A survey of online retailers found that computer giant Dell was among the worst offenders when it came to response times by email and telephone.
The survey by StellaService graded the largest North American online retailers based on how long customers were kept waiting. Dell reportedly took over an hour to answer emails.
"With prices and product selection no longer a key differentiator, customer service has become the best way for online retailers to stand out in the marketplace," said stellaservice.com boss Jordy Leiser.
While many of the retailers were exclusive to North America, a number of international retailers were surveyed. Amazon faired comparitibely well with the lowest average call hold time and relatively low email response times.
US electronics retailer etronics.com, which bills itself as "the exact same stuff for less". finished rock bottom by failing to answer the StellaService's telephone calls at all.
Although like many online retailers, the firm goes to great lengths not to reveal a telephone number at all.