Loose keys on MacBook Pro...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vantage Point, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    This is a bit of a rant about how Apple handled a problem about loose keys on my MBP. I bought my 15” MBP about 3 months ago and within a few days the keys started falling off when I typed - yes, my hands were and always are clean and not sticky when I touch my computers. No biggie as I was able to just snap the key back on. However, it turned out to be an ongoing problem, not a serious problem but more of an annoyance in that about once a week a key would pop off - not the same key. I simply considered this annoyance something that I would get around to calling Apple about to have fixed and earlier this week when it popped off while typing typing I said enough was enough so I called Apple.

    The Apple representative was very nice and said that since it was more than one key he would send me out a replacement keyboard. I just had to give them my credit card and return the old one within 7 days so as not to be charged. I was fine with all that and they sent out the replacement part but it was the wrong part. So I called them back to sort this out. For a moment I was optimistic since the rep asked to put me on hold and said to hold my breath as he might have a solution I would like. I asked if that might be a replacement to a new 2011 base 15”. He said, maybe but just hold and let me see what I can do. I joked with him about how I might lose my 8Gb of RAM since I upgraded the RAM and that the replacement would be only 4Gb - but I could live with that.

    Then, after being on hold for about 5-6 minutes the rep came back and the first thing he said was, I hope you still have that sense of humor. He tried but they would not replace it and instead told me that my only recourse is to go to the Genius Bar at my local Apple store and have them fix it. Okay, so no new MBP. I can live with that. So he made an appointment for me at the store and I went in today. I explained the situation and said the problem may not be reproducible as it happens about once/week or so. At first he couldn’t see the problem but after a minute or two of typing the ‘V’ key popped off. He said, okay this is real. Wait here a moment and he went in the back - no I didn’t think he was coming out with a box with a shiny new MBP but hoped he would return with a solution like - give me a few hours and we’ll replace the keyboard.

    Anyway, he came back and said that they think the base might be defective and they want to replace the entire bottom of the unibody but can’t do it there - rats, as I typed this a key popped off again. We will need to send it out and you’ll get it back in 7 - 10 days tops. I said this is my only computer and I need and use it daily. I can’t part with it for that long and there is no foreseeable time when I could, is there another solution. Basically, he said that is the only thing they can do. This is unacceptable and they said try calling the 800 number to see about a replacement. Well, after he put it in the system to document the problem, I returned home and called up Apple and they basically said the same thing except they told me to try the store for a replacement and I said they told me to call you.

    The thing is I can’t part with it that long and with loose keys I can’t sell it. 3-4 months ago I did have two computers, a 27” iMac and a 13” MBP. The last month of the iMac had it crashing about once/day. AC had me try everything form repairing permissions, reloading software, reloading Snow Leopard and then finally wiping the drive completely. It was a horrible month and in the end I just sold both computers to get a 15” MBP since I never really loved the iMac as it hurt my eyes.

    So that is it. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to be complete. Bottom line is I have a random problem that can only be fixed if I go without a computer for a week or more which is just not possible. Silly me as I assumed that having a Apple store nearby would mean that my worst problem would be to leave it there overnight for a repair. Aside from this once or twice a week annoyance the resale value is crap unless I go without a computer or buy another one. Who wants a computer with a bad keyboard.

    The above is more of a rant than anything else but it really sticks in my craw. I expected more from Apple. The sad thing is that I have had more problem with my Macs in the past year since switching from a PC than I had in the last 10 years. I still love my MBP but would have liked faster service or a replacement - I have read about them replacing it unit for this problem :(
     
  2. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #2
    You want to be even more annoyed? it seems to be a common problem in the 2010's.

    Mine isn't near as bad as yours but I had the escape key pop off after a cat walked over it (a cat's weight shouldn't be that traumatic to a keyboard) and one of hte function keys popped off after... well I don't know. I come home, the key had popped off. And was broken so you couldn't pop it back on again (had to get Apple to fix it under warranty).

    I haven't had further issues to be honest but since I only use my laptop as a laptop maybe once a week (most of the time it's plugged into a monitor and a separate keyboard) I don't get much chances to have much issues with it.

    And I know at the time when that key popped off I had found a thread talking about this issue happening with MBPs (particularly 2010 ones).
     
  3. Vantage Point thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    had to get Apple to fix it under warranty

    So did they have to send yours out for about 7 days to replace the bottom or was it a fix at a Genius Bar? One of the many reasons why I made the move to Apple was that there is a local Apple store so I figured service would be fast or they could order a part and call me in when it arrives. The 7 - 10 day down time with a local outlet nearby was very disheartening :(

    You want to be even more annoyed? it seems to be a common problem in the 2010's.

    Yeah, that does make me more annoyed. I spoke with 4 different people in service, every one of them had me wait or put on hold so speak with someone about what to do after they understood the problem. The 'genius' today went to the back not once but twice to speak with someone with the cure. It was to have the bottom replaced - this implies he knew exactly what the problem was since it is a known issue. I think after my five minute rant about how impossible that is for me, and, is that the only option? And, the guy on the phone implied that they might replace it. I think after that they would have just make it right. Yeah, they knew, and know it all makes sense (or should I say cents , as in dollars and cents).

    I think for now I'll just keep track of the keys that pop off and is it the same 3 or 4 all the time I may find a way to make them stick. In the old days it was a dap of Elmers glue.
     
  4. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #4
    this does suck i wonder can you have them send you the base and do the swap yourself? since they sent you out a new keyboard
     
  5. Vantage Point thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    That would work for me. However, it seems that now that it has been officially inspected the part needed must be replaced by trained techs else I would think that they could send the part to the store and have their technicians in the back replace it while I wait or overnight. I had always assumed that would be the worst case scenario for ay repair, bring it in and if it needs a part they don't stock they'll order it and call me in it arrives.

    I am in the system and they gave me a copy of the report so when/if I can send it in they do not ned to diagnose it again. I have a until the end of the my one-year warranty to do this - nine more months unless I spring for Apple Care.

    This is what the official report they gave me states:
    "When typing some keys were popping off. Easy typing was being done on the computer, no force to the keys.
    Proposed Resolution: Send computer for replacement of top casing for popping out keys. Random keys will pop off like V, A, S some of the Punctuation keys as well"
     
  6. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #6
    That sucks i was hoping they could just allow you to do the repair yourself. I mean the only other way is order the parts yourself while this sucks and is not fair it seems like the only way to get it done right away.

    Apple should start doing a loaner service like car dealerships have regular refurbs a year or two old people can use for a bit while there computers are in for repair and you have your card on file so your liable for damage.
     
  7. Vantage Point, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011

    Vantage Point thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
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    New Jersey
    #7
    I just found this thread form January about the same problem and the same solution - replace top casing. Interesting that in this thread the 'genius' commented that he should get an external keyboard to use. My 'genius' said exactly the same thing. I do own a Apple wireless keyboard and magic trackpad to use with my external monitor but it seems rediculuos to use a keyboard with a laptop. Also, that was the 'wrong' replacement part, wireless keyboard, that Apple sent me earlier in the week - which I already returned. I couldn't keep it since they charged me credit card for the part but do not bill it if I return the defective part within 7 days.

    So this is definitely a known issue along with the solution. I guess it is not serious enough to just do a swap, nor a universal problem. Of course when it happens to you it is a problem. I guess in hindsight I should have griped about it the first time it happened - within a few days of receiving it. But I just popped the key back in and when it happened a 3rd time with different keys I know it was a real problem but was in no rush to get it fixed since I 'falsely' assumed that I could just take it in when I had the time. I do admit that part of the reason why that I wanted to bring it in after the MBP refresh hoping that if it wasn't a simple fix that they would replace it with the latest model. The AC guy on the phone, when I tried again after returning form the store, asked, "did you buy from a authorized dealer". I said, Yes. Then he said, have them replace it. I said I can't do that after waiting a few months (and even if I could that would still take at least week to return and replace).
     
  8. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #8
    They have a 14 day return policy, no restocking fee. So, buy one to use while the replace yours, and then return it. Consider it a loaner. Sort of a dick thing to do maybe, but if you can't live without one while they are repairing it, then what else you gonna do?
     
  9. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #9
    They did have to have it, but only for a few days. They didn't replace the keyboard with mine (even though they were also replacing the trackpad at the same time), they just had to replace that key (it's thing it uses to connect to the keyboard was broken so you couldn't re-attach it).

    Actually, come to think of it, it was the trackpad why they even had it for a few days (and they said it would be shorter but they were backlogged at the time). But that is cause they happened to have the key in at the time.
     
  10. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #10
    I agree (even though that is what I do). You shouldn't *have to* use a seperate keyboard on your laptop. I do because I don't have enough space on my tiny desk to have two monitors so my laptop has to stay closed or it blocks my much bigger laptop and because, well, I prefer my full sized keyboard so I only rely on the laptop's when I have it on the go. But I do love the laptop's trackpad as much as I love my magic mouse (which says a lot cause usually I prefer a mouse to a trackpad).

    But point is the laptop's keyboard shouldn't be so fragile that the fix is to tell people just to use an external keyboard. How about designing the keyboard to be actually used?
     
  11. Vantage Point thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #11
    Temping, but I don't feel right about doing something like that. Plus, there might be some catch to the 14 day thing or with my luck I get a scratch and have to pay for it. I would be happy with a regular MB loaner.
     
  12. Vantage Point thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #12
    For a laptop that costs almost $2,000 this type of thing not only stinks but it is best not told to those looking for a target to trash Apple. I can't fault them too much since they are willing to make good but being down for about 7 days is just not something I can do and I wish there was another option - like a swap or get the part to the store and have them work their magic. But, those are simply not options :(:mad::(
     
  13. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    #13
    Why would Apple even send you a new keyboard for a 15" MBP to replace yourself? (For a warrantied item no less). They just don't do that.

    I guess I'm missing something.
     
  14. Vantage Point thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #14
    They screwed up. They sent me a wireless keyboard with paperwork stating it is a do-it-yourself part for the 15' MBP. I called to tell them about the part and the next guy said to send it back (return label included) and put me on hold suggesting the best thing is a replacement MBP (2011) but he said I can't promise. When he returned the official advice was to go to my local genius bar and have them replace the 'part'. You know the rest... But, it just seems like the first guy (total of 4) screwed up - but in the end that changed nothing. At least the problem is more a weekly annoyance than a daily one.
     

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