Other electronics companies must really hate Apple. Even when something goes wrong with their products, customers seem to love them.

A new survey of phone-based tech support has found that Apple is way ahead of rivals Dell and HP.

Over half (58 per cent) of Apple customers reported they were very satisfied with their call to Apple tech support, compared to only 46 per cent of Dell customers and 43 per cent of HP customers.

Apple pips rivals to core customer service

While customers of each company were generally satisfied with hold times, ease of reaching an agent
and agent professionalism, Apple did a better job of resolving customer issues and eliminating irrelevant and repetitive steps.

Similarly, just over a fifth of Apple callers were left dissatisfied by their call, compared to around a third of Dell and HP customers.

Apple phone agents are clearly a helpful, satisfying the highest proportion of customers (74 per cent), compared to grumpy HP techies, who managed to annoy over a quarter of callers.

Weirdly, the quality of tech support didn't make a huge difference to people's intentions to repurchase stuff from each company - around 70 per cent are happy to put their money again where their mouth just was.

The Vocalabs survey of over 1100 electronics customers also found that automated voice response systems did not have much effect on people's satisfaction or intent to repurchase, possibly, the authors speculate, "because of low consumer expectations with those systems". Quite.