Apple retains leads in laptop technical support, but gap is narrowing
Apple has claimed the top spot on Laptop Magazine's 2019 customer service ratings, scoring 91 out of 100 based on a mix of phone and online performance.
To test the company, Apple was queried about enabling Dark Mode in macOS Mojave, disabling automatic updates, and turning off MacBook cameras, Laptop said. The last point was something of a trick question, since that's impossible without going into Terminal — in calls, however, AppleCare staff did explain how to limit access app-by-app.
The phone team "provides correct answers in a timely manner," the magazine said, with an average call time of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. In the online realm it's reportedly better to turn to live chat or Twitter, since Apple's article database may sometimes fail to turn up results for basic queries. Laptop tried five different phrases for the camera question, such as "disable webcam," only to realize Apple doesn't acknowledge the term "webcam" — a problem given its popularity.
Apple solved 100 percent of phone inquiries, and even took an average of 37 percent less time than in 2018, Laptop noted.
Ranking second was a relative neophyte in the laptop space, Razer, with a score of 88. That company offers "relatively speedy responses via social media and near instantaneous connection via live chat," along with a "wealth of knowledge and advice" for those patient enough to explore forums.
Dell (78), Samsung (73), and Asus (69) rounded out the top five. Samsung phone agents were criticized for having "serious gaps in their knowledge base concerning company laptops," and live chat was "disastrous" with misguided answers or even misinformation. Social media teams however are said to have "fast, accurate responses" with follow-ups and simple instructions.
The worst-scored company was MSI at 30. "MSI produces high-quality gear at reasonable prices, but the company's tech support has actually gotten worse," Laptop wrote. "The website is a frustrating labyrinth, social media support is nonexistent, and phone support, while fast and courteous, was accurate only half the time."