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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 15:51 EDT

The Best & Worst Internet Customer Service

June 13, 2011

According to a survey of the largest Internet retailers on Monday, Dell Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. both have websites that provide the worst customer service.

StellaService, an independent provider of customer-service ratings for online companies, conducted the survey.

The surveyor graded the biggest 100 Internet retailers, based on how long customers wait on the telephone and how long it takes to get an email response. 

According to StellaService’s survey, Amazon.com was the best for average call hold time and fifth for average email replies.

“With prices and product selection no longer a key differentiator among online retailers, customer service has become the deal maker or breaker for today’s shopper,” StellaService Chief Executive Jordy Leiser said in a statement.

The survey found that Barnes & Noble had the second-longest average call hold time at just over eight minutes.  The worst was Etronics.com, which did not respond to any calls during StellaService’s survey.

According to the survey, Dell.com had the fourth-longest average email response time at over 65 minutes.  Spiegel.com, Crateandbarrel.com and Fingerhut.com ranked lower than Dell did based on this measure.

The survey found that Crateandbarrel.com was also in the bottom 10 based on average call hold time.

DisneyStore.com was the only website ranked among the top 10 for both email and telephone support.

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