Feeds

Most 'malfunctioning' gadgets work just fine, report claims

Lazy consumers blamed for most product returns

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

People often return gadgets to the shop they bought them from because they think the gizmo’s faulty - but only five per cent of them actually are, according to new research.

The study was conducted by tech services giant Accenture and it found that, in actual fact, 68 per cent of gadgets returned by buyers do work properly - they just don’t meet the customer’s expectations or were set-up incorrectly.

Another 27 per cent of returns were chalked-up to the customer simply changing their mind about the product. Or perhaps because they thought twice when they saw the dent that their MacBook Air purchase had made on their credit card?

According to Accenture, that leaves just five per cent of returns attributable to genuine product malfunction.

The study also estimated that returns cost the US consumer electronics industry around $13.8bn (£6.9bn/€9bn) last year, with return rates ranging between 11 and 20 per cent depending on the product.

However, return rates could be affected by the amount of time we’re prepared to spend setting gadgets up. According to a study by Dutch scientist Elke den Ouden, which is cited in Accenture’s report, the average consumer only spends 20 minutes trying to get, say, a DVD player working, before giving up and returning the item as faulty.

Earlier this year, electronics warranty firm SquareTrade claimed that, according to its in-house research, the Xbox 360 has a 16.4 per cent risk of malfunctioning. It found that disc read errors account for 18 per cent of returns, while 13 per cent are due to video card failures and the same figure for frozen hard drives.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.