Apple tops in owner satisfaction (but the fanboys already knew that)

Survey shows Apple buyers willing to pay more, but expect superior service

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Photo credit: REUTERS/Kimberly White

If you buy a computer from Apple, chances are you're a more satisfied customer than those who bought other brands.

That's according to a survey of 842 recent PC buyers by the Tempkin Group, which found that Apple computer buyers reported a higher level of satisfaction across five stages of the buying experience -- getting information on choosing the right model, the purchasing process, setup and use, customer service and the performance of your new computer -- than buyers of PCs made by H-P, Dell and others.

By far Apple's biggest edge comes in customer service, where it was rated high by 77 percent of respondents, versus 64 percent for PC buyers. Apple also ranked much higher in providing information for selecting the right machine, at 77 percent versus 69 percent for PC sellers.

But when it comes to the actual product, the scores were much closer. Apple scored high-satisfaction ratings of 82 percent each for ease of setup and actual computer performance, while PCs scored 77 percent and 79 percent, respectively.

In a summary of the report, Tempkin Group said, "Apple is the leader across the buying experience but Dell and HP are not far behind."

Also of interest, Tempkin Group writes:

* Apple consumers care more about customer service than PC buyers
* Consumers (who) buy PCs directly from the manufacturer are more satisfied than those (who) buy at a retailer
* Best Buy employees are more helpful than those at other retailers.

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