People are starting to complain about the quality of Dell’s customer service, although not its products. In this recent study, Dell’s customer satisfaction is no simply on par with other PC vendors, while Apple has shot to the top of the consumer satisfaction list.

U.S. consumers lambasted Dell Inc. for poor customer service in a survey conducted last quarter, sending the world’s largest PC vendor into a virtual tie with the rest of the PC market behind the industry-leading efforts of Apple Computer Inc.

For the second year in a row, Apple received the best rating from PC buyers in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), said David Van Amburg, general manager of the ACSI. The University of Michigan compiles the ACSI in numerous product categories by randomly calling U.S. residents and surveying their buying habits, he said. Apple received a score of 81, compared to an industry average score of 74, in results released Tuesday. The Cupertino, California, company’s focus on product innovation and customer service has won it a cadre of famously loyal customers unlike any other PC vendor, Van Amburg said. Apple also received a score of 81 in 2004. Dell, on the other hand, earned a score of 74, down from a score of 79 the previous year.

Read full article: Study: Dell customer rating plunges, Apple leads pack