Apple Computer tops all brands in customer service survey

“The March issue of Consumer Reports, which came out last week, included a survey of 4,100 consumers, who gave Dell 62 points out of a possible 100 for its support on desktop PCs. Although it still managed to top competing brands Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, which scored 54 and 51, respectively, Dell’s rating represented a decline from the magazine’s last desktop support survey, published in June 2003, in which it received a 64,” John G. Spooner reports for CNET News.

“Apple Computer led the pack, with 74 in the recent survey, while Gateway scored 61. A score of 80 would mean that respondents were very satisfied, while 60 is described as fairly well satisfied. Differences of more than four points in the survey were meaningful, the report said,” Spooner reports.

Full article here.


  1. I am not surprised. A client of mine ignored my advise and bought 20 Dell desktops last year. Within six months, they had two dead hard drives, one bad Ethernet (built into the motherboard), one montior dead, and one power supply dead. All were fixed under warranty, but do you know how much time was wasted, both on the phone and in the client’s repairing all of this crap?

    I can’t think of the last time I had a hardware failure on my Mac clients.

  2. Actually, just want to set the record straight: Macs, thus far for me, have been notorious with hadware problems. My best friend purchased a 17″ Powerbook, and had to return it less than two weeks later because a hardware failure forced it to be unable to boot. His new laptop (the replacement) had a dead pixel that always remains blue, and is thus very noticeable, on the middle of the left side of the screen. As for me, my first 17″ Powerbook had to be returned the following day as I discovered late that night when I finally booted it that the keyboard was broken. Whenever I hit the U key, it wouldnt’ stick down, but it would continue to scroll U’s on the screen. It would even do that if I hit any keys around it. My new Powerbook replacement had a defective battery. After spending three weeks on the phone, they finally replaced my battery, and now my computer works fine. But even then, customer service wasn’t all that great. They told me my build of the OS was too old and to download the new one on the website, which also happened to be the same build. Very smart…

    But, I still love Apples and will never go back to a PC world again. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> Once your hardware works, it is all worth it.

  3. Russell has a good point. The hardware is not bullet-proof. But I guess it has a lower failure rate than the others. I have had a problem with my iBook and had to send it in. This is the first problem I have had with a Mac in the 10 years I have owned their computers. It just sucks that the computer went down because it was the day I had to give a lab presentation with all my fellow students and advisor that run Windoze. I keep telling them the Mac is great and it craps-out on an important date- just my luck.
    So overall, I’m fairly happy but the few problems brings down the consumer satisfaction from perfect (which is probably not attainable).

  4. Also, I think Apple users grade the company on a substantial curve; an emotional attachment to the company can lead to stronger satisfaction ratings. Take, for example, Gateway being third despite being known for some rather woeful product quality–apparently the cow boxes help.

  5. MDN: I was expecting to see an article about Apple, but this links to an article about Dell’s results which happens to have a tiny mention about Apple. Too bad you can’t quote directly from Consumer Reports, rather than a cursory blurb about Apple in a CNET article about Dell. Rather sad, almost desperate, reporting style.

    Regardless, go Apple!

  6. I run both Macs and a Compaq and a Dell. In 20 years of Macs I have NEVER had a hardware problem (tempting fate here guys) – software yes – OSs before 10 were not as satble as 10 is now, I grant. But my Compaq HD has died on me, the Dell has required a system restore and the simple truth is (looking at Xp and OSX side by side) the PCs just take up more time to keep running fast and smooth. There’s no way round that – look at the rate of security patches flowing out of Gatesland, increased vigilance required on viruses and the subtle but real deficit in workflow in the more clumsy world of Windows.

  7. In 15+ years of Mac ownership I’ve had one hard drive fail and my ibook’s logic board go bad (which Apple fixed very quickly at no cost).

    That’s it.

    Sure, not everyone has had as much luck, but on the whole Apple’s quality assurance is much better than anyone else and survey’s like this prove it.

  8. Fun aside:

    Speaking of surveys, I got a call a couple of nights ago from a market research firm. Since I had nothing better to do, I figured I’d chat with them.

    Well, I mentioned the fact that I was not in the market for a desktop computer, since I already have a G5 desktop and I wouldn’t be in the market for a new desktop for at least another four years (which is how long my B&W G3 lasted). However, I was planning on buying a notebook for my roomate in the next few months.

    So of course, they ask me to rate all these companies: Dell, Compaq, HP, Gateway, Toshiba. (Her: “When I think of Dell, I think of ‘Innovation.'” Me: “Strongly disagree”. Her: “One a scale of 1 to 10…” Me: “One.”) I could hear that she was pretty amused. I warned her in advance that I’m one of those Mac people you hear about…

    All in all, an entertaining way to spend 15 minutes…

  9. Apple hardwares on average are better than others. Still though, their quality is not what it used to. I remember the abuse my old trusty Mac took without complains.

  10. Anecdotes aren’t stats. A limited number of units have been defective in certain product lines–but that’s always been true for Apple, AND ALWAYS been true for other companies. In fact, the stats show, it’s been worse for them.

    My AlBook 15 is the best-built, most rugged computing device I have ever laid my hands on–and that’s a model that (for some) had problems early on!

  11. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a huge Apple fan, but I (and one other guy) support a base of 400 iBooks, and the failure is phenominal. Although this may be an anecdote, I have a few 3-ring binders here containing every warranty claim we have with Apple. I’m not knocking Apple, but when every unit has failed, at least once, some four or five times, it’s getting tiresome. I miss the days of the rugged clamshells, pismo’s, wallstreets, lomabrdi’s. Thise were tough machine with solid hardware. These new “whitebooks” are, erm, weak. I have the facts, I know the truth, but I still think the Mac is far superior to any other computer. Hopefully, Apple will start putting form after function again, or at least meet in the middle.

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