According to a report from 9to5Mac, Apple will soon charge for users that are seeking online chat support for products that are no longer covered under warranty. The company has been reportedly testing a new web payment system that includes paid chat support, as well as features like scheduling product repairs and replacements.
Apple’s online chat support feature is currently free for customers seeking technical support on out-of-warranty products. The new system would bring online chat support on par with Apple’s phone support, which currently carries fees for customers who have products that are no longer under warranty.
The new payment system would allow customers to make payments through its support website, and allow users to schedule repairs without the need to phone in. The new online chat support is said to cost around $19.99 [$59 in Canada], which is slightly cheaper than a fee between $29 and $49 that customers who are seeking over-the-phone support currently pay.
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.
All Apple products receive 90 days of phone support from the date of purchase, which can be extended to three years if the customer purchases AppleCare.
Chat fees reportedly began appearing in August, but until the launch is official employees have been told to grant exceptions on all support requests. The paid online chat service from Apple will reported go into effect as early as next week for $19.99 per incident [$59 in Canada].