Apple, Dell and Sony are the brands of desktop computer people are most likely to recommend to a friend, says Computing Which?

Apple stood apart because it also did well for customer support, the publication says. Just one in four Dell (25 per cent) and Sony (23 per cent) owners said they were satisfied with their customer service.

John Lewis scored the highest of the retailers for overall satisfaction with its support service, with 62 per cent of people rating it as very good. It was closely followed by local independent stores, at 60 per cent.

Jessica Ross, editor, Computing Which?, said: "Apple continues to keep its customers happy by making computers they can rely on. Computers are an absolute necessity for many people now, so it's a major inconvenience when they break down.

"Expensive helplines take a toll on your pocket as well as your time. It would be good to see leading manufacturers following the example of independent stores by offering their customers a better service."

Computing Which? carried out a survey among 6,846 readers in May this year, asking them about the reliability of their computers, the quality of after-sales support, recommended brands and retailer satisfaction.