Nearly half of technology users need help setting up new devices and 44% of home Internet users said their connections failed in the previous 12 months, according to a new survey.
Fifteen percent were unable to fix the problem, according to a Pew Internet and American Life Project report released Sunday. The results are based on a survey of 2,054 adults from Oct. 24, 2007, through Dec. 2, 2007. Of the respondents, 734 reported that at least one device failed in the preceding 12 months.
Thirty-nine percent of desktop and laptop users said their equipment failed to work properly at least once in the previous 12 months, while 29% of cell phone users said their devices failed in the same time frame. Twenty-six percent of PDA users reported problems.
Thirty-eight percent sought assistance through customer support, while 28% fixed the problems themselves. Fifteen percent found help from friends and family, while only 2% found solutions to their equipment problems online.
Most users (72%) who had equipment problems said that they were confident they would solve the problem. Fifty-nine percent reported feeling impatient while attempting to solve the problem because they use the technology for tasks they deem important. Forty-eight percent said they felt discouraged by the amount of work involved in fixing the problem, while 40% felt confused by the information they obtained.
Not surprisingly, adults who use their equipment for four or more functions are more likely (76%) to report feeling impatient to restore use. About 55% percent of adults who use their phones for one to three functions said they felt impatient, and about half of adults who use their phones only for calls felt that way.
Sixty-six percent of respondents who believe their devices make them more productive were likely to feel impatient, while only 50% of those who said they don't believe their devices make them productive felt impatient.