In our latest reader survey of computer technical support, Apple bested its own scores from last year's survey and walloped other brand-name computer manufacturers.
The company scored far higher than the other big companies for the elements that make for successful online and phone support: ease of contacting staff, clarity of advice, technical knowledge, patience, and time for follow-up.
Apple's in-house technical support service, the Genius Bar, rated as high as support provided by phone or online. Whatever way readers asked for tech helpâ€”by phone (the most common way), online, or in personâ€”Apple was also able to solve more computer problems. Independent shops that make custom computers came closest to Apple.
Clearly, there's room for improvement in tech support: 24 to 40 percent of respondents who sought phone or online help from makers of Windows-based computers said the staff's patience, knowledge, or clarity was fair at best.
What about makers of Windows-based computers? You'll find lots more information about our computer-tech-support findings in our survey Ratings chart for computer manufacturer tech support.