Monday, 19 April 2010


Computer says ‘no’ to Brits
Virgin Media report unveils a nation of hot-headed computer users

Almost a quarter of impatient Brits (22 per cent) have resorted to buying a new computer rather than dealing with their IT problems according to research released today to mark the launch of the new Virgin Media Digital Home Support Service.

With computer users wasting seven hours per month trying to solve their own technical problems*, the report shows Britain to be a hotbed of frustrated computer users who regularly rant and rave at their machines. More than 63 per cent admit regularly shouting at their screens, 58 per cent have sworn at their PC or laptop and 20 per cent have even gone so far as to scream at their poorly computers. The research also shows that almost a quarter (23 per cent) risk domestic harmony by blaming a relative or friend for their computer woes.

The Virgin Media Digital Home Support Service, which launches across the country today, comes as many Brits reveal they have resorted to physical violence when experiencing computer problems. The service which fixes technical problems with hardware, software and operating systems using the latest cutting edge remote control technology, should help the 27 per cent of Brits who have hit their computer when it doesn’t do what they want it to do, and the five per cent who have vented their aggression by throwing things at their poor machines.

Gender Divide

With an incredible 45 per cent of computers suffering from the effects of computer viruses*, the report also reveals gender specific coping strategies to such problems. While men are more likely to get frustrated and lash out at their computers, the fairer sex are more patient and likely to try clicking buttons and icons to try and resolve a problem (71 per cent) compared to 56 per cent of men.

Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of women are more likely to rely on their friends and family to sort out the problem compared to 47 per cent of men.

Regional Disparity

The research shows that computer users throughout the UK have different coping strategies. People in the South West are the least likely to hit their computers; only 21 per cent have ever struck out at their machine compared to 35 per cent of people in the North East.

People from Northern Ireland are the most prone to shouting at their machines (74 per cent) while West Midlanders are the least likely to have an angry outburst (five per cent). More than one in 20 (seven per cent) Welsh people admit to having ripped out the mouse compared to one per cent of the rest of the nation.

The most impatient of them all are those in the North East who are the most likely to buy a new computer after experiencing problems (27 per cent), followed by those in the West Midlands (26 per cent) and the North West (25 per cent).

Lack of knowledge fuels frustration

The Virgin Media report shows that a lack of knowledge is fuelling the frustration. More than a fifth of adults (22 per cent) think their computer knowledge is less than that of a ten year old child with one in 20 (7 per cent) aligning their computer knowledge to that of a five year old.

The research also reveals that more than one in twenty (six per cent) under 18s think that a cookie is a biscuit you eat at the computer.

Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media says: “A lack of computer knowledge combined with a lack of easily accessed support is leading to massive consumer frustration. 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.

“As customers demand more and more from their PCs and ultrafast broadband; we're launching the UK's best value help service from any ISP, both to help customers get the most out of their PCs and home devices, and to help them fix annoying everyday problems.

“With one in ten internet users needing help with a technology problem at any point in time, Virgin Media Digital Home Support offers a comprehensive service exclusive for Virgin Media customers that uses new 'remote control technology to allow specialist technicians to fix 95% of problems remotely and without the need for customers to hang on the phone or wait for a technician to visit.”

The Virgin Media Digital Home Support Service will replace the Virgin Media PC Helpline. It offers a significant level of technical help outside the scope of Virgin Media Technical Support and includes assistance for non Virgin Media supplied products. Callers with technical problems will be able to get help on a huge range of hardware, software and operating systems from technical experts. Customers will also be able to chat online to The Digital Home Support team and have problems fixed quickly and conveniently through the use of remote control technology without having to wait for a technician to visit.

All Virgin Media broadband customers can download the new Digital Home Support Hub - a free desktop application which is packed with PC healthcheck and optimisation software to help your computer remain protected from viruses and optimised for Virgin Media ultrafast broadband.

Costs for Digital Home Support expert help are available on both monthly subscription and one-off fix basis. Subscriptions start at just £6 a month for Single Computer Support1 to £10 for Total Support2. Alternatively, non-subscribers can receive a One off Quick Fix3 for £30 or a One off Big Fix4 for £60.

For further information and to download the Digital Home Support Hub, head to
- Ends -

Survey conducted on 2,000 British people by OnePoll, March / April 2010
* According to Virgin Media Radialpoint research based on 50,000 computers

Media Contacts
Frank PR - 0207 693 699

Notes to Editors
1. Single Computer Support enables customers to get ongoing help with fixing problems on their main computer whenever they like.
2. Total Support gives customers help on up to 3 computers and all their digital gadgets from printers, cameras, games consoles, PDAs and more.
3. Quick Fix covers help on things like wireless setup and troubleshooting (configuring on one device), Support on software install, peripherals/devices and resolving connection Issues.
4. Big Fix covers things like help on setting a full wireless home network, Virus Removal and full PC Optimization, New PC Setup and File Transfer and Installing or upgrading operating systems.

Digital Home Support will assess the issue on the phone - customers can stay on the phone while they complete the fix or swap over to an online chat session.

About Virgin Media
With almost 10 million customers, Virgin Media is the UK's first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile.

The company is one of the largest residential broadband providers in the UK, using a unique fibre optic cable network to deliver next generation ultrafast internet access of up to 50Mb to just over half of all homes. Combined with a high speed ADSL service and mobile broadband products, Virgin Media is able to offer broadband internet access to virtually the entire country.

Virgin Media has the UK’s most advanced TV on demand service and is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer. It is the second largest provider of pay TV, was the first to launch a high definition TV service and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder.

The company operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media also owns Virgin Media Television (VMtv) which runs eight entertainment channels, including Virgin1, LIVING, Bravo and Challenge. VMtv is a 50 per cent joint partner with BBC Worldwide in UKTV, which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi.

Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange (VMED).

For more information, go to

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