Apple tops computer surveyOwners praise its reliability and support

14 September 2006

The Apple iMac G5.

Apple iMac G5

Apple, Dell and Sony are the brands of desktop computer people are most likely to recommend to a friend, says this month's Computing Which?.

But while owners rated all these brands highly for reliability, Apple stood apart because it also did well for customer support. 

In contrast, only around a quarter of Dell and Sony owners in the Computing Which? survey said they were satisfied with these brands' customer service.

At the bottom end of the scale, only 14 per cent of people who own Advent computers, sold by Currys Digital and PC World, would definitely recommend them.

Customer service

And while Acer customers have good reason to be happy with their laptops - nine out of ten have not required a repair since January 2003 - they're far from pleased with the customer support. 

Acer scored only 11 per cent, putting it amongst the lowest for satisfaction in this area.

Computing Which? surveyed nearly 7,000 readers, asking about  the reliability of their computers, the quality of after-sales support, satisfaction with retailers, and brands they recommended. 

John Lewis scored the highest of the retailers for overall satisfaction, with 62 per cent of people rating its support service as very good. It was closely followed by local independent stores at 60 per cent.

For service when buying a computer, local independents topped the table.  Almost half of their customers described the service as 'very good', compared with about one in eight of PC World’s customers.

Expensive helplines

Computing Which? Editor Jessica Ross said: ‘Apple continues to keep its customers happy by making computers they can rely on. Computers are an absolute necessity for many people now, so it's a major inconvenience when they break down.

‘Expensive helplines take a toll on your pocket as well as your time.  It would be good to see leading manufacturers following the example of independent stores by offering their customers a better service.’