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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?