Bad News For Dell

This can't be good.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker's overall customer service and support satisfaction rating, as measured by Technology Business Research's Corporate IT Service and Support Customer Satisfaction Study, fell slightly from the fourth quarter of 2003 to the first quarter of 2004.

The slip helped Dell rival Hewlett-Packard take the satisfaction lead among the three major PC makers for the first time since TBR began the quarterly study in 2000. Dell, which had led or been tied for the lead in satisfaction among the PC makers since the study's inception, fell back to a tie for second place.

While HP moved into the top position among the PC makers, with a score of 81.85 out of a possible 100 points, Dell garnered an 80.32, and IBM scored an 80.94. Dell and IBM were considered to be in a statistical tie for second place, according to the survey, as TBR requires a distance of at least 1 percent between vendors in order to rank them separately.

I bet I know what Michael Dell and Kevin Rollins will be focusing on over the coming weeks.

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