The Top 8 Tech Nightmares That We’d Rather Forget

Avator By Jonathan Owen
Marketing Manager
Published 30th October 2020
Last modified 14th October 2022
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With Halloween upon us, it seems apt that we take a look back at some of the most horrifying tech nightmares that shocked the industry – and not in a good way!

We’ve rounded up the top eight moments that left us speechless, concerned and, well, mostly confused. Take a look.

1. U2 Takes Over

If you trace your mind back to 2014, you’ll remember that the iPhone 6 made its debut. The design differed from what users were used to and we were expecting an entourage of new features to rave about. What we didn’t expect, however, was a pre-downloaded U2 album that came attached – marketed as a ‘freebie’ for all iTunes customers.

Unfortunately for Apple, the majority of users didn’t share the enthusiasm. In fact, the industry-leading tech giant received an abundance of complaints that subsequently caused the creation of a webpage that allowed users to rid their brand new device of the album.

It’s safe to say that no brand has opted for the technique since.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note7 Explodes onto the Tech Scene

The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 was long-awaited, and initial reviews assured consumers that the hype was not misplaced. However, soon after the smartphone began to demonstrate some troubling features – specifically, overheating and exploding batteries.

Now, as you would expect, consumers weren’t overly happy with the heated side effects and weren’t shy to vocalise their disappointment. As such, Samsung recalled the device numerous times before discontinuing it altogether.

After all was said and done, the company had lost out on millions and had lowered in consumer expectation.

3. Find a Penny

When Christmas approaches, we’re all on the lookout for a deal when embarking on our shopping expeditions. Unfortunately for small businesses listed on Amazon, in 2014 they provided exactly that.

An issue with their price comparison software consequently meant that thousands of items were discounted profusely. In fact, they were available for just one penny. Orders came pouring in and before the error was caught, deliveries were underway. This meant that businesses were left hugely out of pocket – as Amazon refused to make up the loss.

4. Blackberry’s Blackout

For many of us, a Blackberry device represented our entry into the modern tech world – however, they haven’t always been kept in such high regard.

In fact, in 2011 the Blackberry service experienced an outage that left customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, the United States and Canada stranded. There was no way of sending text messages, making calls or using internet services for several days.

For some, Blackberry never returned to the top spot in their estimations – instead opting for up and coming Apple or Android devices.

5. Sony Software Slip

We know that CDs may seem like a thing of the past, but just try and remember how influential they were at one point in time. We don’t know about you, but we used to dedicate hours to listening to CDs or burning them in our spare time.

So it’s safe to say that in 2005 when it was found that some Sony music CDs were installing unwanted software on users computers – without their knowledge – they weren’t happy. The manufacturer was forced to recall an abundance of album’s, singles and compilations and faced a hefty lawsuit.

Luckily for them, with the introduction of modern streaming services, many have forgotten the blunder and gone on to respect the brand once more.

6. You Could Be a Millionaire, or Not

Although Pepsi isn’t particularly thought about in the tech world, it has most definitely earned its place on our list. The brand launched a promotion based in the Philippines, in the 90s that encouraged consumers to search for one lucky bottle that would win them a huge sum of money. The bottle was promised to have the number 349 printed on the lid.

Simple right?

Well, evidently not. The brand suffered from a computer glitch that actually caused thousands of these bottles to go into circulation – predictably causing much disappointment and actually leading to riots and other extreme actions within the country.

7. Laptops Lighting Up

Well, this isn’t the first device on our list that was shamed for catching fire or exploding but nonetheless, it’s here!

A number of Dell models in the mid-2000s did exactly that due to their batteries and subsequently meant that the manufacturer had to recall millions of laptop batteries. Fortunately for them, consumers seem to have forgiven the high-heat, high-stress disaster.

8. They Love Me, They Love Me… Not

Now, dating apps are likely not new for many of us in the modern world. However, you may not have encountered the Ashley Madison dating app. The reason being, the app is targeted towards married individuals who are looking to partake in some extracurricular activity.

The bad news is, the app faced major backlash following a data breach in 2015 with hackers publishing real names, email addresses and personal details of the users – obviously having disastrous effects on the reputation of the app and on its financial stability.

But, rest assured, by 2017 the tagline ‘Life is short. Have an affair’ was back up and running.


Now, this isn’t to say that the tech industry hasn’t contributed to some of the most incredible inventions in the world. What it does mean, however, is that we’ve become increasingly suspicious and wary of new developments and demand concrete evidence before purchase. Following on from that, we now look for ways to protect our purchases - such as comprehensive insurance or protective accessories - meaning that tech providers have to pull out all of the stops to convince us to part with our pennies!