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Tech Support Showdown 2010

Your notebook is only as good as the help you receive when something goes wrong.


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by LAPTOP Staff on July 7, 2010

It comes standard with most notebook purchases: a one-year warranty on parts and labor with 24/7 toll-free phone support. So why do people loathe having to contact their system's manufacturer for help? Maybe it's the annoyingly long hold times. Perhaps it's the hassle of getting passed from one department to another. Or maybe nobody likes having to provide the same information to reps over and over again just to ask a question.

When it's bad there are plenty of reasons to avoid using tech support. But who actually does a good job of solving issues and answering your questions, whether it's over the phone or online? Since it's inevitable that something will go wrong with your next notebook, you need to consider the quality of support a given manufacturer offers before making your next purchase.

Along those lines, we went in search of helpful, fast, and friendly tech support from 12 of the big-name notebook vendors. During our tests we encountered, on average, 13-minute call times with less than 4 minutes of time spent on hold. That's down by more than a minute compared to last year's results. However, a few of the big brands refused to answer our questions unless they were strictly in reference to broken hardware, pitching some fairly pricey support packages instead. This disturbing trend aside, there were some pleasant surprises. Read on to find out how each company fared.

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