Setup, repair of smartphones, tablets still frustrates many

Some consumers just give up and call tech support

If you feel you are a lost cause at setting up and operating the latest tablets and smartphones, you aren't alone.

A recent survey from Harris Interactive found 27 per cent of digital device owners said it was difficult for them to set up the devices, and 25 per cent said they usually give up trying to finish the setup or call tech support for help.

When it comes to fixing a problem on a device, 41 per cent said they find it difficult, and a third (31 per cent) said they felt that their attempts made things worse, prompting them to give up or call for tech support.

About 34 per cent said fixing devices and computers is getting harder than it was in the past.

Most people encountering problems with setup or fixing a problem rely on family or friends for help, but 13 per cent rely on a third-party help desk or repair shop. The survey also found that the average age of the person who most often did the repairs or troubleshooting was 35.

The survey was commissioned by NortonLive, which offers a consumer-focused Ultimate Help Desk service to help support of home printers, Wi-Fi routers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. NortonLive, part of the security software vendor Symantec, sponsored the survey partly because of the flood of new devices hitting the market, including the Apple iPad 2 , which hits shelves Friday.

The survey of 1,019 U.S. adults over age 18 was conducted by telephone from Dec. 15-19.

All the major U.S. wireless carriers and device retailers, such as Best Buy, have customer support programs for consumer electronics, including smartphones and tablets, with most adding an additional service cost on top of the device purchase price.

NortonLive has a range of services on its Web site, including a $4.95 one-time Rescue Me service for PCs and an Ultimate Help Desk service starting at $19.99 a month for around-the-clock help with PCs, networks, printers, smartphones and other connected digital devices.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com .

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobilesmartphonesApplehardwaretelecommunicationPCsPhonessymantechardware systemsconsumer electronicslaptopsdesktop pcsMobile and WirelessHarris Interactive

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?