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Wednesday, 20 February, 2002, 17:31 GMT
Web rage hits the internet
Man in rage
Half of web surfers lose temper on regular basis
We have all heard of road rage and air rage. Now we have web rage.

More than half of all internet users admit to losing their rag with the net at least once a week, according to a Mori study.

I ordered a TV off a website and it did not turn up so I ordered 1 million worth of goods using a false credit card number

Male web user
High on people's stress meter is the length of time it takes websites to appear, help buttons that do not offer any help and requests for personal details before being allowed into a site.

One frustrated IT manager admitted to smashing up his 2,500 laptop after a web page failed to recognise his personal details after six attempts.

Click here to tell us your tales of web rage

Such violent outbursts are not unique. Mice and keyboards seem to bear the brunt of people's frustration, with 7% admitting to hitting them after a frustrating web experience.

Revenge is sweet

If you sense a colleague's mounting anger at the web, it might be best to leave the room.

A small number, 2%, admitted to hitting workmates to vent their frustration.

Revenge tales are also common. One 43-year-old man ordered 1 million worth of goods from a website after a TV he ordered failed to turn up despite sending numerous e-mails.

Net headaches
52% log off when angry
26% boycott irritating site
11% lost their temper daily
83% revisit sites they like
"I really hate it when it takes ages to get through to a web page to find it is out of order or being rebuilt," said one 27-year-old female user.

"I frequently e-mail a load of abuse to the 'where to contact us' e-mail address you find on these sites."

Occupational stress management consultant Carole Spiers explained why people get so cross with the web.

"Web users must be able to feel in control. When we feel that control is being lost, irritation builds and our blood pressure starts to rise," she said.

"However we mustn't expect technology to always work for us."

Chill out site

The survey was commissioned by Abbey National to mark the relaunch of its website.

It has come up with a novel way to reveal the daily stresses of the net.

It has created, has a selection of chilled out music and images to calm surfers down.

Perhaps a visit there would be advisable the next time you get your bank statement.


Just 5 minutes ago, I sent off a polite, though forthright e-mail to a music website, which shall remain nameless, after waiting three weeks for a CD it said, initially, would be available in 2-3 days, and then said it was placing on "special order." I've found, many times, music e-businesses claiming to be able to offer products which they really aren't able to.
Paul, Great Britain

How about an 'internet league' where sites have to prove their efficiency. That way we can choose to do business with those in the premier division, encouraging the bad ones to improve.
Rosie, UK

Chill out - it's not that bad

David, UK
I have honestly never lost my rag with the internet and I have used it every day for the past 3 years at least. Have a couple of times been annoyed but chill out - it's not that bad.
David, UK

Most problems come from slow server connections and poorly designed interfaces, eradicate these and the whole internet experience becomes enjoyable once more.
Rob Baker, UK

To be honest, I'm not surprised some people find it so easy to have a tantrum over a web site. There are rude and aggressive people with an inflated sense of self-importance everywhere. Those who whinge should get a grip and find something useful to do with their time.
John Wolf, UK

Get broadband - it's what it's there for

Ross, UK
If people get annoyed when a page takes a long time to load, they should get broadband - it's what it's there for!
Ross, UK

Most people out there are not designers or techies. People don't want flashy graphics; They want specific information or a transaction. Bombard the user with confusing waffle and irritating animations and they reach for the 'Back' button in a flash. This should serve as a warning to companies. Employ self-obsessed designers who don't design from the user's perspective, and your customers will desert the site in droves.
Frank, UK

It is so stupid to get upset over something as insignificant as a faulty web page or site when there is so much real pain and suffering in the world! People need to put things into perspective and realise that to even have a computer puts them in the top 10% of mankind.
Mark Newman, UK

I rarely give out my true details except to trusted websites. I find that the email address fgfgs@ygyfg.ggy will work fine and the postal address 666 None of Your Business Road, Mind your own business. Nosy. Works a treat.
Paul, England

Sometimes it's quicker to wait until the morning papers than try and access a news story on the BBC site!

Scott Haskins
Funny the BBC should be running a story about web frustration and the length of time it takes to access a site when they're the worst culprits of all. Sometimes it's quicker to wait until the morning papers than try and access a news story on the BBC site!
Scott Haskins, UK

Spare a thought for the web manager that knows all those pitfalls but has to fight off often very senior people who want it just so, insist on logins to the most banal of information and largely miss the point that the web site is not for them but for the customer or potential customer. Also to fight off are the largely useless web design companies that see us as a way of marketing their 'design' skills. They pile on the flash, charge the earth for inappropriate and often pointless designs and generally irritate the user - hence this article. I exclude the BBC web site in this - it's wonderful - and something to emulate.
Simon Mallett, UK

I lose my rag with the net every day

Stuart Anderson
I lose my rag with the net every day. Why? Because it's so unreliable. "Cannot" must be the most over used word on the entire net. "Cannot find page" "Cannot connect you" "Cannot perform this operation on a closed folder" Cannot ... everything really.
Stuart Anderson, UK

This all boils down to lack of training/education. A bad driver will always take it out on the rest of the drivers. A bad web user will take it out on their PC/laptop.
Khalid Ditta, UK

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See also:

28 Jan 02 | UK
UK web surfers increase
29 Jan 00 | Sci/Tech
PC rage hits UK
01 Jun 99 | The Economy
Costly computer rage
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