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COVID-Era MBP Warranty keyboard replacement

JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
Greetings All,

I have a 2018 MacBook Pro that sometimes exhibits the horrific double keypresses or lack of keypresses that are covered under the extended keyboard warranty project.

Some of my keys have also had the letters wear away on the surface -- particularly the 'A' and 'S' keys.

So - three questions:

1) Will the issue with key wear cause Apple NOT to replace my keyboard?
2) Do they have any sort of on-site test required -- such as if they type 100 characters and don't see any issue, they'll do nothing?
3)While normally I'd make a genius appointment at the Apple store 4 miles from my house - I wonder if it would be better do have Apple ship me a box and go with the remote repair.

Thoughts? Any recent experiences in this area to share?

Thanks,

John
 

Maconplasma

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2020
625
405
Under the keyboard repair program Apple states that they have to perform a full inspection first and will replace defective keys or the entire keyboard if necessary. I would love to say what you want to hear but only Apple will have the final say especially since the letters on your keys have worn. That's usually from very acidic fingers and not a common occurrence, so that's not generally covered under warranty.
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
That's usually from very acidic fingers and not a common occurrence, so that's not generally covered under warranty.
Thanks for your reply. I've not had the issue with worn keys with my work-supplied 2018 MacBook Pro, nor my previous machine, but that was a 2012 MBP. The worn keys don't really bother me - I just hope they don't automatically preclude them from repairing the repeating key issue.

John
 
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Christopher Kim

macrumors regular
Nov 18, 2016
188
136
FWIW, if you feel safe/comfortable, I would go in and speak live to an Apple Genius about it. Describe the keyboard issue of keystrokes not registering, having to double press, etc. and that it's intermittent (which it usually is). Be calm & kind, not demanding or with an entitled attitude.

It's typically at the discretion of the Apple Genius if they're going to be a stickler about "needing to see the intermittent keypresses" live, or whether any of the worn keys should preclude any repairs (I don't think it would).

I had to do this last year on my 2016 13" MBP. The Genius was totally cool, didn't try to "test" anything live. Literally just did the diagnostic tests to make sure everything else working fine, and then did a quick physical inspection of the laptop to make sure nothing else damaged. I would think during COVID era, on the margin, they will want even less to try "typing on your computer" to try to reproduce the issue.

My general feeling is that with these butterfly kb issues, Apple knows they messed up, and in general aren't being sticklers about trying to find excuses not to do the repair. As long as you don't treat the Genius with an entitled attitude and give them a reason not to want to help you, I think it should be no problem to get it fixed under the program.
 
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clueless88

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2020
98
24
I would think that the Apple warranty and most other electronic equipment warranties are unlike automobile warranties--they are time and owner limited but not usage/mileage limited.

Apple should be delighted that some of your keys are worn--it's a sign that you have actually been using their product as intended.

I would make an appointment at your local Apple store--nice that it's so close, you'd be able to get a quick answer to your question and definitely get your MBP faster than if you did the shipping route. By dropping off and picking up you'd also decrease the risk of shipping damage/lost computer.

Unless you are in one of the high risk categories (or have a weird genetic makeup--interesting term for patients who don't have any apparent risk factors but get really sick anyway) COVID really does not have a large significant morbidity or mortality rate--as time has gone on the calculated morbidity and mortality rates keeps going down. Also remember that the number of cases that the authorities and media announce daily are the number of positive test results, not the number of sick or hospitalized patients.
 
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Cookie18

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
486
495
France
I would think that the Apple warranty and most other electronic equipment warranties are unlike automobile warranties--they are time and owner limited but not usage/mileage limited.

Apple should be delighted that some of your keys are worn--it's a sign that you have actually been using their product as intended.

I would make an appointment at your local Apple store--nice that it's so close, you'd be able to get a quick answer to your question and definitely get your MBP faster than if you did the shipping route. By dropping off and picking up you'd also decrease the risk of shipping damage/lost computer.

Unless you are in one of the high risk categories (or have a weird genetic makeup--interesting term for patients who don't have any apparent risk factors but get really sick anyway) COVID really does not have a large significant morbidity or mortality rate--as time has gone on the calculated morbidity and mortality rates keeps going down. Also remember that the number of cases that the authorities and media announce daily are the number of positive test results, not the number of sick or hospitalized patients.

We don’t need to be going off topic to downplay a global pandemic.

OP, I had my 2016 MBP keyboard replaced at the beginning of the year. It also had a blown speaker which I informed them of. I asked for a quote to fix the speaker while they fixed the keyboard. I didn’t get a quote because they just replaced the speakers along with the rest of the top case that the keyboard is part of. I didn’t have to show them that the keys were sticking either, my keys actually weren’t sticking but I figured the keyboard replacement would get the speaker issue fixed.

As someone said above, it really seems like this is something that is just waved through. Apple doesn’t need more bad press from not replacing keyboards because they don’t see the issue in the store. Now, if you’re on your 3rd, 4th, 5th etc replacement there might be more questions but I doubt you have anything to worry about.
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
Thanks, all, for the input. I'll make an appointment at one of the nearby Apple Stores (thankfully, 3 within easy range) and we'll see what happens.

John
 
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BaggieBoy

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2012
505
174
UK
I took my '18 13" MBP in around 9 days ago, due to multiple keypress issues. They were happy to take it in and work on it as normal.
 
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GLS

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
376
138
I had one replaced back in July (or was it August?)

Opened up a support case via chat on Apple's website. Told the person I was wanting to get my MBP repaired under the program. He asked me a few generic questions (PRAM and SMC reset, new software issues, etc). Told him the symptoms, and he asked if I wanted to mail in the laptop or take it to a authorized repair shop.

He asked me for address to send box, it came a couple of days later....boxed up the MBP (made a backup and erased the laptop before sending in). Laptop arrived the following day at service center; and was shipped the next day back to me. New battery, new keyboard, new case and an audio cable that was replaced.

EDIT: ATTN OP; A and S keys were worn through. I have no idea what kind of tests that the service center did on the laptop; I told them it would be wiped when I sent it in. I did take a note of how many cycles the battery had on it and compared it when I received the laptop back.
 
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hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
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744
I did take a note of how many cycles the battery had on it and compared it when I received the laptop back.
Which is only useful for knowing how many cycles your new battery has on it since it's widely known that the keyboard repair also gets you a new battery..
 
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GLS

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
376
138
Yep, I was aware....but at the same time, would it surprise anyone if Apple has silently made some kind of change in the program midstream where the existing battery on the laptop could be reused?
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
Any follow-up?
I finally dropped it at the local Apple Store yesterday. Turns out, they ship them off to a centralized repair depot anyway. At least this way, the issue was confirmed and the service ticket was written up locally. The local Apple store suggests I'll have it back next Monday or Tuesday.
 
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BaggieBoy

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2012
505
174
UK
My 13" 2018 MBP wasn't due to be picked up up until today, after the UK lockdown was starting and hence the Apple Store would have been closed. However I got a call on Tuesday saying it was ready to picked up, which I did on Wednesday. I now have a working keyboard, fresh 100% healthy battery and a new screen.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
10,192
3,909
I had my 2018 13" repaired a couple of weeks ago. I had a box overnighted to me, shipped the computer out on a Monday afternoon and had it back Thursday morning.
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
And... While it is now Wednesday, I've received no update from Apple, and when I check my support.apple.com it suggests my MacBookPro hasn't made it to the Repair Center yet.
Screen Shot 2020-11-11 at 9.15.56 AM.png
:(
 
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clueless88

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2020
98
24
May want to try to call someone at the apple store where you dropped it off and see if you can get a real person update regarding status. Hopefully someone forgot to scan your unit as received at the repair center and it's not sitting in the back of the Apple store.
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
May want to try to call someone at the apple store where you dropped it off and see if you can get a real person update regarding status.
Yes, I need to call the store. I spent a frustrating amount of time with the online support chat, then a phone call with Apple yesterday. Both people very pleasant, but at the end of the day, all they could tell me was the data above... I was kind of hoping they'd pick up the phone and call the Apple store themselves (figuring Apple to Apple would be more efficient than ME calling the store) but they never did, and time was running short, so I didn't suggest it. They just said, "well, maybe they are busy and we're backed up a few days... They also said they don't track package shipments to the repair depot when coming from a store, which seems like a gap in their process, if you ask me...
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
Tried to all the store. Automated system sends me to Customer Service. Same message as Wednesday. Claims it is "in transit" and that I can go online and check "anytime." Well, the online system message I get is the same one posted above from the day I dropped off the system 9 days ago. If it weren't COVID times, I'd go camp out at the store, but given the current growth in cases here in Minnesota, it can wait. Just frustrating.
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
I received an update on Saturday that the repair center received my Mac. No further update since then. I had my hopes up as I had UPS tell me I had a package arriving from Apple today! Turned out to be the EMPTY BOX to return an iPhone I'm trading in on my iPhone 12 mini. ;)

The only repair check site still errors out on me. But at least I've got the one sign of progress.
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
And... 30 minutes after that note above, FedEx knocked on my door to drop off my repaired MacBook Pro. New keyboard (yay).

The repair note says,

"We've replaced the part(s) listed below:

661-13164 Top Case with Battery, Silver, ANSI"

I'm letting it warm up at room temperature before turning it on.

I _still_ don't know what happened with the repair tracking system...
 
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clueless88

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2020
98
24
Much better to have a wonky tracking system and a timely repair/delivery than the other way around.

Yay!
 
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JohnOCFII

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
35
7
Minnesota, USA
Much better to have a wonky tracking system and a timely repair/delivery than the other way around.

Yay!
Indeed! And I wouldn't even bothered about checking the ticket, other than the MOA Apple Store "Genius" suggested I would have had the machine back a week ago. It she said, "hey, it'll take two weeks," I would have been fine with that. Especially since I'm loving the new keyboard, new TouchPad, new battery, etc.!
 
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