updated 08:32 pm EDT, Tue July 2, 2013
Achievement embarrassing for locally-based Samsung, LG
A new survey of 44,168 smartphone owners in South Korea has revealed that in terms of customer satisfaction, their favorite smartphone is ... Apple's iPhone, reports local site Naver. The result, an acutely embarrassing loss for native Korean firm Samsung, saw Apple get the nod for the best after-sale support as well. The iPhone was also higher ranked for Apple's speed in fixing any devices that needed repairs, and the survey also noted that iPhones were the least likely to need repairs in the first place.
Apple's overall ranking for customer satisfaction was 52 percent, beating Samsung's 50 percent rating as well as fellow South Korean company LG's 46 percent ranking. The news will come as no surprise to North American consumers, where the iPhone routinely outpaces its rivals in customer satisfaction survey by such a great extent that its own results actually alter the average upwards for the entire industry. The company has won JD Powers' customer semi-annual customer satisfaction award nine times in a row.
The survey indicated that only 17 percent of customers who bought an iPhone had any sort of issue with them in the first year of ownership, compared to LG (25 percent), Samsung (31 percent) and local provider Pantech (33 percent). Only Samsung and Pantech were worse than the overall average of 29 percent.
In most categories of after-sales service, Samsung was not far behind Apple. It was beaten by only two points on overall customer satisfaction, and was close behind on the likelihood of needing a hardware repair. The Android maker did score badly, however, on the likelihood of needing a second repair: 44 percent compared to Apple's 25 percent.
The most common problem reported in the survey had to do with battery and charging issues, which was reported about 20 percent of the time on support tickets. Screen issues (ranging from dead pixels to scratches or other damage) and hardware button malfunctions were in second place, along with call quality issues, with each category seeing between 15 and 18 percent of complaints. Quality Insights conducted the survey from March to April, with users ranging in age from 14 to 64.