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Shy and retiring Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson says that Brits have wasted almost $12 billion on digital gadgets they can’t figure out how to use.
And, somewhat bizarrely, many claim that a computer crash is worse than not getting laid for a month or giving up smoking, or even giving up smoking after getting laid.
Naturally, the bearded one has a solution that involves handing over even more cash to his new Virgin Digital Help operation which he assures us will revolutionise the way consumers solve problems with their digital stuff using a combination of downloadable tools, online and phone support and home visits.
In the survey of 2,000 British adults, the respondents bemoaned how stressful it is when technology stops working and how technical support from digital companies is letting them down.
A third of the population say that digital gizmos have caused them real stress, with 78 percent having shouted at their technology, 21 percent having thrown gadgets against the wall, and 14 percent punching it.
Says Branson: “Digital products are fantastic but the industry, as a whole, has done very little to support consumers when they get back home and try to make it all work. It’s amazing that 56 percent of Brits are wasting their hard earned money by having digital stuff at home that they can’t use.
“Virgin Digital Help is dedicated to relieving consumers’ stress and helping them get the most out of the technology which is so important to them – without being limited to particular bits of kit, technologies, or service providers. Modern digital technology should be there to enhance our lives, not make it more stressful. After all, we all deserve a little less stress in life.”
The most common sources of frustration with digital stuff are computers (46 percent), getting different digital devices to work together (28 percent), home wireless networks (26 percent), and printers (25 percent)
The most common PC problems include it running slowly (58 percent), slow internet connections (46 percent), and the PC crashing or freezing (42 percent).
Brits apparently waste on average 2.7 hours trying to fix a piece of technology before turning to anyone for help – usually a long-suffering friend. 56 percent admit to having unused digital stuff at home, even though it’s in perfect working order
On average, the people surveyed have spent $250 on gadgets they never use because they can’t get them to work and say that losing music and photo collections is more stressful than getting dumped by someone. 45 percent feel fobbed off by customer care lines and 57 percent say being put on hold with customer service is worse than being caught in traffic.