Consumer Reports says Apple has the best tech support, Acer/Gateway/eMachines the worst

Consumer Reports has a new report on which computer company has the best tech support. Apple wins! That’s what happens when the same company controls the hardware as well as the operating system (and several of the most prominent pieces of software). The highest ranking PC manufacturer is Dell for desktops and Lenovo for laptops.

The actual report is behind the Consumer Reports paywall, but Slashgear had the bottle to do the impossible and pay for content. Far braver than any of us here.

But the highlights:

• Apple had the tops marks for both desktop and laptop tech support

• Dell leads the PC desktop side, and Lenovo leads the laptop side

Acer/Gateway/eMachineshas the worst tech support on both the desktop and laptop side

That’s the gist of it—Apple good, Acer/Gateway/eMachines not so good.

It sorta makes sense, in a very superficial way. When you buy an iMac, not only was the hardware created by Apple, but much of the software was created by Apple, too. When you buy an Acer laptop, how is Microsoft supposed to know what kind of hardware it [Acer] stuck in there? Whereas Apple only as to support a pretty small hardware line, Microsoft has to support all sorts of alien configurations.

That still doesn’t explain the manufacturer’s inability to provide tech support for its own hardware. “Hi Dell. Your laptop won’t turn on, what’s wrong?” Dell should go out of its way to help you out. After all, that’s part of the reason why you buy a Dell (or HP or whatever) PC in the first place, so that you can receive tech support when you need it. Otherwise, just build your own PC, like cool people like me do.

But as the family’s “tech guy,” I cannot stress how incredibly infuriating it is to help family members with their computer woes. “My computer is broken,” they’ll tell me over the phone, “I need you to fix it.” Sure, let me stop what I’m doing to try to figure out what the hell is going wrong with your wretched Windows XP installation…