applecare help

Apple products, for the most part, have a reputation of ‘just working.’ The company controls the entire experience, from hardware to software, and takes other measures to ensure that there is little room for consumer error.

But as with all electronics, sometimes things don’t just work and you need help. And while Apple is known for its in-store Genius service, it’s launched a new initiative encouraging users to stay home and get help online…

9to5Mac was first to spot the change on Apple’s Genius reservation page:

“Today, Apple has again updated the Genius Bar reservation workflow. Before signing in with an Apple ID, consumers are presented with a new page that highlights the various online support tools that Apple offers. If desired, users can continue with their initial plan of making the reservation for the Genius Bar, or can try to “save a trip to the store” by working with an AppleCare representative online.”

While Apple advertises this as a benefit for customers, it likely has more to do with saving money. As more users learn to find help from Apple’s support site, it should see a drop in AppleCare calls/Genius Bar appointments.

applecare 2

But that doesn’t mean this won’t help some people. Though AppleCare is free for services like iTunes and iCloud, Apple can charge a fee for support on products without AppleCare that are beyond their usual 1-year warranty.

Anyway, to see the new option, just visit Apple’s Genius Bar reservation page and select your local store. It’ll take you to Apple’s support site where you can either browse known issues or chat with a live 24/7 representative.