With a active subscription yes, indeed Customer Technical Support is available 24/7 and at no cost to the subscriber. However should one elect to use a service called (TechMaster) which is also available upon request, there is a (fee) associated with it https://techmaster.mcafee.com/selectandbuy/us?channelid=USSVCMFE001
If I may ask, could you by chance have elected to use the (Paid) Technical Assistance? And by the information you provided indicates that you obtained a (1) year service plan? All one has to do if they should have issues with their McAfee software, is Contact Support. Via Phone/Online Chat being the most expedient.
There is also another possibility that you contacted a fake mcafee support site. There are several saying they support Mcafee were as they are a paid support site for many. Products including notron, facebook etc. We get spam posts here that are deleled that try to trick you to call them for support from them.
That said the $179 seems to agree with the Techmaster charge so it seems you contacted them rather than try the free support as CD mentioned. Was the contact with respect to support for a Mcafee product or windows/technical/ hardware issue