With more than half of online Britons succumbing to uncontrollable bouts of Web rage at least once a week, Abbey National has created a new Internet site - momentsofsimplicity.co.uk - designed to soothe stressed-out surfers and transport them to a calmer state of mind.
A new study carried out by Mori for Abbey National to mark the re-launch of its primary financial site - www.abbeynational.co.uk - reveals Web rage now strikes over half of all Internet users (54 per cent) at least once a week, with over one in ten (11 per cent) admitting to losing their rag on a daily basis.
In the heat of the moment, seven per cent of people admit to hitting their keyboard or mouse, four per cent to thumping their desk and some two per cent claim to have actually hit the person next to them in their frustration at the net. One IT manager admitted smashing up a £2500 laptop after a Web page failed to recognise his personal details after six attempts.
Top of the list of Internet irritations are sites that take ages to load - a source of frustration for an enormous 87 per cent of Web users. Help buttons that don't actually help (83 per cent) and requests for personal details before being allowed into a site to progress an enquiry (82 per cent) are also pet hates.
When web rage strikes, over half (52 per cent) of all users simply log off, with one in ten surfers resorting to more traditional offline methods such as phone or fax. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of users claim to boycott Web sites that have irritated them previously.
Carole Spiers, a leading occupational stress management consultant advises: "When a problem arises, the best thing to do is to try and clear the mind - be it by looking out of the window, putting on some calming music or imagining yourself lazing on a faraway beach."
To help bring serenity to surfers' lives, Abbey National has developed a micro-site dedicated to restoring peace and tranquillity for Web rage sufferers. Momentsofsimplicity features a selection of chilled out music and images "so that stressed surfers can now transport themselves with one click to a calmer state of mind".