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Apple tops tech support rankings again for 2009

updated 11:55 am EDT, Thu August 6, 2009

Apple Tops Tech Sup Ranks

Apple has maintained a decisive lead in technical support rankings for 2009, according to a new Laptop study. Of ten major companies tested, only Apple managed an "A" grade for its help, earning it across both its ability to solve problems on calls and online; it also kept hold times to under five minutes and located its support only in North America. The company is further helped by having a dedicated retail network that can address questions in person, the magazine adds.

No other PC builder matched Apple's score, although Lenovo and Sony came closest with "B+" scores. ASUS, Fujitsu, Gateway and Toshiba all scored either "B" (for Toshiba) or "B-" for minor issues such as long hold times, small errors in support or poor websites that were balanced by good phone support. With the exception of ASUS, these typically also outsourced their support to India or the Philippines and potentially had poor call quality or other communication problems as a result.

Of the group, however, it was the largest PC builders -- Acer, Dell and HP -- that fared the poorest and were handed "C-" grades. These often included significant mistakes, such as Acer and HP representatives claiming an in-warranty notebook no longer qualified and often having serious communication problems with the outsourced support. Dell's support had the worst score. While its online support was good, its phone support was far worse with a confusing menu system, very long hold times, and in one support case reaching three separate agents before receiving help despite the agent not finding the relevant warranty.

The discrepancies in the level of support aren't immediately explained but appear to affect companies that focus the most on selling low-priced systems, as the lowest three all have full-sized notebook lineups that start below $400. Prices this low typically come with small profit margins or are even considered "loss leaders" that are compensated for either through cuts to support or through profits from higher-end systems.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    +2

    You get...

    You get what you pay for. Buy cheap crappy junk, you get cheap service and quality.

    If you can't afford a Mac now, save money till you can afford it. MacBook can be had for under 1K these days.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -6

    Re: You get

    You get what you pay for. Buy cheap crappy junk, you get cheap service and quality.

    Then again, you can take your crappy junk computer to basically anyone to get it fixed if necessary. For Apple, its just the Apple Store or the few dealers still out there.

    If you can't afford a Mac now, save money till you can afford it. MacBook can be had for under 1K these days.

    Except the under-$1000 MacBook is junk, with a 'splintering' case. Save your money for longer and go higher than that.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    -1

    Hasn't anyone ever

    heard of SuperGlue? Works great for cracked plastic cases. Minor cosmetic problems don't really hinder anyone's workflow. Just don't let the glue flow between the outer and inner joints or one might have a heck of a time getting that MacBook apart. Haha.

    Apple needs to use the plastic they make PSPs out of. Those PSPs are built like iron. You can drop them and toss them and they just don't break or crack.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +2

    support

    Seldom does a PC fixit vendor repair your stuff on the spot and many don't like you to ask them questions without "leaving it here." The Genius Bar lets you ask questions, and they try to answer them--it speeds everything up. And if you have dealt with many PC vendors, their plaintive cry, too often is, "We had to reformat your hard drive." This is their universal solution. Sometimes they "forget" to back up your drive. My ex-wife was victim of this twice.
    As to Dell, the company of Bait and Switch. You try to buy one machine for $500, they want to sell you something for $800, if you insist, the "connection" gets dropped. No Bait, no switch, no computer.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -6

    Re: support

    And if you have dealt with many PC vendors, their plaintive cry, too often is, "We had to reformat your hard drive."

    Um, maybe you didn't notice, but it's one of Apple's famed 'solutions', too. People have had their harddrive wiped when sending in their computer for cracked cases.

    Another Apple ploy is the "Only our memory is supported" garbage, where they'll take your memory out and blame it on that (ha, actually heard of people getting that when they sent it in for a non-OS issue - guess those cases Apple uses are very sensitive).

    This is their universal solution. Sometimes they "forget" to back up your drive. My ex-wife was victim of this twice.

    Oh, don't expect Apple to backup your drive unless you pay them a fee.

    As to Dell, the company of Bait and Switch. You try to buy one machine for $500, they want to sell you something for $800, if you insist, the "connection" gets dropped. No Bait, no switch, no computer.

    Who the h*** calls Dell to buy a computer? That's what online purchasing is for.

    And what you claim of Dell is NOT Bait and Switch. Bait and Switch is reading in the paper that a certain computer is for sale, then when you show up, they're "out of stock", but they got plenty of these other models available!

    I got hooked on this when I bought my Mac Classic II from a local apple retailer.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -2

    ?

    With dell, for the same price I pay apple for tech support, a technician comes to me the next day. I'd have to say thats better than going to a crowded apple store in a crowded mall.And what about the millions of people in a city withOUT an apple store?

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