Britain's biggest bugbears - revealed

  • Calls from unknown numbers, running out of mobile phone data and public transport running late are amongst the biggest frustrations of modern life for the British public
  • A typical adult in the UK will complain three times per day, on average
  • Nearly half of Brits admit to enjoying having a whinge and a moan

Adverts without a ‘skip’ button, someone nabbing the social media username you wanted and tangled earphones have been named among the biggest inconveniences of modern life, according to O2. Calls from unknown numbers, running out of phone battery or data and a cracked screen were also among the woes causing the British public daily anguish.

The study, exploring the top 40 things which get on the nerves of the nation, found public transport continues to be a bugbear for many, while issues with mobile phones are also a frequent frustration. Not having enough leg room on a journey, websites with contact forms instead of email addresses and bars or shops which no longer accept cash payments also featured on the list.

The study was commissioned by O2 to launch their new Unlimited Data tariffs, which give customers limitless mobile phone data, and found this to be within the top 10 biggest frustrations for the British public, where more than one third have run out of data, doing so once every four months.

A spokesperson for O2 said: “Modern life is frustrating – it’s usually the small, seemingly insignificant things which – over time – all add up to an even bigger frustration. These small things tend to have a knock-on effect for the day ahead – another reason why they can be so annoying.

“A late train might make you late for a meeting or your phone running out of battery could mean you can’t reply to an important message. It’s why we want to make things just that little bit easier and give our customers the option of having unlimited data, so they have one less thing to worry about.”

During a typical day, adults will complain an average of three times, and nearly half admitted to enjoying a whinge or moan over the inconveniences modern life throws at them.

It also emerged 35 per cent reckon the British public has a regular whine because it’s easier to find problems than solutions, and nearly a quarter reckon complaints come from those who enjoy the attention. Meanwhile, three in four agreed it’s a typically British trait to have a moan or a groan about things.

The study of 2,000 adults, conducted via OnePoll, found partners are the ones typically on the receiving end of a complaint, followed by friends and work colleagues. Nearly two-thirds of people even get annoyed with themselves when complaining about modern nuisances.

Also featuring on the list of modern grievances was your mobile phone running out of storage space and apps which almost, but don’t quite, do what you need them to do.

Nearly half of those polled would feel lost if they ran out of data, and four in ten wished they had more each month. Binging on YouTube videos, browsing social media and using a mobile as a SatNav are among the biggest culprits for consuming those precious gigabytes.

Top 40 modern inconveniences:

  1. Intermittent WiFi connection
  2. Calls from unknown numbers
  3. Forgetting passwords
  4. Running out of phone battery
  5. Late trains / buses
  6. Paying extra for luggage on a flight
  7. When your computer needs to ‘update’ seemingly every morning
  8. Not being able to find the end of the sticky tape
  9. Running out of mobile phone data
  10. Not having enough leg room on a journey
  11. Adverts with no ‘skip’ button on YouTube videos
  12. Videos you’re watching via a streaming service (such as Netflix) on TV that are buffering
  13. Having a runny nose
  14. When you crack your mobile phone screen
  15. Autocorrect on your phone
  16. When your phone runs out of space
  17. Bars or shops that no longer accept cash payments
  18. Websites with no email address
  19. Not being able to fast forward live TV
  20. Getting spaghetti Bolognese on a white top
  21. No space on the tube
  22. Tangled earphones
  23. Mobile phone updates
  24. Forgetting your raincoat when it starts raining
  25. A bag of crisps which has been squashed and turned into crumbs
  26. Your takeaway taking more than 30 minutes to arrive
  27. Getting the wrong order with your supermarket online shop
  28. ‘Average speed’ speed cameras
  29. Someone already taking the username you want for a social media account
  30. Apps that almost, but not quite, do what you need
  31. People who call you, when you asked for a text or vice versa
  32. When you straighten your hair and it rains
  33. Answerphone messages
  34. Having a dietary requirement like being coeliac or vegan
  35. When the air conditioning takes too long to cool or heat your car
  36. Not being able to pay-at-pump when you’re in a rush
  37. Forgetting to charge your wireless headphones
  38. Never knowing if you can trust your car reversing sensors
  39. People who don’t pick up to withheld numbers
  40. Living outside the delivery radius of the nearest Chinese restaurant

For more information on O2’s new Unlimited Data tariffs, including pricing and available handsets, visit https://www.o2.co.uk/unlimited-tariffs.