While there are some complaints, Apple's customer service pleases most Mac users, according to a recent Macworld Online poll.

We asked readers: "What is your experience of Apple's customer service?" In total, 707 readers responded to the poll, with over half (53 per cent) describing customer service as "great" (375 votes).

Just 94 readers who voted (13 per cent of the sample group) think Apple's customer service is "terrible", while one-third (34 per cent, 238 souls) describe it as simply "average".

Some Apple customers recounted sorry tales of Apple spurning their requests for help, others shared their memories of late delivery, misdiagnosis and unacceptable repairs, but the majority of readers seemed happy with their experience so far.

"On every occation when I have taken a product back or contacted them, Apple has interpreted the warranty in my favour," one reader wrote. "Most recently I took my son's out of warranty iPod for repair to Apple and they graciously replaced it at no cost: unexpectedly and much to my surprise," he added.

In a plea to remember manners when dealing with customer service representatives, he said: "Could it be that the way the problem is presented to the guy at the front desk makes a difference?"

Another informs us: "In seventeen years of using Macs, I've had two occasions to use their customer service. One was a major issue, the other rather minor. In both cases it was dealt with very rapidly and exceeded my expectations."

A final story sums up the good side of Apple's customer service: "My PowerBook had one dead pixel. Apple sent a replacement which also had one dead pixel. Apple insisted on sending a third PowerBook which was (and still is) perfect. Only then did Apple collect the two 'defective' units. Very impressed."

"The first time I called Apple Support, they were superb, but the second time they gave me the run around and in the end I went to my local authorised Apple service centre which sorted things out."