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Apple tops magazine tech support survey rankings

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
A study of major laptop manufacturers' technical support service found Apple to be at the top of its class, while competitors like Dell and HP lagged well behind the Mac-maker.

The test from Laptop Mag ranked nine manufacturers: Apple, Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba. Apple blew its competitors out of the water, as none fared as well, and most ranked much lower. In fact, Apple came across top-tier in all of the magazine's criteria, earning straight As.

"Apple has consistently offered some of the best Web and phone support of any computer vendor, and this year was no different," the magazine reports. "Its Web site is brimming with well-ordered FAQs, query-based search, and PDF manuals, the latter of which quickly answered our external monitor question. Refined searches by notebook serial numbers were a time saver. But, a solid Web resource is particularly needed at Apple, because it’s the only company that offers a measly 90-day service warranty; other vendors offer one year standard."

The magazine tested the technical support lines by calling twice: Once during off-peak hours, and another when call volume is typically high. The support technicians were asked relatively simple questions, as the goal of the survey was to check response times as well as accuracy. Each company's Web site was also graded for the information it has, and how easy it is to access.

Apple's result should come as no surprise: The Cupertino, Calif.-based company earned an A in 2007 and 2008 as well. The maximum hold time encountered by Laptop Mag was 5 minutes, while one call took less than a minute. The technical support people who answered for Apple were knowledgeable and efficient, earning an A, and the company's Web site took aced as well.

The next closest to Apple, tied for second, were Lenovo and Sony, each earning a B+. They were followed by Toshiba (B); Asus and Fujitsu (B-); and Acer, Dell and HP (C-).

Last year, Laptop Magazine saw a significant increase in call quality from all vendors. But this year, the publication said that there was a general decrease in service.

The study's findings support the general public consensus, as determined by a Forrester Research poll. In that survey, Apple earned an 80 percent satisfaction ranking -- not only the highest of all computer makers, but the only "good" ranking among all of them. In fact, Apple has repeatedly been found to offer better customer service than its PC competitors.
post #2 of 30
This article came out with funny timing. I've been wrestling with apple's customer service since January when my miniDVI to dual-link DVI adaptor showed up to make my external monitor unusable...

They finally decided to send me a new adaptor... today!

Only 7 months of trying to get help, apparently the magic word is "chronic headaches"

but actually, they were always trying, it just was a pernicious problem.
post #3 of 30
I never call customer service.
post #4 of 30
Does anyone think Microsoft will include this in their new "Laptop Hunter" ads?

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post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

This article came out with funny timing. I've been wrestling with apple's customer service since January when my miniDVI to dual-link DVI adaptor showed up to make my external monitor unusable...

They finally decided to send me a new adaptor... today!

Only 7 months of trying to get help, apparently the magic word is "chronic headaches"

but actually, they were always trying, it just was a pernicious problem.

Anecdotes never show the big picture or the true performance of a product or service. Unfortunately, people who experience issues or who are unhappy with some aspect of customer service are motivated to prove that they are but the tip of the iceberg. It's hard being the only one or only one of a few who are having a problem. Over in the Apple user discussion forums some stoop to counting posts and views of a particular thread or issue as irrefutable proof that the issue is widespread or that Apple is covering up something. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Just saying...
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by phalanx View Post

I never call customer service.

That's also a badge of honor... to be able to have a product that's good enough to not need customer service.

But it's great to be able to sign my parents up for AppleCare on their Mac and not worry them getting bad/nonexistent support (which is precisely what happened with their last Dell).
post #7 of 30
No surprise here.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

This article came out with funny timing. I've been wrestling with apple's customer service since January when my miniDVI to dual-link DVI adaptor showed up to make my external monitor unusable...

What computer and what monitor are you using the adaptor with? I'm thinking of getting a 30" monitor to use with my Mini. I've heard mixed messages and am nervous about the set up. Any advice would be appreciated.
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post #9 of 30
I was wondering when you guys would post this article!

I was reading comments at engadget, and someone said something that sort of made sense, and I wanted to see what yall's take on it was:

"i read the report but don't understand how they rate it.
ASUS, FUJITSU, LENOVO and SONY "answered our questions correctly in less than a minute" while APPLE tech "didn’t mention Apple’s Energy Saver utility" which was, supposedly, the right answer, then BAM! APPLE gets an A and ALL the others get a B, this is on phone grade only. how does this make sense?"
post #10 of 30
Agreed that Apple's customer service for the most part is good.

I think part of the positive feedback is due to the fact that Apple is one of the few (if any) computer makers that has live tech support in person at their stores. I think most people take care of their issues through the Genius Bar rather than phone. Something about talking to a live person, showing them your problems makes a much nicer experience.

Same thing goes for their training. Usually the Apple folks are more knowledgeable about their products than their competitors. Honestly, (and I don't like Apple) I wish the other companies out there would take a page from Apple's customer service book. In person help is a huge plus!

On the other hand, I am not a fan of the whole setting up an appointment thing. True, you have to schedule it, but I think they should do away with the "only 24 hours in advance" deal, and extend it to a week. I've had to take off work to bring my old computer to the doctor.

Also noted, I've never seen a Genius Bar have empty time slots by mid day. I think that says something about the products too. Shouldn't they "Just work"?
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post #11 of 30
I've dealt with HP and Dell. HP server support is OK, consumer support is horrible. send us your laptop and then it's your fault it happened and pay us $90 even if you don't want it fixed.

Dell is OK, but i bought a 3 year warranty on a laptop and 2 years after the fact turns out the battery is only covered for a year.
post #12 of 30
I'd be upset if it didn't score well.

Aside from the joy of using OsX, I buy an Apple for the fit and finish of the unit. It's a premium product, much like acura vs honda; you pay more for the better fit and finish and also expect more from the dealer. I expect to never need customer support, but if I did, I'd want the experience to be in line with everything I expect from apple.

If I'm on the line with Dell, I know I'm in trouble because I've got a bargain basement product. I knew that when I bought it, so the service should be on par with what I paid, and what the company tries to achieve. (corp. service is outstanding at Dell BTW, but that's a different tier of products).

Apple strives to be a top tier supplier in hardware and software, their support damn well better match that or they are failing. In other words for apple, there are only two grades: A and F


Sheldon
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Does anyone think Microsoft will include this in their new "Laptop Hunter" ads?

Of course not. They have no problem getting people to buy the laptops, but when something like this comes out they can say "Hey, we only make the OS." Honestly, with some of the things I've seen people do or need fixed, I don't think my parents truly realize the value of having a geek like me as a son.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Does anyone think Microsoft will include this in their new "Laptop Hunter" ads?

lol, dude that wasnt right.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

This article came out with funny timing. I've been wrestling with apple's customer service since January when my miniDVI to dual-link DVI adaptor showed up to make my external monitor unusable...

They finally decided to send me a new adaptor... today!

Only 7 months of trying to get help, apparently the magic word is "chronic headaches"

but actually, they were always trying, it just was a pernicious problem.

You should have walked into an Apple store and asked for replacement. My MacBook power adapter was working fine but had one problem and that the small adapter usually stay in the electrical socket when you pull it out. I called Apple and they said they will send me new one right now but I will need to give them CC number to place $70 hold until they get mine in the mail. I decided to go to Apple store instead and got it replaced no questions asked. The same thing happened to my iPhone 3G headphone. Sometimes the click button did not work properly and I got it replaced with new one right away no questions asked.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

On the other hand, I am not a fan of the whole setting up an appointment thing. True, you have to schedule it, but I think they should do away with the "only 24 hours in advance" deal, and extend it to a week. I've had to take off work to bring my old computer to the doctor.

Also noted, I've never seen a Genius Bar have empty time slots by mid day. I think that says something about the products too. Shouldn't they "Just work"?

Actually, alot of their customer support is b/c people don't know how to use it, they're used to using it the "Windows way", and so when they're used to doing it in some odd fashion to get their computer to do what it should. And yeah, there ARE hardware failures, but these are a given, since Apple is selling products like hotcakes too

About the appointment issue, my sister had a ProCare (which is AppleCare, just better, hence more expensive), so she literally walked into the 5th Avenue Store at midday (which was so packed wow) and got a Genius working on her Macbook in about 5 mins. Guess you really do pay for what type of service you get Btw, on Apple's website it says you can schedule an appointment 2 WEEKS in advance for ProCare.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

You should have walked into an Apple store and asked for replacement. My MacBook power adapter was working fine but had one problem and that the small adapter usually stay in the electrical socket when you pull it out. I called Apple and they said they will send me new one right now but I will need to give them CC number to place $70 hold until they get mine in the mail. I decided to go to Apple store instead and got it replaced no questions asked. The same thing happened to my iPhone 3G headphone. Sometimes the click button did not work properly and I got it replaced with new one right away no questions asked.

The problem is I live in Bloomington, IN -- ~50 miles from the nearest Apple store. I've tried to make appointments at the Genius bar on weekends, but have always had serious trouble.

The issue is the dual-link DVI adaptor between my macbook pro (2.8 Ghz Core 2 Duo, with a black-border screen) and my HP LP3065 30" monitor.

In the past they've said it was a known issue, but today they told me that it sounded like an unusual problem, hence the actual action (for once).
post #18 of 30
Well, when you are competing against a bunch of $1000 notebooks and $400 desktop machines running Winblows Shitsta the outcome is not surprising. Not that Apple is bad, no it is quite good with support even though one needs it once a year or so. But the only way to lose against the competition is if every machine came defective from the factory.
post #19 of 30
"But, a solid Web resource is particularly needed at Apple, because its the only company that offers a measly 90-day service warranty; other vendors offer one year standard."

Does this say it takes a quarter of the time to become proficient with OS X versus Windows?
post #20 of 30
How I envy those of you living in the States. If they factored in international support I think their ranking would drop.

Apple Japan' Support Center is a joke, simply put. After several run-ins, I will never call them for any reason.

Last year, for example, when OS 2 was released for iPod touch, the Call Center in Japan asked, "Is that an Apple product?"

 

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You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

How I envy those of you living in the States. If they factored in international support I think their ranking would drop.

Apple Japan' Support Center is a joke, simply put. After several run-ins, I will never call them for any reason.

Last year, for example, when OS 2 was released for iPod touch, the Call Center in Japan asked, "Is that an Apple product?"

Not to make light of it, but you should use Skype and call them in the US!
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Not to make light of it, but you should use Skype and call them in the US!

I now only purchase from my local reseller which is a major electronics chain here in Japan and let THEM deal with Apple Japan when the need arises.

Just recalling the past headaches gives me another!

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #23 of 30
Quote:
"But, a solid Web resource is particularly needed at Apple, because its the only company that offers a measly 90-day service warranty; other vendors offer one year standard."

Maybe things are different here in the UK, but I was under the impression that all their computers come with a 1-year warranty. It is only the phone support which is 60 days.
post #24 of 30
The notion that Apple may indeed have the best tech support is not too unrealistic. However, the data used in this survey is not a scientific survey that would pass muster statistical analysis:

"The magazine tested the technical support lines by calling twice: Once during off-peak hours, and another when call volume is typically high."

That this is not pointed out in this article betrays the quality of information accepted as "truth" here, and many similar sites.

And when it is repeated enough, it is accepted as a fact.

I should reiterate that I am not saying Apple is not the best in tech support. This survey is not just the authoritative nor definitive report to support that contention.

CGC
post #25 of 30
And Apple is top again!
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

not to make light of it, but you should use skype and call them in the us! :d

lol!
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tauron View Post

Well, when you are competing against a bunch of $1000 notebooks and $400 desktop machines running Winblows Shitsta the outcome is not surprising. Not that Apple is bad, no it is quite good with support even though one needs it once a year or so. But the only way to lose against the competition is if every machine came defective from the factory.

Winblows Shitsa comes from Microshite right?
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

No surprise here.

same with me.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Does anyone think Microsoft will include this in their new "Laptop Hunter" ads?

They'll say Apple cheated in the competition and Microshit's shares will hit an all time low of $0.02.
post #30 of 30
You get what you pay for!
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