa/6. Otherwise Alexa only defaults to using what is listed locally in Yelp.

Another thing that should help with local searches is making sure you have at least your zip code information input into your Alexa device. The PCMag article says you can do that from your phone, but you can also do that from the web at alexa.amazon.com.

If you mean something else by increase local merchant information, please describe what you mean and I'll try to help you. Hope this information is useful!
Martin Nguyen

Author

Commented:
Hello and Good Evening Martin,

          I apologize for the lack of clarification of my question.   Perhaps I can get my concern across clearer if I provide an example.   If I ask Alexa to provide the telephone number to Domino's Pizza, it will only find one and provide its address and telephone number even though there are others within my city.  The match that it finds is not the closest one either from my current zip code.  That said, I am wondering why it will not provide listings for the other Domino's Pizza locations.

           On a side note, I really need to review your submitted link.  To be perfectly honest, the answer to my question could be within your submitted link.  I need to check it out.  Thanks for your research which has led up to this link.

           George

           George
HelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Hi George,

Thanks for the clarification! Alexa definitely is not the best at conveying the different local merchants in an area. I'm testing mine at home right now, and a command that actually got Alexa to list multiple locations was "Alexa, what are some libraries in the area." So many a voice command like, "Alexa, what are some ________ nearby" could give you a list of local merchants, then you could be specific and ask "Alexa, what are the hours of the library on _____ St." It would be a lot easier if you could cycle through merchants, and tell her to give information on a different one, but it seems that type of contextual conversation hasn't been programmed yet.

I'll keep taking a look at different skills or commands that can get towards that functionality.

Regards,
Martin

Author

Commented:
Hello and Good Evening Martin :-)

           Thank you very much for your tips and suggestions.  I do believe that Alexa already has my zip code programmed within it.  For instance, if I ask, "Alexa, what is today's forecast"?  Alexa will reply with the name of my current city and begin giving feedback about the weather forecast.  As you pointed out within your excellent examples, much of the feedback given by Alexa is dependent on the contextual structure of the question or questions phrased to it.  At this point, I believe some trial and error will be needed to gain a sense of a happy medium with Alexa when it comes to certain questions.  

           Thanks, Martin, for your well thought out feedback.

           George
Martin NguyenHelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
You are very welcome George. I picked up some of the intricacies of talking to Alexa through seeing how she responds to my wife and myself. My wife would ask Alexa a question and get a poor response, so I would have to re-phrase the question to get the one my wife was looking for. It's a bit like searching on Google in that regard.

Cheers!

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