Apple is planning to institute fees for users that are seeking online chat support for out-of-warranty products. The company has reportedly been working on a new web payment system that includes a paid chat support feature as well as a function allowing customers to schedule product repairs and replacements. Currently, customers can use Apple Support’s online chat feature at no cost to receive technical support on out-of-warranty products that are not covered by AppleCare, but the new rules would bring chat support under the same umbrella as Apple’s phone 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 soon 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 online worldwide.