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Compaq notebooks slammed by corporate users

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A year ago From The Register No. 75, May 1998 A US market research organisation has slammed the quality of Compaq notebooks and claims Dell is now challenging IBM as the top mobile vendor. Technology Business Research (TBR) monitors corporate satisfaction with IT equipment and has released a quarterly report on the market. It surveyed over 200 US corporate buyers of notebooks, representing an installed base of two million desktops, servers and notebooks. It shows that general satisfaction in the corporate marketplace over notebook reliability, technical support, repair time and global services has fallen. According to its latest survey, IBM continues to lead in customer satisfaction and loyalty but Dell is catching up with Big Blue. Customers using ThinkPads scored IBM "significantly higher" than its competition, claimed TBR, with the exception of total cost of ownership (TCO), volume discounts and delivery times. IBM also gained customer satisfaction points for reliability and durability. Dell too, improved its position compared to the previous quarter surveyed, "significantly" said TBR, in TCO, delivery and reliability. Dell holds the same position for customer loyalty, a whole eight points ahead of Compaq’s loyalty ratings and 11 per cent above Toshiba. According to the survey, there is more and more evidence that Dell is cutting into the corporate notebook market. But the survey held glum news for Compaq. According to the survey, its customer satisfaction scores declined substantially quarter on quarter, particularly in the service arena. Other complains were about product design, price/performance, repair time, overall hardware quality and technical support response. According to TBR, a large 44 per cent of corporate customers who had switched from one vendor to another dumped Compaq, blaming poor service, poor reliability and pricing. Toshiba maintained a more or less stable picture but improved on reliable deliveries. However, price/performance issues continue to represent one of Toshiba’s weaknesses in the sector. ®

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