I think it's safe to say we've all come across a tech-related issue that's completely stumped us. Search efforts were futile, calling the family nerd resulted in a miffed response and a trip to visit the Geek Squad would be overkill.
A new iPhone app called Xprt allows you to chat with tech experts and receive free tech advice directly from your phone.
After launching the app and creating a free account, you're given the option to get technical support from an "Xprt" or request computer shopping advice.
The app will request some details about the issue you need help with, then place you in a chat with someone who can walk you through fixing the issue. Shopping advice for a new computer requires you to fill in some information regarding size, purpose and budget before placing you in a chat.
The chat itself feels just like any popular chat app, with a text field for you to enter your questions or replies. Once the chat is finished, you're asked to rate the Xprt and, if you feel so inclined, leave a tip.
The app's listing states there's no obligation to leave a tip, however.
I went through a mock troubleshooting session without alerting the company ahead of time, and at the end of the chat I was asked to leave a tip. To test out the claim of free tech support, I changed the tip amount to zero, rated the rep five stars and exited the app. My fake computer issue was fixed, for free, in a matter of minutes.
Had I decided to not be so cheap, I would have been asked to enter payment information in order to complete the process.