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Apple tops tech support success poll

But HP support 'inferior', says Consumers Union

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Apple's consumer-oriented tech support is rather better than other vendors' equivalents, US non-profit organisation the Consumers Union has claimed.

CU asked subscribers of its Consumer Reports magazine to detail their computer tech support experiences. Some 10,000 incidents relating to laptops and desktops were logged by the organisation, it said.

Apple topped the poll on phone and internet tech support, solving problems in 80 per cent of cases, well above the average success rate, 60 per cent. The success rate of the company's in-store tech support teams was 90 per cent, CU said.

That said, the organisation criticised Apple's free post-purchase support period, which lasts only 90 days, as "very brief". However, CU said the company's extended support offering is better than Apple's "stand-out... track record for solving problems among consumers without paid [support] plans".

CU also named Lenovo and Dell as purveyors of above-average tech support. Not so HP, which the organisation reported "offered inferior support" under both the HP and Compaq brands.

In general, CU said paid support plans "aren't good buys" unless punters are buying laptops that will travel frequently or a Mac - for the reasons cited above. Novice PC users should also consider extended support packages, it said.

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