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Time and Tiny are bottom of Which? PC survey

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Time and Tiny were named and shamed as bottom-of-the-barrel resellers in a Consumers Association survey in Which? Magazine. Meanwhile Dell, Apple and Dan scored well in just about every category - from reliability to support and customer satisfaction.

Of the nearly 14,000 users surveyed, nearly three in five had had hardware or software problems - most within three months of buying the machine.

Nine out of ten people reported no problems with setting the computer up, and half said that generally they were satisfied with the reliability of their computer.

However, when things did go wrong, most respondents were lacking in praise for the support helplines operated by the company that sold the computer.

On average only 27 per cent of users got through to the customer support line immediately. Only Dan, Apple and IBM scored above the average, with 66 per cent, 33 per cent and 31 per cent respectively of callers getting through first time.

When it came to retailer help the local independent dealers were the clear winners. Bigger companies tended to be unpopular: only one in 12 of those who called Mastercare (which covers PC World) said that it was very good.

When it came to recommending the brand, Time did especially badly with 16 per cent saying they definitely would not recommend the brand to a friend.

We are not sure whether the fact that four out of five iBook users would recommend the laptop to other people is a reflection on the ibook or on its users. ®

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