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Fulfilling the Perception

October 27th, 2007

This report (via Mac Daily News) from RescueCom, a computer repair center, puts Apple computers at the top of its reliability list, saying that users are way less liable to need drastic repair of their desktop or laptop if it’s a Mac.

I’d love to give this report whole-hearted support, but there are a few problems. First, it’s a private business, basing the calculations upon what they figure as each maker’s market share (a nebulous proposition in any case); they then take the number of calls they get to rescue shattered computers and work out the score from that. Not exactly the pinnacle of “scientific” studies.

Not to mention one other problem: the phone number they have you call is 1-800-RESCUE-PC. With the well-known dichotomy of “Mac vs. PC,” many will simply figure that Macs are not included in their services–something most Mac users expect when looking at generic computer services in the first place. That would affect the numbers in the Mac’s favor.

On the plus side for the Mac, its low numbers might also be helped by the reputation and/or efficacy of its customer support; people might be less trustful of other makers’ support centers, or may be frustrated by attempts they have made to use them, and thus driven to use alternate help centers like the one making this report.

It would be very interesting to see how the Mac performs in a more objective, well-researched comparison. The reputation is that Macs break down somewhat less (perhaps more so in the laptop domain), partly because they are better-designed and -constructed, and partly because the same company makes the machine, OS, and much of the software, which means smoother operation and fewer conflicts. Additionally, users are a bit more likely to be able to handle problems themselves.

These are just perceptions, however, mostly backed up by polls or reports like the one above; I don’t think I have seen hard numbers to support this. If anyone knows of such research, let me know; I’d be interested to see the results.

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  1. October 27th, 2007 at 10:11 | #1

    I’m afraid I know of no such research, but I can say that my MacBook has been a lot less prone to problems than any of my previous laptops. :-)

    That’s purely anecdotal evidence, certainly, but it seems reasonable to me to assume that Apple can manage to implement better quality control over its comparitively limited product line than all of its competitors can collectively, so the report’s conclusions do not seem too far-fetched, even if its methodology is questionable.

  2. Luis
    October 27th, 2007 at 12:31 | #2

    Yeah, my brother and his wife have reported the same thing: their Windows laptops broke way too often, and their Macs have done lots better (though they are not as happy with Apple’s customer support as I am). And though I have had almost zero problems with my Macs overall, I don’t have much chance to compare as I have had only one Windows machine (which completely died on me a few months back).

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