Wall Street may have soured on the computer industry, but consumers have not. In a Gallup poll on people’s opinions of various industries (see the chart below), 27 percent expressed “very positive” views of the computer sector, with another 40 percent being “somewhat positive.” Just 1 percent were “very negative.” Polling for the M Booth/Harris Trust Monitor found similar esteem for computer companies. When respondents were asked to say whether 13 industries “generally do a good job or bad job of serving their customers,” computer software and hardware companies ran first and second (with “good” votes of 80 percent and 78 percent respectively). When people again feel free to buy big-ticket items, the industry’s reputation should stand it in good stead. The same cannot be said of Internet commerce. In the Gallup survey, the Internet got a mediocre positive-minus-negative score of 17. The telephone sector fared poorly in the Gallup poll, with a score of 2. In the Harris survey, though, 61 percent said phone companies serve their customers well.
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