Desktops

Which Computer Maker Has the Best Tech Support?

Q. I want to buy my husband a laptop that comes with great tech support because he always has a million questions. Who has the best?

A. Like any computers, laptops don’t always perform perfectly. If you’re not a tech guru, good support can be invaluable.

In this year’s CR survey on the topic, we asked almost 10,000 subscribers about experiences with computer manufacturers’ phone staff support, websites, email, or online live chat support, and whether manufacturers actually solved the problem at hand.

“Apple got top marks, providing significantly better service than all other computer manufacturers,” says Adam Troy, Ph.D., the CR senior research associate who headed up the survey. In manufacturer tech support, Apple scored an 82 out of 100, as well as a 5 out of 5 for phone support and a 4 out of 5 for online support. And readers reported that their problems were solved 79 percent of the time. The next two most highly rated companies, Microsoft and Dell, scored a 68 and 56, respectively. Though Lenovo ranks in the top three in many of our computer ratings, in support it was fourth, with a 54.

For in-store tech support, the Apple Store’s Genius Bar was also tops but was matched by independent local computer retailers. Both got an 81 in our reader survey. (Always check to see whether fees apply.)

For more details, see the tech support survey results in our computer ratings.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the December 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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