Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Dell customer rating plunges, Apple leads pack

Filed under
Hardware

U.S. consumers lambasted Dell Inc. for poor customer service in a survey conducted last quarter, sending the world's largest PC vendor into a virtual tie with the rest of the PC market behind the industry-leading efforts of Apple Computer Inc.

For the second year in a row, Apple received the best rating from PC buyers in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), said David Van Amburg, general manager of the ACSI. The University of Michigan compiles the ACSI in numerous product categories by randomly calling U.S. residents and surveying their buying habits, he said.

Apple received a score of 81, compared to an industry average score of 74, in results released Tuesday. The Cupertino, California, company's focus on product innovation and customer service has won it a cadre of famously loyal customers unlike any other PC vendor, Van Amburg said. Apple also received a score of 81 in 2004.

Dell, on the other hand, earned a score of 74, down from a score of 79 the previous year. Survey respondents complained mostly about the quality of Dell's customer service, not its products, Van Amburg said. The ACSI doesn't ask specific questions about the type of problems customers are having with a company, but customers were clearly more frustrated with the Round Rock, Texas, company than last year, he said.

A few recurring complaints were the length of time on hold with Dell customer-service representatives, as well as the quality of the help customers eventually received, Van Amburg said. Dell has started to expand its lead over Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) in PC shipments, and sometimes when market leaders increase their product shipments they fail to increase service capabilities at the same rate, he said.

Dell announced plans to open two new customer service centers last week, but company Chief Executive Officer Kevin Rollins denied that Dell was having customer service problems.

The ASCI tracks HP's customer satisfaction in two categories, partly because HP's U.S. consumer PC business is divided between two different product lines and partly to provide historical comparisons for the performance of the products before HP acquired Compaq in 2002. HP-branded products received a score of 73, while Compaq-branded products were rated the lowest of any vendor with a score of 67.

The HP-branded products have now regained the customer satisfaction score they posted before the merger, while the Compaq products have continued to languish well below the rest of the industry, Van Amburg said. HP is looking into its two-brand strategy as it searches for opportunities to cut costs under Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd, and some analysts believe it might be time to cut the Compaq PCs from its lineup.

Gateway Inc. posted the largest increase in customer satisfaction last year after its acquisition of eMachines, but slipped a bit from 74 to 72 this year. However, that difference is within the survey's margin of error of three points, Van Amburg said.

Overall customer satisfaction with the PC industry remains well below the scores received by other consumer-product industries such as household appliances and automobiles. Despite all the work the PC industry has done to try to make their products easier to use, customers are still frustrated by PC technology, Van Amburg said.

The index measures the buyer's satisfaction with the last PC they purchased, which allows the ACSI to obtain the freshest experience, Van Amburg said. It surveyed 250 customers per company.

By Tom Krazit
IDG News Service

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS

OSS in the Back End

  • Open Source NFV Part Four: Open Source MANO
    Defined in ETSI ISG NFV architecture, MANO (Management and Network Orchestration) is a layer — a combination of multiple functional entities — that manages and orchestrates the cloud infrastructure, resources and services. It is comprised of, mainly, three different entities — NFV Orchestrator, VNF Manager and Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM). The figure below highlights the MANO part of the ETSI NFV architecture.
  • After the hype: Where containers make sense for IT organizations
    Container software and its related technologies are on fire, winning the hearts and minds of thousands of developers and catching the attention of hundreds of enterprises, as evidenced by the huge number of attendees at this week’s DockerCon 2016 event. The big tech companies are going all in. Google, IBM, Microsoft and many others were out in full force at DockerCon, scrambling to demonstrate how they’re investing in and supporting containers. Recent surveys indicate that container adoption is surging, with legions of users reporting they’re ready to take the next step and move from testing to production. Such is the popularity of containers that SiliconANGLE founder and theCUBE host John Furrier was prompted to proclaim that, thanks to containers, “DevOps is now mainstream.” That will change the game for those who invest in containers while causing “a world of hurt” for those who have yet to adapt, Furrier said.
  • Is Apstra SDN? Same idea, different angle
    The company’s product, called Apstra Operating System (AOS), takes policies based on the enterprise’s intent and automatically translates them into settings on network devices from multiple vendors. When the IT department wants to add a new component to the data center, AOS is designed to figure out what needed changes would flow from that addition and carry them out. The distributed OS is vendor-agnostic. It will work with devices from Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Juniper Networks, Cumulus Networks, the Open Compute Project and others.
  • MapR Launches New Partner Program for Open Source Data Analytics
    Converged data vendor MapR has launched a new global partner program for resellers and distributors to leverage the company's integrated data storage, processing and analytics platform.
  • A Seamless Monitoring System for Apache Mesos Clusters
  • All Marathons Need a Runner. Introducing Pheidippides
    Activision Publishing, a computer games publisher, uses a Mesos-based platform to manage vast quantities of data collected from players to automate much of the gameplay behavior. To address a critical configuration management problem, James Humphrey and John Dennison built a rather elegant solution that puts all configurations in a single place, and named it Pheidippides.
  • New Tools and Techniques for Managing and Monitoring Mesos
    The platform includes a large number of tools including Logstash, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, and Kibana.
  • BlueData Can Run Hadoop on AWS, Leave Data on Premises
    We've been watching the Big Data space pick up momentum this year, and Big Data as a Service is one of the most interesting new branches of this trend to follow. In a new development in this space, BlueData, provider of a leading Big-Data-as-a-Service software platform, has announced that the enterprise edition of its BlueData EPIC software will run on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other public clouds. Essentially, users can now run their cloud and computing applications and services in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) instance while keeping data on-premises, which is required for some companies in the European Union.

today's howtos

Industrial SBC builds on Raspberry Pi Compute Module

On Kickstarter, a “MyPi” industrial SBC using the RPi Compute Module offers a mini-PCIe slot, serial port, wide-range power, and modular expansion. You might wonder why in 2016 someone would introduce a sandwich-style single board computer built around the aging, ARM11 based COM version of the original Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module. First off, there are still plenty of industrial applications that don’t need much CPU horsepower, and second, the Compute Module is still the only COM based on Raspberry Pi hardware, although the cheaper, somewhat COM-like Raspberry Pi Zero, which has the same 700MHz processor, comes close. Read more