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I called technical support around 5pm ET, and after 20 minutes on hold I reached Christina at EGO, who said she put a note "in my account" and directed me to take the mower to Home Depot for warranty service. She didn't mention the 20$ HD deposit up front, but knew about it when I asked. After the phone call I received a survey link with a "case closed" notice. (Apparently the "case" is just me talking to them on the phone and being sent to Home Depot.)
I called around to several home depots near me (not all of them have the tool rental & repair departments) and dropped it off today. They collected my $20 deposit, informed me I'm on the hook for the first $100 of repairs (if it will be more than that they will call me) if the problem is not covered under Warranty. (I assume it will be, as I have it properly registered, etc...)
The really annoying bit is that their "average" time to service is 2-4 weeks for an in-store repair, and it goes up to 6-8 weeks if they have to ship it to some other facility for repair. So, I either have to hire a lawn company for 2-8+ weeks, or buy/borrow a temporary mower.