Brits are spending billions of pounds a year* on technology with functions and features that they never use, with the average UK adult admitting to using less than 60% of the available settings on their gadgets regularly and almost one in ten using less than 10%*.
The poll of 2,000 UK adults, conducted by car brand Dacia, also found that more than a third named smartphones as the gadget with the most unused functions, on average using less than half of the settings available.
With 84% of the population believing that gadgets have simply become too complicated, it is no surprise that nearly 60% just leave tech on the same one or two modes rather than experimenting with all the different options available.
This complexity also means that one in five Brits owns three or more kitchen gadgets that they simply never use, six in ten have no idea how to fully operate their washing machine and 15% of confused shoppers have returned a piece of technology because it was too difficult to use.
Nearly a third of respondents have bought a piece of exciting tech, like a drone or VR headset, which has been sitting in storage after the first couple of uses. Of these, 55% believe they’re missing out on good experiences by not knowing how all their tech really works.
Half of Brits say they just don’t have time to learn how everything works properly and a quarter think that as long as it does all they need it for, they’re happy.
Louise O’Sullivan, Head of Dacia UK, said: “The influx of gadgets and technology into our lives was supposed to make living easier but our survey showed that millions of people aren’t even using half of the functions their tech offers, which makes you question how much benefit the user is getting.”
When it comes to their cars, Brits only use two thirds of the settings available and the same amount said they don’t understand all the symbols on their dashboard, with a tenth admitted they hardly know what any mean.
O’Sullivan continued: “There’s a lot to be said for simplicity in gadgets, things that have just a few functions and perform them well.
“At Dacia we believe in providing everything you need and no more with a continued focus on good value – it’s the way we’ve always done things. Simple is smart, however, we also believe that if there’s a benefit to the user by adding technology, then it’s worth doing – provided it gets the balance right and remains useful, rather than paying for over-complicated add-ons that aren’t really required.”
She concluded: “We don’t do pointless tech at Dacia, and we believe this survey shows that we are on to something. We pride ourselves on giving our customers just what they need, and on doing that very well.”
*UK consumer spending on technology in 2015 (smartphones, PCs, tablets and similar) was £123.9bn – Gartner.com
**Based on 22 common household gadgets: smart phone, smart watch, oven or cooker, microwave, toaster, Sky Q or other TV package, games console, sat nav, computer or laptop, food processor, digital radio, MP3 player of iPod, vacuum cleaner, iron, tumble dryer, washing machine, dishwasher, tablet, car, smart TV, coffee machine, digital camera, printer