Big changes reportedly coming to Apple technical support and AppleCare+

Getting help at an Apple Genius Bar

AppleCare is a great program for Apple customers, but it could soon be getting even better. At a recent town hall meeting held with AppleCare employees, Apple VP Tara Bunch laid out the changes that are in the works for the 30-million-customer AppleCare+ program. Apple plans to expand AppleCare+ beyond the current 14 nations of availability, though is being held up by local regulations.

As reported by 9to5Mac, the time frame in which to purchase AppleCare+ will likely be expanded from the current 30 days to 60 days, and Apple has also considered a subscription version of AppleCare.

Apple's also moving to significantly improve their online support offerings:

[The company imagines] a time in which all Apple support will be solely handled through online resources, and the changes coming to the support service in the near-future indicate that Apple is serious about that belief. Apple is said to be developing new tools for customers to more easily self-diagnose and troubleshoot problems with Macs, iOS devices, and other Apple hardware, software, and services. Apple is also working on complete redesigns for the user-facing support tools website and discussion forums for debut later this year.

Additionally, Apple is also said to be working to improve support for problems related to Apple ID, iTunes, and iCloud, which combined account for a quarter of their technical support calls. That improved support could include better self-help tools for "trouble shooting minor annoyances such as password resets and login problems."

Apple still is one of the world's leading companies when it comes to technical support, but what would you like to see them improve in their technical support systems?

Source: 9to5Mac

Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, Army musician, armchair pundit, and professional ranter.

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Reader comments

Big changes reportedly coming to Apple technical support and AppleCare+

24 Comments

AppleCare is not a great program. It's a ripoff. Apple basically charging you another hundred bucks for what should have a two year warranty to begin with. It also doesn't cover a lot of things and you are at the mercy of Apple and their little sensors that can trip even if you don't get your phone wet. SquareTrade is much better, as it's cheaper, offers far more comprehensive coverage, including accidental damage, is available for longer terms, and you can still go to the Apple store to have the work done, you just don't have to pay for it and aren't at Apple's mercy. For the price of an iPhone, they should be replacing batteries/etc as part of the original purchase and stand behind their products, but since they don't - SquareTrade is the much better option (and if you look around you can get 30-40% off coupons for them all the time, making it a steal comparatively to Apple-Doesn't-Care service).

They are both $99, both cover accidental damage, both are for 2 years. And please tell me what it doesn't cover, compared to Squaretrade. Plus, if you go to an Apple store for repairs, you will have to pay and get reimbursed. I get repaired and walk away with nothing out of pocket.

SquareTrade doesn't care about those little moisture sensors, for one - Apple can choose not to honor it if they want because of that.

As I said, SquareTrade has 30% off coupons available at all times, and sometimes 40% if you already have coverage for other products. You can get a three year plan for $130, which minus the 30% means for ten bucks less than what Apple charges you can get three years worth of coverage, plus you aren't married to Apple to get repairs yet still have them as an option.

That is incorrect. AppleCare+ provides replacement/repair for liquid damage. If the sensors are triggered, that most certainly does not preclude the repair.

Also some people (perhaps not you) use AppleCare for the phone support it includes. And find it invaluable. SquareTrade does not provide phone support.

Water damage is covered with AppleCare+ .. Not sure where you got that. Hence, concept of 'accidental'.. be it water or backing up on it with a car.. Only the basic 1 year that comes with phone doesn't include it..

As for Apple as an option, what.. to pay them to repair it because SquareTrade won't? lol

SquareTrade insurance covers the same as AppleCare+ which is why you would purchase either. For physical damage whether you broke the phone or got it wet. It doesn't matter how the physical damage was done. If you get the phone wet then why would you expect Apple to give a replacement under the standard AppleCare warranty?

I like AppleCare. I get it every time I get a new iPhone. I have had zero issues getting anything fixed or replaced that was damaged or not working. A much better deal then paying $10 a month for 2 years for carrier insurance. I've never even heard of/or was offered SquareTrade.

My 1000 dollar iPhone came with a 12-month manufacturer warranty. My spare 100 dollar Nokia (for navigation) came with a 24-month manufacturer warranty. I wonder what that tells of the respective manufacturers' trust in their products' real world quality. Oh, and with Nokia I could have personal, in-store support if I needed that -- for free. With Apple, there is not after-sales support of any kind, not even for money.

One wonders if the other company knows how to make money (it does!), and the other simply gives too good support and produces too high quality, with the pertinent too low margins.

Apple are turning a 1000 dollar phone into a 1100 dollar phone by simply divesting the customer of anything but paid support and warranty. Brilliant. Too bad one realizes this BS only after having acquired the product.

WTF? I took a Power Mac G4 to my local Apple store less than four months ago to get them to help me configure it to properly talk to my new Mac mini. I've configured many file sharing setups before but somehow this wasn't working.

The tech said he couldn't figure out what was going on without OS X Server being installed in my mini. Apple gave me OS X Server for free so that he could make it work with my 15 year old box.

People act like this is some kind of strange freak happening. I've asked for - and received promptly - support for my old Macs at Apple stores in multiple states.

Meh. I never even had AppleCare on either box!

" With Apple, there is not after-sales support of any kind, not even for money."

If you are gonna tell something, tell the truth. What you said is an absolute lie.

Still, better to pay $179 for that screen, than $250, or if your really unlucky, $260 vs $500 for twice cracking your phone. Also good when my battery starts to die near the end of that two year period, replace it for $79 and I'll be hogs for another two years till that battery dies.

Sent from the iMore App

I'm interested to know what a "subscription" version of AppleCare would be. If it is similar to carrier insurance I'd be suspicious.

Sent from the iMore App

As a former Apple technical support advisor, I never felt AppleCare was worth the value (though half the value was troubleshooting, which I could do myself and understanding that most ppl are not that technical). My understanding is that the value has improved somewhat but I feel there is plenty of room to grow.
For me the free support period should be longer than it is and any extended warranty should serve as more of an insurance policy.

TL;DR
I am hopeful that there are changes, without getting rid of phone support of course ;)

Sent from the iMore App

On a slightly different note, is it just me that things the genius depicted in the photo looks like a young Xzibit?

yo dawg...

Sent from the iMore App

On a slightly different note, is it just me that things the genius depicted in the photo looks like a young Xzibit?

yo dawg...

Sent from the iMore App

Replacement/discounts if you damage or break your iPhone without paying for Applecare. I know it sounds farfetched, but if Apple worked something like this, I think they could really bring in more/new consumers. They could use It a selling point.

It's a new program they just started rolling out. It changes the way we speak & interact with guests. It bases itself off using the four types of character; Entertainer, feeler, Director, & Thinker. We adjust to the type of personality we're speaking with to make the experience overall more enjoyable. We're able to relate to our customers in a way we've never done before. It's a nice change.

That's much less of a problem than it used to be. Apple moved the placement of the sensors and started using much less sensitive sensors a couple years ago. I can't remember who reported it now b/c it was a while ago. It may have been iMore, but I'm not sure.