Apple Telephone support is a great resource

When you have a technical problem with your Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod, or related software, how do you get it fixed?

If you are like most people, you'll fiddle with it on your own, curse a bit, and then complain to anyone within earshot how it is a worthless piece of junk. Unfortunately, none of these actions help to solve the problem or calm you down.

Your next course of action, if you are thinking clearly, is to consult with family members or friends that are "techies". If you still don't make any progress, like most of us, you'll probably turn to Google and start searching online for help.

Although Google is usually your friend, it seems that when trying to find the solution to an important problem, Google can often useless. You'll be lost in a sea of useless search results down dark alleys of questionable forums, misleading advice, and conflicting suggestions.

At this point, you are stuck! No easy solution, no "next step" to puruse. I would to humbly suggest an alternative course of action. The next time you have a problem, the FIRST THING you should do is contact Apple Technical Support.

Unlike virtually every other company, where technical support is a black hole of confusing website navigation, endless automated telephone system menu trees, or calling and waiting forever on hold, Apple support is usually a wonderful alternative.

It starts right from the beginning - you can contact Apple online and initiate a real-time "chat" with a support representative or you can schedule a live telephone call. Did you notice that I said "schedule"? With Apple support, you can make an appointment for a live tech support person to call you back! Apple will show you dates and times on your screen and you pick whatever is convenient.

This is so simple yet amazing. No waiting on hold forever, no wondering if they are too busy right now, no endless automated phone systems. Just schedule a call back and relax. Apple will send you a confirmation email and a link to create a calendar entry too.

Last but not least, when Apple does contact you, the rep will be courteous, easy to understand, and very patient with you. The reps are well trained and able to request additional higher-level help on their end if needed.

Unlike dealing with most other companies, whether high tech products, your local electric company, or the horrible cable company, Apple support is a pleasure. I must admit, with most other companies, I will use Google, friends, online forums, and any other resource as much as possible first to avoid contacting the company itself. With Apple, if I can't resolve the problem on my own, my first, not last, step is to contact Apple Technical Support.

A note about eligibility - Paid Apple services (iCloud storage subscriptions, Apple Music, etc.) are always eligible for free technical support. Most Apple hardware products include a period of free technical support with the purchase of a new device. Optional AppleCare extended warranty options will extend the period of time free Apple Technical support is available in addition to provided extended hardware coverage. Take this into consideration when buying new products - a 3rd party warranty does not include Apple Technical support - so that is a subtle, but important difference.

My simple suggestion - When you buy a new product, find a reason to contact Apple Support during the initial elligibility period. Try them out, see how the process works, how they are on the phone, and how they (hopefully) easily help you. Then you can decide whether to purchase AppleCare to have extended support available to you in the future when you might need it.