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Apple tops PC Mag reader satisfaction

updated 10:25 am EDT, Wed August 23, 2006

Apple tops PC Mag survey

Apple today topped PC Magazine's 19th Annual Reader Satisfaction Survey with the most reliable PCs, offering the best support when things go wrong. "Look no further than Apple, the leader of the pack, whose overall score holds steady at 9.1." Apple also managed to cut repair rates this year, scoring 8 percent on units needing repair down from 11 percent last year. "Among first-year systems, it's only 5 percent. That's nothing less than astonishing." Apple also took first place with regard to notebooks, scoring 9.1 out of 10. "This year, yet again, the Mac is a Readers' Choice for notebooks as well as desktops."

Apple notebooks this year scored a full seven-tenths of a point better than Lenovo's overall score. Apple laptops scored 9.2 for reliability, 8.5 for tech support, and 9.4 for likelihood of recommending the systems to a friend.

PC Magazine notes that Mac owners are usually passionate about their machines, which may have an effect on the company's unusually high service and reliability scores. The publication adds, however, that the score for percentage needing repair is less subjective than others. "Either Apple is doing something right when it comes to quality control, or its restrictive warranty makes people less likely to have their systems repaired."

Mac owners reporting a satisfaction score of 9.1 is significantly better than the average for Windows desktops or notebooks, and the same holds true for the company's scores on reliability as well as the likelihood of recommending desktops or notebooks to a friend.

Apple's score on technical support fell this year from 8.4 to 8.1. PC Magazine reader said that among first-year Apple systems, 88 percent of their tech support issues were covered by warranty -- either AppleCare or third-party coverage -- which proved the highest rate among leading vendors.

The most satisfied desktop owners besides Apple customers are PC geeks who build their own systems, rating their overall satisfaction at 8.4 out of 10. Do-it-yourselfers also reported a score of 8.6 of 10 as their likelihood for recommending a home-built system.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. jedi2187

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Yay!

    Score one for the home team!

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Restrictive warranty?

    What is restrictive about it? I haven't had to use my warranty on a Mac for about 5 or 6 years but when I have the problem was repaired no questions asked. I even had Apple replace a laptop battery once under warranty even though the battery was several years old when the machine was being repaired for something else. They said that they tested the battery while it was in the shop, found it was below the level it should be and gave me a brand new one for free. Where's the restriction?

    And what's with home builders not having a perfect 10. If they weren't satisfied with their own system, why did they build it that way? Do they have to wait on hold too long when they call themselves for technical support? Are they disappointed in the quality of their workmanship (and let's face it - if you can use a screwdriver you can build a PC)? And who would be dumb enough to admit to this if they were? Well they are Windows users .....

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Home builders

    And what's with home builders not having a perfect 10. If they weren't satisfied with their own system, why did they build it that way? Do they have to wait on hold too long when they call themselves for technical support? Are they disappointed in the quality of their workmanship (and let's face it - if you can use a screwdriver you can build a PC)? And who would be dumb enough to admit to this if they were?

    Umm, they still have tech support issues (which means they don't get perfect 10 scores), they have to deal with the peripheral makers themselves (not just 'calling themselves') and sometimes after you build something you're not 100% pleased with it. Every time you cook a meal, do you always say to yourself "Damn! This is the best meal I could've made!"

    And whether you're satisfied with what you have depends on who you are. I know people who are never satisfied, no matter what they do or buy. I also know others who judge it with relation to money spent. For example, if your $15000 Honda Civic has minor issues, you deal with it. If your $75000 Lexus has minor issues, you're more pissed.

    Another example. You spend $600 on a computer and it makes a small whine, you go "Hmm, you get what you pay for." You pay $2500 for a PowerMac G5 and the thing whines at you, you're furious.

    Well they are Windows users ..... Umm, why do you assume home users are windows users? They are just as likely to be running some version of Linux on their machines then running windows.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: restrictive warranty

    What is restrictive about it? I haven't had to use my warranty on a Mac for about 5 or 6 years but when I have the problem was repaired no questions asked. I even had Apple replace a laptop battery once under warranty even though the battery was several years old when the machine was being repaired for something else. They said that they tested the battery while it was in the shop, found it was below the level it should be and gave me a brand new one for free. Where's the restriction?

    Well, considering you haven't used one in 5-6 years, you probably did your stuff under their old 3 year policies. But Apple no longer covers batteries under warranty (except if they are defective). They also try to push people to take their machine to the local apple store rather then send it in. And to get it to be sent in, you sometimes have to follow all their hoops first (I was having the standard video c***-out on my iBook, but before they would send me a box, they insisted I wipe the harddrive and reinstall the OS, because we know the screen flickers, jitters, and poofs are all due to an OS issue).

    And I'm apparently the opposite of you. My iBook was the first mac I had issues with since the original 128K mac (power supply issues galore there). And its gone twice. Had to send in my iPod twice as well.

  1. misterdna

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Good Amo

    This seems like really good amo for (us) Apple fanboys as we defend Macs on other forums.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    apple circa 1998-2001

    Those years really had minimal problems. I have a slew of iMac G3 rev A and B and an iMac G4 second gen, they all are just fine. However, my 2004 iBook G4 died, totally. LCD. CD. HDD. Logic board. Power Supply. c***! I can't sell a laptop from them in good faith without the Fruit Fresh (Apple Care).

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Loayal or not

    The loyalty of the consumer doesn't change the scores, the scores change the loyalty of the consumer.

    I've worked on just about every brand of computer, and since I started working on Macs (about 10 years ago) I've never seen anything like it in the computer world. Very rarely is there a hardware issue that isn't covered either by the warranty itself or a repair extension program.

    Apple truly deserves all kinds of kudos in this category.

  1. Orchid64

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    loyalty and scores

    While I'd agree that good service affects scores, I believe it's naive to believe that the user's affection for Apple does not affect scores as well. Mac users not only use their computers but they base part of their identity on their usage of this particular brand. That means they have an emotional stake in Macs being portrayed as positively as possible at all costs. I believe many Mac users overlook shortcomings with Apple and Apple products because of this strong identification with the brand whereas many PC users will make more of their problems as they don't identify with the maker so much as being part of the PC-using community.

    While I would not argue for a second with the absolute truth of the fact that Apple makes better hardware and offers better service than other PC makers, I also do feel the scores are influenced by user loyalty.

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    orchid...

    I understand the concept of what you are saying, but it a way it's also saying,

    People don't like Dell, even though they keep buying them.

    Won't Dell's numbers be offset in the same way? Won't a Mac user be irate if they couldn't get help on their broken computer?

    This is really just an excuse for a well deserved score. I've seen how Apple's support works and I've seen how Dell's support works... Dell isn't even in the same league.

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