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[MD1] Apple Offers New Customer Support Program

Apple Offers New Customer Support Program

Customers Get Greater Flexibility and Choice at Low Cost

CUPERTINO, Calif.–May 15, 1997–Today, Apple Computer, Inc., announced a
new technical support option for owners of Apple hardware and software
products, called Apple Support Line (ASL). Since April 1, 1996, Apple has
offered customers both a one-year limited hardware warranty and 90 days of
complimentary up-and-running technical support on their Apple products.

ASL, a one-year renewable support contract available directly from Apple
and from participating Apple authorized resellers, allows customers to
continue to receive up-and-running support from Apple after their 90 days
of complimentary support have expired.

The majority of customers purchasing Apple products benefit from having
access to up-and-running support when they first purchase their computer or
peripheral product. That is, new customers find it very useful to be able
to call Apple for some basic assistance: for help configuring their new
computer, installing or reinstalling system software, troubleshooting a
problem they’ve run into, or checking for compatibility with productivity
or utility software. After the first 90 days or so, most customers don’t
require this type of assistance. But for those that do, Apple wants to be
able to assist them.

Complementary 90-Day Support Policy Apple introduced the 90-day support
policy more than a year ago. Although customers who purchased products
manufactured after April 1, 1996, received a brochure in the box explaining
the 90-day complimentary support period, Apple has been lenient about
enforcing this policy, giving customers time to adjust to the change.
Apple also did not have alternate programs in place, at that time, for
those customers who desired additional up-and-running support. Now, with a
program in place to assist such customers, Apple will enforce the policy
effective today. When they call, customers will be asked to enter the
Support Access Number provided with their new product (or that they
acquired the first time they called for support), and Apple will check to
see if they are still eligible for complimentary support. If they are no
longer eligible, customers have numerous free support options as well as
fee-based support options to choose from.

Two groups will be unaffected by Apple’s decision to enforce its 90-day
complimentary support policy. Customers who purchased Apple-branded
products manufactured between April 1, 1993, and April 1, 1996, or Apple
Macintosh Performa-branded products manufactured between September 1, 1992,
and April 1, 1996, will continue to receive unlimited, up-and-running
support for their products for as long as they own them. Apple will
continue the same level of support for its education customers.

One group that will be affected by Apple’s decision to enforce its support
policies consists of those customers who purchased Apple-branded products
manufactured before April 1, 1993. The new Apple Support Line is an option
for these customers.

Free, Unlimited Access To Wide Range of Support For several years, Apple
has offered customers free, unlimited access to a wide-range of technical
support via fax-based systems and the Internet, and Apple has been working
hard over the past six months to expand and strengthen these offerings. In
fact, Apple has been recognized for having one of the most useful Internet
sites available: One location on that site — — describes the various support
options available to Apple customers, describing in detail the scope of
support offered by the Apple Support Line.

Customers can expect to receive the same award-winning customer and
technical support Apple has provided for years. “Year after year, numerous
surveys have given Apple top marks for customer support and product
reliability,” said Pete Gladstein, senior director, Apple Assist. “We
expect those high-marks to continue. Satisfying our customers and building
quality products are still our number one priority at Apple.”

Award Winning Customer and Technical Support In the 1996 American Consumer
Satisfaction Index, Apple increased 1.3 percent, ranking number two in the
personal computer industry. The Index, a joint project of the University
of Michigan and the American Society for Quality Control was based on
28,000 customer surveys. The results were published in the February 3,
1997 issue of Fortune Magazine. As further evidence of Apple’s customer
satisfaction, for the fourth consecutive time, Apple has received top marks
for reliability according to a December 1996 PC World magazine reader
survey. PC World states that Apple is one of five companies that build
machines “people could count on” and Apple telephone support had the
shortest “hold time” of any PC vendor.

Pricing and Availability Customers can purchase an Apple annual support
contract, Apple Support Line – Level I, for U.S. $69.95. The contracts are
available directly from Apple or from participating resellers. The new
policy and programs are available only in the United States. Customers can
receive more information about Apple Support Line by calling 1-888-APL-VALU
(275-8258) or by accessing Apple’s Support Line website

Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the information industry
and leader in multimedia technologies, creates powerful solutions based on
easy-to-use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, handheld
computers and Internet content. Headquartered in Cupertino, California,
Apple develops, manufactures, licenses and markets solutions, products,
technologies and services for business, education, consumer, entertainment,
scientific and engineering and government customers in more than 140

Press Contacts: Jane Echols Apple Computer, Inc. (415) 566-1963 email:

Tami Begasse Apple Computer, Inc. (408) 974-3156 email:

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Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, Performa, Power Macintosh, and PowerBook
are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Additional company and
product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of the individual
companies and are respectfully acknowledged.

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