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Dev Juice: Using your tech support incidents

I find it a constant puzzle as to why so relatively few developers take full advantage of technical support incidents. Two incidents are included with your annual developer license. Additional incidents cost just US$50 each, which you buy in two-packs.

Using Incidents

You'd think that at just $50, a price that's lower than most billable hours, developers would be all over support but, many never end up using them:

Others carefully hoard them for the most pressing cases:

Resolution

Tech incidents don't always have happy endings. In some cases, they get back-burnered without a satisfactory resolution. Other developers report that they have never experienced more than a 48-hour turnaround.

Incidents may be credited back if it's discovered that an issue: was due to an Apple bug, should be handled as a feature request, needed to be passed off to another department or simply could not be resolved:

While you were initially charged a technical support incident for this request, we have assigned a replacement incident back to your account.

Developer Support

To use an incident, go to the Apple Member Center and click the Technical support button.

The website lists all available support incidents on a per-membership basis. Click the Request Support button to use an incident, or Buy More to add new ones. A panel at the bottom of the page lists your tech support history.

When submitting a new request, you provide background on your hardware setup, the issue you're working on and the steps to reproduce it.

Beta Software

Do note that DTS does not offer tech incidents for beta software. Instead, you should visit the Apple dev forum site and hope that you get some help there. (Most common support response at dev forums: "Please file a bug report or feature enhancement.")

Other Avenues

WWDC labs in some ways can be seen as a weeklong unlimited tech incident, should you be fortunate enough to attend, and do take note of the technical evangelists for topics.

You can often reach out to them outside of the normal tech incident channels. Just be aware that they'll help guide you to appropriate technologies; they cannot and will not help you debug your code.

Want to share your tech support stories? Got other suggestions for finding Apple-supplied help? Drop a note in the comments and share.



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I find it a constant puzzle as to why so relatively few developers take full advantage of technical support incidents. Two incidents are...