Online chat support had been free, although back in August, Apple posted a $19.99 per incident fee for the technical support. Still, Apple has not yet charged for the service.
Apple had to develop a new web payment system so that it could charge for the service via chat. Apple has apparently been able to figure out a secure method that involves sending users a link that will stay live for 24 hours so that payments can be made. Apple will charge $19 for troubleshooting and basic tech support, although users will have an option to ask for the fee to be waived. All exceptions will be granted until the program is launched next week, according to the sources.
Also, Apple is expected to grant the exception for all iCloud issues, and cases of accidental damage where users want to use the chat feature to set up a repair or replacement of the damaged device.
source: 9to5Mac via AppleInsider