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Apple may stop offering customer support on social media

Apple is apparently retraining social media support agents to offer advice on the phone  (Matt Writtle)
Apple is apparently retraining social media support agents to offer advice on the phone (Matt Writtle)

The next time your iPhone is playing up, you may find there are fewer ways to get help.

Apple is said to be axing a swathe of online support services in the coming months, MacRumours reports, citing multiple sources.

Forget about seeking advice on Twitter, YouTube, and the Apple Support Community, as all of those options could lose the human touch later this year.

The affected platforms are currently staffed by Apple employees who respond to customers’ tweets, comments, and discussions with assistance.

But, starting on October 1, Apple will replace human staffers on its Twitter support account with a bot that spits out automated responses. Currently, when you mention @AppleSupport on Twitter, you get a quick reply with tips and the option to carry on the conversation via direct message.

Elsewhere, Apple will no longer offer technical help to customers in the comments section of YouTube videos uploaded to the Apple Support channel.

Arguably the biggest resource to be impacted by the changes will be the Apple Support Community. The forum allows customers to troubleshoot others’ technical problems and provide useful tips, like power-saving advice for iPhones and device storage issues.

But Apple is reportedly planning to nix the paid Community Specialist role. This support agent basically helps moderate the cavernous website by guiding users to relevant answers, and by getting rid of duplicate questions.

So where does that leave hapless customers who require tech support? Well, you can still pick up the phone to call Apple directly, start a live chat on the Apple website, or book an in-store appointment.

Instead of laying off the affected employees, Apple is apparently offering to retrain them to man its phone lines. That could indicate that this is either already the most popular option for customers seeking help, or it’s anticipating a wave of calls as a result of its change-up.

Apple was not immediately available for comment.