Laptop Magazine releases updated tech support scores

By Matthew Smith on July 15, 2010, 10:12 AM
There are not many objective measures of the customer service provided by PC vendors. One of the few worthwhile scorecards is the annual Laptop Magazine tech support showdown, which takes twelve of the biggest names in the industry and faces them with the typical tech support queries to see how they fare against each other. The results for 2010 are now in and, for the most part, they seem fairly consistent over previous years.

Apple remains at the top of the heap and was the only company to receive an overall grade of A. HP and Lenovo are tied for second place and each earned a B+. Lenovo's placement is not a surprise, as they have done well in Laptop Magazine's prior tests, but HP's results represent a huge improvement over the C- the company received in 2009. At the bottom of the pile you'll find Acer and Gateway, both of which were slapped with a D+. The identical scores are not surprising either, as Gateway has been a subsidiary of Acer for several years.

Tech support seems to be getting worse overall. No company earned lower than a C- in the previous year, and the number of scores below a B- has increased by one. On top of that, the report described a "disturbing trend" in which several of the companies apparently refused to answer questions unless they were strictly related to broken hardware, pitching some fairly pricey support packages instead. Web support seems to be the most serious issue as Asus, Fujitsu, Gateway, MSI and Samsung all received a D or F in this category.

User Comments: 4

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I will admit, I called HP to replace a hard drive for a server and they didn't even argue, they just sent one out. the server was still in warrenty but usually they still argue and ask "have you tried turning it off and on again".

Well done HP.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I had to call ASUS for the LED/LCD problem they told me to take it to Best Buy, I say why so they can check it out? Nuts I said I've been repairing laptops for over 10 years now. So they finally sent me RMA # but they don't use UPS service and only FedEx which is only at the airport. So overhaul phone support is good but don't think that the customer doesn't know what he or she is talking about. To much time wasted on product in warranty still. I know the problem is a loose connection. Sending it back to ASUS going to take 1 month for them to check it out.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Apple remains at the top of the heap and was the only company to receive an overall grade of A

I wonder what their grade would be now, lol. "Wifi problems? No, it's not the iPad, it's your router" - "reception issues on your new iPhone? There are no reception issues" - "Ok, there are reception issues, but it's AT&T's fault" - "Ok, we admit it, it's a design flaw in the phone. You're just holding it wrong." GREAT support, lol.

I do agree with Dell's phone grade of C+. It took me 6 minutes to get the guy to understand that all I wanted was an XP recovery disk for my computer. He couldn't seem to understand what I wanted. I thought "I need the $15 XP recovery disk for my computer" was pretty self -explanatory. He kept thinking I wanted to buy Windows XP Pro...which was what came with my system when I got it a few years back. It shouldn't have taken 6 minutes for him to finally say "ok, so you want a disk to reinstall your operating system? That'll be $15." No sh*t Sherlock, that's what I asked for when you asked how you could help me after you picked up the phone 6 minutes ago!!!

tengeta tengeta said:

How the great have fallen, ASUS was great until their corporate branch went out of control.

I have the most problems with my HP hardware, but I get the least resistance in getting it fixed. Actually I take that back, my only Sony laptop is awful and getting anything for that fixed didn't happen unless it became a recall.

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