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Small Business Digest


New Technology, Virtual World Challenges Force Consumers To Use Support Offerings

Even with advances and awareness of computer security, viruses and spyware continue to infiltrate computers, leaving consumers frustrated and unable to protect their computers properly.

In 2007, technicians removed an average of 36 viruses per computer. Technicians reported this is due to exposed vulnerabilities once the computer is infected, leaving other viruses to be downloaded without detection.

The service provider, is a remote tech support service that found the majority of consumer tech issues in 2007 fell into three categories:

  • virus and spyware issues (27 percent),
  • tune-ups (31 percent) and
  • simple quick fixes (32 percent)

In its first annual call center issues review, found that consumers struggled with Microsoft Vista, accounting for 10 percent of calls.

Other findings include:

  • While virus and spyware removal ranked as the top problem in the call center, slow performing PCs came in second on the list.
    Even with increasing computer "ease of use" it is still hard to actually diagnose and resolve computer issues, which range from home network and printer setup to software installations and setting up data security.
  • In the category of "weirdest issue of the year," the call center reported several calls of a more adult nature. For example, at the request of a desperate consumer, technicians successfullyadjusted his avatar's appendage in Second Life, boosting his online popularity.

The review findings also indicate an increased consumer demand for tech support in dealing with social networking and virtual game play.

"Consumers are not only demanding tech support for associated PC issues today; as the popularity of online gaming and virtual communities such as World of Witchcraft and Second Life increase, we are also finding they require personalized assistance to manage these applications," said Scott Herring, vice president of marketing,

"Remote tech services such as are attractive to online consumers since they are easily accessible -- there's no waiting for a repair person or having to ship the PC away. We get consumers back in the game without them ever having to leave their seat," he added.

SupportSoft is a provider of software and services for technology problem resolution. The company has expanded its offerings and now provides Instant Technology Relief(SM) to frustrating technology problems directly to consumers. For more information visit or dial 1-800-PC-SUPPORT.

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