It’s been five years since we were first introduced to Mayday by none other than the head of Amazon himself, Jeff Bezos. The on-screen customer support feature was hugely popular for Fire tablet users, and at one point, we reported that “the vast majority of Kindle Fire HDX customers now ask for assistance using the Mayday feature, instead of calling the Amazon customer service line.” But those days have come to an end. On a customer support page originally spotted by Geekwire, Amazon announced, “The Mayday video calling service will be discontinued in June 2018.”
So what exactly was Mayday? In short, it was a button that you could press to get quick and easy tech support via a virtual face-to-face chat.
“When we set out to invent the Mayday button, we wanted to revolutionize tech support — and we’re happy to report it’s working!” Scott Brown, Amazon’s customer service director, said back in 2014. “Even as the Mayday button has grown to become the most popular way for customers to ask questions, the team’s been able to beat the response time goal of 15 seconds or less — our average is just 9.75 seconds.”
But it wasn’t just technical support that Mayday sometimes provided assistance with. One Kindle Fire HDX user apparently used Mayday to help beat a particularly challenging level of Angry Birds, while another asked a Mayday representative to sing “Happy Birthday” when presenting the Kindle Fire as a birthday gift to a friend. Indeed, customers seemed quite jazzed about Mayday, calling it “sensational” and “terrific.”
As per the support page, while you’ll still be able to reach Amazon customer service via the phone, email, or chat, you’ll no longer be able to press the Mayday button on your Fire tablet in order to start a video chat. So why the change of heart? Amazon told Geekwire that ultimately, the Mayday video calling service was offered only on legacy devices that are no longer available on Amazon.com. The change will be implemented “through an automatic update to the device Settings. Customers can still access customer 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.”
But don’t worry, just because the button is being disabled doesn’t mean that Mayday is totally disappearing. Rather, Amazon says, “Mayday Screen Sharing will continue to be offered on supported devices via free customer support, 24×7 by tapping on the Phone & Email icon or via the Help App on their device home screen. With your permission, the Amazon customer service expert can share your screen to draw on your screen, talk you through how to do a task, or do the task for you.”