Insight & Analysis

Troublesome tech sends Brits into a fury

Published: Apr 2019

Survey finds that Brits are smashing up their gadgets in frustration, falling out with their partners and losing working hours as a result of tech problems.

Nearly half of the British population are not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to dealing with computer problems and tech issues generally, with 15% of adults ending up so angry they end up trying to smash up troublesome devices and many also ending up having rows with their partners, according to a survey.

The study by Wiztek, a provider of online and mobile tech support to consumers and small businesses, says survey respondents will typically endure 63 IT issues a year – including intermittent wi-fi, endless pop-up adverts and patience-testing paper jams. And when trying to fix problems such as these it’s just 12 minutes before they start to lose their cool. Based on the findings of the survey of 2,000 adults, Wiztek reckons almost eight million Brits have broken gadgets in a fit of rage.

The study also found that a third have become so fed up by their tech woes they’ve purchased a replacement device rather than get it repaired. And a fifth have fallen out with their partners as a direct result of their phone, computer or tablet not working as it should.

“Tech is an integral part of our lives – whether it be through our jobs or through our home lives,” said Paul Amsellem, CEO of Wiztek. “And as such, we’d be significantly hampered in our daily lives – unable to check emails for important messages, use sat nav to successfully get from A to B or to keep track of appointments. So, when our devices stop working or don’t operate as they should it understandably becomes extremely frustrating,” Amsellem continued.

In all, 47% of the population were happy to admit their tech failings and said that of the 60 plus problems they faced annually, they would likely only be able to successfully resolve 14 of them without help. Indeed, when attempting to fix IT and tech problems, three in ten revealed they’ve made the problem worse.

The usual course of action when confronted by a seemingly insurmountable tech problem is to seek help, which is exactly what three quarters of those surveyed had done. Yet Wiztek’s survey reveals that this ostensibly sensible route to resolution comes with risk – a quarter admit they later regretted getting a helping hand when their gadgets were returned in a worse state than before.

Further frustrating tech problems include apps which keep on crashing, slow downloads and accidentally deleting something significant. The Wiztek research, carried out through OnePoll, also found 40% of the population has been left unable to work following problems with IT equipment. And 25% have lost important files such as cherished family photos and key documents as a direct result of a tech failure.

“Tech and computing issues are such a minefield – there’s so many possible causes to everyday problems, even the most knowledgeable of people can get stumped from time to time. Downtime from tech problems can lead to many wasted hours and in today’s society where we are all so busy, time costs money,” Amsellem added.

Wiztek survey: Top 20 most annoying tech problems

  1. Slow internet.
  2. Slow computer.
  3. Pop-up ads.
  4. Wi-fi keeps disconnecting.
  5. Forgotten password.
  6. Slow downloads.
  7. Software updates making things worse.
  8. Can’t login.
  9. Printer won’t work.
  10. Phone battery keeps dying quickly.
  11. Accidentally deleting something important.
  12. App keeps on crashing.
  13. Paper jams.
  14. ‘Blue screen of death’.
  15. Can’t open email attachments.
  16. Keep seeing ‘there is a problem with this website’s security certificate’.
  17. Ink not printing properly.
  18. Hard drive failure.
  19. Remembering where you stored particular files/data.
  20. Running out of hard drive space.

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