Working as an AppleCare Senior Chat Advisor

TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
I want to try and provide as much infomation as I can, but along with that I may hold to hold out some details for certain questions so I can remain as anonymous as possible. I do want to keep myself employed. I think I can provide some insight to some common misconceptions when it comes to AppleCare Chat Advisors. First, I do not work for Apple. Most of us work for 3rd party contractors. We compete with what is called "enterprise" and I think those are the actual Apple employees. I may be wrong on that as well. We are not allowed to admit that we work for Apple. The building i work at has other projects that do not do the work we do. Though the other projects know we all work for Apple, it is not to be spoken of there or anywhere. We are usually referred to as working for " the fruit company". I am on a team of other senior advisors and we perform better than enterprise on a regular basis in most areas but not all. I have been curious for a while now if I an able to provide any insight that Apple customers are interested in hearing. Feel free to ask me anything, and I will answer to the best of my abilities. Thanks!
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,342
10,111
California
So if I call the AppleCare 800#, am I always going to talk to a contract employee like you, or is it a mix of Apple employees and contract employees?
 

TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
So if I call the AppleCare 800#, am I always going to talk to a contract employee like you, or is it a mix of Apple employees and contract employees?
Good question. It is 100% a mix if you are calling in for technical support. However, if you are speaking to Customer Relations then I believe that you are speaking with an actual employee of Apple. But I have know away to know for sure as we are not privy to that info. All contractors work differently. My site is strictly chat support, we literally have no access to phones.Senior advisors through some contractors are both chat and phone support. This can confuse customers because som3 seniir advisors can switch from chat and call you, where others have to transfer you to a senior advisor with phone access.
 

TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
I see. I have never used the chat support. So if one does, does the chat go right to you, or is there some intermediary person I might chat with who then connects me to you?
It will connect you straight to an advisor that is not yet a senior adviosr in most cases, but if things are very busy you can be connecred to a senior advisor first. This may get a bit complicated now. I am only a senior advisor for iOS. I am also an advisor for macOS but not yet a senior advisor. There are senior advisors that are trained in both iOS and macOS, then there are senior advisors that are only one or the other.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,342
10,111
California
Gotcha thanks...

Is there some sort of Apple database you have access to to help you solve problems? Something more than the publicly available support we see at apple.com.
 

TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
Gotcha thanks...

Is there some sort of Apple database you have access to to help you solve problems? Something more than the publicly available support we see at apple.com.
Absolutely. We have the same articles that the public can view, but those articles from our end have additional information at the bottom. This information is more guidelines for us as far as prcedures that we are to follow internally as well as steps we can have the customer try. We aslo have many articles that are strictly Apple internal information, which the public has zero accesd to. Apple goes through great lenghts to keep it this way. We are not allowed to have any electronics, paper of any sort, or writing utensils while we are on the floor. And obviously our computer activty is heavily monitored.
 
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ArtVandelay29

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2014
122
3
DFW
Would you mind telling us the pay rate you started at and your current pay rate, along with roughly the area of the country you're in?
 

TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
Would you mind telling us the pay rate you started at and your current pay rate, along with roughly the area of the country you're in?
Sure. I may need to be a bit careful with what info I provide for this question since I work at the only company in my state that does this. Where i live is known for horses and bourbon. I started off making $13 an hour, and have made a couple bucks per hour in raises since I am trained in iOS and macOS, and being a senior advisor. Where i live, that is a great hourly rate compared to most other places to work. I live in a very rural state, very far from California. From what I have heard, if I were an actual Apple employee doing exactly what I do now, my pay would be much much more. How true that is, I have no clue. I think that many of the people that chat in believe that we are highly trained technicians. We are not technicians by any means, and the raining we receive is miniscule and quite pathetic really. The range of skill for chat advisors is ludicrous. I would dare say that a significant amount of chat advisors are not very good at the job. The better performers stand out, and are a minority. The turnaround rate is crazy as well because the job can be very stressful because of the scrutiny we are put through in regards to our performance is ridiculous. On top of that we do not chat with just one customer at a time, we have at least two active chats basically at all times, sometimes 3 which can be very hard considering we are not supposed to be unresponsive to any customer for more than 2 minutes between each message sent. All this while we do research for 3 seperate issues. It can be a bit rough, especially considering that a large portion of customers take their anger of Apple out on us, as they think we are Apple employees. I do want to mention that I personally do not like Apple as a company, and I do not own a single Apple product and I intend to keep it that way. I feel this makes me better at my job though, as I usually have the customers back completely, and not Apples. You may be wondering at this point, why would I apply to work for Apple if I do not like them? I took the job for "customer support chat agent" 1 month before my first day of work, and I literally had no idea I would be working for Apple until my first day on the job. Apple is very good at keeping secrets, and very good at making others do so on their behalf as well.
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,342
10,111
California
we have at least two active chats basically at all times, sometimes 3
Dang friend... my head would asplode! :eek:

When there is a somewhat widespread issue going on, do they give you any inside information about what Apple is doing about the problem so you can pass it along to customers? I'm thinking of the current issue with some iPhone Xs models having poor LTE performance in low signal areas.
 
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TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
Dang friend... my head would asplode! :eek:

When there is a somewhat widespread issue going on, do they give you any inside information about what Apple is doing about the problem so you can pass it along to customers? I'm thinking of the current issue with some iPhone Xs models having poor LTE performance in low signal areas.
I literally had a chat today about that very issue on an Xs Max. The only info I have seen is that we are to have the customer try a few basic steps involving airplane mode and if the issue persists which I am sure it always will, we get them to phone support as they are the only group that can gather logs from the devices for the Apple Engineers. I am sure the next few iOS 12 updates will be released quickly to fix the issues found such as this. These chats can get ugly because customers understandably want to know why this is happening but even we chat advisors do not have that info and it makes customers think we are withholding info. As for 3 chats at once, which we doing now due to the launch, you are right, it is absolutely maddening trying to switch from chat to chat while fixing the issue and being completely professional.
 
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TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
If I could have any advice of mine actaully be followed it would be this. Never ever ever buy the first release of any iPhone model and never download the first release of any iOS or macOS software. It is not like they are released with bugs/issues intentionally but they simply do not know until the public is able to download and report the issues. Once they know, they can then take action to fix said issues, but never expect there to be no issues with a new release.
[doublepost=1538764934][/doublepost]A new issue was recently found with the iPhone XS and XS Max models.They will not charge if plugged up while in Sleep Mode/Screen Locked. If you plug it up before locking the screen or unlock the screen after plugging it up then it will charge. You can also go into the Face ID and Passcode settings and scroll down to enable USB Accessories, and this should stop the issue. Not sure if this is intentional or not, or if it will be changed with an upcoming iOS 12 update but it is an issue right now.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,549
17,194
If I could have any advice of mine actaully be followed it would be this. Never ever ever buy the first release of any iPhone model and never download the first release of any iOS or macOS software. It is not like they are released with bugs/issues intentionally but they simply do not know until the public is able to download and report the issues. Once they know, they can then take action to fix said issues, but never expect there to be no issues with a new release.
[doublepost=1538764934][/doublepost]A new issue was recently found with the iPhone XS and XS Max models.They will not charge if plugged up while in Sleep Mode/Screen Locked. If you plug it up before locking the screen or unlock the screen after plugging it up then it will charge. You can also go into the Face ID and Passcode settings and scroll down to enable USB Accessories, and this should stop the issue. Not sure if this is intentional or not, or if it will be changed with an upcoming iOS 12 update but it is an issue right now.
Yup, seems like that charging issue (which supposedly can affect other devices as well) is addressed and should be coming out in iOS 12.1: iOS 12.1 Beta Includes Fix for iOS 12 iPhone and iPad Charging Issue

And looks like Apple is looking into network connectivity issues as well: Apple Looking Into LTE Connectivity Issues Affecting Some iPhone XS and XS Max Owners
 

Oak817

macrumors newbie
Aug 17, 2016
4
2
I want to try and provide as much infomation as I can, but along with that I may hold to hold out some details for certain questions so I can remain as anonymous as possible. I do want to keep myself employed. I think I can provide some insight to some common misconceptions when it comes to AppleCare Chat Advisors. First, I do not work for Apple. Most of us work for 3rd party contractors. We compete with what is called "enterprise" and I think those are the actual Apple employees. I may be wrong on that as well. We are not allowed to admit that we work for Apple. The building i work at has other projects that do not do the work we do. Though the other projects know we all work for Apple, it is not to be spoken of there or anywhere. We are usually referred to as working for " the fruit company". I am on a team of other senior advisors and we perform better than enterprise on a regular basis in most areas but not all. I have been curious for a while now if I an able to provide any insight that Apple customers are interested in hearing. Feel free to ask me anything, and I will answer to the best of my abilities. Thanks!
It's interesting that you call us "enterprise". I worked for Apple for three years in Chat support. I was hired directly with Apple and was an actual Apple employee. My experience with the "vendors" (3rd party contractors) wasn't the best, but I know my experience with them does not represent all the vendors as a whole!
[doublepost=1538782759][/doublepost]
Gotcha thanks...

Is there some sort of Apple database you have access to to help you solve problems? Something more than the publicly available support we see at apple.com.
I wanted to chime in. In addition to the internal resources that were in place, believe it or not many Apple employees monitor this site and others like it. We officially could not refer customers here or other sites, but we do sometimes use information from the site and forum posts to help customers. Also the 'How-To' articles on some of the tech sites are more informative and thorough than what we had internally (or even the public Apple support articles).
 
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TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
It's interesting that you call us "enterprise". I worked for Apple for three years in Chat support. I was hired directly with Apple and was an actual Apple employee. My experience with the "vendors" (3rd party contractors) wasn't the best, but I know my experience with them does not represent all the vendors as a whole!
[doublepost=1538782759][/doublepost]
I wanted to chime in. In addition to the internal resources that were in place, believe it or not many Apple employees monitor this site and others like it. We officially could not refer customers here or other sites, but we do sometimes use information from the site and forum posts to help customers. Also the 'How-To' articles on some of the tech sites are more informative and thorough than what we had internally (or even the public Apple support articles).
I can only imagine how your experience with us vendors went. As I mentioned before a very large portion are not cut out to do the job. I think that is why so many of us quit in a short amount of time. I am very curious about the training that the Apple chat advisors get because the training we get is absurdly miniscule. We also are not permitted to use any information from sites like this but on top of that we cannot access these sites from work computers because of the internet restrictions we have.
 
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Oak817

macrumors newbie
Aug 17, 2016
4
2
I can only imagine how your experience with us vendors went. As I mentioned before a very large portion are not cut out to do the job. I think that is why so many of us quit in a short amount of time. I am very curious about the training that the Apple chat advisors get because the training we get is absurdly miniscule. We also are not permitted to use any information from sites like this but on top of that we cannot access these sites from work computers because of the internet restrictions we have.
My main issue with vendors was a lot of them were not professional with customers and provided misinformation or outdated information. So when the solution they provided would not work and the customer would contact us again. We would get the this now angry customer, and have to turn their experience around.

Training was two or three weeks. It was very thorough and fun. Awesome instructors. But the best and fastest way to learn was to just jump in and take chats and start helping customers.

I worked from home, so I was provided two iMacs. Was also provided any additional accessories that was needed. The computers weren't "monitored" until you logged into VPN. We had unrestricted access to the internet, but you obviously had to use common sense and not visit adult websites, downloading torrents, etc. While you were on VPN, management could tap into your computer and see your screen at anytime they wanted.

In helping customers, Google was our friend. The tech sites had more information and better walkthroughs. Apple is very secretive and tight lipped on a lot of things and it always showed in their official support articles. Which can be vague. So it would sometimes make our jobs difficult, we would have to be creative and find other resources.
 

TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
Hi Guys and Gals I apologize for the long absence from posting here. I will try and be more active from here on and continue to shed as much light as possible on the topic at hand. A little update on myself and said topic, is that I still work at the same place mentioned at the first post except that I am now a Senior Advisor for iOS, macOS, and I suppose even watchOS and iPadOS fall within the realm of what I help customers with as well. I still despise Apple as much as always and probably even more so when compared to the first time I posted here. The longer I do what it is that my job entails the more I find that I struggle to feel good about anything they do. I will admit that they make some decent hardware and software to an extent but as far as their policies, procedures, morals, ethics, etc I just hate them to my core. A quick refresher on this is that I am an Apple Support chat agent so I am the person you are chatting with when you go to the Apple Support website and go through the prompts to chat with someone. I am NOT an Apple employee though as I am contracted through a 3rd party as most all of the chat and phone advisors are. The info I have provided in this thread are very likely a breach of the NDA I sign yearly and I am not sure if Apple would come after me for this but I would hate myself if I did not try to get the truth out there to the people that deserve to know more than anyone, the Apple customers and supporters. So if I have to side step certain question or details this is why. I have to try at least a tiny bit to be as anonymous as possible but in all honesty I am pretty sure that if Apple really wanted to find out who I am, they could do so with the details I have provided already throughout all of my posts. With that said just let me know if there is something you are curious about and I will do my best! Thanks
 

faust

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
362
152
Los Angeles, CA
I was an internal phone support agent for the Apple Online Store & retail stores, and I did have interactions with employees of vendors like Conduent. They were fine and just as good as Apple’s internal workers, so don’t anyone worry about getting a lesser experience from them.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
14,861
1,909
Australia, Perth
My main issue with vendors was a lot of them were not professional with customers and provided misinformation or outdated information. So when the solution they provided would not work and the customer would contact us again. We would get the this now angry customer, and have to turn their experience around.

Training was two or three weeks. It was very thorough and fun. Awesome instructors. But the best and fastest way to learn was to just jump in and take chats and start helping customers.

I worked from home, so I was provided two iMacs. Was also provided any additional accessories that was needed. The computers weren't "monitored" until you logged into VPN. We had unrestricted access to the internet, but you obviously had to use common sense and not visit adult websites, downloading torrents, etc. While you were on VPN, management could tap into your computer and see your screen at anytime they wanted.

In helping customers, Google was our friend. The tech sites had more information and better walkthroughs. Apple is very secretive and tight lipped on a lot of things and it always showed in their official support articles. Which can be vague. So it would sometimes make our jobs difficult, we would have to be creative and find other resources.
Not been bought up to speed and repeating to another peson at Apple what's already formerly been done, is clearly lacking.. phone and chat. when the goal is both the same (They all have access to the same case notes) which "should" be keeping up to date and passed on, it needed. (if for example one person doesn't have access to the same system)
 

TheHorsesMouth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 26, 2018
12
10
Not been bought up to speed and repeating to another peson at Apple what's already formerly been done, is clearly lacking.. phone and chat. when the goal is both the same (They all have access to the same case notes) which "should" be keeping up to date and passed on, it needed. (if for example one person doesn't have access to the same system)
You bring up a valid point but unfortunately it is never quite that clear cut and simple. It is a daily frustration that a Senior Advisor and ever Tier 1 advisors deal with on cases that are being continued. You are at the mercy of the advisor that had the case before you and in far too many cases there is a scarcity of notes that explain the ongoing situation. Don't get me wrong, some advisors take excellent notes and sometimes there can literally be nothing, not a word. It is one of those things that comes with the job I guess and the best resource we have for this is the fact that we can read the entire chat transcript with any/all previous advisors so this is usually a life saver. Sometimes though, you have a super impatient customer and you have to try and read over a 1.5 hour chat to try and figure out what is going on within 2 minutes. Some cases it is pretty easy and some cases it is near impossible. That said though, there are some things that we do't have to repeat so to speak, but certain details that we have to confirm, even if it is right there in the case notes, it is policy. This really only comes in to play for Senior Advisors because every time we take over a case, we are not allowed to just keep rolling with it, we are required to repeat the ongoing issue to confirm that is indeed what is going on. So you the customer have been with the Tier 1 advisor for 45 minutes because you cant get your macOS updated because of "example". The first thing I have to do when I take over the chat is say "Hey Customer, it looks like you are having an issue upgrading your macOS because "example", is that correct? This is a major requirement for literally every single chat. Something kind of similar in a way is that as soon as we confirm the issue, and before we provide a smidge of troubleshooting we are also required to "assure" the customer with something like "I appreciate you confirming that for me and I am more than happy to assist you with "example"! Good callout Tech198 and trust me when I say you are not alone on this one as most of we chat advisors are as well!
Sorry to everyone for my super long responses to everything, I tend to dig a bit too deep when I start going but thanks to all reading and all adding to this thread!
 

BlankStar

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2004
671
464
Belgium
Interesting thread. Feel free to keep adding stuff.

So how does the chat work on your end? You login via a special website? Or is it an app?
 
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PSUGrad07

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2016
185
116
First time on the forum in months and came across this thread. Very interesting stuff here, great job. I have been applying to Apple for years. Got an interview for an At Home Adviser role about 4 years back but got the thanks for playing email and I probably would not have accepted the position anyways due to the pay being a lot lower than I was making at the position I held then and even more so now. I am always hesitant about using 3rd party contractors/recruiting agencies because I had a bad experience with one years back and it has always left a bad taste in my mouth when applying for positions. Anyways, I can explain in more detail if asked. I have applied to many Apple positions since then that are more closely suited to what I am doing now and have not even gotten a thanks for playing email or an interview since that time 4 years ago. My question is what is the key to making your resume stand out for a company like Apple? I had my resume reviewed by supposed experts and taken their feedback and rebuilt my resume from the ground up and feel as though it is strong and I have been able to get interviews at other companies and gotten offers, but haven't taken anything yet because of one reason or another and I am very happy at where I am at, but always looking for the next best thing. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you again for the great thread.
 
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