Tech Support Showdown 2012 - Page 9 of 12 - LAPTOP Magazine: The Pulse of Mobile Technology

Tech Support Showdown 2012

Samsung

Samsung Tech Support Results
Average Call Length 6 minutes and 40 seconds
Phone Grade 2012 A-
Web Grade 2011 A-
Overall Grade 2011 A-
Overall Grade 2011 A-
Overall Grade 2010 C

samsung.com/us/support
@SamsungSupport
 800-726-7864

 Since we last tested Samsung’s tech support, the company has rolled out a number of improvements, including a new website design focused on usability, a new community section and improved monitoring of its social media channels. Samsung also claims that it has increased the knowledge base for its call center agents, as well as the size of its video help library. For our testing, we used a Series 7 Chronos and asked a Samsung-specific question about its Kies media library, as well as more general questions about the notebook’s touchpad and battery life.

Web & Social Networking

On the homepage, Samsung lists a number of ways to contact its support staff, including email and social networking addresses. Live Chat is clearly the preferred method of support, with separate links to start a Live Chat session for televisions, mobile phones, computers, washers and dryers, printers and general chat.

The homepage prompts visitors to enter the name or model number of their notebook in a search box displayed prominently in the center of the screen. Typing in part of the name or model number launches a handy drop-down menu that lists possible matches. The product pages to which you’re directed are robust and well-designed, featuring user manuals, a list of downloads (such as a Battery Life Extender application) and links for various support options (such as email, Live Chat and Twitter).

Below that are product support videos, a Community Q&A section and a list of frequently asked questions and how-to guides. Samsung even provides a dedicated search bar for its FAQs and How-Tos, a feature we found incredibly helpful. Using the search bar, we found how to enable three-finger swiping on the touchpad and how to use the Battery Extender and Battery Manager applications (although the tool didn’t provide any specific tips for how to extend our battery life). Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any explanation in the FAQ or user manual on how to import our music into Samsung’s Kies media library.

A Live Chat session with Shawn resulted in an incorrect answer. When asked how we could import music into Kies from a Sony VAIO, he informed us that Kies could only transfer content from one Samsung device to another.

We received a correct answer about Kies within hours of posting the question on the Samsung Facebook timeline. When we tweeted @SamsungSupport about our battery life question, a representative responded to our queries within 30 minutes, and Samsung pointed us to useful troubleshooting articles such as “How to Calibrate Your Battery” and “Multi-Finger Functionality.”

Phone

We had a much better experience with Samsung’s phone support than last year. When we called at 10:30 a.m. EST, we asked Sarah in South Carolina how to import music from an old computer into the Samsung Kies media player. Sarah correctly walked us through the process of putting our music on a flash drive, moving it onto our computer and then using Kies to automatically import the files. The call lasted less than 5 minutes.

We called again at 1 p.m. and connected with Adam in the Philippines. When we asked him how to enable three-finger swiping on our notebook’s touchpad, he first asked us to search for the touchpad using the search bar in the Start Menu. When that failed to produce any results, Adam told us to open up the touchpad properties in the Control Panel, without first explaining how to do that. It took significant prodding on our part to get him to explain, step-by-step, exactly which icons to select in the Control Panel to find the touchpad properties. Once there, however, the Samsung rep quickly pointed out how to enable the gesture, and we successfully concluded the call in less than 10 minutes.

During our call at 4 p.m. with Karen in South Carolina, we asked how to extend our notebook’s battery life. She suggested calibrating our battery in the notebook’s BIOS (the same solution offered by the Samsung representatives on Twitter). She also suggested turning down the brightness of the screen and running fewer programs simultaneously. The call lasted 7 minutes.

Verdict

While it’s hard to improve upon last year’s A-, Samsung certainly maintained excellent customer service this year. The support site is still as easy to navigate as before, and compared with other companies, Samsung makes excellent use of social media to solve customers’ problems. While our experiences with Live Chat proved less helpful than in 2011, the company’s phone support improved markedly, and Samsung’s representatives were as friendly as ever. Plus, we like that Samsung’s phone support is always free, even if your device is out of warranty. Add it all together and it’s easy to see why Samsung earns another impressive A- grade for 2012. 

Tech Support Showdown 2012

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  1. Not Phil Says:

    Dell service stinks. They also don’t stand behind their equipment. I’ve had nothing but problems with Dell and will never purchase another.

  2. don Says:

    then if the sony is the top 1 at tech support..

    what is the brand that is best for gamings..

    i mean which brand is best for gamings..

    including the price the kind of specs the kind of products.

    which is the best brand of laptop that is good for gaming..

    mostly and surely about durability and performance through out the year.

  3. Al Says:

    “Acer Tech Report Results” is shown as the title on the Sony page.

  4. Karen Says:

    I have to agree with Not Phil – I’ve never in my life encountered such appalling “service” as I just did from Dell! Will never buy from them again (not that they care).

  5. graham (australia) Says:

    ive got a couple of asus notebooks and also a netbook, over the yrs ive had a couple of minor warranty issues and asus support has been brilliant, the asus techs seem enthusiastic about there products and are more then happy to take the time to show u little things or answer questions,

  6. Cappy Says:

    I’m with Karen and notphil…….. Dell is terrible. Half the time they give you the wrong information and if you have continuing problems… too bad.

    I say this as a person who has purchased 4 computers from them in the past, and will not in future.

  7. a person Says:

    the thing about dell is their consumer products suck they have for a long time and they probably always will. That said buy the same computer relabled vostro, pay the extra for pro support and your phone wait time is 2 minutes max and they’ll have a US based technician solving any problem have and they’ll drop off the part you need within 4 hours. but if you expect to pay $400 for a laptop that costs $375 to build ship and market. you’ll get crap support.

  8. Steve Says:

    I’ve had had Dell XPS’s since 2004. That came with a dedicated phone line only for the XPS line, it was India sometimes but not all. The support was decent.
    Prior to that I had Dell Dimension’s 8400 and their tech support was as good as dealing with monkeys.

    Recently I bought a Lenovo Desktop. Tech support is located in the U.S. for my model and I just read yesterday that all tech support is coming back to the states. I also bought a 5 yr. Priority Service upgrade so I am good till 2018 if I still even have this them?
    Having U.S. support is one of the reasons I bought this system. I liked another one a bit more, same price.. more of a gaming system with support in India and no Priority Support like I do here in the states. I do get next day service with this one too and they will only warranty it for 3 yrs max, (what’s that tell you?)

    I am still within the time frame of returning this system exchanging it for the other and dealing with India.

    Also, Lenovo does not use refurbished parts when repairing your computer, completely new parts are always used.

  9. Dom Says:

    Let me just say that I will NEVER EVER buy a DELL product again! I just had the worst experience with tech support. I have had continuing problems and they said pretty much what I have already heard on here…too bad. I told them that you all just lost another Dell customer and it didn’t really phase them too much. I was supposed to get a new laptop from all the problems I had with this one and they told me “it won’t get approved from all the departments here and plus we need more information.” Really?? Like you don’t have a ton already with all the problems I’ve had??

  10. sam Says:

    Let me just say that I will NEVER EVER buy a DELL product again! I just had the worst experience with tech support. I have had continuing problems and they said pretty much what I have already heard on here…too bad. I told them that you all just lost another Dell customer and it didn’t really phase them too much. I was supposed to get a new laptop from all the problems I had with this one and they told me “it won’t get approved from all the departments here and plus we need more information.” Really?? Like you don’t have a ton already with all the problems I’ve had??
    and then i took help from axes pc care they are the genuine people their number is 1-877-509-8360

  11. JDE Says:

    I’m stunned to see Sony get first place in tech support. That doesn’t reflect my experience at all, and I’ve been on the phone with them as recently as a few months ago. I think they’re no better than any other manufacturer, and they’re all terrible.

    I also think that Apple’s tech support, while probably better than everyone else’s, is overrated. I’ve had at least two negative experiences with them over the past couple of years, one of them requiring intervention on the part of a supervisor who was embarrassed by the ignorance and unprofessionalism of his subordinate.

  12. She Says:

    When will Laptop Magazine release the showdown results for 2013?

  13. Anna Attkisson, LAPTOP Managing Editor Says:

    We are putting the finishing touches on this story now. It will be coming in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned!

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