Retailers singled out for criticism from Which? Computing over their customer service have defended the standard of support they provide to the public.

The results of the magazine survey made bad reading for household names PC World, Comet and Staples, which scored poorly on consumer relations.

The score given by customers relates to overall satisfaction and the likelihood of purchasers recommending the supplier to a friend - PC World received a 42% score. DSGi, Currys and Comet earned 45%.

The 51% total received by Staples paled in comparison to table-topping Apple, which was awarded an overall score of 88%. High street retailer John Lewis also fared well, scoring 84%.

DSGi, owner of PC World and Currys, said: “We are extremely disappointed with these results, especially as we have a programme in place which focuses the entire business on the customer and on improving customer service.

“All store staff have been through a specially developed training programme which is updated regularly to ensure they focus on customers and their individual needs.”

A Comet spokesman expressed “surprise and disappointment” at the results, declaring the retailer prides itself oncustomer service.

A Staples representative said the retailer “always strives to provide great customer service and welcomes customer feedback.”