Britons admit to embarrassing PC moments

An online survey exposes the lack of technical know-how amongst British consumers
Written by Wendy McAuliffe, Contributor

An online survey into embarrassing computer-related experiences has revealed that Britons are not as tech-savvy as they may have hoped.

PC manufacturer Novatech asked its customers to share their most cringeworthy computer moments, and was inundated with 4,200 replies.

The survey that looked into people's relationships with their computers discovered that 25 percent of users had physically attacked their machines. "As computers become more and more a part of our daily lives, we obviously share more experiences with them," said David Furby, managing director.

But judging by some of the responses, it is clear that a lot of these experiences are unpleasant, due to a general lack of technical knowledge amongst British PC users.

Confessions included those of a new employee, who on her first day snapped at IT support for not responding to her calls for help. "Well I pressed the F1 button marked 'help' ages ago but nobody came," she protested.

One new computer user revealed that she had tried to operate the mouse with her foot, thinking that it worked in the same way as a pedal on an electric sewing machine.

Another computer novice admitted paying an IT engineer a £56 call-out fee and £25 for the first hour to fix a "faulty monitor", which infact wasn't plugged in.

One lady logged onto a chatroom entitled "the whipped cream room", thinking that it was a room for cookery fans, only to discover a roomful of "sexual deviants" into 101 ways of using whipped cream.

"One of the most surprising -- and pleasant -- results was just how much humour and social interaction they cause. Although in many cases, it's probably not the sort of social interaction people were expecting," commented Furby.

See also: ZDNet UK's Consumer News Section.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the Telecoms forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read other letters.

Editorial standards