Apparently nearly a quarter of Brits have bought a new computer rather than dealing with the problems, and 27 per cent admit to turning to violence in an attempt to coax their poor machine into doing what it's meant to.

Virgin Media is launching a Digital Home Support Service, and the company's research suggests that while the service may not really be pitched at the tech savvy TechRadar reader, it may save them getting the blame for other people's woes.

The report suggests that 58 per cent of people have sworn at their computer when it doesn't behave properly and 27 per cent have actually hit their machine.

This jars with our own entirely observational evidence that suggests that 100 per cent of TechRadar readers regularly indulge in the off frustrated screen slap when Adobe Reader fails to shut down or that file disappears into the temp folder Bermuda Triangle.

Technophile to blame

Of more relevance may be the admission from nearly a quarter of people who have turned on their tech-savvy friends or relatives when the PC isn't behaving.

Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media says: "A lack of computer knowledge combined with a lack of easily accessed support is leading to massive consumer frustration.

"Our research found evidence of customers so frustrated with fixing PC problems, they ended up buying a new PC when only a simple fix was needed.

"As customers demand more and more from their PCs and ultrafast broadband; we're launching the UK's best value help service from any ISP, both to help customers get the most out of their PCs and home devices, and to help them fix annoying everyday problems.

"With one in 10 internet users needing help with a technology problem at any point in time, Virgin Media Digital Home Support offers a comprehensive service exclusive for Virgin Media customers that uses new remote control technology to allow specialist technicians to fix 95 per cent of problems remotely and without the need for customers to hang on the phone or wait for a technician to visit."