Apple enhanced the chat and help services of its online store early Wednesday, adding improved chat with the company’s Specialist salespeople, screen sharing-based guided tours of product information, and online scheduling of support sessions to help customers set up new devices, gadget site Pocket-lint noted. The new features are currently only available for customers shopping for iPhones and iPads via Apple’s online stores in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and Brazil.
“Now there’s a whole new way to get help from the Apple Online Store,” Apple’s new “Specialists” page states. “When shopping for a new iPad or iPhone, you can get answers to all your questions through a personalised, online guided tour. We can even help set up your new product after you get it.”
Although the feature is currently offline, likely due to the influx of visitors after Pocket-lint and other sites broke the news this morning, users curious to try the service once it is restored need only to visit the iPad or iPhone sections of Apple’s online store page for one of the countries listed above.
In upper right section of the page, next to listing for Apple’s online store phone number, is an “Ask Now” button (which is not present as of the time of this article, but should return as Apple’s website traffic diminishes). Selecting “Ask Now” allows the customer to choose three methods of support: an online chat, telephone call, or guided tour using screen sharing.
Apple customers should note that all of these methods will connect you to a salesperson, and not any form of technical support.
The new features, which are expected to roll out soon in additional countries, will be most helpful to new Apple customers or customers with basic questions about device or network requirements. Users with more advanced inquiries, or those hoping to coax secret information out of the bowels of Cupertino, as Pocket-lint tried to, will be sorely disappointed.