Technology is becoming better and more innovative every day, and as a result, it’s becoming easier and easier to spend our money. We can now buy things no matter where we are or how far we are from a physical store.
In other words, buying something has never been easier.
But what happens when what we buy and what we get is less than we expect?
How many times have you bought something and then realized you’d just wasted your hard earned money? Too many times, I’d bet. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all bought something at one time or another that we later realized was a complete waste. And to make you feel better, here are 20 popular products that duped us into opening our wallets, only to break our hearts and leave us filled with regret.
20. Dasani Water
Dasani is Coca-Cola’s bottled water brand. Its bottle is sleekly designed but its contents are about the same as what you get out of a less fancy bottle or your tap at home. Coca-Cola’s flashy commercials lured us into believing that Dasani was better tasting, more refreshing than other bottled waters and certainly more sophisticated than dull tap water.
Truth is, Dasani water is tap water. As are many of the other bottled water brands. And although it says it’s “purified,” in most places, so is tap water.
19. Teeth Whitening Strips
Nobody’s teeth remain white forever. Which is why teeth whitening that you could do at home seemed like a great idea. Unfortunately, this pricey product is hard to use. In some cases, you have to cut them down to fit your teeth and then try to get them in your mouth without all the whitening solution ending up on your fingers. A lot of the time the strips ended up in the garbage because you didn’t get them to stick properly. Plus, if you didn’t do it exactly right you ended up with yellow spots. A lot of hassle, for very little payoff and a sizeable price tag. What a waste.
Once upon a time CDs were the most affordable choice for buying music. But if you’re still buying CDs today, you’re wasting your money. I’m not advocating stealing music but you can buy digital music files and store them on a drive and it’s much cheaper than buying a CD. There are also services like Spotify which for a low monthly fee allow you to listen to pretty much any song, band or artist you want, anywhere, anytime. So for the little bang they offer, CDs are hardly worth the buck.
17. Windows Vista
2007 was a dark year for PC users. When Microsoft came out with Windows Vista our wallets were not happy. This costly operating system was hard to use and full of bugs. The UI was so complex that if you were using the OS on your laptop it caused it to run as slow as molasses. There was no driver support and every 5 minutes it seemed like you had to click ‘OK’ on a pop-up. It was also terrible at running games. And forget about trying to find and use any tools. Vista renamed a bunch of tools and categorized them in the most obtuse way so that trying to find something required the treasure hunting skills of a peg-legged pirate. Needless to say, if you made the switch to this OS, it was not money well spent.
16. All Season/All Weather Tires
This product was introduced in 2002 as a money saving option for car owners. It was also meant to save us time by not requiring that we change our tires twice a year. Which sounds great, if you’re okay with increasing the chances that you’ll be in an accident.
What they didn’t tell us when they started selling these money and time-saving tires is that they aren’t effective at keeping you on the road in winter. This is because they don’t have the same amount of road grip as winter tires. So in icy and snowy weather, you’re more likely to slide off the road. Also, because you use them year round, they wear out faster. Which means you don’t really save any money because they have to be replaced more often. In other words, penny wise—dollar foolish.
15. Microsoft Kinect
Being able to use your own body as a game controller seems like a gamer’s wet dream. This is what Microsoft Kinect promised so that we’d open our wallets. In reality, we wished we hadn’t bothered.
Gaming with Kinect required a lot of room to move around. Unless you had an empty room lying around you had to move around furniture any time you wanted to play. However, jumping up and down indoors is a recipe for disaster, (or at least a few bruises and band-aids). Plus, the hand and voice control only worked for certain interfaces. Finally, to add insult to injury, the console only came with RCA cables so if you had a digital TV you had to go out and buy HDMI cables. Talk about throwing good money after bad.
14. Blackberry Passport
The Passport was Blackberry’s version of a smartphone. Apparently, their idea of a smartphone was a brick with buttons. It was impossible to use with one hand and forget about carrying it in your pocket. On top of its size, its performance left a lot to be desired. Blackberry fans, to say the least, regretted not spending their money on an actual smartphone.
13. HP TouchPad
At one point, the HP TouchPad was the affordable tablet option. There was only one problem, they were affordable because they were unsupported. In 2011, HP withdrew support for their TouchPad products. This meant that while the tablet worked, it was a great buy, but as soon as anything went wrong that you couldn’t troubleshoot, the tablet was as good as garbage. In other words, we had to cross our fingers that the TouchPad didn’t become cash in the trash.
12. DirecTV Now
AT&T was looking to offer a video streaming service with DirecTV Now but all they did was convince us to stop giving them our money. For starters, the video quality sucked, and they didn’t offer CBS or Showtime. Plus, there was no Roku support, (Roku is what allows you to watch Netflix and YouTube on your TV), and the service was full of bugs. Not a smart buy at all.
11. Apple TV
Apple’s cable alternative and gaming system seemed appealing but in truth, it was a dud. You couldn’t stream 4K content, you couldn’t upgrade the memory and the remote wasn’t gamer friendly. You didn’t have access to popular services like Spotify and Amazon Prime and you needed an Apple account to operate it so Android users got screwed over. A bad buy all around.
10. The Pocket PC
Being able to carry your computer around in your pocket seemed like convenience at its finest. However, actually using a Pocket PC was anything but convenient.
This supposedly innovative piece of technology was plagued with problems. From the apps you couldn’t install or use, to the web browser that required a magnifying glass, the Pocket PC wasn’t the worthy purchase we’d all hoped for. It and our money ended up in the trash.
9. GoPro’s Karma Drone
The whole purpose of a drone is to fly. So one that keeps falling kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? This was exactly the problem with GoPro’s Karma Drone.
It seemed like a great buy, you could have a bird’s eye view of whatever you wanted from the comfort of the ground. However, the Karma’s inability to stay airborne defeated its purpose. Which is why the Karma and our cash landed in the trash.
8. 3D TV
In 2010, we were excited to welcome the 3D movie experience into our living rooms. Unfortunately, though, it failed to have the same appeal as its theater counterpart.
The price tag on a 3D television was quite hefty in comparison with 2D HD TVs and it didn’t offer the same variety of content. Because content for 3D TVs had to be specially formatted there wasn’t a whole lot of choice. Furthermore, you had to wear special glasses. This created a problem for those of us with prescription glasses and it prevented us from being able to multitask while watching TV. It also tended to cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches. It seemed that our money would have been better spent at the theater.
7. The Apple Watch
The Apple Watch had us salivating over our credit cards, but all that drool quickly turned to tears. The watch was all show and no substance. It didn’t do anything to make our lives easier or anything that our other devices weren’t already doing. There also weren’t a lot of apps and the apps it did have were slow to load. The interface wasn’t user-friendly, causing even the most tech-savvy among us a great deal of difficulty. And many of us were unable to wear it because of the limited strap options. So although it seemed like a great buy at the time, many of us suffered chafed wrists and buyer’s remorse.
The future was realized when hoverboards came on the market. Or so we thought. Turns out they were not science-fiction come to life, but rather a new series of accident themed YouTube videos waiting to be posted.
5. VW Diesel
A car is pretty much a necessity these days. Which is why the VW diesel was the car of choice for those of us looking for an economic and environmentally friendly ride. But in September 2015, it was discovered that Volkswagen had been cheating on their emissions tests. They employed a device that fooled emission regulators into believing that the car produced fewer emissions than gasoline. In truth, VW diesel cars give off tailpipe emissions that were 40 times what is legally permitted. Meaning, our money was ill spent and we contributed to harming the environment. Talk about a serious burn.
4. Nintendo Wii
In 2006, Nintendo Wii was at the top of our Christmas wish list. It was a hot ticket item and we had to have it. And let’s be honest, it was a lot of fun. Sure, we may have broken a few lamps because of the movement sensing controller, but nothing beats getting to bowl in your living room and not having to wear those gross bowling shoes.
Unfortunately, in 2012, Nintendo stopped making games for this console and instead launched a new console, the Wii U. This meant that we had to buy a whole new, (and expensive), console for more games. Our Wii’s are now collecting dust and that money-well-spent feeling has turned sour.
3. Nintendo Wii U
We loved the Wii and so we wanted to love the Wii U, but it was plagued with problems.
For starters, the controller system was ridiculously complicated. There were a number of different controllers and controller parts that had to be combined or used individually depending on the game being played. Furthermore, the controller was not designed for us casual gamers. You had to be a core gamer to really be able to use the controller successfully. And yet, Wii U offered hardly any games designed for those who were core gamers.
There was also limited internal storage meaning you had to buy an external storage unit, upping the price tag for the console. Plus, other than gameplay, the only other activity the console could be used for was watching Netflix or Hulu. Which meant we really didn’t get a lot of bang for our buck.
2. HD DVDs
How many of us spent tens of hundreds of dollars on HD DVDs only to have the format become obsolete and our money go to waste?
If you bet that Toshiba’s HD DVDs would succeed the DVD you bet on the wrong pony. In 2008, Toshiba capitulated to Sony’s Blu-ray and from then on if there was a new movie we wanted we had to go out and get a Blu-ray player. What a waste.
1. Google Glass
In 2011, when the first whispers of Google’s new innovative smart technology began to float through the blog-o-sphere, we were wetting ourselves with excitement. Tech enthusiasts predicted that this technology would be revolutionary. It would be the next iPhone but for your face.
And then it wasn’t.
Google stopped production in January 2015, saying that they were going back to the drawing board. However, for those of us who had already bought into the hype and purchased Google Glass, our money had been terribly wasted.
The Google Glass was a waste of money primarily because while it was functional, it was ugly as sin. Since it didn’t do anything that our smartphones didn’t already do, it wasn’t worth looking ridiculous. It also required that we always “be on.” We were constantly being interrupted by notifications or obstructed by pop-ups. And, let’s be perfectly honest, it didn’t really make sense for our lives. You couldn’t use it while walking or you risked getting knocked out by a lamp post or worse. So really, it was just a hands-free tablet and phone that sat on your face. Can we have our money back, please?
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