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QOTD: How Important is Good Tech Support?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 113 comments

What's tech support worth to you?

Yesterday we saw Laptop Magazine's test of the tech support offered by various computer manufacturers.

Apple scored top marks with its North American-based tech support workers, well put-together website and availability of the Genius Bar. Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba also did well with knowledgeable phone support.

The worst of the bunch were Acer, Dell and HP, which were plagued with long hold times and/or tech help that wasn't very helpful at all.

The interesting thing to notice is that Acer, Dell and HP are the top computer sellers, leading us to believe that quality tech support may not be exactly correlated with the top selling computers.

Perhaps the reason is because the likes of Acer, Dell and HP sell so many machines that its tech support can't keep up, or there's something else to it. We're curious, and we want to hear from you.

So our question of the day is: how important is tech support to you when you are making computer buying decisions?

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Flying Sq , August 8, 2009 3:08 AM
    Almost never important, all I need is some online support, and a return system. I really don't need support unless a part is faulty, shorts, etc. Then it's only for a refund or replacement.
  • 23 Hide
    pcxt21 , August 8, 2009 3:16 AM
    Honestly the forums here on Tom's as well as the rest of the internet are more helpful to me than any telephone tech support ever was. As long as a company's RMA service if functional, I really don't care about there telephone help line.
  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2009 3:12 AM
    i have used tech support once for a printer and they didn't fix my problem. That being said... 99.9% of the products i have own have not required real tech support. I just end up googleing the error message and always find my own fix. Bottom line, its not important.
Other Comments
    Display all 113 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    doomtomb , August 8, 2009 2:52 AM
    Very important if the staff is actually knowledgeable.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , August 8, 2009 3:02 AM
    They have to know their way around a server. I already know the basic PC stuff, I don't need someone to regurgitate it for me. Servers though I am not knowledgable in.
  • 24 Hide
    Flying Sq , August 8, 2009 3:08 AM
    Almost never important, all I need is some online support, and a return system. I really don't need support unless a part is faulty, shorts, etc. Then it's only for a refund or replacement.
  • -8 Hide
    crystalized , August 8, 2009 3:10 AM
    Now why does tech support have to be free?
    Have you already called a plumber and asked him to tell you step-by-step what to do to change your pipes? and for free?
    Anybody doing that is dumb, period.
    So the old saying is true, what you pay is what you get and obviously if it's free then it is not the best support you'll get.
    Also Apple, Toshiba, Sony and Lenovo computers costs a bit more than HP, Dell and Acer so that extra money goes towards the support you receive.
  • 1 Hide
    7amood , August 8, 2009 3:11 AM
    If I see that others are having problems with support, it decreases my interest in a specific brand product up to 50%...

    It's only up to how good the performance and features diversity of that product.
  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2009 3:12 AM
    i have used tech support once for a printer and they didn't fix my problem. That being said... 99.9% of the products i have own have not required real tech support. I just end up googleing the error message and always find my own fix. Bottom line, its not important.
  • 4 Hide
    maigo , August 8, 2009 3:12 AM
    I think product support is important with anything, certainly if you have a major issue.
  • 3 Hide
    haze4peace , August 8, 2009 3:16 AM
    I've never had to call tech support for a computer issue before, so no, tech support does not matter to me.
  • 23 Hide
    pcxt21 , August 8, 2009 3:16 AM
    Honestly the forums here on Tom's as well as the rest of the internet are more helpful to me than any telephone tech support ever was. As long as a company's RMA service if functional, I really don't care about there telephone help line.
  • 2 Hide
    adamovera , August 8, 2009 3:19 AM
    Not important for pretty much all things, networking equipment being the only exception, for me anyway. Bump on the return system +1.
  • 2 Hide
    Verdauga , August 8, 2009 3:30 AM
    Tech support is not important for the trivial things for me, I have really only used higher tier support levels. Then again, when making your own boxes you are the tech support. (and it's fantastic!)
  • 1 Hide
    cliffro , August 8, 2009 3:32 AM
    Tech Support? not so much. Now a good Customer Server Rep, I find those are more important, because I'm more likely to have order/ issues than Tech Issues that I cannot resolve on my own.

    But then again....I also do not buy boxed computers, which keeps me from buying laptops/notebooks as well, I just don't like Pre-Built systems.
  • 4 Hide
    cadder , August 8, 2009 3:34 AM
    Tech support is very important, BUT there is more to tech support than a person on a telephone. Software updates are important, drivers, bug fixes, etc. are important. A website where it is easy to find software updates is important. A website with information to help with problems is important. Help forums are important.

    My wife and I have 3 Dell's. We have never called their tech support but I've been on their website and downloaded driver updates. I build my own desktops which means one computer may have components from up to 10 different companies. I've never called any of them but I've been on their websites looking for things.
  • -2 Hide
    IzzyCraft , August 8, 2009 3:36 AM
    Depends on badly they messed up :) 
  • 4 Hide
    SAL-e , August 8, 2009 3:56 AM
    The biggest problem with tech support offered by big corporations is that they treat every caller as idiot. Usually takes 30 min to pass through script reading monkeys. Sorry for my rant!
    I know the problem and I understand why is that, but what I don't understand is why big companies don't build support system to recognize users who know more then most of low payed technicians they have employed. I had really had to grow thick skin. Usually when I call with problem it requires someone from 3-rd level to respond. How difficult is to mark my account that I am advance user and I don't call because I am looking for the 'any key' on my keyboard.
  • 7 Hide
    anonymous x , August 8, 2009 4:05 AM
    I am my own tech support. As long as there's some way to return the product, and a decent warranty, I could care less about tech support.
  • 2 Hide
    blackbyron , August 8, 2009 4:10 AM
    The problem about tech support on a phone is sometimes, they have exactly no idea what issue a caller is asking. So then maybe some callers would spend hours and hours talking to tech support and problems are still not solved. I'm gonna say tech support is sometimes important, and sometimes not important. Maybe some tech support could be better or worse.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2009 4:35 AM
    Dell support sucks bigtime. Period.
  • 2 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , August 8, 2009 4:46 AM
    I think its VERY important , I called up DFI for one problem and during the call came up with two more which they fixed for me over the phone and I got the MOBO up and running with everything at top speed. =D

    So for me if I'm going to purchase anything (laptop) it better damn well have good tech support. ( cause I want to know what I dont already know)
  • 0 Hide
    jhaws1001 , August 8, 2009 4:48 AM
    The above pic needs the fire department, not tech support :) 
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