FIVE DAYS without my $3500 MBP!!! Apple service woes.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ApeBot, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. ApeBot macrumors newbie

    ApeBot

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
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    Sydney
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    I am so sorry - but I am feeling defeated and needed to rant. I hope that you will allow me this here.

    So my pride and joy 13 inch spec'd up MacBook Pro that cost $3500 (not including apple care which I also purchased) decided the 'g' key was no longer needed, so it stopped working. The computer is not even a year old.

    Doing the right thing, I backed it up, made a genius bar appointment. There first available appointment was a couple of days out - but that is ok. I get it - they are busy. I am busy too - so I get that.

    The Apple staffer that attended to me was wonderful, she explained that this was common with the butterfly keyboard design and took it out back to pop off the key for a clean. Moments later she came back and said that the clean did not work and the keyboard would have to be replaced. She also went on to say that, thankfully, they had the part in stock and the turn around time would be quick. She said that I should expect a call in about 3 days. It was early on a Tuesday and I think we both had a common understanding that quick would mean - at the latest, by the end of the week.

    I called yesterday for an update as I had heard nothing and the guy that answered the phone curtly told me that I would get a call within the time frame printed on the work authorization form. I was taken aback. I was kind of hoping for a day, so that I could arrange my time to make it into the store. But no. His answer was abrupt and in my opinion rude.

    I looked closely at the work authorization form and it said to expect a call in 3 to 5 days. Well, as the store is closed for the day (its Saturday night), tomorrow morning will be the fifth day that they have had my laptop. So I guess that if they call me before 10:30am, they may just make that SLA. Unless of course they mean business days in which case I will be without until next Tuesday.

    My problem though is this. I buy a premium product for a premium price with high expectations for the product and when things go wrong (and of course they sometimes do) I expect premium service as well. So, firstly, never in my life have I had a laptop fail me because a key stopped working. I have to question premium build right there. Secondly - we and my daughter specifically depend on this device in our household. Five days without and counting is beyond non-premium service, its quite simply unacceptable.

    Am I wrong in thinking that? I dont live in a remote location where parts are hard to come by technical people are rare. This is a major city Apple store with parts in stock and engineers in abundance.

    I do want to say that I love Apple products. I own A LOT of them, and up until now, every interaction I have had with Apple Support has been outstanding. Excellent. Second to none. This particular case has left a bad taste in my mouth. Have they spoiled me in the past? Would I get the same crappy service from Compaq and Dell? Even if their service is worse, the fact that I could've purchased a backup laptop from either of those manufacturers for the price I paid for my MBP has not escaped me.

    Sorry all

    Rant Over
     
  2. oldtime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #2
    Which Apple Store is it? Some are notorious for being ****-shows.
     
  3. ApeBot thread starter macrumors newbie

    ApeBot

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    #3
    Afraid to say.. they still have my laptop

    It is in Australia though :)
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    Welcome to KeyGate™.

    When a key fails on the 2016/17 MacBook Pros, you can't just "replace the keyboard".
    The entire CASE (that the keyboard is in) has to be replaced.
    This runs about $700 (US).
    Just be happy that they're fixing it for you. Be aware that even after the first repair, it can fail again.

    You were smart to get AppleCare. At least you have three years' of protection ahead (to deal with the possibility of more key failures).
    Think of the folks who didn't buy AppleCare. What happens to them when a key goes bad 18 months out...?
     
  5. 537635 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #5
    Keygate...

    Be prepared to do this again. And again... until your warranty runs out. After that you most probably won't pay $700 for a new keyboard.

    Typing this on my iPhone as my MBP is being serviced for the third time in the past 6 months (this will actually be the 4th keyboard).

    I'm totally in the same boat. I love Apple devices and in general everything was great in the past 10 years. Occasional problem here and there, but everything got fixed, mostly for free.

    But this keyboard... oh man.
     
  6. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #6
    When people go through so many replacements, is this because people are refusing to have just the key mechanism replaced and are demanding an entire replacement unit instead?

    Nobody really knows what'll happen after the warranty period. Maybe a class action will garner some evidence that it's an inherent flaw present at time of manufacture, and a replacement programme will be initiated (As has happened with previous MacBooks). But who knows, no point in being fearful or angry over something that hasn't even happened yet though.

    OP for what it's worth, the industry standard is usually around 30 days. If you genuinely rely on this or any computer for income, and a single day without it will cause loss of income. Then you really should have a form of backup, no computer ever, no matter how much you spend on it, will be 100% reliable. It sucks when they do break but Apple are usually the fastest at getting things sorted, but it's a good idea to have use of a second machine even if it's just a short-term rental unit.
     
  7. 537635 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    You CANNOT replace a single key. You even cannot replace just the keyboard. The whole topcase has to be replaced. With a new battery, touchpad, touchbar, speakers...

    I would much rather have the whole computer replaced, but they actually said to me last time that they will just keep replacing the topcases until the warranty runs out.
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    #8
    This is totally on Apple, compromising reliability for the sake of being "thinner". Majority of professionals who rely on their hardware do have backup systems, equally we're talking about keyboards here, with Apple striving to impress the Starbucks crowd as opposed to delivering reliable product to a professional audience.

    As for independent professionals the one thing they value most is time, and wasting it due to Apple's ****** design is far from appreciated. Thing with Apple; is it desperately wants the "Pro" endorsement and the associated "halo effect", yet only wants to sell the uninformed masses...

    Q-6
     
  9. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #9
    They actually said that to you? o_O

    Just asking as earlier on people were having shims and stuff added which were fixing the problems. Don't know what changed that meant they had to replace the entire top case when the previous solution was working and a lot less costly. Hence I was asking if people were dismissing this and instead demanding a new unit.
     
  10. ApeBot thread starter macrumors newbie

    ApeBot

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    #10
    Correct!

    The first person I spoke to at Apple (she was phenomenal by the way) did mention that the component that needed to be swapped out contained all those parts.

    I didn’t mention it because that’s a whole new level of stupid that deserves a thread on its own. It’s like buying a brand new BMW and being told you need to replace the engine and gearbox everytime you get a flat tyre.

    Also, I didn’t think it was relevant to my rant, as I was told, and I quote “the good news is that it’s in stock so it won’t take long”
     
  11. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    #11
    Apple has become increasingly hostile towards the consumer over recent years, reducing the MBP to just a very few component modules. This works extremely well for Apple as it reduces production cost & boosts margin, however not so much for the consumer as any repair cost will be extensive by default, and naturally Apple has a margin on this no doubt...

    Q-6
     
  12. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #12
    The keyboard on the 2015 macbook pros are so nice. The key moves just enough, the rubbery "click" is just right. I had a 2012 and a 2015 now and have never had a single problem with the keyboard. That design is a work of art. These posts about the new macbooks breaking all the time make me appreciate my 2015. No applecare but also not a single problem. The apple that made the 2012 and 2015 macbooks is the apple I love. I've been frustrated not having a good enough macbook to upgrade to but I should calm down and just use and appreciate the 2015 macbook that has served me so well.
     
  13. ApeBot thread starter macrumors newbie

    ApeBot

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    #13
    Thanks for sharing the industry standard. I suppose I should be somewhat happy.

    As for a backup machine, I do have a six year old MacBook Air that, although running a little slow in its old age and certainly unable to process video like the new pro, I have NEVER had an issue with. I can hear it mocking me everytime I hit the ‘g’ key for replacing it with a butterfly keyboard model.
     
  14. burgman macrumors 68000

    burgman

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #14
    Uhh, they have it fixed?
     
  15. ApeBot thread starter macrumors newbie

    ApeBot

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    #15
    Hi All, I want to sincerely thank you all for your replies. I certainly don't feel as alone or impotent as I did when I had my rant.

    This has been a big moment for me, as I have sworn by Apple products and their service for as long as I can remember. I wouldn't say I am a fanboy but I am probably as close as you would get short of queuing for a phone.

    For me, Apple was one of the few companies left (across all industries) that refused to simply be one step ahead of their competitors. Being "better" was not in their DNA. Rather, Apple strove to set the pace. For the last 10 years they have been very successful doing just this.

    Occasionally, they hit the mark again (AirPods, in my opinion are a game changer) but for the most part, they are missing. Butterfly keyboard, case in point.

    And when the after sales service doesn't treat you like an 'Apple' customer (In my house we have 3 x Mac's, 3 x iPads, 2 x Apple TV, 4 active iPhone's (and a number of inactive ones including a 3GS), 1 x Apple Watch, 2 x Airpods, 3 x iPods, hell I even pay monthly for family Apple Music and additional iCloud storage!) you start to question your brand loyalty.

    I can feel like some schmo that dropped $3.5k on a computer anywhere. Thats not why I choose Apple.
     
  16. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #16
    You should never have a brand loyalty, just get whichever solution works for you at whichever time. Often Apple do make products which work well and are worthwhile, but you shouldn't buy it out of loyalty. Apple are fallible and make the odd dud of a device, or make something too expensive to be justifiably good value. Now they charge a fair price, but you can make stuff slightly cheaper with lesser components and people will be just as happy, that's the balance of industrial design after all. Anyway hopefully you'll get your computer back soon and all will be good, in the mean time there'll be plenty of people here to share negativity and provide comfort for when you just want to scream.
     
  17. 537635 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #17
    I don't want to sound rude, but this is not a philosophical debate. OP has a factual problem, where one of the keys on his keyboard got stuck, which I agree may or may not be due to a design error with these laptops.

    Still it his quite suspicious that after a design change (!) a certain component starts to exhibit problems. At least judging by the sheer number of complaints here.

    Furthermore the problem (except for completely stuck keys) is more related to power users - those who type a lot, those who type fast, those who move a lot, especially outside (dust), those who run software which taxes the devices thermally.

    Of you use a $3500 device predominantly for light activities, scrolling and watching and listening, you might be perfectly happy.


    But if this is a workhorse, then I'm willing to bet that a majority of devices will exhibit these stuck key problems to some extent and it is only up to individuals whether they accept these problems and move on. Personally I don't have problems with an occasional scratch or a dead pixel or a hinge sound on a new device here and there. It sucks but it is not important.

    But buying a $3500 laptop and having a keyboard which works ununiformly, is loud, causes errors as I type, prevents me from working when the machine is warm - now that's a dealbreaker.

    And keep in mind, I went through 3 brand new topcases already. Same thing happens every single time. Sure, might be a coincidence...
     
  18. ApeBot thread starter macrumors newbie

    ApeBot

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    Sydney
    #18
    Hello All,

    Update: I did get a call this morning from Apple to say that they had just started on my machine and I should get a call in the next 48 hours letting me know that its ready. The call came EXACTLY 5 days after dropping the laptop off, so going by the notes on my Work Authorization Form, they at least held up their side of the agreement in that they gave me a call back in 5 days - only it was to tell me that they had not touched my machine yet.

    Looking at this in the cold hard light of day, there are two distinct issues;

    1. What is an acceptable time for a warranty repair?
    I guess there are many variables at play here. Is it a major or minor issue, is shipping required, are there available parts in stock etc. Were I told that the repair would take 7 to 10 days, I probably would've been OK with that. Any longer and I would start to raise an eyebrow. But the fact remains that I was told it was going to be closer to 3 days and now its looking like 7. And furthermore, there has been little by way of empathy or apology. A simple "Hey, its unfortunate that the key locked up, but we are doing our best to get you back online" would've sufficed. Instead, I get the feeling I am being treated more like a sucker than a customer.
    2. Is there a design fault in the original butterfly keyboards that Apple needs to address?
    The more research I do on this, the more I find that this is a far too common problem (although affecting different keys). And, as mentioned in previous posts on this thread, its happened to many users more than once. When I get the machine back, I am going to be "typing" on eggshells just waiting for the problem to re-appear. God willing, it does not - but what if it does? Am I out for another 7 days? And then what happens when it re-appears out of warranty? It is the keyboard!! I can get by with a port failing, a dead pixel, even no sound - but a dead key or keys is game over. And a $500+ repair bill for a dead key is UNACCEPTABLE.
    I think we need to understand the scale of the problem. Maybe a #keygatemetoo hashtag or something.




     
  19. Larik macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2018
    #19
    It is absolutely insane that such an expensive computer can be so fragile. For people like me (light users) one of the main selling points of the mac is that it just works. You don't have to know anything about computers and you can trust it to work smoothly for years without any random breakdowns. But now, whats the point? Without the reliability its just any other PC.
     
  20. maflynn, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #20
    I can't say other then when I had work quoted for my laptop, way back in the day. I was given a 2 week turn around time frame, and so far your repair is not far off from that. I will be honest, I've not read through the entire thread, but I will say that number of repairs in front of you will determine how quickly you get your machine back, i.e., how far back in the line are you (and how large is that line).

    Yes, I'm of the opinion that the keyboard's design is inherently faulty. I've been in many threads that people who have stated their keyboard is fine, so there must not be a design defect, or that I don't own the MBP so I'm not qualified to offer an opinion, but from my observations (completely unscientific), I think there is an issue. I go by the old addage, where there is smoke there is fire, and we're seeing enough smoke on this issue.

    OP, I do feel for you as you go through this trial in repairing what is a very expensive product. Hopefully the repair will solve the issue for you once and for all. Good luck
     
  21. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

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    Bedfordshire, England
    #21
    Typing on eggshells indeed. Your confidence in the product is destroyed, understandably, and it's hard to see you being happy with it again. When that happens to me with a car I look to write off my losses and move on to another model. A car, a computer, you just want to use it, not nurse the darned thing in fear of it conking out.
     
  22. Frankfurt macrumors 6502

    Frankfurt

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    Dec 4, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    Mine has yet to develop an issue (2017 15" bought in July 2017). Having said that I am not a "power user", i.e. my CPU won't run hot with the work I do and I only use the MBP keyboard 3 out of 10 hours a day (using external keyboard otherwise).

    From what I have read I am convinced the keyboard's design is indeed compromised when exposed regularly to debris/dust and frequent heat/cooling cycles. It just does not hold up. I am sure Apple is aware and increased warranty repairs are hurting also their profits. That probably was calculated into the AC+ fee increase...

    I would expect a much bigger uproar once those 2016/17 models are out of warranty and consumers actually have to pay the $700 top case replacement out of pocket. That may very well lead to a class action suit or recall/repair program at that time.

    In the meantime I am hoping mine holds up....
     
  23. muasachi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #23
    You're not alone, man.

    I sent mine for the "KeyGate" issue to Apple Service Provider near my place in Thailand.
    It's been 12 days now, and I still have no idea when will I meet my 3,000$ laptop again.
    The first time was display replacement, and it was 11 days of waiting.

    My MBP is 1 year 1 month old. Basically I wasted almost 1 month for repairing already.
    Luckily I bought AppleCare

    :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(
     
  24. coolX macrumors member

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    Apr 19, 2016
    #24
    My advice? Sell the machine the moment you get it back. Buy a dell xps and wait until apple fixes the keyboard.
     
  25. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #25
    I'd replace that with ThinkPad, but the sentiment is the same. Two things for the OP..

    A common practice here is when you take yours in for service you buy a replacement. You have two weeks to return it without any cost to you.... when I took mine in earlier last year they took a week to do a top case replacement, but I bought a Macbook to use in the meantime and returned it a week later. That way you aren't without a computer.
     

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