Buyer Beware: Computer tech support

(National) Dec. 3, 2004 - The dreaded call to tech support often involves a lot of waiting and waiting. And, getting through doesn't mean your problem will be solved, as many users learn the hard way, "I paid for three years of tech support or something like that, and then you call them up and, 'It's not our problem.'"

"I dread it, because it's usually like an hour long thing where I have to wait."

Consumer Reports' Rosalind Tordesillas, PhD, says across the board PC tech support has gotten worse.

A survey of subscribers to found the number of people "very happy" with tech support is down to only 37 percent, "It's one of the lowest services that we rate. It's lower than insurance. It's lower than HMOs. It's lower than cell phone service."

The survey was based on nearly 5000 people with desktop computers. Compaq's tech support rated at the bottom. HP, Gateway and Dell's were mediocre.

The exception, Tordesillas says, was Apple, "The people who own Apple computers, they found the support staff quite good, and even their web support was better than the other manufacturers."

So if you're buying a computer, Consumer Reports says Apple is well worth considering. Not only is its tech support good, Consumer Reports finds the reliability of Apple computers is top-notch. And, Apple computers are far less vulnerable to viruses and spyware than PCs.

by Judi Gatson

posted 6:00pm by Chris Rees

Copyright © 2004 Consumers Union of U.S. , Inc. All Rights Reserved.