Consumer survey reveals decline in consumer satisfaction with Apple’s phone support

Consumer survey reveals decline in consumer satisfaction with Apple’s phone support
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, one of Apple’s cornerstones has always been phenomenal customer service. A report published by Vocalabs which takes a look at customer satisfaction with phone-based technical support shows some disconcerting trends from Apple’s camp.

While Apple still remains best in class with 54% of customers stating they were “very satisfied” with the call, only 18 months ago Apple was way ahead of the competition with a 73% satisfaction rate. In comparison, Dell trended up a little bit during the 18 months, but ultimately ended back up at the 44% it started at and HP went from 52% to 49% in the same time period.  If this trend continues, Apple could very well find itself only on par with its competition in an area that it once excelled.

When examining the automated portion of the call, Apple trails both HP and Dell in customer satisfaction. Over the last 2 years, Apple’s satisfaction rate has decreased from 52% to 30%, while both Dell and HP have experienced growths to 40% and 46% respectively.

It’s not all bad for the Cupertino giant. Apple is still the leader when it comes to the language skills of its agents and the costs associated with extra tech support. In 2011, only 0.95% of Apple customers complained about the language skills of the agent, whereas 10.2% of HP’s customers were dissatisfied with the language skills of HP agents. As far as extra costs, Apple also had the fewest complaints with 1.49%, while Dell experienced a 6.20% complaint rate about extra tech support costs. As Vocalabs points out, these companies have varying degrees of enforcement when it comes to out-of-warranty support, so Apple may be more apt to try and resolve simple out-of-warranty issues before asking for additional payment.

What do you think? If you’ve called Apple for iPhone or iPad support, do you feel your experience was consistent with these findings?

source: Vocalabs via Apple Insider



1. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Hey how did my cat get in that picture? lol You got to love that pic.

3. ilia1986 unregistered

Is this Apple tech support? Yes, hi I have a problem with my iPhone. It's not running Android, sir.

16. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

2. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Well competition tries to improve customer feedback while becoming much more bold in terms of raw power and performance, yet offering a competitive price . Still wish I could see a smartphone only chart Also in proper lolcat should be around the lines of "I R SUPERVISOR!!!!!!!!"

4. jim3000gt

Posts: 17; Member since: Nov 13, 2011

Most of these companies do not even answer the calls. They are out sourced and someone reads from a script until you get annoyed at the person reading, even though they are only doing what they are told. A lot of negative feedback is due to the tech support call center being in another country. Americans get mad due to the misunderstanding of the American version of the English language by the phone rep. Other countries call centers are taught British English and there is no slang to confuse. We put down a lot of these reps and most Americans do not even know that they have to have a 4 year degree to be hired to just answer phones. While we are complaining about a $2000.00 TV that can't get HBO clearly or our $700.00 smart phone won't download fast enough they are worried if their $4.00 an hour job will feed a family and have enough over to pay back student loans. Next time you make a call to any customer service department, keep this in mind. Oh, and if you treat them nice you will get a lot further with what you need.

6. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1777; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Really? A 4 year degree to answer phones and only $4.00 an hr seems extremely unlikely. Any proof to back this up?

9. iKavz

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 03, 2012

I can confirm that! You need to have a degree and work experience to be hired as a tech support rep. And only got paid $2-$5 per hour. You need to work during holidays, anytime of the day! Some companies even force you to go on overtime. You can't blame phone reps, they have limitation. Specially when it comes to strict policies that they cant bend. Be good to them and they will do all their best to assist you. If you're so nice, some would even risk their job and break the rules. Just put in mind, you're talking to a live person, not a machine. They have feelings. Some even crying while customers are yelling at them over the phone. Btw, Im a support rep for an American tech company.

14. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1777; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I still find that very hard to believe. I suppose I can just take your word for it it even though Apple pays $11-15 an hour

19. Tarkio

Posts: 30; Member since: Jan 17, 2012

You may be right about all of that, but it isn't really the customers job to cater to the employees a company chooses to hire. If they don't like working there and the pay isn't worth it, no one makes them work there. When I have one quick question about my phone, my plan, or my service, I am not going to consider the entire world wide economic system before I utter a word. I don't know where they are and it shouldn't matter. Whoever picks up the phone is there to do a job.

15. jim3000gt

Posts: 17; Member since: Nov 13, 2011

I was a trainer for call centers for about 8 years. I had to travel to India and Phillipines. India pay rate is much lower then the Philippines, which is the country I was refferring to with the $4.00 pay rate and is at the top level of pay for supervisors. As of now, an average customer support representative in the Phillipines who is just entering the industry would be able to get a minimum salary of PHP 14,400. But salaries could go as high as PHP 18,000 = $418.60 USD per month. iKavaz is also correct. They pretty much work all over night shifts their whole life. Think about it, when you are home eating lunch it is about 1am there. The things people say to them is unthinkable to some of us and yes, I have seen many of them crying on the job.

20. ladyhaly

Posts: 106; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

I can also confirm this--- but note that even though the pay in the Philippines is higher than in India, the pay is still not enough to support even just a single person to not get evicted out of the shared apartment or the boarding house he/she is living in. I know this because a very close friend of mine worked at a call center in the National Capital Region and even gave me a referral in order to apply there for work. He is single and so have no family to provide for. The best can do is help his mom back in the province with their bills but eventually his mom made him quit because he kept asking her for money since the money he earned was not enough to cover his rent, his food, and his transportation costs. I agree that when people do their jobs, they should do it properly. A customer is a customer--- but employees have their limits, especially if their contract only has a life span of 6 months and barely have any benefits. The tax is also very high here--- because apart from the tax taken by the government at employee's salaries, there is also the VAT that comes along with anything you buy whether it be food, water, heck... Even gas. You cannot say that nobody is forcing them to sit there and take on the job because the unemployment in the country is very high and not a lot of people who are skilled and smart, have degrees and various trainings can go abroad to get work because immigration offices are being very strict and looking at bank accounts, asking to see millions of pesos untouched for the past 6 months. The circumstances leave them no choice but to take on jobs that they themselves have no passion for. The people to blame are the corporations and the companies who do outsourcing--- because they wish to cut on costs.

5. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

@jim - when did the consumer have to 'accommodate' any customer support rep's limitation? Companies live and die in some markets based on how good their customer support is at fielding end user calls. There is a reason VZW has its tech support performed by U.S. staff.... Apple has previously done well on the technical support function. I have used the Apple tech support on occasion to solve problems with my MacBook Pro. Problems with customer support are generally a predictor of problems for a company. I hope Apple regains lost ground. Otherwise....

7. cupcake

Posts: 106; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

A lot of Verizon call center sales people are making six figures a year. VZW tech support makes a pretty penny, as well.

8. jibraihimi

Posts: 815; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

Well EclipseGSX, jim3000gt is absolutely right all the guys working at tech-support and call centers require 4 yr. degrees to get hired. And 4$/ hour is pretty high salary quoted by jim3000gt; most of the guys working over there only get about 240-250$ per month, and they have to work for 8-9 hours daily for 6 days a week....... I know this because one of my friends is working for one of these Tech-support, and they are providing support for apple's iTunes, and his take home salary every month is 220$ and he get food coupons of 25$ every month. So you can say that he is getting salary of 245$ every month....... If they pay them more salary then may be all the guys working in these call centers and tech-support wil put more effort in solving the issues of customers......... And I forgot to tell u one thing, since they have to provide techsupport for foreign countries so mostly they are working in night shifts..........

10. iKavz

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 03, 2012

its true! $4/hr is the maximum salary you would get. maybe you're already Tier 3 support for that. you work night shift, you work during holidays, your like a zombie! higher salary and more training will most likely improve the quality of service. customers always blame support reps, they are just doing their job... there are some polices that they can't bend that will surely cause dissatisfaction. they always take all the blame...

13. fuzzalicious

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

currently working at apple care support center. only needed customer service experience to get hired. no 4 yr degree. slightly above min. wage pay. used to work in verizon stores as tech support. i can PLAINLY see why apples customer support had dropped. they'll hire anyone here, train em a few weeks and send em out to the floors. and just seeing some of the people they hire ya. no wonder ratings are down

17. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

no no no this is a lie,ifans on here are always harking on about apples satisfaction rate being almost if not perfect. How dare pa contradict this!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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