Consumer Reports: Customer Satisfaction Is Down, Except For Apple

Consumer Reports has just added to Appleis fuel to attract switchers to the Mac platform. The publication has cnt_id=160105&FOLDER<>folder_id=21135&bmUID=1029164353564">published the results of an online poll of its subscribers, as opposed to a typical Internet poll that can easily be spammed, that showed Apple as the #1 computer maker in terms of customer satisfaction and customer support. Apple rated a 74 out of a possible 100, with its nearest competitors, Dell and Gateway, rating a 65 and a 64 respectively. HP and Compaq, rated separately, merited a 56 and a 52 respectively. The terms of that poll, according to Consumer Reports:

This chart is based on more than 4,600 responses from subscribers to surveyed in May 2002. Results refer only to computers purchased new between 1998 and May 2002. If everyone were completely satisfied, the reader score would be 100; 80, very satisfied on average; 60, fairly well satisfied. Differences of less than 5 points are not meaningful. Solved problem indicates how many respondents said the manufacturer solved the problem. Support staff

Consumer Reports also says that Apple was the only company whose scores increased, with all other companiesi scores decreasing over last year. From the magazine:

We asked subscribers to to tell us about their most recent experiences trying to get help from a manufactureris technical-support service since January 2001. Except for Apple, satisfaction scores were somewhat lower across the board, which appears to reflect changes throughout the industry.

Slightly more than 40 percent of those who used tech support were highly satisfied with the service; thatis lower than most other services we measure. One in three respondents who phoned tech support said they were kept on hold an unreasonable length of time.

Dell had a slightly lower rate of machines needing repairs, according to the poll. Dell has had some 18% of its computers break within the last five years, while Apple has had some 19% of its machines have problems. HP, IBM, Compaq, Gateway, Micron, and Acer all followed Apple on that list. You can find the cnt_id=160105&FOLDER<>folder_id=21135&bmUID=1029164353564">full report at the Consumer Reports Web site.