Not so long-term readers of PC Authority will remember that last year, we launched our inaugural Reliability and Service Awards. The industry didn’t quite know what to make of them when we first pitched the idea, but everybody was impressed with the results. In the end some 8,500 people voted, giving verdicts on 63,000 products they’d bought, worth around $30,000,000 - making it easily Australia’s biggest ever tech survey.
The results were fascinating, not least because Telstra came bottom out of every list. Indeed, one out of every two customers were so dissatisfied with Bigpond’s Internet service that they wouldn’t recommend it to a friend. Only DoDo Internet came close to doing so badly, and that’s a far, far smaller company. This established a trend: some of the most interesting conclusions seemed to be drawn, not so much whose results were the best but from whose results were the worst.Enter the Reliability & Service Awards survey now
!Click here to book a table!
Tuesday 27 November 2007, Grand Ballroom, Star City
HP, Acer and O2 are companies that did very poorly in terms of Reliability and Service – unforgivable considering their size. Conversely, Asus, a company which had gone to enormous efforts to establish itself as a quality notebook maker, came from nowhere to scoop the notebook award ahead of favourites like Lenovo, Apple and Dell, such was the quality of its customers’ feedback.
The survey also announced the maturation of online shops in the Australian market. Before the awards, online shops were generally considered untrustworthy and lacking in service when compared to traditional shops like Harvey Norman. It used to be a similar story in the USA and the UK, but then Amazon.com set up shop in both countries and dumped an inordinate amount of money into blanket advertising campaigns. These, virtually overnight, made Amazon a household name and made the (previously very suspicious) general public feel comfortable about buying online. There haven’t been similar occurrences in Australia, and so we have dozens of smaller shops vying for market share. Some cut their own throats, in terms of customer service, to get the prices down but it’s tricky to warn against them. This is where you come in. Rather than rely on hearsay from a handful of people, listen to what 100 users say. We’ll tell you who to avoid.
Last year we made a big effort to monitor any cheating. Out of hundreds of companies, spread across 142 product lines, only two showed any signs of skullduggery. One minor company received almost two hundred votes without a single bad word being said about it. Another had an anomalously large number of positive votes from the same IP address – both were banned, but I’ll spare their blushes by not naming them.
This year we hope to make the survey even more popular and, consequently, of even better value to you, the readers. With some big industry heavyweights waving their unexpected awards around last year we expect them to make more of an effort this year to consolidate their success. Pluscorp, who jointly won our Online Reseller award, made a huge effort to publicise the survey last year, and it paid off. While not all of the feedback was great, it scored more than well enough to come out on top. This inspired the company to focus on its customers even more. Apparently, the award had quite an effect on staff morale and helped boost customer confidence. Pluscorp really wants to win again this year.
Voting is open for three months, starting now, and to tempt you we’ve assembled over 60 prizes worth over $40,000 just for answering the questionnaire, so there’s never been a better chance to win something really really cool! Don’t think you have to answer every category though, you can answer as few or as many questions as you want to.
The more people who enter, the more authoritative the results will be, so please feel free to forward the link around as many people as possible. That way, you’ll know that the winners truly deserved their titles, and the losers will hopefully be shamed into raising their game.
Last year we held a light lunch for all of the winners, but this year we’ll be throwing a huge black-tie gala dinner at Sydney’s Star City casino on November 27th. Everyone is invited. Click here to book a table!
But for now, go to the survey page
and get voting!Enter the Reliability & Service Awards survey now