Online-Paid-Chat-support

Apple is about to begin charging users outside of their warranty for online chat support using a new web payment system it recently developed. Sources familiar with the project say Apple is currently expecting to launch the new paid chat support, which will also let customers schedule repairs and replacements online, as early as next week. Here’s how it works:

Much like Apple handles support calls over the phone, soon only customers within their warranty period will be able to access online chat support through getsupport.apple.com for free. For others, Apple will charge what it refers to as a “pay per incident” fee or require the purchase of an extended warranty through AppleCare. Previously all online support chat features were available for free to users worldwide. Some users might have noticed back in August when Apple revamped its support sites that it started listing a $19.99 per incident fee for chat support. However, up until now AppleCare hasn’t actually been charging users to access the feature.

Not only will this make online chat support an official support channel for Apple, it will also close up a loophole that allowed users to get free technical or diagnostic support and avoid paying for over the phone services or AppleCare.

Before rolling out the paid chat support, Apple had to develop a new web payment system that would allow it to accept payments through chat and keep user info secure when transferred between support agents, according to our sources. Using the new web payment system, we’re told Apple plans to offer the ability to set up hardware repairs and replacements that require a hold on a credit card or pay per incident fee via chat support. Rather than having to call in, users will be sent a link that’s live for 24 hours in order to complete the payment.

As for pricing, Apple will charge a fee of $19 for a single incident of basic tech support and troubleshooting. There will, however, be an option for users to request an exception on the fee. Up until the official launch of the paid online chat, AppleCare employees have been instructed to grant exceptions on all cases.

We’re told Apple will continue to waive the fee for iCloud issues as well as accidental damage cases where users just want to setup a repair or replacement via chat.

Apple representatives are expected to begin charging the $19 per incident fee for online chat support worldwide starting next week.

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18 Responses to “Apple will soon charge for out-of-warranty chat support, schedule repairs via new web payment system”

  1. towamp says:

    My message to Apple: “No don’t do that Apple. What makes you unique is your free support in stores no matter how old the hardware we bring in. This is what makes you special”

  2. ashtraywasp says:

    Am I reading into this wrong or is this kind of scummy for a company with a hundred billion dollars in hand. Their warranties aren’t very long already, in fact shorter than most countries’ laws actually legally cover you.

    • All manufacture warranties on cellphones are 1 year limited warranty. Apple does the same thing. If you want more warranty, you have to pay to get it. Very simple. Samsung, Blackberry & most if not all electronic companies do this. Your lucky that some apple stores aka workers let you bring it the device & check it out / fix it for you for free. Other countries do not get that.

  3. Edward Stern says:

    actually this is very cheap. its only fair the warranty is over, if you don’t buy the applecare u should pay or take it to store if u don’t want to pay. There are far too many vampire customers out there and I bet this has more to do with these types of customers abusing Apple’s support systems.

  4. Joel Waxman says:

    I really think this is a step backward for Apple, we pay a premium for Apple equipment. Also if you look at the USA warranty it inferior to the EU which I think is a minimum of two years.

  5. Steve Suckss says:

    OK, so it makes sense now that Apple is starting to cut off the independent Apple Authorized Service Providers. I heard about this and now it makes sense.

    ashtraywasp needed to go a step further: What a bunch of F*cking Money grabbing whores.

    Take away from the little guys to give substandard performance and repair advice to actual users!

    We all know the drill, “Sorry, out of Warranty….Would you like to buy a new Mac?”

    • I’ve noticed that too. There are a couple of Independent Apple stores in town, and they all say they take Apple Care in the store – but when you call Apple Care they don’t recognize that these stores exist. Try to put doubt in your mind that they are not legit, and you shouldn’t let them touch your computer. Then recommend that you travel to an Apple store that is 70 miles and a ~ ferry ride! ~ away – or of course ship it to them. I understand that back in the day, there was a strong Mac community reinforced by Apple and their Authorised Service Providers. You had to go to a special computer store. Talk to the ‘right’ techs. However, when you are selling millions of iPhones, and millions of iPads, iPods, Macs and the like you can’t scale that model to cover all of your customers. You can’t control service or quality. You can’t guarantee quick repairs. You can’t ensure that there is a repair centre close by to where your customers work or live. It goes against Apple’s mantra of simple and easy. So, consider the billions of iDevices out there and the fact that no one is in the business of free.

  6. i think this should be handled on a case by case basis…

    say, a person calls and says, oh i plan to travel somewhere in a different time zone, can you tell me how to configure the device so the time syncs automatically?

    a different case would be… hey i jailbroken my phone… now it crashes constantly…

    if the issue can be solved within 10 minutes, i think apple should not charge. obviously if it takes longer, i think it is fair (naturally if apple can solve the issue) to charge.

    • But then you end up like I have, trying one or two fixes while on the phone with the support agent, and then they say “Ok, so the only other thing to do is X, but to continue our conversation I’ll have to get a credit card number as the support service costs $1.00 per minute after a free period of ten minutes.” It’s like they’re extorting you in order to get your product fixed.

  7. I don’t get why people are all up in arms about this in the comments. Apple sells a product, with an included warranty. Which is not as good as in parts of the EU, but that’s NOT Apple’s fault, rather you should vote for someone else – because the increased coverage is legislated AKA the LAW. Whereas in North America, Apple is providing that 1 year out of the goodness of their hearts. Now, I bought Apple Care on my iPhone and my Mac. I also purchased a plan through my former employer – I worked in a retail store – and I actively told people how great that plan was until I had to use it. Now, the people in the store are awesome but you have to call India first, then they say a In-Store Specialist has to look at it and create a ticket. They do, now go and call India – again! – and tell them what the tech said and what the ticket number is. Then they’ll order the part and you can wait 7 to 14 business days for that to come in. At which point they have to install it, another couple of days. Now, on top of all this hassle – to replace a dead battery. I had to give them a product number off. Every call – I made maybe 20 to 30 calls in the three tries it took to get the part. Each time they asked for a different number. “Oh, not from the battery, from the bottom of the machine.” “No. Definitely off of the battery.” “I’m seeing a code with letters and numbers, it should only be numbers.” Needless to say I gave up the first time, the second time they sent me the wrong part. Third try, and I finally did it! It took so long to get this sorted out where my computer wasn’t working that they plan had expired by the time the correct battery arrived in the mail. Now, I tell you this because I needed my headphones replaced – part of the phone – covered by the Apple Care. I went online, found the number to call after answer a few questions on their website, called in 15 minutes later every was arranged to get my new headphones. The next day they arrived. I opened the package, took the new ones out, put the old ones in. Put a sticker on the box. Called the UPS number spoke to an agent *WITHIN NORTH AMERICA* told them my address. Said the driver would be by in 15 to 30 minutes. He picked it up 5 min later. And VOILA! When people by Apple Care they are buying into the ease of service, the ease of repair. I don’t think they should have to include it for free. Their products demand the premiums they charge without including free support. Although, I would support Apple reducing the Apple Care by 15 to 20%!

    • Joel Waxman says:

      I do agree Apple care should be 15 to 20% less. But I hate to say it I came from the PC world many years back where I built my own machine and it was user serviceable. Even my first narrow iMac could be serviced but it was hard but doable. Now the iMac is an almost if not impossible job to even change the HD. I love Apple care, but just because the politicians in the USA are in the pockets of the large corporations doesn’t mean we can’t get a better and longer warranty. If Apple sells at a premium and says their equipment is so good why not provide longer support. Most Americans know that big money and the corporations actually run this country and not us citizens. When the Supreme Court rules that Corporations are people to and can donate as much money as they want to support a politician without disclosing, then the truth is self evident! All I ask is fairness and equality in support all around the world.