Apple Now Prioritizing MacBook Keyboard Repairs With Quoted Next-Day Turnaround Time

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Apple has indicated that most MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboard repairs will be required to be completed at Apple Stores until further notice, rather than being shipped to an off-site Apple repair center, according to an internal memo shared with Apple Store employees last week and obtained by MacRumors.


Apple's memo, titled "How to support Mac customers with keyboard-related repairs in store," advises Genius Bar technicians that these keyboard repairs should be "prioritized to provide next-day turnaround time":
Most keyboard-related repairs will be required to be completed in store until further notice. Additional service parts have been shipped to stores to support the increased volume.

These repairs should be prioritized to provide next-day turnaround time. When completing the repair, have the appropriate service guide open and carefully follow all repair steps.
Apple did not provide a reason for this change, but the company is known for customer satisfaction, so it could be trying to speed up the process a bit to alleviate frustration.

The turnaround time for MacBook and MacBook Pro repairs shipped to Apple's off-site facilities has typically ranged between three to five business days, and sometimes longer, so next-day turnaround would be much more convenient for customers if Genius Bars can actually fulfill that ambitious timeframe.

Shortly after the 2015 MacBook and 2016 MacBook Pro were released with lower-profile butterfly mechanism keyboards, complaints began to emerge about "sticky" keys causing repeating letters and other inconsistent behavior during routine use. In more severe cases, keys pop out of position or stop working altogether.


Following a few years of anecdotal complaints, and no less than three lawsuits, Apple finally initiated a worldwide service program offering free repairs of 12-inch MacBook models released between 2015 and 2017 and MacBook Pro models released in 2016 and 2017 for customers with expired warranty coverage.

That program remains in effect, but Apple has yet to extend free repairs to the still-under-warranty 2018 MacBook Pro or 2018 MacBook Air, which are still prone to keyboard issues to a lesser extent - despite both having third-generation butterfly keyboards with a silicone membrane designed to mitigate the issues.

2018 MacBook Pro keyboard with silicone membrane via iFixit

The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently brought some attention to the continued keyboard issues, prompting Apple to apologize:
We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry. The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard.
Affected customers should visit Apple's Get Support page to book an appointment with a Genius Bar or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, who are also authorized to complete free repairs under Apple's service program.

Article Link: Apple Now Prioritizing MacBook Keyboard Repairs With Quoted Next-Day Turnaround Time
 
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Morgon

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2014
25
83
This new keyboard is a menace. Even the 2018 model is giving me issues with the occasional key stick, and sometimes registering multiple keypresses (happens a lot with the delete key, actually).
It's the Spacebar for me; which, combined with "substitute double-space with period" feature, makes for a very annoying. Time when writing text messages or. Documentation.
 

inhalexhale1

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2011
1,037
685
PA
I have a bad feeling that they're not going to redesign the keyboard in the next MacBook Pro redesign.
They'll redesign or change it in some way, but likely not go back to the pre-2016 design. The typing experience is polarizing, but I think most could get on board over time if reliability was there.

I'm just hoping their answer isn't a further extreme, with stationary keys that provide haptic feedback, in place of actual travel.
 

Aegelward

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2005
528
54
UK
What a fiasco. All in the name of getting the thinnest computer possible. Perfect example of prioritizing form over function. Mac users are busy professionals and need a MacBook that can help us be more productive and make more money from our businesses - not something that looks pretty.
It'd be nice if MacBook Pros were finally.... Pro again, Pros need pro features like upgradable RAM, Storage (maybe have dual M.2 for RAID to make that storage even more bulletproof), a battery that isn't glued in, heck more ports. A certified docking station rather than Apple's somewhat cavalier approach to their hardware partners. Professionals and IT departments need serviceable machines, especially in the high price pro category. Take a leaf out of the Thinkpad or Precision lineup.
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,092
3,239
Seems as good a place as any to repost the only statistical data I can find:

The only source I’ve found quoting a percentage is Apple Insider, and they estimate 11% of repair events were keyboard related in 2016 and 8% in 2017 compared to a baseline of 6% in 2015.

That is not a percentage of keyboards failing, it is a percentage of repair events related to keyboards. They were clocking 118 keyboard failures in 2014 and 112 failures in 2017. There was a rise in 2016 that was addressed and I don’t see any indication of a multigenerational problem here.

“the 2016 model generated double the service calls for the keyboard itself, completely obscuring the fact that the machine is more reliable overall than predecessors.”​

Consumer reports repeatedly ranks the MBP as the most reliable laptop they test:
https://www.zdnet.com/article/apples-macbooks-still-the-most-reliable/

2018 has Apple as the only machine with a 10/10 on reliability.

Which? survey says Apple laptops have the highest reliability with a score of 81%, second highest is 74%, Microsoft comes in at 66%:
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/1...reliable-laptops-while-microsoft-disappoints/


YMMV
 
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WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
514
411
They should just ask people to pay the difference and upgrade to the 2018 version which has 3rd gen butterfly keyboard
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
7,371
3,534
Seattle, WA
I have a bad feeling that they're not going to redesign the keyboard in the next MacBook Pro redesign.
It depends on how much money they are spending repairing the machines. If it's really eating into the unit profitability, then there will be an incentive to replace it with the next redesign. If it is not (as in the repair rate is far lower than people have speculated), then they may not.


And why did you people even buy a MBP after the 2015 one which was perfect?? Go buy that one not this trash.
This forum is full of complaints that Apple does not update a particular Mac every four months when one of the parts in it is updated by their manufacturer and you expect them to buy a machine that has not been updated for four years. :D
 
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chewbaka

macrumors member
Jun 2, 2014
70
116
And why did you people even buy a MBP after the 2015 one which was perfect?? Go buy that one not this trash.
Maybe some of us bought a new MBP in '12, '13, or '14 and only needed a new MBP in '16 or later? Though in my case I'm just suffering with a slowly dying, well loved 2012 pre-retina relic until Apple overhauls the MBP.
 
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TimFL1

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2017
591
540
Germany
They should just ask people to pay the difference and upgrade to the 2018 version which has 3rd gen butterfly keyboard
That'd be a valid option IF the 2018 keyboards weren't prone to the same issues. I had my top case replaced already (15" 2018), so not sure upgrading makes any sense in that regard. Maybe the issues aren't that widespread with the membrane, but I feel like it's no dust but more of a mechanical issue so not sure it helps.
 
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Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
7,854
5,631
Seems as good a place as any to repost the only statistical data I can find:

The only source I’ve found quoting a percentage is Apple Insider, and they estimate 11% of repair events were keyboard related in 2016 and 8% in 2017 compared to a baseline of 6% in 2015.

That is not a percentage of keyboards failing, it is a percentage of repair events related to keyboards. They were clocking 118 keyboard failures in 2014 and 112 failures in 2017. There was a rise in 2016 that was addressed and I don’t see any indication of a multigenerational problem here.

“the 2016 model generated double the service calls for the keyboard itself, completely obscuring the fact that the machine is more reliable overall than predecessors.”​
How does that account for the number of people posting on this forum and on social media (such as Twitter) with keyboard issues? I wish I could feel confident in buying a new Mac. If it wasn’t for the keyboard issues I’d be buying a new Air.
 

BarrettF77

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2015
596
672
If you take advantage of this are you going to get another keyboard of the same generation as your laptop or will it be replaced with a 3rd Gen keyboard?

Seems stupid to replace it with the same flawed design only to repeat this all over again.
 
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