ON Magazine Rates Tech Support Hotlines of Leading PC Makers

Apple, Hewlett-Packard Make the Grade; Gateway Takes 'Good Citizenship Award'

For Friendliest Service



Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from ON Magazine

    NEW YORK, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Although no company earned "perfect"
 scores, Apple and Hewlett-Packard made the grade in a tech support test
 conducted by ON magazine in its May issue.  ON is a new personal technology
 monthly from the editors of the TIME magazine group.
     Gateway took the "Good Citizenship Award" for friendliest service,
 "speaking with techno-certainty not techno-snobbery," reports ON's Wilson
 Rothman.  Gateway answered calls in an average of 1 min. 30 seconds, the
 shortest time in the survey. Sony ranked last in average hold time:  14 min.,
 45 sec.
     "Despite all the training and market research, and the hundreds of
 millions of dollars that computer manufacturers pour into tech support
 annually, we still encountered the endless hold, representatives who used
 intimidating gobbledygook and, most important, problems that remained
 unsolved," wrote Rothman.
     ON used new laptops from eight leading manufacturers-Apple, Compaq, Dell,
 Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sony and Toshiba. ON asked two questions about
 getting started with a new computer.  A third dealt with an easy-to-fix
 software glitch planted by ON.  An ON reporter called the helplines at three
 different points in the day, during peak and off-peak hours and rated the
 companies based on average hold time, length of phone call and quality of
 service.
 
     Highlights include:
 
     *  "Wedding bells would be ringing" for Hewlett-Packard, wrote ON editors,
        "if it had not been for that first sour experience" of the rep speaking
        in too-technical terms.  Apple would have received a perfect score if
        ON editors received "a clear answer on the monitor issue," referring to
        the question on how work could be divided between two monitors.
 
     *  IBM was given the honor of the "ideal tech support call."
 
     *  ON editors said of Compaq's tech support, "Despite one great
        experience, long holds and lack of results made us wonder."
 
     *  Dell lacked efficiency, "frustrating to be kept on the phone for over
        an hour for an eight minute fix."
 
     *  Toshiba "just made the grade, thanks to short wait times and the
        monitor help."
 
     To order ON magazine, please call 1-800-444-3403 (subscriptions $23.97 per
 year).
 
 

SOURCE ON Magazine
    NEW YORK, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Although no company earned "perfect"
 scores, Apple and Hewlett-Packard made the grade in a tech support test
 conducted by ON magazine in its May issue.  ON is a new personal technology
 monthly from the editors of the TIME magazine group.
     Gateway took the "Good Citizenship Award" for friendliest service,
 "speaking with techno-certainty not techno-snobbery," reports ON's Wilson
 Rothman.  Gateway answered calls in an average of 1 min. 30 seconds, the
 shortest time in the survey. Sony ranked last in average hold time:  14 min.,
 45 sec.
     "Despite all the training and market research, and the hundreds of
 millions of dollars that computer manufacturers pour into tech support
 annually, we still encountered the endless hold, representatives who used
 intimidating gobbledygook and, most important, problems that remained
 unsolved," wrote Rothman.
     ON used new laptops from eight leading manufacturers-Apple, Compaq, Dell,
 Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sony and Toshiba. ON asked two questions about
 getting started with a new computer.  A third dealt with an easy-to-fix
 software glitch planted by ON.  An ON reporter called the helplines at three
 different points in the day, during peak and off-peak hours and rated the
 companies based on average hold time, length of phone call and quality of
 service.
 
     Highlights include:
 
     *  "Wedding bells would be ringing" for Hewlett-Packard, wrote ON editors,
        "if it had not been for that first sour experience" of the rep speaking
        in too-technical terms.  Apple would have received a perfect score if
        ON editors received "a clear answer on the monitor issue," referring to
        the question on how work could be divided between two monitors.
 
     *  IBM was given the honor of the "ideal tech support call."
 
     *  ON editors said of Compaq's tech support, "Despite one great
        experience, long holds and lack of results made us wonder."
 
     *  Dell lacked efficiency, "frustrating to be kept on the phone for over
        an hour for an eight minute fix."
 
     *  Toshiba "just made the grade, thanks to short wait times and the
        monitor help."
 
     To order ON magazine, please call 1-800-444-3403 (subscriptions $23.97 per
 year).
 
 SOURCE  ON Magazine