The official response
After informing Mr. Tran that he can comment just like any other reader on CNET, I asked him how he accounts for four years of negative reader feedback. He acknowledged that it seemed to be an issue, and said he would confer with the department heads of his company to form a response. Here is what he came back with.
We here at Cyberpower would like to thank you for your concerns regarding your reader's reviews. Most importantly, we would like you to know that we will honor all warranties that we offer on all systems shipped from Cyberpower. We believe that we have the best overall warranty compared to all of our competitors. We have a tremendous number of satisfied customers/return customers, but we also have our share of dissatisfied customers. We will do our best to organize our new infrastructure and provide better service and quality components to all of our customers.
We do understand that there have been times where new orders have been shipped out late; it is due to the fact that on some occasions the manufacturers are back ordered on products. We know that is not any fault of the customers but we will put more effort into contacting our customers and let them be aware of what is going on with their order every step of the way. We will also definitely take into consideration to reply to any new comments that are posted on your Web site.
Regarding the technical support, we do offer 24-7 support here at Cyberpower. After the meeting we had today, we have decided to strengthen our technical support staff to maintain our daily support calls. Normally our call backs are between 1 to 3 hours time frame. We will do our best to improve the call-back times. We will organize a group of technicians who will answer incoming calls and another group who will call back the customers that leave messages.
As usual, let the buyer beware
Adding to the technical support staff sounds like a good step. We're not so sure the rest amounts to anything of substance. Again, Cyberpower makes a point about responding to comments. That feels more like managing public perception than it does actually solving problems. As for letting customers know when certain parts in their order are out of stock, ideally it would keep its Web site updated so customers would know before placing an order. We'll add that if Cyberpower didn't try to stock every single part under the sun, perhaps it wouldn't have inventory issues. We have to imagine its tech support would be better if it slimmed down its offerings as well, as it wouldn't have to account for so many different hardware combinations.
Despite our remaining doubts, we believe that Cyberpower has to have made at least some of its customers happy. Even if a vendor made up fake positive comments (and we're not saying that Cyberpower has), we don't believe it would be able to do so enough to generate such a positive score over the last six months on ResellerRatings. But regardless of whether any site's reader ratings are an accurate gauge of overall customer satisfaction, we still wish Cyberpower had given us some more concrete information about how it intends to improve. We'll be interested to see what the reader comments look like for this review.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance.)
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Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows Vista Home Premium; 3.0GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+; 1,024GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT graphics card; 320GB 7,200 rpm hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.6GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+; 2,048MB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Radeon X1300 Pro HyperMemory graphics card; 320GB Western Digital 7,200rpm hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium; 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6300; 2GB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 224MB (shared) Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics chip; 320GB 7,200rpm hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit); 2.66Ghz AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+; 2GB 667Mhz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) ATI Radeon X1200 integrated graphics; 250GB 7,200 rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium; 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6300; 2,048MB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT graphics card; 300GB 7,200rpm Samsung hard drive