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New Ratings: Best & worst computer tech support

Consumer Reports News: March 10, 2010 12:12 PM

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How a computer looks, feels, and performs are all obvious considerations when shopping for a new model. What many buyers might not think about, however, is the support available if their pricey new laptop or desktop goes on the fritz. 

Our latest Ratings of laptop tech support and desktop tech support (available to subscribers) reveal some clear winners and losers. Manufacturer scores are based on an annual survey from the Consumer Reports National Research Center this past January of over 7,000 desktop- and laptop-owning subscribers to Consumer Reports. Respondents weighed in on the ability of manufacturer's tech support to solve their problems, the communication and knowledge of phone support staff, how long they were placed on hold, and the quality of the company's online support.

We grouped together computer labels made by the same company (HP and Compaq were ranked together, for example). Of the six major manufacturers, one earned top marks across the board, and left the others in its wake in terms of overall satisfaction. In striking contrast, another manufacturer received disappointingly low scores in overall satisfaction among respondents.

To see how computer manufacturers stacked up when it came to helping their technically challenged customers, check our laptop and desktop tech support Ratings. Additionally, see our free guide to computer tech support.

—Nick K. Mandle

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