Many household appliances come with confusing features that people do not want and which could be driving up prices, a new research has found.
A consumer watchdog has found the duvet cycle on washing machine is one of the most pointless and expensive options on a household appliance.
Gimmick-laden washing machines fare particularly badly in a survey of 10,500 adults carried out by consumer watchdog “Which?”.
Among the top ten features “you can live without” are those that enable owners to operate a pre-wash – soaking dirty clothes before the main wash – or to clean a duvet.
In the poll, 66% of people said they hardly ever or never used the duvet cycle.
Even less popular was the pause wash, which allows householders to stop their machines in mid-cycle if, say, they spot a black sock in with the whites. Only 5% of people said they used this feature regularly.
On fridge-freezers, “holiday” settings, which allow the fridge section to be turned off while keeping the freezer on when people are away, got the thumbs-down. Extra rinse cycles on dishwashers are a particular irritant, while there was little enthusiasm for delay controls on various appliances, which allow people to start the process when electricity rates are lowest.
But not all extras are bad, the survey found. The frost-free setting on fridge-freezers, which circulates air to prevent them frosting up, was judged the most useful “extra” in the kitchen.
Fan-assisted ovens and alarms warning householders when the fridge door is left open were also praised.
“Which?” is now sending the findings to manufacturers in the hope they might influence future design and cut prices.
A spokesman for “Which?” said the message from the survey was clear – people wanted fewer gimmicks, especially if they drove up the prices of appliances.
“Extra rinse cycles for dishwashers and holiday settings for fridge-freezers aren’t worth having,” he added.
A spokesman for manufacturers Bosch said: “We will definitely be studying these findings with interest.”