back to article Apple tops customer satisfaction poll as rivals' ratings slide

Apple has been named the computer maker that most satisfies its customers after it scored a personal best of 85 out of 100 - ten points above its nearest rival, Dell - in a key US customer satisfaction index. The figures comes from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a survey that's been run by the University of …

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  1. Alexis Vallance
    Thumb Up

    Yay

    You pay a bit more, but you do get a genuinely nice machine for your money. And I've never had any problems with Apple.

    Pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap companies have a harder job keeping customers happy. Those low prices have to paid for somewhere along the line.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not surprising

    I'm not saying Apple stuff is good or bad, but the people who buy Apple stuff tend to be the sort of people who want to buy apple stuff. It's therefore no surprise that these people are generally happy with their purchases.

    It's a bit like expensive girlfriends who like lots of sparkly jewellery - they are happy with the sparkly jewellery they buy (or that gets bought for them :-) ) because that's what they want.

  3. Nick Fisher
    Thumb Up

    Makes sense

    I bought my first Mac back in 1991, and I've been using them ever since.

    How many hardware problems have I had with them? Er, none.

    Days lost due to dodgy software/OS upgrades? Zero.

    Viruses and malware? Zilch.

    As with everything in life, you get what you pay for.

    Apple, reassuringly expensive since 1976.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Results somewhat skewed

    As the majority of Apple users will defend them to the death no matter what failures/cock-ups/pretending issues don't exist they are guilty of. In the world where Jobs is God, he can do no wrong.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh...

    Webster, Webster. Wherefore art thou, Webster?

  6. Ben Bufton
    Heart

    As the saying goes...

    You can please all of the people some of the time...

    :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    I can see it now...

    ASCI: Hello, can I speek to Me I. Fanboi please

    Apple buyer: Yes how can ihelp?

    ASCI:We want to know what you think of some companys

    Apple buyer: Yes?

    ASCI: We will start with Dell and HP

    Apple buyer: Rubbish. I got a Dell the other week and it tryed to burn down my house and rape my children

    ASCI: What are your Views on Apple.

    Apple buyer: Wonderfull. The best thing ever. Even when they brake the do it in such a stylish way.

    ASCI: Anything else to add?

    Apple buyer: One thing. I do love it when Jobs and Co Bend me over and take my roughly from behind. They tell me that if I don't let them I won't be cool any more.

  8. Sergie Kaponitovicz
    Gates Halo

    Bring it on Webster ......

    .... I can't wait to read your pearls of wisdom re this article. Just take a few Prozacs first - we don't want you to die from an apoplectic fit!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Webster

    cue another bile-laden, psychotic and dilusional rant from his lordship...

    Frankly, Apple are the same as any other IT supplier in my opinion - no better, no worse. Maybe worse actually - it's not like you can just stroll into any IT shop in the high street and have them fix it. It always involves a trip to an Apple dealer, who 75% of the time ship it back to Apple. Not so convenient for us rural-based scots.

    Now, BT and their other Telecoms ilk...*that's* worth a PROPER rant...

    There's no symbol for *apathetic shrug*.

  10. Steve

    Um,

    Wasn't Vista released in 2006? Shipped on machines early 2007 from memory.

    So what was Apple's score last year? If it's gone up from last year then wouldn't another conclusion be that Vista SP1 would be to blame rather than Vista?

    I point this out as it's complete bollocks..... If Apple have improved things from customer service / pricing / spec then credit to them.

    I'm sure iTunes and the iPod, as well as releasing a new handset onto the market in 2007 made no difference to this poll.......?! ;-)

  11. andy
    Happy

    Apple customer support

    This doesn't surprise me. I'm a die hard Windows user and have been for over 15 years. The only Apple product I own is an iPod Nano, but recently I had some issues with it so I emailed Apple tech support (UK). One email later (which arrived the same day!) and everything was sorted out. A far cry from numerous other companies I've dealt with who've taken weeks (sometimes over a month) with emails going back and forward to resolve anything.

    I'm sure there are people who have had different experiences, but when you have a good experience of customer service you remember it, and it's been enough for me to consider buying a computer from them since, despite being a long time Windows user.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Just goes to prove

    Not even Apple can fool all of the people :-p

    Paris - I am sure she loves the superfluous nature of Apple gadgets

  13. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Halo

    That's why...

    This is exactly the reason why there appears to be so much Apple-bashing from a vocal minority recently. Me included...

    Some people just can't cope with the fact that the vast majority of Apple users are hugely satisfied with their purchases.

    These non-Apple users have invested considerable sums of money in inferior products, and suffer the consequences, even though better alternatives are available. It makes them feel quite small and foolish.

    So, to make themselves feel better and less stupid, they resort to knocking all those people who've bought an Apple product and are happy with it.

    It's typical playground behaviour - you try to bring down those happier or more successful than yourself, in a failed attempt to make yourself look and feel better.

    Unfortunately, you just end up looking even more unintelligent making uninformed comments all over the internet.

    And while this is going on, the very people you're aiming your comments at are elsewhere enjoying life using their superior products.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    I should hope so too!

    I mean what on earth are you paying all that extra money for if not the best quality service? I'd be mighty pissed if I got second rate service after paying such a premium.

  15. Alice Andretti
    Gates Halo

    Some Apple users would be satisfied to be flogged.

    I suspect that a significant percentage of Apple customers, or at least the people who regularly buy *new* Macs on a frequent basis, would be satisfied if Apple sent a representative to their home and personally flogged them. I am always amazed at how much crap that some of the loyal Mac users will put up with in the name of "loyalty," and it's not always possible to rationally discuss any alleged problems with the Mac OS without running the risk of being accused of being a "troll" or a Mac-basher. It's mystefying.

    Therefore I'm not impressed that Apple "scored a personal best of 85 out of 100 - ten points above its nearest rival, Dell," because there is surely a significantly higher percentage of Mac owners who would at least *claim* to be satisfied no matter what (even if in their heart of hearts they had some complaints and misgivings about the OS or how Apple treated them or whatever).

    As to the poll's "nearest rival, Dell" - are there zealous religious-fervor Dell evangelistas who would love to convert the entire world to Dell, and who take it personally and get all defensive when someone criticizes Dell? I don't know - maybe there are. I haven't encountered any. There are a lot of Mac users like that though (substititute "Mac" for "Dell" in my sentence above).

    For the record: I use Macs (really old ones, which still work just fine for certain things), PC's (Windows XP, which works fine for certain other things), and Linux (still haven't settled on which distro yet; Linux has its uses too) - each OS has its place and its own respective faults and advantages. I wouldn't say that any *one* OS is better than another for *all* tasks; just depends on what you need them to do.

    However I don't approach OS's with a loyal religious fervor like some other Mac users do, and I'm not a big fan of tolerating crap in the name of loyalty - regardless of *what* company it might happen to be.

    Even when I was a Mac-only user (before I discovered Windows), I never understood some of the Mac loyalists' attitudes, and frankly their attitudes were a big TURN-OFF and that was one of the things that made me curious about Windows - like, "Can Windows really be *that* bad?" Turns out that Windows isn't really all that bad, at least now... maybe Windows *used* to awful?? I dunno, came onboard the MS ship with WinXP - don't know about earlier versions - XP seems fine. In fact there are some things that I really *like* about Windows (and a few things that I don't like so much).

    So anyway I don't trust this poll. I guess my point is that the average non-Mac-using person can't expect to run out and buy a Mac and be ensured that they'll be satisfied with it just because it scored "85 out of 100" on some poll.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Own Up

    Who's stolen Websters password? Serious case of ID theft

  17. Whitter

    Dell got second?

    Dell got second? Granted the range of scores for non-Apple companies is very small - likely statisitcally irrelevant - but still, Dell?

    I guess quanity beats quality then.

  18. Alice Andretti
    Paris Hilton

    You guys got there before me!

    @ AC ("Not surprising"), and AC ("Results somewhat skewed"), and AC "(I can see it now"), you guys beat me to the punch. When I posted, this article had zero replies (I thought I'd be the first!), but after I posted, it had a whole bunch of replies, including the ones mentioned, which sort of say what I was saying (kinda/sorta) to some extent, only in a much briefer version. Oh well...

    Paris because she probably uses more than one OS at a time too (as I sit here typing this on Windows while fiddling with Photoshop and HTML stuff on my old Mac).

  19. Tim Bergel
    Alert

    What on earth?

    Is it possible, can there be two Websters...

  20. giles Peacock
    Happy

    Silly Argument

    It's the same with cars: you invest in a brand, you tend to 'big it up' because you don't want to feel that you made the wrong choice.

    Advertisers know this... apparently most car adverts are aimed at reassuring people that they made the right choice. They know folk don't buy new cars every week, but they want you to stick with your current brand when you do.

    How many apple users have played with Vista for more than five minutes? How many PC users have used an Apple for that long recently?

    But everyone wants to feel right.....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dude, you're getting a Dell

    Ever wonder why people are prepared to defend Apple to the death?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    @ Webster

    HAHAHAHAHAHA........

    HAHAHAHAHA......

    Nice one.

    The alien, 'cos the real Webster's been abducted.

  23. Benny

    @That's why...

    Seriously, whos taken his account?! Maybe Jobs has had him brainwashed...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Webster

    Ok, Webster, seriously...

    What are you playing at?

    I'm starting to wonder whether Webster is actually a lot more intelligent than he makes out, and his bile infested anti-apple rants are actually him being ironic and doing an impression of a typical ranting comment-tard.

    And the rest of us are too stupid to realise his comedic genious.

    ....Or it could just be that 2 people share his login..

  25. Greg

    @Can there be two Websters?

    Yep. There's two Gregs, after all.

  26. JayB
    Coat

    @webster

    Wow... I mean.. just.... wow.

    That came soooo close to passing a Turin Test but nope, not close enough, you still rate as a fruit loop rather than a human.

    There it is peeps, own an Apple or you won't be as pretty, sexy, successful, informed and intelligent as Webster.

    Anyone want to lay money on Webby being in the Cult of Scientology as well?

    Webby, it matters not whether a product is good or bad, merely how loyal it's customer base is. You can produce a piece of tempremental junk (TVR, awesome car, but hardly reliable) but if your customers are loyal enough they'll forgive the exceptionally regular trips back to the garage. Hence it doesn't greatly surprise me that Apple tops that poll, because let's be honest, when was the last time you saw someone trying to sleep with their Dell? I mean, no one gives a flying f**k what their PC is (ok no one that is semi normal) except Apple, so yes, they tend to give Apple inflated scores. Business-wise, they're no better nor worse than anyone else.

    Mine's the one with "Marketing Pollsters - suck a tailpipe PLEASE".

  27. Michael Jarve

    Apple users in bed with Rover drivers?

    Although Range Rovers rank at or near the bottom of the lists for reliability, in a seemingly bizarro-universe way they also rank at or near the top for customer satisfaction, where as something more ordinary, say a run-o-the-mill Ford sedan may have infinitely greater reliability, but the customers seem underwhelmed by the experience.

    For the record, I own a Mac and a 95 Range Rover County LWB (Vogue SE, for you Brits). 183,000 hard-fought miles.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Webster

    ...

    err...

    speechless.

    The webster repents. Those pyschotherapy sessions must be paying off..the first steps to healing has begun!

  29. Craig Powell
    Linux

    Re: Not Surprising

    Does this argument presume that people who buy Windows machines tend to be the sort of people who /don't/ want to buy Windows stuff? And that it's therefore no surprise that these people are generally unhappy with their purchases?

    I think you overestimate the duration of the 'ooh, sparkly' post-purchase honeymoon period as well. It's all very well having a nice new piece of equipment, but unless these surveys were quite soon after purchase, there's plenty of time for that effect to rub off. Unless, of course, people stay happy because the computer works for them. Whether apple computers are any better than Windows machines or not, it seems extremely shallow to assume the users are all deluded.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Lies and damn lies

    If the 250 households only had 5 Mac's in it and 4 are happy, they get 80% satisfaction rating. That's fair, in a completely not fair sort of way.

    Hiwever, if you are actually popular (IBM,Dell etc) then there are more people using them and you are bound to get complete w@nkers in the crowd.

    The stats would only be significant if it was say 250 Mac users,250 Dell users, 250 IBM users asked. Then we'd see what the real satisfaction figures are. Trying to find 250 Mac users would be difficult I grant you but look up Steve's ar$ehole, most are up there.

    Paris - 100% satisfaction guaranteed and there is only one of her (and I've seen the videos so there)

  31. TimM
    Dead Vulture

    Pointless

    I'm sure Ferrari also has a higher level of customer satisfaction compared to Ford. Does that mean everyone can afford a Ferrari? No.

    Would be interesting to see true Value for Money data. Whilst I'm certain Apple fans see their purchase as good value for money no matter what they spend (or perhaps would say that to justify the high price they paid), how does it fare in the cheaper end of PCs?

  32. Jonathan Tate
    Happy

    Eh.

    The only thing I'm dissatisfied about with my Dell Inspiron 1420 is the fscking Nvidia 8400m time bomb garbage. Other than that, the customer service has been spot on every time I've called or used the service chat service.

    Though, I paid for the best service plan they had available which makes me wonder this: how many of the PC users paid for an extended service plan compared to the Apple users? I'd be willing to bet that played some (possibly minor?) part in the overall satisfaction score as Apple users seem to be more willing to shell out for the add-ons.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Er, is it just me or ...

    wasn't this survey about customer support? If so, the majority of posters here are missing the point. A customer support survey has nothing to do with how good or bad a company's products are. It is about how well the company handles the situation when things go wrong.

    Therefore, if Apple scores highest in such a survey, it doesn't mean their products are better or worse than anybody else's, at least not necessarily. All it means is that they have dealt with problems in a way that their customers were happy with more often than their competitors handled such situations to the satisfaction of their customers. That's all.

    I personally don't care which product folks use, I sort out problems on behalf of coworkers no matter which brand. And although I haven't had to deal with Apple as often as I had to deal with other vendors' customer service, I have to say from the observations I made, I can see why Apple's customer service gets significantly higher marks than their competitors.

    I noticed that when there are problems of the kind where companies may argue whether or not it is a problem serious enough to replace the product, most computer vendors' customer service reps will put in a lot of effort to try to avoid replacing the product or a part. In my experience, Apple is very easy on that, they are much sooner willing to offer a replacement than other vendors.

    I am quite suprised to see Dell being #2 in that survey. My own experience with Dell is not as positive. It has often takes me lots of escalating to supervisors and even higher before Dell customer service was starting to deal with issues we've had instead of trying to argue to make us go away.

    With Apple I recall two cases were I was rather pleasantly surprised. In one case one our our junior IT guys had purchased some portable disk drive at an Apple store for some project where things were going hurry-hurry and some items were purchased without the usual process. However, the guy bought the drive with the wrong connector (I think it was a Firewire 400 versus Firewire 800 issue) but instead of returning it right away he unpacked it and fooled around with it to the point where I could have sworn that Apple would not take the damn thing back, the packaging was torn, too. What looked like it made our chances even worse to return the thing was the fact that Apple didn't actually have the one in stock which we needed, so they could not simply replace it. Yet, Apple took it back and refunded the money, no questions asked. Not even any kind of attitude like "We are going to let you get away this time, but next time you check first before you buy!" Nothing like that, they were very friendly and understanding and apologised that they didn't have the model in stock which we needed.

    The other experience I recall with Apple was about a power cord that connects from the power supply brick to a Mac notebook. The cable was somewhat bulged right behind the connector and the exec who was using it was about to go on a business trip so he was worried that the cable might break while he is on the road, so he wanted it replaced. I thought there was no way Apple was going to replace something that hadn't even broken yet, just on suspicion that it looks like it might break soon. So I suggested we simply purchase a spare power supply, but the exec said "Trust me, Apple are going to replace it", so I went to the Apple store, and to my surprise, they replaced the thing, no questions asked.

    If these cases are not just lucky accidents at our local Apple store, if this is the kind of attitude that Apple customer service staff are taught as a general customer service policy, then I am not at all surprised that they fared so well in this survey.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Hardware reliability

    Never owned an Apple. I think they're very pretty, with good integration, e.g., time machine, but the hardware is shite. And so are the geniuses.

    All three Apple laptops owned by a friend's children have gone wrong (and they've been through about seven iPods). For the two hardware problem, the geniuses can't diagnose, they report one of two things "needs new display" £550+VAT "needs new logic board" er, £550+VAT

    Case one: widely known fault, new video lead $36 imported (bugger to switch though)

    Case two: (so blindly obvious) new DC board $20 - about 20 minutes

    I recommend iFixit.com - excellent service manuals and cheap parts (Actually I really recommend Linux and utility hardware)

  35. Law
    Paris Hilton

    ..... a title

    Webster has upset me... I was looking forward to a facts-of-life roasting in the style of the boardroom scene in Liar Liar.

    My 1p (2 cents - or is it now?) - I've only ever bought one apple product, and so far I'm very happy with it. Then again, I was never really that unhappy with any of my previous windows laptops or operating systems (except for the beta Vista I downloaded - then promptly deleted, and possibly Suse 10, which was free too).

    I know there are alot of fanboys out there, and I know they spout too much crap for the world to just ignore - but there are some intelligent customers who are genuinely happy with their purchase. My only gripe is the misinformation and outright lies sometimes circulated about apple products by apple.

    If you don't believe there are non-fanboys using apple products, take a look at the macbook pro power adapter reviews in the online apple store - when I was looking for a spare for my office I was completely freaked out by how shocking some of the reviews are in there. It was at 1 star last time I looked - and to be fair, if it dies within a year and costs £60 a pop then Apple need a spanking - and fast. But - mines still working, so im happy... for now!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Occam's razor?

    There seem to be 2 main possible reasons being suggested as to why Apple scored so well in this survey:

    1. People are actually happy with their Apple stuff.

    2. They're _so_ embarrassed at having payed over the odds for their shiny kit, they choose to lie in what was, I presume, an anonymously conducted poll.

    Applying Occam's razor, I go for 1.

    Declaring an interest: Apart from a horribly expensive Powerbook G3 which was obsolete minutes after I bought it and broken a couple of months later, I've been really happy with all my Apple stuff. The supermarket PC which followed the G3 may have been cheap - but only if you don't count the hours spent trying to keep it up to date and virus free and then restoring it when I failed.

  37. StopthePropaganda
    Flame

    and in other news

    nine out of ten emperors who wasted the treasury on fine new clothes still insist that they are *not* naked, regardless of what the thousands of public citizens..err..."M$ shills" are saying.

    And I bet 8 of those who voted positive on their Apple purchase also bought the "iamrich" app for their iPhone.

  38. FoTD
    Paris Hilton

    Apple, possibly more evil than M$?

    I don't want this to get into the tierd old debate of which is better, Mac or Windows, that is not the point of my comment. What I wish to point out are purely business ethics differences between Apple and M$. Full disclosure: I don't like either company, nor do I like using their products.

    We all know M$ is a horrible, evil company that has abused it's monopoly in the desktop OS market to force things like IE and SilverLight down our throats. But as horrible and evil as they may be, they aren't the ones I am constantly reading about trying to cover up product flaws by threating people with legal action for discussing them on blogs. Nor are they the ones I am constantly reading about message board posts and entire threads being suddenly removed from their tech support areas in order to hide the fact that people are complaining about their products. No, it is Apple that has been doing this to their customers more and more in recent years! So which is more evil, a company that knows they are mass selling crap to us and doesn't care? Or a company that claims to sell perfection but doesn't and then tries to cover it all up with hard core legal tactics? Sure, M$ has lied to us all about plenty of things. And they have probably engaded in some of the activies I am talking about here. But people are constantly complaining about Apple deleting their tech support posts, or message board owners being sent threatening legal letters just because they dared to point out a flaw in Apple's supposed perfection.

    I honestly never thought I would call any company more evil than M$, but as much as M$ messes things up they still end up discolsing the facts at the end of the day and admitting to flaws. So I am sorry, but I would have to say at this point that Apple is more evil of a company than M$. How ever I think Apple only gets away with this because they are currently such a small player in the market, and these actions are less visible. Just think of the media scandle that would ensue if M$ tried using some of these Apple tactics to cover up product flaws! If M$ tried pulling an entire message thread from Technet, or threatening a blogger with legal action for openly discussing a product flaw, the press would be ALL OVER THEM! But Apple does this on a regular basis and very few people pay attention.

    Appearntly many of their customers are not paying attention to these matters either. If they were I doubt Apple would get the approval rating they did...

    So here's to you Apple fan boys! Ignorance truely is bliss!

    Paris, because you know she's a Mac user.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Apple notebook power adapters guaranteed to break down

    "... take a look at the macbook pro power adapter reviews in the online apple store ..."

    Indeed, Apple's notebook power adapters totally suck, there isn't anything worse on the entire planet. The actual notebooks are generally of good quality though.

    I (and family members) have had more Apple notebooks than I can remember, probably in the order of 20+ machines. There is a clear trend with power adapters: the early notebooks, up until 1995 or 1996 were really solid, but around 1996 the reliability of the power adapters declined. Most common problem: the cable would break right behind the connector that plugs into the notebook and although the actual power supply would still be in working order the whole thing needed replacing. Over time this got worse. It's almost 100% guaranteed that the cable will break and render the power adapter useless within about a year, at least if you actually use the notebook for travel and not stationary where the cable is never touched, never unplugged and never bent.

    As for the actual notebooks, the story is much different. The only ones which have given us grief were the notorious Powerbook 5300 (about 1993) and the Powerbook 2400 (about 1996). The 5300 had a plastic enclosure which disintegrated and the 2400 subnotebook had heat related problems. All the other Mac notebooks we had were rock solid.

    But yes, the power adapters really suck big time.

  40. Ivan Headache

    If there was a Dell Store...

    or an HP store or a Tosh store (etc.) in most major cities, and those stores offered the same sort of services that that an Apple Store offers, then I suspect the ratings for those companies would be considerably higher.

    I can only speak for the stores in London, but when you offer a walk-in service (OK you generally have to book to see a Genius - but not always) that gives you free advice and fault-finding, then it's obvious that your customers are going to praise you.

    I have yet to come across a client who has said a bad word about our local Apple Stores. Apple certainly knew what it was doing when it established the chain.

  41. James Butler
    Thumb Down

    Hmmm...

    I'm with "Lies and damn lies" (AC). Where are the ratings for SGI? What about Sun? Are these top-drawer computers lumped into "Other", or did none of the respondents own/use them? If they are lumped in with "Other", then most certainly their individual scores are being dragged down. If none of the respondents own/use them, then how did Apple owners/users get into the mix? It's not like they have major market share or anything.

    Here's the 2008::Q2 report: http://www.theacsi.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=188

    I would be pleased to learn about progress being made in the satisfaction arena, but reports like this one don't do anything except raise questions that point to the difficulties of gaining meaningful insight into reports like this one.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Apple Customer Satisfaction - ZERO

    My G5 recently suffered a hard drive failure so I telephoned the Glasgow Apple Store and asked them to send me a replacement HD. The reply was " Sorry Sir we do not send out these parts. You must bring it in and WE will do the repair." "Why can't you send me the part ?." We are not allowed to and I don't think we have one in stock anyway."

    The Apple store is a two hundred mile round trip and there are no parking facilities.

    I immediately telephoned the company I purchased the G5 from in 2004, and related my tale of woe. Response - We have the part in stock and if you can give me your credit card number it will be delivered tomorrow. Installed up and running next evening and it was much cheaper than Apple.

  43. Tim Reichelt

    Why?

    The number of Mac users is steadily growing and it continues to be the case that the majority of them become keen promoters of the brand. After so many years watching the frustration of those who don't understand this I have finally tipped over into not caring - much.

    First, if the first thing you think of when you consider your next purchase is the price or the spec then you will not understand what is going on here. It is all about the user interface and the experience of using the machine. Next, if you once tried Macs and had issues, don't forget that you represent a single data point and that, although your experience was real and possibly painful, it is not necessarily the experience of all Mac users.

    Many folks above make a point along these lines "Mac users seem to lap up horrible Mac experiences and keep coming back for more". If we accept that to be true; why? There must be a compensating factor. Once you start talking in millions of people they tend to be much of a muchness. I am not a great believer in mass hallucinations. PCs are in the majority so most folks have had a go of one. Why would these Mac people stick with something worse? It must be offering them something. If you simply ascribe to to stupidity or vanity then why would they not buy the alternatives you would chose? I mean the alternatives are better right? Which came first, the cult or the reputation?

    With regard to the price thing, I could make the usual total cost of ownership argument but I am sure that if you haven't been convinced by now then that's a waste of time. Perhaps I can just throw in this one. Some folks don't much care about price. It is the natural condition on so many of us to be short of money that if seems safe to assume that everyone makes decisions with price as a factor. Well, not everyone does. I have met them. The rich are different. Macs are cheaper in the long run but sometimes it involves a slightly higher expenditure up front. Well, some people aren't the least bit affected by those extra dollars. Sucks to be us hey?

  44. Rolf Howarth

    Re: power adapters

    There definitely *was* a design problem with the first magsafe power adapters. I had a couple and after a few months (I regularly use my laptop on my laptop, so the mains lead dangles about and gets flexed quite a bit) it started fraying at the computer end.

    However, the design was then changed (so the cable has a longer strain relief grommet) and I've had absolutely no problems in the two years since. And Apple instantly replaced my old adapter without any quibbles, so overall I'm pretty satisfied with their customer service.

    (It certainly beats the 3 long and tedious phone calls to India and a 2 hour wait in PC World before they eventually agreed that a brand new Windows laptops that gets so hot you can't touch the keyboard and shuts itself down 10 minutes after turning it on might have a fault and needed replacing.)

  45. James O'Brien
    Coat

    *wipes tears from eyes*

    "Apple has been named the computer maker that most satisfies its customers after it scored"

    Am I the only one who read that part of the first line and started giggling?

    "HP scored 73, Gateway 72, and HP's Compaq business 70. The Others category rated 72."

    And seriously....how bad MUST the customer dis-service be if even OTHERS rated higher then Compaq? Not to mention <B>HOW THE FUCK DOES COMPAQ SCORE LESS THEN HP WHEN THEY ARE THE SAME DAMN COMPANY???</B>

    WOW!!!

    /rant

    /yeah just give me the coat with the gold star on it

  46. Patrick
    Gates Halo

    Vista is needed here!

    Load Vista on the Apple notebooks instead of OS X and don't allow them to downgrade to Windows XP and then lets see how happy these Apple users will be in their satisfaction survey.

  47. Daniel B.

    @Nick Fisher

    "I bought my first Mac back in 1991, and I've been using them ever since."

    Ok, really, did you *really* buy your Mac back in 1991? That'll be System 6. Oh yes, System 6 kicks the Win9x series' ass. But...

    "How many hardware problems have I had with them? Er, none."

    I'll admit to that.

    "Days lost due to dodgy software/OS upgrades? Zero."

    Wait. You didn't ever get that weird MacOS patch (7.5.x something) that b0rked the floppy disk system? Usually, running an installer would require running from disk 1, then switching to disk 2, then disk1, disk3; disk1, disk4 and so. But that weird patch would have you swapping floppies every TWO SECONDS like 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,3,1,3,1,3...

    It was UGLY. It was the worst thing I ever lived through in my entire Mac experience. (1986-1997) It cost me and my dad two full clean/reinstalls until we found out it was the frickin' update causing the thing. Good thing was that Apple made another patch fixing this ... but that took weeks.

    "Viruses and malware? Zilch."

    Guess where Symantec was born. SAM = Symantec Antivirus Manager, one of a few Mac Antivirus apps out there; there was another one with a V logo (can't remember its name) and some others. Granted, the total count of virii out there was about 10. But at least one managed to trash our good ole' Powerbook 180, and another one took down my Jasmine Removable 45Mb cartridge.

    Oh, and if you don't know what "Jasmine" is, you really, really aren't that old-skool with Macs. ;)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Online worldview == The matrix 0.9-beta

    "Nor are they the ones I am constantly reading about message board posts and entire threads..."

    Pal, you are spending too much time online. I'm sorry to destroy your illusionary world, but whatever you read online is not representative of the real world out there, especially not message boards where two opinionated computer junkies arguing with each other can make the entire population of the planet look like nerds. Get a life, go out, talk to real people, read real magazines by real journalists, read a real book once in a while. You may just find out with what the real world is like.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not just the magsafe leads

    @ Rolf Howard

    "There definitely *was* a design problem with the first magsafe power adapters."

    It's not just the magsafe ones, Apple notebook power adapter leads have been breaking all the time, many years before the magsafe ones.

    "the design was then changed (so the cable has a longer strain relief grommet) and I've had absolutely no problems in the two years since."

    Well, good for you, I wasn't that lucky, I have gone through three magsafe power adapters in the last 2 years, all due to a broken power lead.

    "And Apple instantly replaced my old adapter without any quibbles, so overall I'm pretty satisfied with their customer service."

    Yes, they do replace them under warranty and under Apple care for up to 3 years and without any argument. This is fine from a customer service quality point of view but it is not fine from a product quality point of view. Those leads should be made such that they don't break that frequently. Alternatively they could make the leads user replaceable by attaching connectors at both ends so you could just plug in another lead into your still working power adapter. Either way, it's a nuisance that could easily be avoided.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ James Butler

    "Where are the ratings for SGI? What about Sun? Are these top-drawer computers lumped into "Other", or did none of the respondents own/use them?"

    It seems to me that this survey was about customer service for consumer products. Sun and SGI were probably not covered because they don't make any consumer products.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ James O'Brien

    "HOW THE F*** DOES COMPAQ SCORE LESS THEN HP WHEN THEY ARE THE SAME DAMN COMPANY?"

    Very simply because HPQ have chosen to maintain HP PCs and HP-Compaq PCs as different brands. Just because the owners of the businesses are the same doesn't mean that the customer service experience is the same.

    Consider this: until recently Aston Martin was owned by Ford, Bentley is a VW subsidiary, Ferrari is a Fiat subsidiary, Lexus is a Toyota subsidiary. Ask owners of these cars how satisfied they are with their customer service and compare the ratings of the respective pairs. You will get very different ratings. In fact, you wouldn't even expect VW to score the same as Bentley, or would you?!

  52. Nick Fisher

    @Daniel B

    Yep, my first Mac was a 2 Mb LC running System 6.0.7.

    I remember paying for the VRAM upgrade so I could have 8 bit colour on a 13" screen.

    Happy Days!

  53. Glen Turner

    Love the one you're with

    "How many apple users have played with Vista for more than five minutes?"

    Ah, my personal hell. I've had Windows Xp, Windows Vista, MacOS X, FreeBSD, Ubuntu and Fedora all installed on my Mac at various times in the past two years as I've worked through a number of deep customer issues (my very favourite being caused by Win XP's IPv6 implementation not being able to use IPv6 for DNS queries -- how brain-dead and unexpected is that?). No one has been more pleased about the advances in virtualisation than me.

    I can tell you that they all suck. MacOS looks good and is good if you do only one thing. Otherwise you're always forking out another US$25 to $250 for some essential utility that Apple forgot to put in the box.

    After using Vista, Windows Xp feels plastic, like it's going to snap at any moment. But Vista's security model is user interface disaster. Lads, go and have a look at SELinux -- see how it stops bad things first then raises a little flag which you can click on to see why the blocking happened -- that's the right UI model. Not asking "Infect machine with trojans/spyware/viruses, Y/N?" every five minutes.

    Ubuntu. Stamping USER FRIENDLY on the cover doesn't make it so. It's nice, but increasingly dated. But if you need a widget to get stuff done, with no fuss it's installed and running five minutes later. Windows and MacOS -- take note.

    The best operating system is the one which let's you get your job done, that doesn't get in your way. That is, the best operating system is the one you're most used to using.

    Since I learned computing on SunOS (classic, not that weird BSD/SysV hydra-headed Solaris) than means I'm in the small camp that feels most at home with Fedora+Livna.

  54. Ascylto
    Jobs Halo

    First Class Service

    Ok, a concrete example ...

    I recently had an issue with my iPhone syncing with my iMac desktop. I made an online appointment to see a 'Genius' in at a local (lucky for me) Apple Store and told them the problem. They couldn't solve it, stating they'd not come across the error messages before and promised to put the problem to the 'team'. Phone numbers were exchanged.

    A week later I get a phone call from Apple Store ... head 'Genius' honcho asks if I'll bring my machine in for them to sort out free of charge (it's about 2.5 years old) ... oh, and if the computer is too heavy, phone from car park and a member of staff will help me. I'm going to take it in this week. This, by the way, follows them exchanging a non-working LaCie 1Tb drive for a new one when they couldn't even find my record of purchase!

    It's all very well the naysayers having a go at Apple ... I don't know of another company which treats its customers like that and, oh boy, do I like it! And, no, Steve Jobs is not my lover!

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Funny

    PC users are so bitter...

  56. scot2go
    Thumb Up

    Touchy people

    I am not really that surprised at the bitterness the PC believers show towards Mac users. They appear to be so determined to run Mac's down.

    Personally I wouldn't give any PC running any of the Microsoft products house room as that system is just so slow and unreliable. Hand on heart can not say the same for Macs. Plus all those cheap end PC's lumping every component onto the one board... great in an ideal world... but ... Nah!

  57. Rob

    Oh dear god, please just stop beating the dead horse.

    Ok im only going to say this once. And i think i have this whole mac versus pc debate sorted once and for all.

    If you are the kind of person that wants to be creative but doesnt have the time patience or mental capacity to learn the inner workings of a computer then you buy a mac.

    If you want to also be creative, but also blow away nazis and space aliens in a technicolour bloody frenzy, BUT also like to mod your own machine tweak software and learn about a computers inner workings because you have the time, patience and mental capacity to do so, then you buy a pc.

    I have used both macs and pc's over the years and no matter how much they mac lover argue this a mac will never ever ever be as good as a pc for games. I've used an 8 core mac pro with dual nvidias, 8gigs of ram and it struggled to run any half decent recently released game. My pc is literally a quarter of the specs and is twice as powerful, methinks maybe the os licks balls, who knows im no expert.

    Mac users you may be smug about your lack of virii etc, but thats only because you are such a small market share that its not worth writing virii to attack you, why spend months researching a worm to only have it infect a handfull of people. Not smart thinking at all.

    Macs are becoming more popular, and the more so that they do, the bigger a target that they become for virii. I dont wish to see anything happen you you mac guys, but at the end of the day, if it takes an army of worm writers to take that pointless smug look off of your face, then i cant wait for it to happen. Then i can tell them that finally they have reached the world of REAL computing and not just playing with pretty icons.

  58. Aetyr
    Paris Hilton

    Hardware survey?

    Where do comments about OS v OS come into this hardware based article?

    Yeah, Apple are way better than Dell in that area. HP are also way better than Dell though, so not sure what happened there...

    I agree with the person who pointed out that HP and Compaq are one and the same now... Surely, even if the end users on the phone were talking about them in two different names, the results should have been merged? Correct me if they still run separately enough to be considered thus, but I'm sure all the Compaq gear I've seen lately is clearly marked "HP Compaq".

    Microsoft? Linux? well they don't even make PCs so they can bugger off out of this conversation! :D

    Paris, because even she knows the difference between hard and soft.

  59. Ivan Headache

    Can't think of a title for this one

    so I'll just plough on.

    I just got back in from a training session. A very nice lady who works as a freelance executive assistant. (i.e. She works a few hours here, a few hours there etc. for a number of different clients.)

    One of her new clients is Mac based (in French) and has asked me to bring her up to speed on using the Mac.

    After an hour or so of going through the differences, similarities and what-nots with Windows (which she has been using for a good number of years) she suddenly says "I like this, it's much more logical. I think I might just get me one."

    Now I didn't put the words into her mouth, and I was using an older G4 eMac, but it does illustrate that when you have time to sit down with a "guide" the user experience is much more positive, and the "simplicity" of the system as a whole can be appreciated.

  60. Scott Mckenzie

    Support

    As many have said it's about how they deal with the issues, problems, questions etc

    And Apple really are that much better than others, I look after a range of machines from HP, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and Apple - each and every time the support and response from Apple has been excellent, prompt responses, sensible answers, knowledgeable people and in the event of it needing a hardware fix a prompt service and they genuinely seem to want to help.

    Apple store/Genius bar... whatever it is, it's always the same....

    Sure there have been some questionable reliability issues with components over the years, but i've had a new power supply and two new Mighty Mice completely free all delivered within 1 working day. Maybe they parts shouldn't have failed, but they did and no amount of moaning will get over that, but they way the problem was dealt with was stunning.... compare that to toshiba telling me to f**k off (not in quite those words) when we had power supply, battery, display issues....

  61. Ascylto

    @ Rob - Almost ...

    Rob ... you almost got across some valid points and then you finish with ...

    "Then i can tell them that finally they have reached the world of REAL computing and not just playing with pretty icons."

    Which show you for what you really are ... a Tosser (and a bitter one at that!).

    "Ok im only going to say this once"

    and arrogant, too!

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No, its NOT a hardware survey

    "Where do comments about OS v OS come into this hardware based article?"

    Pal, you got it totally wrong as well. The survey is not about software, true, but its not about hardware either. It is about CUSTOMER SERVICE.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Games? Perfect reason to favour Macs!

    "... a mac will never ever ever be as good as a pc for games."

    I don't know if what you say is true, but if it is, then that alone would make it a perfect reason for us to switch to Macs in our company. Games are totally forbidden here. Anybody who gets caught playing games on office computers or during working hours (or even during lunch time) will be fired immediately, it's in the employment contract.

    The nice side effect this seems to have had is that everybody working here is opposed to computer games, people who like computer games do not like to join our company and so we have a much more mature working atmosphere, which I have to say I quite enjoy. I personally don't like computer games, if I did, I probably wouldn't be working here :-)

    Anyway, we use mostly FreeBSD, the guy in charge of the website uses Windows, the marketing department uses Macs, some who need notebooks have Macs too. If it was impossible to play games on Macs, I am pretty certain our board would mandate the use of Macs for everybody.

  64. Neil Hoskins

    Pointless

    That's like asking muslims if they're satisfied with their religion.

  65. Alice Andretti
    Happy

    Viruses, happy days, customer service...

    @Daniel B, about Mac viruses: "there was another one with a V logo (can't remember its name)"

    Probably Virex; they had a V logo. I used Virex for a while before switching to NAV (Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh) back when I was still using System 7.5.3-rev-something-or-other. NAV did actually apprehend one genuine Mac virus once; I forget what it was called.

    @Nick Fisher: "Yep, my first Mac was a 2 Mb LC running System 6.0.7." "I remember paying for the VRAM upgrade so I could have 8 bit colour on a 13" screen." "Happy Days!"

    Yep :) I hear ya, man. I like the old OS's. Well, some of 'em, anyway. VRAM upgrades - yeah, did one of those just a few years ago - to a whopping ;) 4 MB total VRAM - so I could use a modern big PC monitor after the last of my several old Apple Multiscan 15" monitors went bye-bye. That allows millions of colors at 1152 x 870 on the main 19" monitor. With a palette monitor on the side (dual monitors, via also-4MB ATI PCI card) for Photoshop tinkering, it's okay. :) Oh by the way, I have one of those 13" Apple monitors like you mentioned - I bought it used in the 1990s and - amazingly - it still works (it was my palette monitor for a long time) - although it's gotten dimmer and a little warped in recent years, maybe taking after me. ;) I still use Mac OS 8.1 (with appropriate 3rd-party tweaks to make it more user friendly, like getting rids of stripes in list view windows, open/save dialog-box enhancements, etc), after years of stubbornly refusing to budge from System 7.x.

    Back to the topic, about customer service, I've had several distinctly different experiences with Apple customer service, ranging from excellent (back in the '90s when everyone thought Apple was dying) to truly awful (after Apple was back in the black and flying high - hmm, well, maybe coincidence, maybe not). I suppose if one were to average them out, they'd be, well, average. However the last customer-service experience was the awful one, so it's fresher in memory and it's part of the reason that, a few years ago when I had to choose whether to buy a PC or a Mac, I chose a PC. It's just hard to forget an incredibly bad customer no-service experience - makes a person not want to spend money there anymore, or ever.

    From what some people are saying here, though, modern Apple seems to have repented ;) and put the focus back on customer service, so my earlier bad experience with Apple customer service might not be relevant in today's world. I'm still wary of them though.

    Ideally, as I think someone else might have already pointed out, one would not *need* customer service because there wouldn't be very many occasions for its use in the first place (defects, DOA, whatever). Not realistic though.

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