Picture this: you’re in the middle of working an important report or watching the season finale of your favorite show and your laptop dies. What do you do? Who do you call? Well, if your laptop is still under warranty, it’s a job for tech support. But not so fast, not all tech support is equal. While most laptop vendors offer similar troubleshooting help when something goes awry with your system, different hours, services and expertise create a marked difference. But it’s hard to guess which company is going to deliver that polite, efficient service when the chips are down.
That’s why for over a decade, Laptop Mag has gone undercover, posing as everyday shoppers to find out which laptop brands deliver the best tech support service. From social media, web and even using the phone, we left no stone unturned in our search for the best service. Here are our winners and losers for Tech Support Showdown 2020.
Razer has done the impossible. With its stellar web, phone and social presence, the company has dethroned Apple from the top spot in Tech Support Showdown. Not only did the company answer every single question correctly in a prompt, polite manner, it’s also upgraded its support website, making it really convenient to navigate.
Apple has slipped to the number two spot, essentially for resting on its laurels. Year after year, Apple has given stellar customer service. But while this year saw the company answer every question correctly, the service was less than welcoming. We even caught a rep in the midst of a conversation with another support representative. And it’d be nice if Apple would expand its social presence. In short, it’s time for Apple to make a few tweaks.
1. Razer (90/100)
Web support: https://support.razer.com (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-855-872-5233
Key takeaways: Razer is breathing rare air, toppling Apple to take the top spot in Tech Support Showdown. Not only did the company provide stellar phone and social support, it also greatly improved its web service, going so far as to add real-time wait times for phone assistance on the site. It also keeps track of all your interactions with Razer’s rep in case you need to refer back.
2. Apple (85/100)
Web support: https://support.apple.com (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-800-275-2273
Key takeaways: When your MacBook’s on the fritz, Apple is ready to assist on Twitter, via live chat or over the phone. Apple's tech support agents are speedy and knowledgeable. However, they might not always be the friendliest people to speak to. It’s also time for the company to consider expanding its social media presence to Facebook and Reddit.
3. Alienware (77/100)
Web support: Link (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-800-254-3692
Key takeaways: Alienware made a big splash on its first Tech Support Showdown appearance, placing third out of 12 companies. Alienware casts a wide net with its coverage, offers tech support over a number of social media networks and an extensive web library. The company also offers a solid warranty. Still, some of the agents have work to do, learning the ins and outs of the company software
4. Microsoft (74/100)
Web Support: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-800-642-7676
Key takeaways: Microsoft has made marked improvements. You’ll find a wealth of helpful information on its tech support website and YouTube channel. Phone support is polite and can handle most of your queries. Social media agents could stand to answer more quickly.
5. Google (71/100)
Web Support: Link
Phone Number: 1-844-613-7539
Key takeaways: Google’s first time in Tech Support Showdown finds the company in a tie for 5th place. The company shines when it comes to delivering phone assistance. However, the company’s social team could use some work.
5. Samsung (71/100)
Web Support: Link (opens in new tab)
Phone Number: 1-800-726-7864
Key takeaways: Social media, forums, live chat, FAQs, phone and more, if you need tech support, Samsung is there to help. But while the company’s agents are fast and ready to help, they could use some more training on Samsung’s proprietary software.
7. Lenovo (70/100)
Web support: https://support.lenovo.com/us/en (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-877-453-6686
Key takeaways: We were pleased with Lenovo's tech support. Lenovo laptop owners get a modern, resource-packed website, exceptional social media support and a new warranty option for Legion gamers. If only the experience wasn't spoiled by a few phone calls.
8. Dell (68/100)
Web support: https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04 (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-800-624-9896
Key takeaways: Dell's tech support is a mixed bag. On one hand, the company's agents are friendly and helpful. On the other, getting support, whether on social media or via the aging website, requires you to jump through hoops.
9. Asus (65/100)
Web support: https://www.asus.com/support (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-888-678-3688
Key takeaways: Asus dropped a few spots this year despite good social media and chat support plus new warranty options. If the company retrains its less-than-helpful call support team, then it could find itself in the top half of standings next year.
10. HP (61/100)
Web support: https://support.hp.com/us-en (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-888-698-3762
Key takeaways: HP dropped further down the rankings this year due to unhelpful (and aggressive) call support and a frustrating online virtual assistant. HP's social media team is excellent, but it's only enough to land the company a 10th place finish.
11. MSI (60/100)
Web support: https://us.msi.com/support
Phone number: 1-888-447-6564
Key takeaways: Hey, at least it's not last place! MSI dug itself out of dead-last this year with better phone support. It's still an uphill battle, but one MSI could win if it expands and improves its social media support options.
12. Acer (54/100)
Web support: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support (opens in new tab)
Phone number: 1-866-695-2237
Key takeaways: Let's hope Acer has good quality control because you don't want to deal with its lacking tech support. The company's phone support was no help and you have to pay for shipping when your laptop needs repairs. Acer needs to overhaul its support if it stands any chance of moving up in next year's Tech Support Showdown.