back to article Apple tops tech support success poll

Apple's consumer-oriented tech support is rather better than other vendors' equivalents, US non-profit organisation the Consumers Union has claimed. CU asked subscribers of its Consumer Reports magazine to detail their computer tech support experiences. Some 10,000 incidents relating to laptops and desktops were logged by the …

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Amazing

It's one thing to sell computers by the truck load (and Apple sure are doing that lately) but then to be there if they go wrong is the sign of a really great company.

Now - where's my share broker... I'm feeling a bulk-buy coming on... :)

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Anonymous Coward

Yep...

HP are so inferior that you can barely get a driver from their stupid website....

Every time I've tried over the last few months I always get a problem. And not just from one PC either.

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Gates Halo

Well we all know that..

The average apple user would rather lie than speak ill of their god.

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Yikes!

I'm glad my doctor doesn't work for Apple!

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Flame

I know why...

Apple's users ask easier questions?

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Thumb Up

Good service, yus

Its always good fun phoning up their tech support, these guys will work you through a problem and wont stop until they have found the solution. May I add the people you talk to always manage to be entertaining and a bit "Hip"

Then I have had to deal with the other end, people like Belkin, who you can tell are reading through a script and seem clueless "Yes I already done that, you want me to try again anyway? I already tried that with your other work collegue three times who then cut me off Oh gawd, this is going to be a long night..."

Cue other people making comments about "Fan-bois" *Shrug*

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Anonymous Coward

Pointless

A pointless poll as Apple owners never have a bad word to say about Apple, and HP are the biggest PC manufacturer in the world which makes it an obvious candidate to offer tech support.

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Unhappy

My view

The Genius Bar in Applestore are great for home users, but the support outside of the USA for business users is pretty much non-existent.

The warranty period should be increased from 1 to 2 - 3 years too, especially for displays, no other display maker offers a paltry 1 year warranty, let alone a premium brand and priced one.

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Not a big deal

When you have a small share of the market, you don't have to flag 400 calls every 3 minutes.

Also, since you only provide FREE support for 90 days, I'm sure many people are working other avenues; thus keeping down the amount of traffic Apple must flag.

Lastly, Apple runs what.... 4 or 5 applications?? Pffftt.. c'mon.

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that was very predictable ...

after all the standard answer at apple is : you don't need to know ...

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Stop

@Aodhhan

When ANY company is shipping more than 2 million machines per quarter then the tech support set-up is less than trivial. The only question is over how much money you're going to allocate to the support budget and the culture you're going to foster within the division.

Dell, HP etc think that outsourcing the support to a third party company in India is the best way to keep their customers happy. In order to make a profit these companies must get through as many calls as possible in as short a time as possible.

Apple think that a local support team (including in store staff who will help you for free beyond 90 days without an extended support agreement), combined with using components specified to higher than normal tollerences (i.e. fewer support calls needed) is a better solution. This survay seems to indicate that Apple have the better approach.

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Jobs Horns

<Title>

I thought Apples were so easy to use that _no-one_ ever has any problems with their kit, therefore the tech support must have a 100% success rate dealing with the non-existent support calls

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Flame

Say what?

Apple? On top of something?

Wow. . .And here I was thinking that I got a deal from Asus, Western Digital, eVGA and all the other manufactures of components in my computers at home. I mean I get 5 year on drives, 3 on the board, lifetime on the video card. I have to say to all the manufactures out there its great you guys provide *coughcrappycough* support for your products but when your existing "in house" warranties nullify the normal ones that come with a product I bought online or in a store thats bullshit. Ex: If I but a 150Gb WD Raptor from Newegg I get the normal 5 year warranty if I buy a Dell XPS or something with a 150Gb WD Raptor with a 1 year default warranty I get coverage for one year. If said drive fails a year after that has run out guess what? Im SOL and in addition if I want to get a new one from the "COMPUTER" manufacture ill be paying about $600 or more for a drive that I can pick up elsewhere for maybe $200.

I know no one here is but you have to be stupid to give these idiots the satisfaction of taking your money without even the courtesy of a reach around.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm gonna go ahead and call BS

Apple's support sucks. How is 90 days good? Sure it's good, who calls in the first 90 days? Then if you did buy the extra warranty, the day after it is over your laptop motherboard dies, and they tell you you're screwed. So you do the right thing and sell off the hdd... ram etc to get at least something out of it. Then a few months later Apple admit the motherboard had a known bug, and start replacing them.

Or the other laptop you purchased from them (newer model) $@#$!#@! motherboard dies, but they don't replace it, because the retaining clip on the RJ45 jack is cheap brittle shit and broken, so clearly the motherboard was damaged by the user.

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Anonymous Coward

Ignorance is bliss

Funny, how many Apple-haters are still around. If you don't use a product why make idiotic statements about it? No life? Nothing better to do?

First of all, Apple's software warranty is 90 days, hardware is 1 year. Both can be extended to 3 years by purchasing a single AppleCare support plan. Which, after all these years of using Apple products, I have never had to buy (my 20 year old Mac SE still boots and runs).

Secondly, to the idiot that said, "Apple runs what.... 4 or 5 applications", Apple computers can run more software than any other computer system, including all software for Mac OS X, Linux/Unix, and Windows. (Mac OS X currently runs thousands of applications.) The fact that you assume "Apple" equals "Mac OS X", shows you have no idea what you're talking about.

And finally, anyone who values their money would of course get upset if something goes wrong with anything they buy. If I buy a product and something goes wrong with it, regardless of who made it, damn straight I'm going to expect them to fix it or get pissed if they don't. The fact of the matter is, the quality of Apple's products are much higher than most of what you can buy. And the fact that some of you can't accept that, just shows how ignorant you really are.

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You PC Users are Hilarious

Face the facts - you bought an inferior OS. The computer is fine. BY savings a few dollars (and it is down to dollars now), you are a penny wise and and a pound foolish. For $5 more, you get FREE support in 200 stores, iLife and a rock solid OS (zero viruses for 50 million users) but hey, why bother checking out something better when you'd rather use a bash kit computer. Have fun with that.

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Alert

90 days

So you should buy a support contract if you travel frequently or own an Apple.

I'm sure the folks at Apple are very happy to hear that. That's why they set their warranty at 90 days in the first place. (Also because their products break/catch on fire/melt so much.)

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FAO bitching fantards

Hi,

I have noted before in these comment sections that I have no particular allegiance to any particular OS - I have had good and bad experiences on all of the flavours of MS/Apple/Linux that I have dabbled with from a technical standpoint.

A couple of examples relating to the stars of the article, Apple and HP:

HP: Hateful experience, but *generally* gets you sorted in the end. You have to pry though, as even the simplest things can stump them.

A friend of mine couldn't find the driver for a device on an HP DC7700 for an image she was making, which I was helping out with/learning from. I suggested it was probably the TPM module [new on those at the time IIRC] but she went through the tech support route with HP anyway. After about a week of being escalated to various different customer service and tech support reps, I downloaded the driver package, 'borrowed' her mouse while she was on the phone, ran the package, and pop, TPM module appears in Device manager.

As such, HP support can be incredibly lacking if they can't even work that part out on the first call. I'm saying nothing about my colleague and her wood/trees/sight problem there - I'll blame the fact that I think we had all been drinking the night before, which may not have helped, and her being a bit stubborn and possibly not liking someone her junior telling her how to do her job probably wasn't helping her hangover ;-)

Apple: A few times I have had to call apple over the years as part of my jobs, however, regardless of the actual problem, the actual experience on the phone has always been good - empathy, patience [as I'm not too hot with OS X ], proper english as oppose to someone with a thick Urdu accent who is called Montgomery [seriously] and have had a first time fix most times. The couple of times there was a hardware fault, returns were collected within a couple of days, and sent back within a couple of weeks - really can't fault it.

I'll happily admit that Apple support hasn't been my bread and butter for a while, but the point is that it hasn't had to be - contacting Apple has generally been pretty painless.

And that's the thing - this isn't about hardware x is better than hardware y, etc - it's about how you are treated by the customer/technical support reps on the end of the phone - and Apple really do seem to have that down to a tee.

How do I know? three years of callcentre work [including a year and a half on premium rate] without a single complaint against me IIRC, perhaps suggests I have an idea about what is decent support and what blows goats...

If you are reading this like a dog that has just been shown a card trick, ranting to yourself along the lines of "but Apple has closed architecture and crappy software warranty period" or similar, then may I suggest you actually *read the article* and you might realise that it is the customer support, not the hardware or software itself.

You idiots.

*rolls eyes, opens beer, awaits flames from gobshite, fantards on all sides*

Steven "can read to a level beyond the age of seven, unlike most fantards" Raith

PS: Reg Staff - any use of the phrase fantards is allowed as long as you expressly credit me for it's use in a footnote ;-)

PPS: fantard = retard fanboi. IE all of them.

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Anonymous Coward

Can't Stand It

Apparently the bar of "Good Support" has been drastically lowered in this case or the sample of end-users was carefully chosen. I use Apple products because I like concentrating on the tasks at hand rather than having to fiddle around getting the tool(ie lapptop) to work. But I have to say that support from Apple, HP, Dell all suck. The Apple Genius Bar is a Joke.

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Unhappy

Where IS Webster?

If Webster doesn't comment on this article then it can only mean he's died. If this is the case, then why didn't I get an invite to the memorial service?

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Gold badge

Apple-haters

"Funny, how many Apple-haters are still around. If you don't use a product why make idiotic statements about it? No life? Nothing better to do?"

Well, yeah. People hate on lots of products. Apples are a good target though; they're expensive, the Apple fans like to argue they're not expensive. And, reliability varies a lot by model from fantastic to absolute lemon, while Apple fans like to "prove" the whole line's perfect by citing examples of long-lasting (reliable) models they've owned.

"First of all, Apple's software warranty is 90 days, hardware is 1 year. Both can be extended to 3 years by purchasing a single AppleCare support plan. Which, after all these years of using Apple products, I have never had to buy (my 20 year old Mac SE still boots and runs)."

The SE was solid. Some Apples have not been.

"Secondly, to the idiot that said, "Apple runs what.... 4 or 5 applications", Apple computers can run more software than any other computer system, including all software for Mac OS X, Linux/Unix, and Windows. (Mac OS X currently runs thousands of applications.) The fact that you assume "Apple" equals "Mac OS X", shows you have no idea what you're talking about."

Well, "4 or 5" is harsh, but the fact of the matter is, Apple essentially does equal Mac OS X. Otherwise, you might as well just have a PC, they can run Linux/Unix and Windows software (although, personally, I wouldn't recommend Windows on either machine.) However, you're right though, I run Ubuntu and don't lack for apps; if I ran OS X I wouldn't lack for apps either.

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Warranty

As many have pointed out, the 90 days is free software support, you may have noticed that you don't get that at all with any of the other manufacturers for free.... the hardware warranty is 1 year and AppleCare is pretty darn competitively priced compared to other extended warranties i've bought in our office over the years.

That said of all the dealings i've had with warranty companies Apple certainly do come out trumps, Toshiba were also excellent.... Dell, IBM and HP were all rubbish (HP for servers are a world apart but hell do you pay for that!!)

Then again i have experience so what do i matter.... that should never get in the way of a flame war now should it.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh god that's funny.

Apple top? Dell above average?

I think it's safe to say that this consumer report is one that can be safely ignored unless tech support really has reached such a sorry state.

Dell is hands down the worst technical support experience I've ever encountered anywhere in any industry. Apple certainly isn't the work but at absolute best it's mediocre and that's only assuming you're lucky enough to get someone competent which I'd guess is about 1/100 chance.

Have to agree Toshiba is probably one of the best, ironically I've had okay dealings with HP but this could be luck as I've dealt with them very few times.

It's largely irrelevant though anyway, even when Apple's support is mediocre, their hardware is crap, the very fact I've had to contact them so much about hardware faults talks volume. With Dell whilst their support is the worst ever, their hardware is at least much more reliable so you don't have to deal with them _too_ often. It's down to the difference in the way Apple/Dell work - Apple produce products of completely new form factors that haven't been tried and tested which leads to all sorts of defects when they reach the consumer. Dell on the other hand uses standard form factors as well as standard tried and tested PC hardware so is a lot more defect free.

The software debate is different, OSX is great if you only want to do the things OSX lets you do but if you want to do anything outside the box like for example persistent static routes then expect to have to go through a hell of a lot on Mac OS to keep it between reboots and upgrades whilst in Linux/Windows it's a simple one line command. This is exactly why Apple will never make it into the business marketplace though because their hardware can be too problematic with some models and their software is worthless outside the most very basic standalone desktop user scenario.

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Stop

Re:Amazing

>It's one thing to sell computers by the truck load (and Apple sure are doing that lately) but then to be there if they go wrong is the sign of a really great company.<

Really? I thought it was just a legal (and moral) obligation. For the 1st 12 months at least...

Mark

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