Increasing numbers of Brits take electronics products overseas that are incompatible with varying radio frequencies, manufacturer programming and electrical power.
The latest stats from the Office of National Statistics show that up to 4,000 Brits are packing their bags and heading overseas every week, more than a quarter going to Spain and France.
Electrical retailer Currys said that the incompatibilities have resulted in a record number of calls from frustrated expats seeking technology advice.
Digital radios have been cited as one of the biggest headaches, as only 20 per cent of radio stations in France and Spain, and just five per cent in Italy, transmit at a suitable frequency.
Many UK TVs have also found a new lease of life as a doorstop, because single tuner functions prevent most TV sets more than five years old from picking up foreign stations.
"Advances in technologies are making products smaller and lighter and more transportable, but it does not necessarily mean they will all work abroad," said Currys electrical engineer John Wright.
"People who are purchasing products to take abroad should always check with the manufacturer or experts in store to make sure they are not left disappointed."
To help combat the problem Currys is offering tips to travellers taking tech goods overseas:
- There are 13 different style plugs around the world so take plenty of adaptors
- Use a converter with electrical products such as hair dryers, steam irons, shavers and toothbrushes
- Use a transformer with electronic products such as radios, CD or DVD players, computers, fax machines and answering machines
- If you're purchasing a new TV make sure it is a multi-tuner as TVs purchased before 2003 will not work abroad
- Digital radios purchased in the UK will only work to an audio quality of 128Kbps
- A country's voltage is always written on its light bulbs
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