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Apple, AT&T top customer service ranks of PCs, phones

updated 11:55 am EST, Thu February 2, 2012

Apple and ATT get nods but in dim conditions

Apple and AT&T are leading computer and phone support in conditions that are still on the decline, Vocalabs found in a pair of studies of phone help quality. Apple was still out in front by a significant margin in computers, with 54 percent very satisfied to 49 percent of HP owners and 44 at Dell. The figure for Mac help was still down a full 19 points from the first half of 2010, however, where Dell and HP had always been at their lower levels.

Most of Apple's advantages continued to come from its refusal to outsource North American phone help. Mac owners were much happier with the support agents and had far fewer problems understanding the agent on the other end. Dell and HP are well-known for having been eager to outsource call help to India and the Philippines; their customers have encountered issues both with basic language barriers as well as agents that have less experience with the products they support.

There were also far fewer "ambush" costs with Apple, where surprise charges for help or parts crept into service. HP, for example, doesn't ship Windows restore discs by default and doesn't have Apple's Internet-based restore option, forcing customers to pay for Windows again or send a drive in if the restore data is lost.

The decline for Apple came from problems with the automatic parts of the call as well as the likelihood that a situation would be fixed while on the phone. Apple's technicians and its overall loyalty were still far higher: 82 percent would buy a Mac again, while 68 percent of HP buyers and just 60 percent of Dell owners would do the same. Apple had similar leads in overall satisfaction and willingness to recommend to someone else, possibly helped by its retail help.

Among cellphone carriers, AT&T was in the lead with 69 percent very satisfied, although mostly because alternatives had declined. Sprint (59 percent) and T-Mobile (48) saw double-digit slumps in satisfaction, while Verizon (60) was mostly neutral. The quality of agent help and the voice system were particular sore points for Sprint.

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Cellphone carrier support rankings









By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    +2

    Reality vs Perception

    On the tech websites all we ever hear about is how god awful customer service is from AT&T. The ranting never ceases. We're told incessantly that EVERYBODY is leaving AT&T for better service elsewhere. Yet AT&T continues to grow subscribers, sell the most iPhones, and now appears at the top of customer service surveys.

    We need to get a clue. The rantings of disgruntled nerds are as wisps of fog in the morning, spectres and ghosts. They are to be ignored and laughed at. And remember, Android is winning according to them.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +3

    I've been happy with AT&T.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: I've been happy with AT&T.

    The only thing I've been happy with ATT about is that they have rollover minutes. It is why I switched from Verizon some 4 years ago, after Verizon charged me $40 extra in two straight months because I went over like 100 minutes on my plan.

    Besides that, they suck as a service. Calls drop ALL THE TIME. The Daily Show had it right when they did their "Verizon's getting the iPhone!" story. It's like looking at a tunnel will drop the service!

    Plus, there are times my phone does not ring, yet I get a message that I missed a call. Gee, how about that. I missed something that I was never told about. Or how voicemails come in who the heck knows when.

    But I live with the service because I don't want to live with Verizon.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: Reality vs Perception

    On the tech websites all we ever hear about is how god awful customer service is from AT&T. The ranting never ceases. We're told incessantly that EVERYBODY is leaving AT&T for better service elsewhere. Yet AT&T continues to grow subscribers, sell the most iPhones, and now appears at the top of customer service surveys.

    You need to gain reality AND perception, not to mention comprehension skills.

    This is about customer service. Not about phone service. Of course their customer service is great! Assuming you can get in touch with them and your phone doesn't drop out.

    And ATT subscriber numbers are growing, but not as much as Verizon's are. And keep in mind those numbers include things like data plans for tablets, phones, etc. Or just adding another phone to a plan. The numbers can be fudged to look as good as they want them to.

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