Doug’s Blog

Handily dispensing information to .00000001% of the world’s population

Having trouble accessing your Alexa skill

We have done a number of Alexa skills for clients and recently one of them would give this message to users: “Sorry, I’m having trouble accessing your {} skill right now”

Not much to go on! It turns out the problem was the content that was getting delivered for Alexa to say had some non-ASCII characters in it. The skill has dynamic content the client would update, and apparently they pasted from a Word doc which then translated a quote character into one of those annoying double wide Word characters which Alexa does not like!

So basically run your content through an ASCII-only parse before delivering it and you’re good.

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