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

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.

13inchmacbookprokeyboard
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.

scissor vs butterfly
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.

ifixitbutterflykeyboardteardown

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.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 14 & 16"
Related Forums: MacBook Pro, MacBook

Top Rated Comments

QCassidy352 Avatar
65 months ago
Just go back to the scissor mechanism. Please stop doubling down on what was an obvious and serious mistake.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pepe4life Avatar
65 months ago
One of the most disgraceful and biggest hardware f*** ups in apple’s history
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scooby_Snacks Avatar
65 months ago
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.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JustinRP37 Avatar
65 months ago
Maybe they will soon go to the dental method of scheduling you in 6-month intervals for keyboard servicing. "We are replacing the faulty keyboard with the exact same keyboard, would you like to schedule your 6-month keyboard swap today?"
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ActionableMango Avatar
65 months ago

You won't get this level of customer care from a Samsung, Dell or HP.
Samsung, Dell, and HP keyboards actually work in the first place.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
65 months ago
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 ('https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/07/13/the-2018-macbook-pro-keyboard-doesnt-seem-to-improve-reliability-and-thats-not-great'), 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/2018/10/apple-makes-the-most-reliable-laptops-while-microsoft-disappoints/


YMMV
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...