Mobile

Hate Making Calls? 30 More Brands Now Respond to iMessages

Apple Business Chat Home Depot

Apple is expanding its Business Chat feature, which lets you communicate directly with companies via iMessage.

Cupertino on Tuesday announced that 30 more businesses are adopting the customer service feature, including 1-800 Contacts, DirecTV Now, Overstock.com, Quicken Loans, West Elm, Burberry, Men’s Wearhouse, Mall of America, and Jos A. Bank.

West Elm will use Business Chat to offer its free Design Crew Expert service digitally, for the first time, Apple said. So, if you’re struggling with how to decorate a room, you can send photos to West Elm’s design team for advice.

Meanwhile, if you’re eyeing a piece from Burberry, you can reach out to the company via the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad to see if it’s available near you, get answers to fit and size questions, and receive help placing an order.

The list of US brands adding support for Apple Business Chat also includes: Fairmont Hotels, Kimpton Hotels, meal delivery service Freshly, Macerich malls, car sellers Hendrick Automotive Group and Lithia Group, and hotel booking company SnapTravel.

Internationally, the following brands are adopting the feature: matchesfashion.com (UK), NH Hotels (Europe), nPower (UK), Robins & Day (UK), buddybank (Italy), Engie (France), La Redoute (France), AXA Insurance (Switzerland), Swisscom (Switzerland), Vodafone Germany, Credit Suisse (Singapore and Hong Kong), Telstra (Australia), Harvey Norman (Australia), KDDI (Japan).

Apple first introduced this feature in March as part of iOS 11.3. It launched with the support of 15 US brands, including Newegg, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Hilton, Marriott, Discover, Wells Fargo, TD Ameritrade, and 1-800-Flowers.

To try it out, look up a company in Maps, Safari, or Search on your Apple device, and tap the Messages icon to send them a text. Some businesses also let you start a chat via their own website or app.

“With Business Chat, customers can always reach a live person and are always in control of whether they share any contact information with a business,” Apple says.

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