Which VPNs offer the Best Live Chat Support?

Last updated: July 11, 2019
Obaid Chawla

Obaid Chawla

Obaid Chawla is a innovation buff with a propensity to debate hard. He has a deep interest in how humans can push things forward in the fourth and final Industrial Revolution and loves covering every single development that takes place! He's also freelancing in making new friends and communities!

In today’s world, the use of VPNs has diversified a lot with its usage expanding into many different functionalities and devices. From being a critical component in allowing users to get more value out of their streaming subscriptions on sites like Netflix to protecting financial transactions on all devices, VPNs now serve a larger user base than ever before.

And when such diverse and complex functionalities are involved, a user needs support from the provider to get through. Most Top VPNs offer live chat support for this, giving users the option of posing their queries in real time and getting custom solutions for solving them, but are all live chat support features offered by different providers providing the same level of service?

Not quite. Some of them give off lousy canned responses which are often unhelpful when you have a more technical query while others have real live chat support execs who are actually trained to guide you through all sorts of troubleshooting and other complex issues.

And if you think that chat support is a secondary feature in a VPN and shouldn’t weigh in on your decision to go for a provider or not, then you need to reconsider your line of thinking.

Whether you want to setup a VPN on your router or if your VPN is not working properly and is giving some error that you can’t solve on your own, live chat support is the only thing you will have to fall back on to get you out of your issues and continue on with a seamless experience.

The quality of live chat support offered by a provider is a big factor that you need to take into account before you take any decision to subscribe to a particular provider or not.

But checking each provider’s quality of service when it comes to live chat support is quite a difficult undertaking and can take a lot of time which most users cant do by themselves so I did it for them.

I took top 5 providers from the industry that offered service features which often require the user to interact with live chat support and posed them with a tricky query to see how they handled it.

An overview of the chat support service is summarized below if you are unwilling to go through the complete analysis.

VPN ProviderResponse TimeTechnical KnowledgeToneHelpful
SurfsharkFastVery goodWelcomingYes
NordVPNFastBelow parRude & mechanisticNo
PureVPNFastAverageMechanist & weakNo
ExpressVPNVery fastExcellentWelcoming & AccomodatingYes
CyberGhostVery slowExcellentRude & coldYes

What Query Did I Pose to Live Chat Support Execs of Different Providers and Why?

For every VPN, I used the same query and this is because I needed to show users how each live chat handled it. This also made it easier for me to rate them.

The query was “Hey can I make your VPN work on my Apple TV device?”

Why did I choose this query? Because I know that Apple TV doesn’t currently offer in-built VPN functionality like its contemporaries for e.g. Samsung Smart TV or Android TV, and to get a VPN to run on it, you either need to install it on your router or use a streaming device like Firestick which itself supports VPNs.

You can also do it through Smart DNS, but this features is not offered by every provider.

I wanted to check whether the chat support execs understood my query and how well they were trained to satisfy me on it. I also rated their response time i.e. whether they took too long to reply when I first posed the query and whether they remained in chat with me in real time or if their answers took ages to come.

Here’s how each VPN fared:

Surfshark: Fast and Relevant

Chat Support Rating Scale For Surfshark

Response TimeFast
Technical KnowledgeVery Good
ToneWelcoming
HelpfulYes

I had a lot of hopes pinned on this provider since its been great in offering a very good level of service and reliability in such a short period since it was first introduced.

And to tell the truth, Surfshark’s live chat support live up to my high expectations with its fast response time and incredibly well suited answers to my queries.

The initial chat windows by Surfshark requires you to put in your name, email and your initial query. Once you enter these, you will be put in que, but the waiting time isn’t long.

It hardly took the chat exec a bit more than a minute to come on the live chat.

Here you can see that I asked them about setting up their VPN on Apple TV and in response the chat exec Bryan asked me on what kind of streaming service do I want to reach?

The answer is well suited to the query I posed because from what it seems, the chat support exec knew that I was looking for a VPN on Apple TV because I wanted to go for unblocking streaming sites on the device. Great start!

surfshark customer support

I answered that I want to reach sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime and even get a bit of sports streaming into it.

Then came Bryan’s response in which he told me that I would need to setup the VPN on my router if I want to unblock sites on my Apple TV. Perfect answer.

I answered that I want to reach sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime and even get a bit of sports streaming into it.

Then came Bryan’s response in which he told me that I would need to setup the VPN on my router if I want to unblock sites on my Apple TV. Perfect answer.

surfshark support

I then asked another tricky question as to whether their iTunes app works on Apple TV or not. Obviously it doesn’t, but if someone is untrained, it can create a mix up with this and the functionality of Android apps to run on both, Android mobile devices and Android TV.

But Bryan knew what I was talking about so he retorted that they don’t have an app for Apple TV yet. A plausible answer indeed.

Then I question him about whether I can use their Firestick app on my FireTV device while its plugged into an Apple TV. This works obviously since FireTV devices are meant to offer streaming services on larger screens.

And Bryan knew that and he told me that it can happen but casting doesn’t work yet.surfshark vpn support

Surfshark’s live chat support maintains the standards set by the service in its VPN performance. There are not bots manning the chat but actual humans who are well versed in what they are doing.

The response time was also great as I experienced no delay in any answers whenever I posed any query. Overall, its live chat support is great, but not excellent since the answers were good but not to the level as I was expecting. I will tell you later on as to what I mean by this.

NordVPN: Good Answering Time but Responses were Cold

Chat Support Rating Scale For NordVPN

Response TimeFast
Technical KnowledgeBelow Par
ToneRude & Mechanistic
HelpfulNo

Another top VPN service, NordVPN didn’t offer live chat feature always and they just added this feature in the past couple of years.

I posed them with the same query and due to their exhaustive support repository which they offered me links to guides related to each query.

Here’s how the conversation went:

The initial windows looks looks the same as Surfshark’s and requires the same details to begin i.e. name, email and message.

I posed my query in the message and it took a good 2 minutes before someone came online.

The answer that Harper, their live chat support exec, gave me was comprehensive and it offered me links to setting up a VPN on a router and on how to mirror my VPN connection from my PC. Both were relevant but the reply was bit impersonal and mechanized. Surfshark’s response on the other hand had a more human side to it.

nordvpn customer support review

The mechanized responses continued and when the support exec had to say no, it gave off a very impersonal response that felt cold.

nordvpn user support review

Again, when I asked Harper whether their FireTV app will work on my FireTV device with AppleTV, then I got this response, which told me how to install and setup NordVPN’s FireTV app on my FireTV device but it didn’t exactly answer my query.

nordvpn

And the mechanized answers continue for my other questions as well.

nordvpn cs

After getting the exact same answer when I asked them whether they had support for other TVs, I asked them whether they were giving canned responses as both answers were same yet my queries were different, so Harper said that yes they both were canned responses as they only had Android and Samsung TV support.

nordvpn cs

NordVPN’s live chat support let me down as it did not meet the standards that a service of this level should be comfortably meeting. I did not expect such a cold response from their live chat support but that’s what I got, so according to me, NordVPN’s live chat support is nowhere near to standards set by providers like Surfshark.

I would rate NordVPN’s live chat as below par at best.

PureVPN: Relevant Answers but Needs to Work on Tone

Chat Support Rating Scale For PureVPN

Response TimeFast
Technical KnowledgeAverage
ToneMechanistic & Weak
HelpfulNo

While its chat support remains fast, PureVPN needs to work a lot on how it makes users feel on its live chat support. Again, like NordVPN, PureVPN’s chat support was cold and didn’t make me feel like I was talking to a human that was concerned enough to really solve my issue.

On top of this, grammar remains a major issue, a problem that a VPN of such capability should never have. The responses from the chat support exec felt like that they were coming from a person who only has a rudimentary command on English.

Here’s how my conversation with their chat support went:

I posed them with same query on how I need to use a VPN on my Apple TV and the response contained information on how I will need to setup a VPN on router to solve my issue. Good enough, but again, the chat support exec was just giving answers and not having an actual conversation, something Surfshark got almost right.

PureVPN customer support review

purevpn service review

And as I said earlier, PureVPN needs to revisit the conversation skills and grammar of its chat support execs. No punctuation marks, even on live chat, don’t leave a good impression.

Purevpn cs

Purevpn cs

The live chat exec kept things flat and that’s what’s wrong with other providers as well like NordVPN. To make someone feel comfortable and welcome on such an impersonal communication platform, you need to be at the top of your game but sadly PureVPN isn’t meeting that.

At best, PureVPN’s chat support can be rated as well below par.

ExpressVPN: Fast, Relevant and The Best Customer Support According My Tests

Chat Support Rating Scale For ExpressVPN

Response TimeVery Fast
Technical KnowledgeExcellent
ToneWelcoming and Accommodating
HelpfulYes

The best service provider in the industry didn’t let me down when I contact its live chat support. It was spot on, just like how the provider is in other facets of its service.

ExpressVPN’s live chat was not just courteous but it also gave relevant easy to understand answers to each query I posed, leaving me fully satisfied.

Here’s how the chat with them went:

When I first posed them with my query, they asked me whether I have an account or not.

expressvpn customer support review

I replied in the negative, so the live chat exec asked me a very similar question to what Surfshark asked i.e. what I would like to access through using VPN on Apple TV.

I told him that I wanted to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime and a bit of sports as well, the same answer that I gave to Surfshark, but their response from thereon set them apart from everyone, even Surfshark.

expressvpn customer service review

Phil, their chat support exec, told me in detail that Apple TVs don’t support VPNs natively, therefore they don’t offer an app for it. But he then told me that ExpressVPN’s Smart DNS was best suited to my requirements and how.

He even explained their Smart DNS/mediastreamer service in detail and even told me about its limitations. A pretty comprehensive answer.

expressvpn cs

After that, I asked him about the FireTV app of ExpressVPN and whether it will work on AppleTV just as well.

expressvpn

The reply, again, was incredibly useful as he told me that yes, they do offer a FireTV app and if our FireTV device was from the 2nd generation, then I could get what I wanted by subscribing to their VPN service.

expressvpn

ExpressVPN’s replies on live chat are very welcoming and it feels like the chat exec actually understand what the user requires and is asking for. The answers are tailored to exactly meet the demands of your queries.

There’s a big reason as to why despite being at least 2-3 times as expensive as other VPNs, ExpressVPN still rules the roost. Its performance levels on every front are exemplary and the provider doesn’t even leave a single area from where a user can feel dissatisfied.

CyberGhost: Brutally Honest and Committed But Sluggish

Chat Support Rating Scale For CyberGhostVPN:

Response TimeVery Slow
Technical KnowledgeExcellent
ToneRude and Cold
HelpfulAbove Average

Make no mistake, CyberGhost VPN remains a top provider despite it falling behind its contemporaries like NordVPN in terms of adding more unique security features and a bigger server network.

It is still one of those few providers that you can put your trust in to unblock Netflix US every single time you use it. No security issues or IP leaks hamper it either. But the experience I had with its live chat support was a bit different.

I had my longest chat with CyberGhost’s live chat support exec out of all the VPNs I engaged for this purpose. The reason for this is that the provider told me exactly that there is a shortcoming in its service that wont allow me to do a certain activity.

And by doing this, the provider showed incredible honesty which I appreciate a lot however the frustrating wait times between each answer and the bit cold tone served as major turn offs.

Here’s how the chat went:

The initial chat support window was the same as anybody else’s with a bit of info required before you can get started.

When I first posed a query, the reply from their team was quite cold and unwelcoming. The chat could’ve ended then and there but I prodded them with more questions to see how well they can handle more trickier queries.

cyberghost customer support review

When I asked if there is a workaround to my issue, Marta, their chat support exec, told me that I would need to setup the VPN on a router because that’s the only way. But the chat support exec offered me no link to how I can setup their VPN on a router.

cyberghost customer service review

I again posed a question regarding my use of FireTV device on Apple TV and whether their VPN could work in that way. The answer Marta gave to this was not just good, it was great.

cyberghost cs

She told me that my Amazon FireTV device wont work on Apple TV if I had a VPN on due to protocol based issues.

cyberghost cs

She told me that because CyberGhost VPN doesn’t offer the right protocol needed to run its service on Firestick with Apple TV, their service wont work with Apple TV.

The honesty here was brutally good as Marta didn’t try to convert me into a subscriber through false promises but guided me to what was right.

cyberghost

cyberghost

Who Wins?

Hands down, ExpressVPN has the best live chat support with Surfshark coming in a close second.

Other providers like PureVPN, NordVPN and even the rest of the VPNs populating the ever growing industry need to seriously up their game if they want to satisfy their users while offering support.

Bad support on live chat can turn off any user no matter how good the actual VPN service is. And if you are offering a service that aims to cater to users from around the world, you need to be exemplary in how you help them out whenever they get stuck or when they are facing a problem.

 

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