Survey says 65% of shoppers struggle with new technology

Published on Sat, 20/03/2010, 09:48:14

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Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of consumer electronics shoppers find instruction manuals for technology products too hard to understand or simply do not have time to read them.
 
According to a survey by Dick Smith, 43 per cent of respondents find it a challenge to get new technology up and running at home. More than 33 per cent of respondents said that technology products have become more complicated in the past 10 years and 27 per cent believe that using and installing technology will only get more confusing in the future.
 
“Consumer electronics shoppers are clearly finding it difficult to understand and set up their new technology,” said Debra Singh, general manager of Dick Smith.
 
“Many are switching on their new technology without even having read the instruction manual.
 
“Despite the challenges that shoppers are having setting up and using their technology, they are choosing their new products based on performance and features rather than ease of use,” said Singh.
 
Just 16 per cent of male respondents cite ease of set up as the main influence on their purchase decision, compared to almost a quarter (24 per cent) of women. According to the poll, product performance, features and price are the biggest influencers for both genders when deciding which products to buy.
 
According to the poll, respondents in some states are more successful than others when it comes to getting technology to work. More than 50 per cent of South Australian respondents find it a challenge to make new technology work. On the other hand, only 25 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent rarely or never read the instructions. This compares to just 17 per cent 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 per cent and four per cent 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 per cent) 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.
 
On the back of these findings Dick Smith has announced that it has extended the reach of its technology home support service, Dick Smith Mobile Techxpert. The Mobile Techxpert service provides in-home technology support for home entertainment and computer equipment in every region where a Dick Smith store is located.
 
“The feedback we get from customers across the country is that they simply want to take their new purchase home, plug it in and make it work without any hassle,” said Singh.
 
“Dick Smith Mobile Techxpert service has been designed with this need in mind. It helps alleviate the technology burden and lets consumers get more enjoyment from the technology in their home.”


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