Amazon quietly kills its Mayday video support service for Fire tablets
A memo on Amazon’s support pages first spotted by GeekWire, has revealed that the company is discontinuing its Mayday video calling service this month.
The feature, which was first launched almost five years ago, offered Fire tablet users live video support from a real human being in a matter of seconds. By simply tapping the Mayday button, a customer support representative would be summoned, who could take control of the device and annotate the screen as necessary.
The note on Amazon’s website reveals that customers will now need to use “Phone, Email, and Chat” to get in touch with customer service, but that they will still be able to make use of Mayday Screen Sharing to help with explaining problems they’re experiencing.
When asked why the service was being discontinued by GeekWire, an Amazon representative said: “The Mayday video calling service was offered on legacy devices that are no longer sold by Amazon.com. Customers of previous and current Fire tablets can instead reach customer service for free, 24×7 support by tapping on the Phone & Email icon, through the Quick Actions menu on their device, or via the Help App on their device home screen.”
Why wasn’t Mayday ever included on newer Fire devices?
Along with the fact it offers comprehensive support via other methods, Amazon has likely pulled Mayday as a simple cost-cutting exercise. In 2013, when the tablet market was still in its relative infancy, a feature like this would have had significant appeal to prospective customers, especially those who were less tech savvy.
Now, however, tablet sales are in decline (although Amazon managed to buck the wider trend of falling tablet sales last year) and it clearly sees it as time to pull the plug on a feature that’s providing diminishing returns. Instead, Amazon will likely invest the funds in fast-growing areas including Alexa and its range of Echo smart speakers.