Apple has launched a new support website called Express Lane, which is designed to give users immediate technical support online for their Apple products. As long as your Apple product is still in its warranty period, the service is free of charge.
The website is online now here. On it, you can use a branching set of questions to select the product that you are having problems with and potentially find answers online. One of the best aspects of this service is the ability to easily schedule a callback from Apple support at a designed date and time in the next 7 days which is great if you don’t need the problem solved immediately and want to block off a period of time in the future to deal with it. You can also have Apple call you there and then. It’s like having a flatmate who’s a Genius. Brilliant!
For hardware, you are required to input your serial number so that Apple can confirm that the product is still under warranty. If you don’t have your serial number to hand then don’t expect a free service. Sadly, Apple service or repair costs are astronomical ($199 to service or repair an iPhone 4 for example), so be warned.