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A quarter of us would rather buy a new PC than fix a problem

Computer problems cause us to shout, swear and even abuse our machines.

frustrated computer user

Nearly a quarter of UK computer users would rather buy a new computer than fix a problem, a survey has shown.

The poll, conducted by Virgin Media, revealed that 63 per cent of us shout at the screen when programs freeze or crash, while 58 per cent of respondents admitted swearing at the computer. More than a quarter (27 per cent) admitted that they had gone so far as to hit their machines.

Having exhausted that line of attack, about a quarter will attempt to put the blame on a friend or family member, and as many as 22 per cent will end up admitting defeat and buying a new PC rather than trying more conventional methods of solving the problem.

The survey also revealed that women are far more likely to seek professional advice to solve computer problems than men, who will persevere on their own for longer, and invariably end up angry and frustrated more often.

Jon James, Virgin Media's executive director of broadband, said the results showed not only the public's continuing struggle to get to grips with modern technology, but also the lack of decent support.

"A lack of computer knowledge combined with a lack of easily accessed support is leading to massive consumer frustration," James said. "Our research found evidence of customers so frustrated with fixing PC problems, they ended up buying a new PC when only a simple fix was needed."

The survey was timed to coincide with the launch of Virgin Media's Digital Home Support Service, a UK-wide remote support network offering help with a wide range of computer problems.

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