It might sound like a strange question, but how many machines do you own that don’t actually work?
Because according to new research, the average Brit has six bust appliances or gadgets that they continue to use simply because either they can’t afford to replace them (according to 21% of those polled by Vouchercodes.co.uk), or because the gadget was actually fine if ‘used in a certain way’ (11%).
Surely not, you might think. But a quick scan round the office instantly produced some remarkably inventive tales of tolerating our tired-out tech…
A good grilling
“One day, our oven decided it wanted to be just a grill, only cooking from the top,” says Jane Ellis. But did we get an electrician to have a look? No, we ate nothing but pizza for three months.
"I also perfected a new, gooey kind of banana bread, which involved turning it out of the loaf tin half-way through cooking, and putting it back in upside down so the thing cooked with a seam of runny cake mix in the middle.”
“Ten years ago, my Iraqi friend gave me his old DVD player, but without the remote. It didn't seem like an issue until I realised it was stuck on English subtitles,” says Kate Whiting.
“Through trial and error, I realised if I started playing the DVD, stopped it and then pressed stop again, it would magically reset and get rid of the subtitles. I've done that with every DVD I've watched for a decade, and it's only now I've moved house the DVD player has finally been consigned to the tip!”
Dodgy doggy dish
“My parents-in-law have a broken satellite dish, and they apparently don’t qualify for a replacement, so instead of swapping it for an alternative, they're just putting up with this shonky dish,” says Keeley Bolger.
“Sometimes the only channel they get for days is ITV2 and there's really only so many times you can watch Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs at Christmas.”
Not a wind-up
“My parents' car, now nearly a decade old, runs perfectly, has no dents, no rust and nice clean seats,” says Anna Jones.
“The only tiny issue is that, when you want to wind down the electric windows, you have to turn the engine off first. Still, the pros seem to outweigh that one inexplicable con, and they have no intention of selling it (or even asking a mechanic what on earth’s going on).”
“On my mum’s iPod shuffle, there’s just one album - Adele. She can't work out which computer she registered it on (none of them recognise the iPod) so instead of going to the Apple store, she just listens to Adele,” says Natalie Arch.
“My boyfriend’s sister has had a broken kettle for ages – just as it reaches boiling point, the lid pops open,” says Stephanie Lowe.
“At first it annoyed her, but now she just uses a wooden spoon to hold it down. Every time she makes a cuppa it’s teabag, check. Cup, check. Wooden spoon, check!”
“The metal aerial snapped off our old radio/CD/cassette player about 10 years ago,” says Jenny Clark.
“We just listened to the radio with very dodgy hissing reception for a year, until a builder showed us it worked better if we stuck a fork into the metal slot where the missing aerial had been.
“It’s still going strong with the help of the fork and we’ve long stopped noticing that this is, in fact, not normal.”
“I’ve always had hand-me-down mobiles, which have all worked fine – until last summer, when the screen on my boyfriend’s old flip-phone decided it would only come on if it was open at exactly 45 degrees,” says Vicky Burt.
“I went for a good few weeks perfecting the angle to get the screen to come on, and struggling to text in that one exact position. Phone calls were completely off the cards!”
Which broken gadgets have you simply learned to put up with? Let us know in our Comments section below.