Tech Too Hard: Consumers

Up to 65 percent of consumers find technology confusing, according to a new Dick Smith poll.

A study by Dick Smith shows that up to two thirds of people have no time for reading instruction manuals for technology products or find them too hard to understand.

According to the poll, 43 percent of respondents find it a challenge to get new technology up and running at home. More than 33 percent of respondents said that technology products have become more complicated in the past ten years and 27 percent believe that using and installing technology will only get more confusing in the future.

Just 16 percent of male respondents cite ease of set up as the main influence on their purchase decision, compared to almost a quarter (24 percent) of women. According to the poll, product performance, features and price are the biggest influences for both genders when deciding which products to buy.

Technology challenges vary from state to state According to the poll, respondents in some states are more successful than others when it comes to getting technology to work. More than 50 percent of South Australian respondents find it a challenge to make new technology work. On the other hand, only 25 percent of Tasmanian respondents are having difficulties.

Before even getting the product out of the box, consumer electronics shoppers are struggling. More than half of the respondents from New South Wales and 40 percent from Queensland indicated that understanding complicated instruction manuals is the biggest challenge to making their new technology work.

Respondents from Queensland are the least likely to read the manual; 28 percent rarely or never read the instructions. This compares to just 17 percent of Victorians. South Australian respondents are the most diligent with more than one in five always reading the instructions from beginning to end.

Victorian respondents are the least technically minded with one in six nervous about fiddling with electrical cables. South Australians and West Australians are the most confident. Only five percent and four percent respectively indicated they are concerned about handling wires.

Not surprisingly male consumer electronics shoppers are more confident with cabling than women. Only one in 20 men compared with one in five women indicated they are worried about changing wires on new technology purchases.

Overall, more than one in six (18 percent) shoppers has entirely wasted their time and money by purchasing technology that they never even used because it was too complex to set up without help.