AppleCare to Dr. West, Today: We’re Suppose (SIC) to Act Like We Don’t Know About the Keyboard Issue

PROFESS0R

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 30, 2017
333
300
Firsthand... today...

I am on the phone with AppleCare an hour or so ago to return my November 2018 MacBook Pro for the keyboard replacement. I tell the AppleCare representative that I am having repeating key issues which are pretty frustrating since I am a professor and type a great deal for a living, writing papers, coding software, etc. The representative asks me if the problem only happens in Microsoft Word. No I explain, it happens in many other programs. She indicates that I can ship the computer back on Apple’s dime, and then tells me that Apple will try to repair the keyboard first, and then replace it. I immediately tell her no, I do not want the keyboard repaired, I want it replaced with the latest 2019 designed keyboard. I said “Surely you know about the recall and replacement procedures” to which she responded, half laughing “We’re suppose (SIC) to act like we don’t know about the keyboard issues <pause>, you know how it is.”

I was so taken aback, that I actually paused to gather my thoughts before I reiterated that I wanted the keyboard replaced with the most recent 2019 design, and not repaired.

Good job Apple. Train your employees to waste our time troubleshooting known issues on the off-chance you can send the consumer off to blow air in the keys, tap the computer upside down, and maybe make the process so frustrating that the consumer stops bothering you.

Time is the most precious commodity I have these days, and I abhor having my time wasted so that Apple can save money.

Apple... if you are reading this... good job. You are beginning to make it impossible to want to purchase from you.

Joe
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,539
25,248
They’ll likely replace it with the 2019 keyboard anyway. The repair involves top case replacement.

You’re busting some first line support person’s balls as if they have any idea what will happen with the repair or they have any input on how it will be repaired. They don’t have a clue so there’s no point throwing your weight around.

Since time is such a precious commodity to you, I’d suggest a more prudent way to spend it would be getting the repair underway rather than complaining about it online and continuing to do nothing.
 

PROFESS0R

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 30, 2017
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I think you may have missed the point of my post. This was not a first line support person’s decision; they were told not to act as if they were not aware of the keyboard replacement program. I assume of course, that this support person was not told by another first line support person not to openly acknowledge the keyboard replacement program; but rather, that the directive came from higher up the food chain.

I know this is the Internet, but try to keep the passive-aggressive behavior to a minimum; communications between human beings work better that way.

Joe

They’ll likely replace it with the 2019 keyboard anyway. The repair involves top case replacement.

You’re busting some first line support person’s balls as if they have any idea what will happen with the repair or they have any input on how it will be repaired. They don’t have a clue so there’s no point throwing your weight around.

Since time is such a precious commodity to you, I’d suggest a more prudent way to spend it would be getting the repair underway rather than complaining about it online and continuing to do nothing.
 

smbu2000

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2014
298
137
Well they do usually attempt to fix it before replacing the topcase in my experience. At least that is what happened when I took my old 2016 15" to the Apple Store with keyboard issues. They replicated the problem when testing it and then took it to the back to attempt to clean it/air spray it out. When that didn't help, they came back out and told me that they would send it off to the repair center to have the topcase replaced.
It's been awhile since I've been there though, so I don't know how the procedure is now.
I also have a 2018 15" now, but haven't had any keyboard issues with it yet.
 

PROFESS0R

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 30, 2017
333
300
Or perhaps, rather than shooting the messenger, they will change the policy and let CSRs be honest with customers without wasting their time. Who knows what Apple will do. My guess is... absolutely nothing.

I don't think that would change any of Apple's policies save for some poor CSR getting fired tonight.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,493
8,995
Prescott Valley, AZ
Firsthand... today...

I am on the phone with AppleCare an hour or so ago to return my November 2018 MacBook Pro for the keyboard replacement. I tell the AppleCare representative that I am having repeating key issues which are pretty frustrating since I am a professor and type a great deal for a living, writing papers, coding software, etc. The representative asks me if the problem only happens in Microsoft Word. No I explain, it happens in many other programs. She indicates that I can ship the computer back on Apple’s dime, and then tells me that Apple will try to repair the keyboard first, and then replace it. I immediately tell her no, I do not want the keyboard repaired, I want it replaced with the latest 2019 designed keyboard. I said “Surely you know about the recall and replacement procedures” to which she responded, half laughing “We’re suppose (SIC) to act like we don’t know about the keyboard issues <pause>, you know how it is.”

I was so taken aback, that I actually paused to gather my thoughts before I reiterated that I wanted the keyboard replaced with the most recent 2019 design, and not repaired.

Good job Apple. Train your employees to waste our time troubleshooting known issues on the off-chance you can send the consumer off to blow air in the keys, tap the computer upside down, and maybe make the process so frustrating that the consumer stops bothering you.

Time is the most precious commodity I have these days, and I abhor having my time wasted so that Apple can save money.

Apple... if you are reading this... good job. You are beginning to make it impossible to want to purchase from you.

Joe
This is not new behavior for Apple. They do this with every "repair program" they offer. They make a big public splash about how they're caring for the customer but when individuals go to use the program, they discover limitations, restrictions, and fine print.

I bolded the reason why Apple continues to do this. Their behavior wasn't enough to convince you to stop buying Apple products... but only to start you thinking about doing it. Apple isn't so concerned about what we think about them as long as we continue to buy their products.
 
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Mattstrete

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2011
94
19
I have owned both a 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro (15-inch). (And every other MacBook Pro since 2008, along with the 2013 Mac Pro).
I have only had a problem - very briefly - with one repeating key on the 2017 MBP.
This program has helped tremendously: https://unshaky.nestederror.com
OP: If using a MacBook Pro is as professionally important to you, as it is to me, I would recommend simply buying a new 2019 model or waiting for the rumoured refresh in a few months' time. Or that you use an external keyboard with an external monitor. I appreciate that these are not really solutions to the underlying problem, but if you are as dependent upon MacOS as I am, these compromises will be worth it to you.
 

Sully

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2007
149
108
It's been awhile since I've been there though, so I don't know how the procedure is now.
I also have a 2018 15" now, but haven't had any keyboard issues with it yet.
I've replaced three of them on two different computers - a 2016 13 inch and a 2017 15 inch. They just took them and replaced the top case no questions asked.
 

Wondercow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2008
552
360
Toronto, Canada
This is not new behavior for Apple. They do this with every "repair program" they offer. They make a big public splash about how they're caring for the customer but when individuals go to use the program, they discover limitations, restrictions, and fine print.
FWIW, this hasn’t been my experience with any of these programs that I or my family have been involved in. Usually it’s a painless experience—save for missing devices for hours, days, or a week.
 

ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,792
761
Not sure I get the outrage, this is how any technical support team works these days. Customer calls up to say they have a fault with x and they have a script to work through with steps a, b & c to try before their system will then instruct them what the next steps are. In this case its that you either need to take the laptop in to an Apple Store or send it to them for repair.

It’s highly unlikely the system will detail what form the repair will take.

And of course they have to go through those initial troubleshooting steps because for some people, maybe there is just a bit of dust under the keyboard which needs cleared with air. In that case, they’ve saved the customer time.

I guess this repair programme might be slightly different to others due to the nature of keyboard faults? If your GPU is faulty, its pretty obvious and there’s nothing the end-user can do which will resolve the fault. But keyboards are different.

This isn’t defending the poor reliability of the keyboards btw, I’m just not sure what the point of the thread is?
 

Northern Man

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
808
1,120
Not sure I get the outrage, this is how any technical support team works these days. Customer calls up to say they have a fault with x and they have a script to work through with steps a, b & c to try before their system will then instruct them what the next steps are. In this case its that you either need to take the laptop in to an Apple Store or send it to them for repair.

It’s highly unlikely the system will detail what form the repair will take.

And of course they have to go through those initial troubleshooting steps because for some people, maybe there is just a bit of dust under the keyboard which needs cleared with air. In that case, they’ve saved the customer time.

I guess this repair programme might be slightly different to others due to the nature of keyboard faults? If your GPU is faulty, its pretty obvious and there’s nothing the end-user can do which will resolve the fault. But keyboards are different.

This isn’t defending the poor reliability of the keyboards btw, I’m just not sure what the point of the thread is?
I don't claim to speak for the OP, but I think the point of the thread is to highlight the astonishing statement made by the AppleCare representative to the customer. "to which she responded, half laughing “We’re suppose (SIC) to act like we don’t know about the keyboard issues <pause>, you know how it is.”
 
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mikzn

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2013
1,690
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Vancouver
^^^^ At least she was honest with him

Apple customer service reps (Apple Geniuses) are in tough spot - Apple dictates what they can say and how they should say it - they've come a long way since the 1984 video - lol
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,331
1,461
nyc upper east
its funny cause i called in for a hinge issue on my 2015 mbp, they told me they will fix out of warranty but i would have to get a newer model sooner or later, i told them fat chance til they ditch the butterfly keyboard :D

im not here to defend apple, but usually applecare is pretty on top of it, and the best customer service i dealt with so far compare to the likes of dell and samsung. applecare is literally the main reason why i'm still loyal to apple despite all the new changes they are doing to their hardware and pricing that i disagree with.
 

PROFESS0R

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 30, 2017
333
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It isn’t her honesty that is the problem, it is the Apple policy behind her words that disturbs me. Apple management, in my opinion, should not be telling their customer care representatives to act as if they are unaware of a problem that is widespread and well known. There are several reasons behind my statement with respect to the keyboard failures:

1. If a customer indicates they are experiencing a repeating key issue, do not try and suggest that it is a software issue and begin troubleshooting there. This is a waste of my time.

2. This policy is both dishonest and disingenuous and there is only one reason for the policy: to make Apple more money.

3. I paid top dollar for my Apple computer, and part of the additional fee I paid for the computer covers top notch customer care. Top notch customer care does not include dishonesty and disingenuousness.

For the record, I would be extremely happy if Apple finds and terminates the executive who created this “act stupid” policy... even if the executive is Tim Cook himself.

There was a time when Apple was better than this. I know, because I was a customer of Apple back then. Those of you who only know the dishonest and disingenuous Apple may feel happy because they get good service most of the time... and Apple’s products work most of the time.

Steve Jobs was a mercurial ass of a man... but he sure knew how to create a product and a culture. I suspect Steve is rolling over in his grave right now.

Joe

^^^^ At least she was honest with him

Apple customer service reps (Apple Geniuses) are in tough spot - Apple dictates what they can say and how they should say it - they've come a long way since the 1984 video - lol
 

ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,792
761
Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s how all IT help-desks work these days unless you’re lucky enough to work in a small company with dedicated experts.

And I still don’t understand why you’re so cross that they started out with a perfectly reasonable question, whose purpose was to understand whether the problem was software or hardware related. Can you not see that Apple have to perform logical troubleshooting steps for every fault - or would you rather they just took the user’s opinion and went straight to swapping out bits of hardware?

Not everyone calling with a keyboard fault will need a new keyboard. Not everybody calling with a keyboard fault will be a tech-savvy user. Some people calling with a keyboard fault will be doing something in software which is giving them the impression they have a faulty keyboard when it’s just user error. Or buggy software.

Nothing about their fault troubleshooting process is dishonest or disingenuous. They’re just following well established processes for diagnosing faults in hardware and software.
 
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