PlumChoice: 67 Percent of Consumers Dumbfounded by Common “Smart” Devices

Data Reveals Opportunity for Brands to Educate Consumers and Capitalize on Technical Support Offerings

LOWELL, Mass.--()--PlumChoice, Inc., the leader in specialized technical services for the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud enablement, today released alarming new data that reveals a pervasive disconnect between brands who provide connected, IoT products and the consumers struggling to use them. See PlumChoice’s “IoT Device Adoption and Technical Support Benchmark Report: 2015” Executive Summary.

The report reveals that 67 percent of consumers struggle to use common connected devices, while less than half of all respondents seek help with their Internet-connected “things.” Moreover, when they do ask for help, only 20 percent of consumers say they are satisfied with the technical assistance they receive.

“If connected devices are ever going to move beyond the novelty stage, consumers need to have an outlet and an answer for their support needs beyond friends and family,” said Wynn Grubbs, senior vice president of business and partner development at PlumChoice. “The time is now for manufacturers, retailers and solution providers to realize that smart technologies require a new support paradigm. Today’s support must expand beyond break/fix to include education, interoperability and usage in order to earn the trust of the consumer and assure that they are enjoying the benefits they expect from their technology. If we continue to sit by and watch consumer frustration increase, brands will see smart device adoption rates fall off a cliff – and revenues will diminish.”

Other key discoveries and data from PlumChoice’s “IoT Device Adoption and Technical Support Benchmark Report: 2015” include:

  • Millennials are not exempt
    • 60 percent of 18-24 year olds struggle to complete all the tasks they’d like to achieve with their connected devices
  • Where do consumers turn for help?
    • 50 percent turn to a friend or family member (though indicate they trust these sources less than the manufacturer or retailer)
    • 17 percent contact the product manufacturer; and
    • 14 percent go back to the retailer who sold them the product
    • The remainder say they don’t need help or handle their own support needs
  • Building brand loyalty
    • 75 percent of respondents say a brand’s level and scope of support impacts their willingness to buy from that brand again
    • 14 percent say they have returned a connected device because they had difficulty installing or using it
    • Of those, 51 percent said they will not buy from the brand again, with 61 percent of the women surveyed stating they would not buy from that brand again
  • Great expectations
    • 90 percent of respondents said they expect some level of technical support when they purchase a smart home product
    • Data clearly reveals a gap between who consumers expect and trust to provide support

The survey also examined consumers’ adoption of both emerging smart home technologies (smart cars, thermostats and door locks) and mainstream, Internet-connected devices (smartphones, laptops and fitness bands).

For information about PlumChoice, please visit To access the full report and accompanying graphics, please click here.

PlumChoice Resources

About PlumChoice

PlumChoice is the leader in providing a continuum of specialized technical services for today’s highly personalized consumer and small business technology environments. For more than a decade, the company has partnered with brands both large and small, including Fortune 1000 manufacturers, retailers, software vendors, and telco and cable providers to deliver highly differentiated customer experiences by way of technical support solutions for the Internet of Things and cloud enablement.

Today’s dynamic, complex, heterogeneous technology environments require brands to solve for technical challenges that are complicated and diverse. PlumChoice’s solutions span the entire buyer and customer lifecycle – from pre-purchase through installation, configuration, integration, problem resolution and ongoing usage. Solutions include Connected Life, Cloud Enablement, and Premium Technical sales, support and care services. PlumChoice enables brands to reduce no fault found returns, increase adoption and penetration, drive revenue, control costs and create customer loyalty.


Karen McPhillips, 617-668-3440
Vice President, Marketing


Karen McPhillips, 617-668-3440
Vice President, Marketing