Apple to Reportedly Launch Paid Chat Support for Products that are Out-of-Warranty
A recent report claims Apple will soon be rolling out a for-pay chat service to support users who need help with products that are no longer covered by AppleCare protection plans. Citing sources who claim to be familiar with the project, the folks over at 9to5Mac
are reporting that Apple will be implementing a new online chat payment system that would charge customers for live support in a similar way as the company’s phone service operates.
Rumored to be coming next week, the system will end up deviating from Apple’s existing online chat service. Currently, users can be connected to a representative via Apple’s Support webpage for no additional fee, even if the product in question is no longer covered by AppleCare. As reported, the new system would essentially roll online chats into the same category as phone-based support, with customers able to pay a one-time fee for help regarding an out-of-warranty product. Users will be given the option to select a $19.99 “pay per incident” fee or purchase extended AppleCare protections. The change is said to affect chat support services worldwide.
Apple reportedly had to develop a new secure Web-based payments system that allows service representatives to charge customers within chats. With the payment methods in place, customers will reportedly be able to expedite hardware repairs and replacements that usually require a credit card.
For those of you who didn’t know, Apple originally introduced live online chat support in August of 2013 as part of an AppleCare Support webpage redesign. Since then, the feature has been available for free. This seems like it will be changing going forward though.
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