What's The Worst Tech Purchase You've Ever Made?

Ever bought something only to immediately regret it? Hands up people, it's your time to shine.

While the internet makes it pretty easy to avoid some of the worst pitfalls when it comes to spending your money, every now and again we all make a purchase that is objectively, definitively, flat out wrong.

One such purchase I made: the LG G4. While it lasted several months - a veritable age compared to the three month window some people had before their screen or charging port died - I discovered my folly when crossing the road one day in the middle of Sydney. After an app white-screened on me, the phone just flat out died - and never recovered.

Coupled with the lack of security updates, no Android Nougat at the time, and issues with boot loops, I'm genuinely confused as to why I bought the phone in the first place. On the plus side, I only paid around $550 at the time (imported, obviously), but that also could have been money that went to a phone that ... well, still works.

Another purchase that I still slightly regret - although it wasn't terrible at the time - was building my very first PC around a Celeron CPU instead of a AMD Duron. But I was a kid, and kids are impatient. That'll happen.

So tell us: what poor tech choices have you made in your life?


    A refrigeration case, or phase change case as they were called.

    Think it costed me over $1000a at the time, and it was such a nasty heatsink design that it CRUSHED 3 AMD CPU's, back then AMD CPU's were exposed die so if you didn't mount the heatsink 100% level it would crack the CPU, with this case it was insanely easy to make that mistake.

    At the end of it all, I think it only gave me a extra 100mhz or so overclock, was a real disappointment. I think it also only gave slightly better temps, nice in concept, bad in practice!

    Last edited 27/03/18 11:33 am

    Surface RT.
    Lenovo ThinkPad tablet thing.
    Original Galaxy Note
    Lumia 920 (but more because lack of software support)
    GeForce FX card (5200 or something? Memory is hazy, it was fucking awful)

    Loads more, but these come to mind immediately. Waiting the downvotes for the Note.

      Nah, I knew someone who bought a Note and was *very* happy when they upgraded to anything else. Can't remember why, but I remember them being shitty about it.

        It was slow, it was bloated, Android was still pretty clunky and TouchWiz was utter garbage. I didn’t get decent battery life unless I installed a custom ROM. It was very plastic-y. It just felt like a big step back from my iPhone in most ways.

        But I liked the larger form factor.

          OH FUCKING TOUCHWIZ I'd scrubbed that PODS from my memory. I have a twitching vein now just thinking about it, good lord.

      I hated my note. Full of bloatware, no drawing apps. I gave up on the stylus.
      Bought a lumia next and loved it.

    Sony X10. As an Atheist I hope there is a hell for phones and it spends an eternity there.

    I also have a one handed gaming keyboard... which translates to shit bootleg 10 button, finger straining, shit time. Even the shittest of times.

    Any Windows phone ever

    I bought a windows 7 phone
    I bought a windows 8 phone
    I bought a windows 8.1 phone
    I bought a windows 10 phone

    ..... I am now an Apple ecosystem fanboy with ipad, iphone, mac etc

    Last edited 27/03/18 11:43 am

      I'm really rather impressed that you went back to that well not once, not twice, but three times.

    The Playstation TV.

    I bought it to play Vita titles but the lineup was super disappointing.

    And because at the time I had third world internet, the remote play didn't work either.

      I kinda understand what you mean. The Vita library is lacking over in the West, in comparison to Japan. The device only shines if you are into RPG games that get brought over to the West and those that are Asian releases with English subtitles.

    Bayonetta 1&2 on wii U. I just don't get it. Swapped out for Super Smash.

      I've looked at Bayonetta, and the lead voice just creeped/weirded me out. Never touched it again.

    Wii U. Complete shitshow from end to end. Stupid branding, no games, bad hardware, no support and even Nintendo couldn't drop it fast enough. It was a weird halfway step between systems that should have died in an R&D lab somewhere and never been brought to market.

    (And I say this as someone that was an early-adopter of the Dreamcast, opened a PSP and bought a Vita day one).

    In retrospect, I regret my first console purchase too. Dad was set to buy me a console for Christmas and I opted for the Sega Master System when the Mega Drive was out, and he was like "you're sure you don't want that one?" but the Master System was cheaper and had a great Prince of Persia port and came in a bundle with a lightgun game which I thought my Dad would enjoy so I went for that. Didn't regret it until a few years later.

      I actually think the Wii U had a fantastic library of exclusive games - but they were almost all Nintendo first party titles:

      Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros, Splatoon, Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario Maker, Pokken Tournament, Pikmin 3, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Yoshi's Woolly World, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Hyrule Warriors, Paper Mario Colour Splash, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush, Starfox Zero (yes, I actually liked it) New Super Mario Bros U, New Super Luigi U, and of course its last hurrah was Breath of the Wild.

      That's honestly a pretty good list of exclusives (not to mention the enhanced versions of games like Rayman Legends, Guacamelee, Axiom Verge and Steamworld Dig). But, I will admit that if you aren't necessarily into Nintendo's first party IP, you may have found the library lacking.

      I honestly haven't regretted my purchase of a Wii U at all, I've got countless hours of entertainment out of it. On the other hand, I've yet to buy a Switch because nothing on that system interests me yet, as I've already played a lot of the games that are being ported to it on the Wii U.

        I also have a Wii U and no regrets. Had a bunch of awesome games and I played it a ton. Pikmin 3 <3

        Zombi U was great too.
        I played my Wii-U far more than my PS3 in the end.

        Worst thing I ever bought was the Atari Jaguar, apart from Alien vs Predator which was absolutely amazing, everything else was total balls.

        Scraps might seem like a feast to a starving man I guess.

        I got maybe 10 hours out of my Wii U. Granted I could have spent some more time with it if I had played a couple of the games I got for it, but the sense of regret that the system left me with never cleared long enough to bother.

        I would really like to see Atlus port Tokyo Mirage Sessions to Switch though - it's basically the only Wii U game I regret not having time to play. Xenoblade X and Project Zero 5 both turned out to be disappointing games with even more disappointing localization work. I bought the system for XCX, SMT x Fire Emblem and the promise of another Metroid and/or Zelda, of which one of them materialized but it's also a launch title on a vastly better system and I hated it anyway.

        Totally agree, I picked one up cheap about 6 months back and it's great! Some of the games are still stupidly expensive, but I'm looking forward to picking up the Wonderful 101 and Donkey Kong to add alongside 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Lego City Undercover, Mario Party 10 and Mario Tennis (which is only good in mutli-player with the kids).

    Surface RT - I got it on the cheap at Tech Ed and still feel ripped off

    Turtle Beach Earforce something or other - I got it because I wanted a headset I could use with 5.1 surround on both PC and PS4... but I ended up not getting a PS4 after all and then the shitty plastic frame snapped less than 1 week out of warranty.

    AGP Radeon 9250(?) - Bought because my Geforce at the time wasn't dx9 compatible and I really, really wanted to play Battlefield 2. Game launched but ran so badly I ended replacing everything else within a couple of months... and I none of the motherboards available for the CPU I wanted had an AGP slot

    Sony Satio - Too much money for a phone that for all its smart features I barely used them for thanks to that super slow Symbian OS. The only time Sony bothered with that I believe, the camera was okay and the main sell. Still got that phone at home in a drawer somewhere lol.

    The Nintendo 3DS I bought for my kid. I could count the amount of hours of gameplay that thing has had on one hand. Maybe when he is older, he will embrace it as retro-tech.

    Hmm I know lots of LG G4's failed but I'm lucky and love mine :)

    As for bad tech I got a Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia something) with a plan. Very fast and responsive phone with nothing to do and no customisation. Got stuck with Windows Phone 8 just after they announced Phone 10. On top of that the case had sharp edges which poked me in the ear and made it painful to use for calls. Sold it for a pittance after about a month and went back to my HTC Velocity 4G

    honestly feel like my Google home was a big ol waste of money its just a kinda OK speaker. very spur of the moment purchase that was.

    the Wii U... got it on launch. I don't think ive ever been more disappointed in a games machine in my life. it burned me so badly i still wont touch the switch.

    Steam Link... its kinda... Crap. and thats being nice. thank god i got it for peanuts on sale.

      I liked my Steam Link but it’s 1080p only and every so often a Steam update rolls through that causes it to shit the bed.

      The Steam Controller on the other hand I’ve never managed to get used to - too big, hurts my thumbs after a while, and I spend more time working out a good config than I do playing the game.

        I loved the steam link at first, but it's begun causing me all sorts of grief. Games stuttering, controller profiles constantly defaulting to keyboard emulation, such a pain...
        Steam Controller is a bit of a weird Frankenstein-ian thing too. Hate that touchpad joystick. Not a fan.

        i loved mine for ages but recently its just started having weird issues with the mouse stuttering around on the screen rather than polling smoothly. makes it pretty much un usable :( which sucks cause i want to be able to play CIV V on the couch :)

      I like the Steam Link, but unfortunately the 1 game I was hoping to play on it is the 1 game it doesn't quite work with - and that's Pinball FX2/FX3. It works fine with graphics sound etc.. but there is a tiny bit of lag added that is just enough to affect my flipper shots and just constantly annoys me. Bummer.

    XBOX One when it first came out and my old PC was struggling to keep up with newer games. Hadn't played on a console for a while and let myself get caught up in the hype. Bought it with Ryse and Battlefield 4 and quickly regretted my purchase.

    The Sony MD is reasonably high up there. Also, those digital/CD-to-tape-deck converters. And the fucking turntable that was meant to convert LPs to digital. Didn't fucking work at all.

    I think, at the end of the day, it's worth stretching the definition of 'technology' so that the winner can go to the 'battle damage' GI Joe I bought with pocket-money as a kid. The GI Joes fired sponges at each other in spring-loaded whoosits, and the water was meant to react with the toy to show a battle-wound. My neon pink-orange-and-green cobra commander variant had a purple splash of colour that changed on his shin. Buyer's remorse, thy name is Hasbro. Worse than not working outright, it worked just enough to be incredibly disappointing but not refundable.

    (In the same vein: dishonourable mention to 'grow in water' dinosaur sponges.)

      My old man had a turntable --> MP3 converter, it worked a charm. Given he had eleventy four thousand records, it was good that it did, because converting them became a hobby of sorts before he passed away.

      Grow in water dinosaur sponges were the bomb, weren't they? As in, wrap them around a bomb and blow them up sort of way...

    Slight regret - I bought one of those attachable keyboards for my PS3 controller. Used it a few times but not really sure why I bought it in the first place. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Slight regret - bought a pair of Tritton headphones, which were great except the fact that my super-sized brainiac head caused them to crack within 12 months. Now I refuse to buy headphones with a plastic connecting piece - metal only!

      Metal only! none of that country rubbish...

      Only plastic connecting thingy headphones I've bought in the last 10 years were a cheap $35 set at the airport. Yamaha from memory, the cans themselves are pretty solid if not spectacular.

      Still going fine, they've become my travelling set of cans that I don't give a rats about. If I lose or break em, I don't have to care. If that happened to my B+W I would...

      I bought one of those controller keyboards for my PS4. Returned it to EB Games the next day, telling the guy it was rubbish.
      Repeated/laggy button presses, poor pairing - it was pretty bad.

    Two different Fitbits - they kept breaking, got replaced under warranty and then broke again just after the warranty expired.

    I liked my Microsoft Lumia, but unfortunately Microsoft did not.

    LG G Watch (gen 1) - I had one of those "wow so cool" kinda moments when they appeared, bought it, wore it like a week then chucked it in my "vault of unused technologies" draw.

    I went from Smart watch advocate to hater in less than a week. Really wish I spent that money on a good quality normal watch

    Sega CD for my megadrive what a waste of my parents money

    Last edited 27/03/18 1:08 pm

      Hah, yeah. Pricey and few good games. Though I did play the hell out of Sonic CD and Road Avenger.

    PS VR - while it was fun enough to play around with, I've barely used it and don't have any intention of using it again.

    The Leap Motion Controller. Never been so disappointed so quickly with a tech purchase, it was crap. Seems like it might gain a bit of use now with VR, but at the time it was just a tech demo basically.

    1. Original HTC Desire in 2014 - just awful all-round, still very gun shy about HTC products even now.
    2. Cukoo Smartwatch

      A Desire or a Desire HD? I had a Desire HD and thought it was brilliant (at the time at least).

      Probably the least happy I've been with a phone was a Motorola, can't remember the model... maybe an e365 or c350 (something like that).

      At the time it was billed as having MP3 support and I assumed out of the box you'd be able to play music on it. Nope. No music player, it just supported MP3 ringtones or something stupid like that. Sold it to someone within a month or two of buying it.

      Most of the regrets I have with tech purchases (apart from the one above) are more along the lines of "I bought it but don't really use it, so I should have just saved my money". Like my Asus Laptop bought years ago, it runs fine and does exactly what it's supposed to. I just never use it. Same goes for a portable DVD player (basically a discman for DVD) and two separate MP3 players.

      One of the few regrets I have is buying a Gigabyte video card a few years back. I'd sworn off Gigabyte previously because of problems with their motherboards (lack of QA so their reliability was crap) but bought a Radeon x1800 or maybe it was an x1900 (can't remember) because the price was too good to ignore. Should have known better.

      It died within the warranty period and I took it back. The shop returned it to Gigabyte and gave me a loaner card (a crappy one but still). Gigabyte sent back a HD2400 or HD2600 (again I can't remember which) saying that was a fair replacement because we don't make the x1800/x1900 anymore. Which sucked because it's performance was worse in every single game I played. It was like handing in a Ferrari for repairs and getting back a Commodore. :(

      Put me off Gigabyte for good.

      I had a HTC Legend and the touchscreen barely made it 9 months into a 24 month contract. One of the worst phones of my life.

      The HTC Desire was my first "real" smart phone after my Nokia N95. Absolutely loved it. But that was the original Desire from 2010. I moved to the HTC Velocity 4G after that and it was okay

    Sony Bravia TV, fuck that was a lemon. Unfortunately this was before ACG kicked in. Pretty much had every component in it replaced once. The last repair, the tuner failed and was just out of warranty which they refused fix for free because it was a component in the TV that hadn't failed previously. I eventually lost it at them ending the conversation with 'you're a pack of c*%#ts you know that'.

    Oh and 'The Force Unleashed' DLC, instant regret! It included about 30min extra content. This is still fuelling my DLC fire.

    Those Google TV things. Bought one for most of the fam as friends. They got used for about two months then Australia got Netflix.

    An Apple iPhone. Regret that purchase and will do so for the rest of my life.
    Also the Wii. Oh lords did I soon realise that it was a hunk of junk with the most boring games. Glad I was able to sell it and get some money back.
    Nintendo 3DS. I got it for one game that I never finished and it has been sitting around somewhere for the past years untouched.

    Last edited 27/03/18 3:02 pm

    Knock-off Limited Edition Pokemon Center DS Lite from eBay. It was about $300 shipped and I had a gut feeling about the listing that I ignored (to my peril). It arrived and my heart sunk. I knew instantly it was a counterfeit despite other gaming buddies thinking it looked legit. The packaging was wrong (though very convincing) and the console itself was the wrong kind of yellow and somewhat translucent. It was a pretty slick operation (they reckoned a fake had been substituted by customs, yeah right). I got some of my money back (had to return it with expensive insurance on the shipping, so I lost about $70) and I've never bought electronics off eBay again.

    A few years later, my husband found me a legit one from Japan which soothed my soul to no end.

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