Consumer Reports gives Apple high marks

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In its December issue, Consumer Reports has once again looked at the computer industry and rated hardware companies on their products. Apple Computer Inc. topped the charts in a couple of categories, including repair history and tech support.

Consumer Reports notes that satisfaction with tech support in the desktop computer market is one of the lowest rated services they measure. Since 2001 consumer satisfaction has continued to dwindle, but the report singles out Apple as providing its customer with above average support.

"In this atmosphere of low expectations, Apple Computer has actually raised its support satisfaction for the desktop computers over the past three years to levels well above all competitors, while offering the most reliable desktop hardware," the report says.

With so many of the other companies falling in tech support satisfaction, Consumer Reports concludes, "companies aren't investing enough in their support operations."

In contrast, for Apple the organizations says, "Apple's superiority in all aspects of support, including waiting on the phone and Web support, suggests that it invests its support resources wisely."

Overall, Apple scored 76/100 in tech support with Dell and Gateway tied for second with 57/100 -- HP and Compaq pulled up the rear with scores of 52/100 and 47/100 respectively.

For repairs and serious problems reported by consumers, Apple again had the best score with just over 10 percent of respondents reporting serious issues. Gateway had the worst record with slightly over 20 percent. Sony, Dell, IBM, HP and Compaq fell in between.

The glut of viruses and spyware typically found on Windows PCs didn't pass by Consumer Reports unnoticed -- "Another factor working in Apple's favor," said the report.

This story, "Consumer Reports gives Apple high marks" was originally published by PCWorld.

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