Apple may start charging for out-of-warranty online chat support

paid-chat-supportApple may start charging customers for online chat support if they are outside their warranty period, claims 9to5Mac. This paid support option may launch alongside a new online hardware repair and replacement service. Both services could launch as soon as next week.

With this new chat service, customers who are still under warranty can access chat support online for free via Those outside of their warranty will be required to pay for each incident or extend their warranty by purchasing AppleCare. Currently, online chat support is available free to all users worldwide, though some users have reported seeing a $19.99 feee that was waived by the Apple support representative.

Along with its new support option, Apple also is working on a web-based payment system to process credit card transactions for customers seeking paid support. It will process payments through the chat interface using a secure channel that hides the user’s financial information from all involved Apple support representatives.

Apple is piggybacking a new hardware repair and replacement service on top of this chat and payment system.

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.

Each out-of-warranty chat will cost users $19.99. This covers basic tech support and troubleshooting for a single support incident. Users can request an exception if they believe their support should be available for free. Apple will waive the fee until the service is officially launched. After launch, Apple will continue to offer free chat support for iCloud issues and accidental damage claims where a user is merely seeking a repair or replacement.

Are you out of warranty on your current Apple product? Will you pay $19.99 for support via online chat?

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Categories: Apple Rumors

  • Rob Dyrdek


  • Matteo

    The system already exists in Australia from more than one year; however Apple flexibility on exceptions for products no longer covered by warranty is very good.
    I’ve experienced several issues on a Mac Book Pro 2.3Ghz i7 Core with OSX (13B42) Mavericks, all of them successfully solved in less than 8 hours and for free.

    • Wallpaper guy

      I second that.
      They aren’t at all thaaaat severe on those “rules”.

      I have bought a LOT of stuff from apple though, that might be a reason aswell.

  • crapple

    i’ve had a problem with the itunes account not being able to be used on an ipad1, other than a US account. i asked apple. they refused to talk to me unless i pay. i gave up. why should i pay for something that is not related to the ipad but some setting with apple themselves? ridiculous.

    • Matt

      That is an AppleiD issue, and should have been an exception. Sorry they gave you misinformation.

  • Ducktoes Computer Services

    I guess it comes down to how much you need the support

  • Matt

    To be honest this should not be a big deal. The online system always gave the impression that you would be charged; is just sounds like the reps were granting exceptions. I have personally never heard of any other phone manufacturer Samsung, Motorola, etc, that provides free, unlimited, 24/7 support.