People Happier Than Ever With New Computers

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has released its report on customer satisfaction ratings over the past year, showing that people are generally happier than ever with their goods.

“In order for demand to rebound, consumers must exhibit an increased desire to spend and have the means to do so,” said Claes Fornell, founder of the ACSI and author of The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference. “ACSI data suggest that for durables, the first condition has been met in the form of higher customer satisfaction. Whether this will translate into increased consumer demand will depend on positive movement in the factors that impact the means to spend: employment, wages and access to credit.”

For satisfaction of personal computers, the rating surged up 4 percent to match the all-time industry high of 78 on the ACSI’s 0 to 100-point scale. Apple gains 2 percent to 86, its highest score ever. This marks the seventh straight year that Apple leads all other PC makers, and the 9-point gap between Apple and its nearest competitor is the largest in ACSI. Potentially skewing Apple's rating upward is the ASCI's inclusion of the iPad, which is the highest ranked product that the ASCI has ever tracked.

Despite that gap between Apple and the rest, Windows-based machines also improved and no brand declined. Dell improves 3 percent, while Acer (Gateway and eMachines) and the HP division of Hewlett-Packard both rise 4 percent, forming a three-way tie at 77. These companies are joined by the aggregate of all smaller PC makers, such as Sony and Toshiba, which gained 4 percent to 77.

“Windows-based PC brands appear to have recovered from the problems associated with the Windows Vista software,” said Fornell. “Barely a year into the release of Windows 7, satisfaction with these brands has returned to, and in some cases even surpassed, the levels prior to the launch of Vista.”

ACSI said that PC makers have benefited overall from better customer service, although this service continues to lag far behind other durable goods industries. PC owners who had reason to contact customer support are 8 percent less satisfied than those with no post-purchase contact with the manufacturer or retailer.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Parsian
    Windows Vista's problems existed, but much of it was over hyped and over exaggerated... All it takes is bunch of people at intelligence level of a Mac user to hear a rumor and then he/she will react religiously without further inquiry to believe the rumor.
  • AMW1011
    The only reason someone buys a Mac is because it suites their professional needs or they are one of those people who buy into the marketing and the perceived elitism of Apple products. The former is going to be happy because he bought it specifically for one of its strengths that he knew about going in, and is likely pretty well informed. The latter wasn't thinking objectively to begin with.

    Anyway, with all the sh*ty budget PCs out there, I think a 77% satisfaction rate is extremely commendable.
  • Nesto1000
    Apple is high up there because the apple fanboys can't say anything bad about their "perfect" Mac computer...
  • insightdriver
    personal perceptions are valid. If they aren't, then yours is null and void, nesto1000

    PS. I am a windows 7 user.
  • Gin Fushicho
    That's... good. I think people just need to be more open to change. People like Mac's because they don't change.
  • liveonc
    Let Mac people be happy with crap products. They're happier than non-Mac people who always complain about getting too little & paying too much. But don't get this wrong, because if Mac people ever get an iPhone 4G that actually works, it's because of all the non-Mac people who like to point out everything a Mac can't do.
  • kageryu
    Man. I remember, I was so happy when I bought a ****** Dell that was being phased out in favor of the new Core 2 Duo comps. I was so...uneducated...5 years ago. Now, I've build my own computer and I'm happy as hell. I feel sad whenever I see someone with a Dell/Alienware/HP/Acer Desktop. At the same time, I laugh at the people who bought a Mac desktop. (b^_^)b
  • liveonc
    mojo1973Aren't you better off talking about something that you own vs something that you don't? You know nothing about Macs. You haters are living in a reality distortion environment where surveys and reviews don't matter. The only thing that matters is your opinion. Way to go!! Now watch me get voted down. Hate wins.
    But I know people who own Macs, I can even use them myself! It's not them I dislike, it's the way they think. But they pay for their Mac products themselves, even if I give an iPod as a present, it's because they wouldn't use it if it wasn't. But their logic isn't logic, it's a woman with a gucci bag, an iPhone in it, & Sex & The City as the only thing there is to talk about, if talk is required.
  • molo9000
    Apple has figured out a long time ago what makes customers happy.
    Hardware, operating system, drivers and service from the same company just makes for a complete package. Couple that to great industrial design and attention to detail and you have a very satisfying computer even if it doesn't come cheap.
  • Trashit
    I think in the case of Mac users its a matter of ignorance is bliss, or put another way...not much can go wrong if all you do is check your email and update your facebook.