Ask My Buddy

Personal Alert ⨁ Network

Ask My Buddy - Help

Note: It is your responsibility to make sure that the email address you supplied to AskMyBuddy is correct and you are receiving email from us. When you register you should have received our Welcome email. If you do not see it check your email spam folder. If you still don't see it contact support@askmybuddy.net.


Select A Topic Below

Quick start for Amazon Alexa devices 

Quick start for Google Home devices 

Quick start for Microsoft Cortana devices 

Register

     To Register with Alexa

     I have registered but account says not linked

Settings

Contacts

     To Add a Contact

     To Delete a Contact

     Contact Names and Spelling

          Trouble entering names

          Are last names required to send an alert?

     Why is there a difference between Voice and Text Numbers

Alerting Contacts

     I created a Contact but Alexa says the name is not found

     Alerts and Contact methods

What are Alerts

How many alerts may I send?

Alexa’s hearing

     Training Alexa to understand you

          Skill info-card result training

          Alexa's voice training tool

Reset Password

Household account - two users

Premium/Reward Features

Formatting International phone numbers for Contacts

Fix Hotmail blocking Alert emails

Disable Popup blockers



Registering and Enabling Ask My Buddy

There are 2 parts to setting up Ask My Buddy.

Register

  1. In your internet browser, go to www.askmybuddy.net
  2. Click on the Register menu item (if you are on a mobile device, tap on the 3 lines in the upper left corner).
  3. Enter your information using your desired email and a new password, then press Register button.
  4. You should then be on the Login screen, but if not, click on the Login menu item (if you are on a mobile device, tap on the 3 lines in the upper left corner).
  5. Enter the login information that you used when you registered (email and password) then press Login button.
  6. Once logged in you will be at the Settings page.
  7. Enter any additional information, then press Save Changes

Enable and Linking in the Alexa companion application

  1. Open the Alexa companion or Google Home application (either on your tablet / phone or for Amazon at alexa.amazon.com )
  2. Tap on Skills menu item
  3. Locate Ask My Buddy in the skills list - easiest is to type Ask My Buddy in the search area, then press the magnifying glass in the orange area on the right.
  4. Click on Enable Skill button on this page. The Ask My Buddy Login page should display.
    If it does not open, then Tap on the button that says Link Account (will be below a button that says Disable)

Link Alexa and Ask My Buddy:

  1. Tap on the button that say Link Account (will be below a button that says Disable) *** If you are using Alexa on a computer, and do not see a new page load, you may have Popup Blocker enabled. Click here to go to Ask My Buddy Help for directions to disable Popup Blockers. You may re-enable after Linking is completed.
  2. The Ask My Buddy Login page will display
  3. Enter your email and password you created your Ask My Buddy account with.
  4. Press Login
  5. A screen should display saying 'Account linking successful'
  6. You may now exit the Alexa companion application

If you have not yet entered Contacts, log into www.AskMyBuddy.net and select menu item Contacts.


I have registered but account says not linked

The following steps will reset the connection between Alexa and AskMyBuddy:

  1. From the Alexa app, disable the Ask My Buddy skill.
  2. Then enable the skill.
  3. Normally, You would see a login screen but if you don't and instead see your account Settings information:
    • Then tap on the menu icon in that page (upper left corner) and click on Logout.
    • Then tap on X in upper right corner.
    • Then disable the skill and enable again to see the login screen.
  4. Login in and you should get a message that says Account Linking successful.

If you need more help with Account Linking click "here" to watch this video 

You may also view our Help video for Account Linking on our Youtube channel at: Click Here

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Settings

The information entered during Registration will be displayed on the Settings page.  

You may make changes to your name, phone numbers, and email address.  

Select the correct Timezone for your location, and then select if your timezone uses Daylight Savings Time (DST) or not.

Changing the email address will NOT change the account login credentials.  If you need to change your login email address, please contact support@askmybuddy.net

 

What is Daylight Saving Time (DST)

DST is an abbreviation for Daylight Savings Time. This is a means to disable Daylight Savings. It is only for those places like Arizona that do not observe Daylight savings time.  This is used in conjunctions with Timezone.

If you need more help with Settings click here to watch a video.

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Contacts

Accounts may have up to 5 contacts. Each contact may have up to 3 contact methods:

  1. a phone number where a text message (SMS) may be received. Commonly a cell phone.
  2. a phone number to receive a voice call. Could be a cell phone, or a traditional land line / home phone.
  3. an email address.

Note: If you are having trouble saving a Contact please look in the blue Title bar at the top of the form. This will tell you what is wrong and why it cannot be saved.

An alert to a contact cannot be sent without at least one of these. Alerts will be sent to all contact methods.  Please be sure to confirm accuracy of the information, as the system cannot notify that the recipient information is incorrect.

 

💡 First names are used with Ask My Buddy, such as "Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert Pat."  If more than one contact has the same first name, please provide a unique first name for each.


To Add a Contact

  1. Enter contact information including First name, Last name, Cell number, Home (Voice) number, and/or Email address.
  2. Press the Save Changes button at the bottom.

If you need more help with Adding Contacts click here to watch a video.


To Delete a Contact

  1. Go to the Contacts page, and mark the checkbox labeled Delete to the right of the contact to be removed then click the Save button. Please note that deletions cannot be undone.
  2. Press the Save Changes button at the bottom.

If you need more help with Deleting Contacts click here to watch a video.


Contact Names and Spelling

If Ask My Buddy is having difficulty with a specific contact name, Alexa may not be hearing the name, or Alexa is spelling what she hears differently than how it is entered in your Contacts list.

For example, your contact may be Kristie, but Alexa spells it Christy.  We do try to accommodate similar sounding names, but there are always some that do not quite match up.

In the Alexa application, on the Home page, you should see a 'card' that states what Alexa heard, and what Alexa passed to Ask My Buddy.  Please say 'Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert 'yourcontactname', then please look to see what word Alexa heard and how she spells it.  

Try asking Alexa how to spell the names of your contacts, so you can see what Alexa hears.  Say, 'Alexa, how do you spell Lois?'  Then change the spelling in your contact list to be the same.  That way, Alexa will always get it right.  

Here is a video discussing contact name spelling and shows how to look at the cards in the Alexa application.  


Trouble entering names

Name entry errors can occur if it is not letters only, less than 2 characters, or Copy Paste was used to enter the name.

Avoid using copy and paste to fill in the fields. While not apparent to the eye, this can allow hidden characters to be included and possibly produce an error.  Refresh the webpage and try typing in the name again.  

Are last names required to send an alert?

No.  To send an alert, one needs to only say the first name of the desired contact.  Last name is not required to be spoken to send an alert. For example "Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert Bob".


Why is there a difference between Voice and Text Numbers

Phone numbers in the Text Message field will only receive Alerts via text message. This field is suitable for mobile phones.

Phone numbers in the Voice field will only receive voice phone call alerts. This field is suitable for mobile phones or traditional house phones / landlines.

Alerts will be sent by ALL methods entered for each Contact. For example:
If your contact has Email, Text, and Voice information, an Alert will be sent to all 3.
If your contact only has Text and Voice information, an Alert will only be sent to those 2, and not to an email address.
The same number can be in both fields and the contact will receive both a text message and a voice phone call. If you want alerts to a particular contact to only send via voice call, then only enter a phone number under Voice. Even if it's really a cell number we will only send voice calls to it.

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Alerting Contacts

To send Alerts, within voice range of Alexa, say one of the following examples:

Each contact will receive alerts by all methods provided for them, Email, Text message, and or a Voice phone number.

 

"Alexa, Ask My Buddy to send Help"

This will send an alert to all of your Contacts and tells them that you initiated an alert and they should take steps to check-up on you right away!

"Alexa, ask My Buddy to alert Fred"

An alert will be sent to your contact Fred similar to the following:

Bob Henderson Sent you an alert via AskMyBuddy.net, on Amazon Echo.  This alert is sent only if this person has asked for help.  Please check on them now. Once again, Please check on Bob, now! Thank you.

"Alexa, ask My Buddy to alert Everyone (or everybody)" Alternate phrases are My Family, My Friends, and My Kids

This will send an alert to everyone in your Contact List. Letting them know that you initiated an alert and they should take steps to check-up on you right away!


I created a Contact but Alexa says the name is not found

The Alexa interprets what it thinks you are saying then passes it along to our application. Let's say you have entered the first name of Pennie for your contact. When you say 'Alexa Ask My Buddy To Alert Pennie', she responds with I'm sorry the name Pennie was not found in your contacts list. There can only be 3 reasons for this.

  1. There really isn't a contact with this name
  2. Alexa passed a name with a different spelling
  3. There was a significant amount of background noise or interference so the name was misunderstood.

So how do we know which is the problem? Open the Alexa app on your phone and navigate to the Home page. The Home page should show you a Card with more detailed information as to why your contact wasn't found. Usually you will see that the spelling was different so you can either change the spelling for your contact name or change the name to a nickname like Mom or Sister.  

You can still send Alerts by saying 'Alexa, Ask My Buddy to send Help' or Alert Everyone, or Everybody.

Here is a video discussing contact name spelling and shows how to look at the cards in the Alexa application.  


Alerts and Contact methods

Contact information includes Email address,  Text Message / SMS number field and a Voice Call phone number field.

Phone numbers in the Text Message field will only receive Alerts via text message.

This field is suitable for mobile phones.

Phone numbers in the Voice field will only receive voice phone call alerts.

This field is suitable for mobile phones or traditional house phones / landlines.

 

Alerts will be sent by ALL methods entered for each Contact.

For example:

  1. If your contact has Email, Text, and Voice information, an Alert will be sent to all 3.
  2. If your contact only has Text and Voice information, an Alert will only be sent to those 2, and not to an email address.  The same number can be in both fields and the contact will receive both a text message and a voice phone call.  The same number can be in both fields and the contact will receive both a text message and a voice phone call.
  3. If you want alerts to a particular contact to only send via voice call, then only enter a phone number under Voice.   Even if it's really a cell number we will only send voice calls to it.

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What are Alerts

Alerts are default messages that can be quickly sent to any or all of your contacts by directly speaking to the Amazon Echo device.  The Alert messages are not editable.

 

When you say something like “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert Lisa”, we will send out an alert to Lisa using the information previously entered in the Contacts list.

 

The alert Lisa will receive reads:

Your Name Sent you an alert via AskMyBuddy.net, on Amazon Echo.  This alert is sent only if this person has asked for help.  Please check on them now.  Once again, please check on Your Name, now! Thank you

 

To prevent misunderstandings or becoming unintentionally blocked as spam, please inform your contacts that they may receive messages from you via AskMyBuddy.net.

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How many alerts may I send?

Maximum message counts are set per registered user. For free accounts, a combined total of 10 Voice and or text messages (SMS) may be sent in any 30 day period. If you have 3 contacts with both Text and Voice numbers and a message is sent to all contacts (Everybody or Everyone), then 6 messages are used. If you have 3 contacts but only have Voice numbers and you alert all of them then only 3 messages are used. If all text/voice messages have been used, you will be notified by Alexa and an email will be sent stating that the final message was sent but further messages will not. Return messages are not received by Alexa, or the Ask My Buddy system.

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Alexa’s hearing

Training Alexa to understand you

To help Alexa understand you better, there are two training exercises you can do.

Skill info-card result training

When using Ask My Buddy and other skills, ‘Cards’ are created in the Alexa application, on the Home page.  You can assist Alexa in understanding by responding to the cards as outlined in the steps below:

  1. First, use the Alexa application and open the Home page so you can see what Alexa heard.
  2. On the card that reads Contacts click the small down arrow in lower right to open fully.  A section will display for Voice feedback.  It will say Alexa heard "... " then ask Did Alexa do what you wanted?
  3. Click on No.
  4. Then step closer to the Alexa device and again say, Alexa ask My Buddy to alert ‘yourcontactsfirstname’.
  5. If she again says, ‘Who do you want to alert?’, say Quit, then please repeat the first set of steps to let her know that was incorrect.
  6. Please, once again step closer and try the statement again.  If she hears it correctly, then please click Yes on the card in the Alexa application.

Alexa's voice training tool

Additionally, it would be useful to run Alexa's voice training tool.  This helps her learn to understand better.  

  1. To access the tool, click on the menu in the Alexa application,
  2. Then select Settings
  3. Then select Voice Training
  4. Then when ready, click on Start Session.
Click Here for Amazon's voice training document

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Reset Password

If you would like to change the password:

  1. Go to AskMyBuddy.net
  2. Click on the Login menu item
  3. Enter your email address
  4. Click on the Forgot Password button.

You will see a message in the blue title area that states an email was sent.  If instead it states error, please check the spelling of your email address.  If the email address cannot be located in our system, we cannot send a Reset Password request.

The email with the reset password link is sent instantly. If you do not see the email please check your email spam folder.

Click on the link in the Email which will open the AskMyBuddy Password Reset web page. Enter your new password twice and click Change Password. You will then be returned to the login page. Enter your email address and the new password you just created and press Login.

If you need more help with working with Resetting a Password click here to watch this video

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Household account - two users ?

You can set up another Ask My Buddy account, but you can only access 1 at a time from Alexa. This is where Amazon Household Account setting helps. This will also allow you to have separate apps (skills) and music, shopping etc. Once you have created a household account you can ask Alexa to switch accounts and if that account is linked to your own AskMyBuddy Account it will use your contacts.

Here is a description of how to set up a Household Account.

  1. Launch the Alexa app
  2. From the left navigation panel in the Alexa app, select Settings.
  3. Under Account, select Manage Your Amazon Household.
  4. Follow the instructions for the second person to join your Amazon Household.
  5. Now switch to the 2nd account by saying "Switch Accounts" - You can ask "Which account is this?" to find out which is current.
  6. Now, you will have to 'Link' the 2nd account with the unique account for AskMyBuddy by Enabling the skill and logging in with the 2nd users information.

Here is Amazon's information for Household Account

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201628040


Setting up and switching accounts can be a bit complicated, and of course, for use in the home, to switch between users, takes time to remember what to do.  Another option for providing the functionality without having to switch accounts is to have each household member on the contact list, and then make the assumption, that whomever is home is the one initiating the alert. For example:

For Ed and Lisa, a husband and wife home.  Account Settings is set up with Ed as the account holder, and has the following Contacts (example names of course)

  1. Ed
  2. Lisa
  3. Bob
  4. Joe

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Premium Features

When you support Ask My Buddy, you help others, just like yourself, reach their friends or family whenever needed. Ask My Buddy is free to use, regardless of one’s ability to pay, however, we are only able to do this by the voluntary contributions from our fantastic users like you.

Each dollar goes to meeting the costs of mission critical items, such as the charge for each phone call and SMS / text message that we send to each Contact in your list. Funds also help with regular monthly expenses including our secure and reliable Amazon servers, other voice internet and communication costs, and to hire qualified support personnel.

We have a wonderful group of supporters who believe so deeply in our work that they have chosen to be monthly donors, while other supporters prefer to contribute annually. Whichever you choose, know that Ask My Buddy greatly appreciates your support.

Monthly support

Annual support To thank you for your support we offer two sets of rewards for two different support levels:

Plan B
Those who contribute $3.66 monthly or $43.92 annually receive:
  1. 120 messages per month.
  2. 5 Additional Contacts for a total of 10
  3. Disable Alert All. This checkbox located at the bottom of the Settings Page, Use this if Alexa misunderstands you and defaults to Alert All. Send Help and Alert Everyone will still work.
  4. Multi lingual Alerts: Spanish, French, Swedish, German, Portuguese and Italian. Need more, let us know.
Plan C
Those who contribute $5 monthly or $60 annually receive:
  1. 400 messages per month.
  2. 5 Additional Contacts for a total of 10
  3. Disable Alert All. This checkbox located at the bottom of the Settings Page, Use this if Alexa misunderstands you and defaults to Alert All. Send Help and Alert Everyone will still work.
  4. Multi lingual Alerts: Spanish, French, Swedish, German, Portuguese and Italian. Need more, let us know.
  5. Find My Phone, places a voice call to the Cell Phone listed in your account settings. Make sure that your cell phone number is entered in the Settings page and just say; 'Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert my cell phone'.

So, what happens when my subscription period runs out?

  1. The account will return to the same features as our free account, with the exception that Disable Alert All will remain selectable.
  2. The maximum contacts will be returned to 5. However, no contacts will ever be automatically deleted. If you delete one or more contacts above 5 (#6-10), you will not be able to add a new one.
  3. Maximum total alerts per month will return to 10.
  4. Language settings for alerts will be disabled and all alerts will be sent in English.

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Formatting International phone numbers for Contacts (E164)

Lets say you are in GB and your number is 07911 123456 To format this for International you would put in the country code (44) and drop the 0:

Now drop the plus and this is what you would enter for Ask My Buddy 447911123456


Lets say you are in Finland and your number is 0314 1234567 To format this for International you would put in the country code (358) and drop the 0:

Now drop the plus and this is what you would enter for Ask My Buddy 3583141234567


Lets say you are in Ecuador and your number is 095 123-4567 To format this for International you would put in the country code (593) and drop the 0:

Now drop the plus and this is what you would enter for Ask My Buddy: 593951234567


Lets say you are in Ripley U.K. and your Landline number is 01773 123456 To format this for International you would put in the country code (44) and drop the 0:

Now drop the plus and this is what you would enter for Ask My Buddy 441773123456


Lets say you are in Australia and your number is 0437 123 456 To format this for International you would put in the country code (61) and drop the 0:

Now drop the plus and this is what you would enter for Ask My Buddy 61437123456


Lets say you are in the United Arab Emirates and your mobile number is 050 123 4567 To format this for International you would put in the country code (971) and drop the 0:

Now drop the plus and this is what you would enter for Ask My Buddy 971501234567


Lets say you are in the Malaysia and your number is 012 123 4567 To format this for International you would put in the country code (60) and drop the 0:

Now drop the plus and this is what you would enter for Ask My Buddy 60121234567


* If you are entering Contacts that live in Singapore, please be sure to select the checkbox 'is Singapore number ?'.

If you can't figure it out write down your location Country/City, let us know if it's a cell phone or not, include the number and send it to: support@AskMyBuddy.net

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Fixing Hotmail blocking Alert emails