In the news we have seen various reports about the Apple macbook keyboard issues. Apple’s new keyboard design, introduced in the 2017 models, called a butterfly design fails with some users. Apple has put out a statement that the issue only occurs with a few customers and overal it is working great. After a very disappointing visit to an Apple reseller today I decided to share thoughts.
First lets show you some articles about the issue.
Somewhere in May 2018 I got my current macbook, a 12inch Retina macbook, 2017 model. I noticed that the keyboard was acting strange instantly but thought at that time it was me getting used to the butterflies.
The issues grew as time went by and by the time I first contacted Apple the spacebar had to be pushed with force otherwise sentences would look like a lettre soup. The return key and one of the Shift keys were also showing the same issues. lots of pressure and they might give in but often you’re stuck with frustration.
September 2018 – 1st repair
As the issues made the macbook unworkable I opened a support case. Macbook is send off and after about two to three weeks it was returned. case had been replaced. While they repaired to top case they found more issue and replace the screen as well. I also had to wait a few minutes before the screen was active when opening the lid. So the macbook came back and I thought that would been the closure of the case.
October 2018 – 2nd repair
Almost the day the macbook was back I noticed the issue was not gone. Strange as it sounds, as the whole topcase was replaced, but it felt like the same thing all over. Several keys kept acting up, not the spacebar this time but some random keys. The “S” key was notorious and while I typed papers I had to reread every sentence to see if I missed characters.
Apple Care or as I tend to call them Apple NoCare are always hiding behind procedures. The only solution they can think of is to send you to a service store and wait for two weeks to get it repaired. So that’s what I did, back at the service store, back to waiting two weeks… and oh wait I was still employed and this was my working device.
So somewhere in November, after my travel for work where done, I brought my macbook in for yet another repair. I got it back somewhere around the 10th of December.
March 2019 – 3rd repair
For a couple of months it looked like everything worked fine. That feeling ended somewhere in March as again the return key and some random key would just get locked. The return key was situated deeper in the keyboard than the other keys. The “D” was acting up, had to hit it on the top side to get a print. The short video will show the issue.
So another repair, number three. I brought it to the store March 29nd and got it back around the 6th (not so bad but still it was gone.)
My trust in my macbook has sunken to 0%, it is back and I have to work with it. every little thing I feel while typing makes me feel the issue is there again. I had one key stuck on day one, popped-up a bit later so just going to pretend that didn’t happen.
Then, on Monday, my manager, teamleader, boss (don’t know what to call him) wanted to have a chat. We do that often as we both work remotely. So launch Slack, press call icon and go – Turns out, he can’t hear me (must have switched something off I thought). I frantically search for settings but everything is switched on, enabled and still he can’t hear me.
So we move to GoTo Meeting, perhaps Slack is acting up again. I can hear him but he can’t hear me. We chat by using our phones and I go on testing my macbook issues.
I noticed that my microphone is not working. I went to get a headset with a microphone and test with that. As you can see in the video when I plug in the headset it works, without it doesn’t. Case closed I would say.
Current status is that my macbook is not functional. If I can’t use a microphone the damn thing is useless. And before you judge me on not wanting the use the headset, I have hearing aids, a headset is not designed for hearing aids. The sound comes out at the wrong level (for people with open ears, mine are closed because of the hearing aids, sound should go in from the top).
I went to the service store again today. Apple support told me to go there and that they would diagnose on the spot and write a note that it is a hardware issue so I could get a replacement macbook from Apple. I questioned this on the phone already but he was certain that they do this.
Reality often is different as we all know, I experienced that today. At the service store they were baffled by my question and that Apple support thought they would do such a thing. Would take a week or two to get it diagnosed. A week or two again? I went home with my macbook, beaten, done, disappointed in Apple.
I always thought that Apple was a brand with high quality products, with customer happiness coming first. When I still was using Windows devices I looked at Apple as that kind of company, high quality, good products.
Today Apple seems to have slipped away from that high quality company and their support is stuck behind procedures and manager having to make decisions. Their default answer is to go to the store and let is diagnosed. They seem to forget that this is a computer device we work on, not a pair of socks I can replace.
My advice right now would be, don’t buy an Apple. Go for something different as they keyboard design is still the same and support… well they could try harder I would say.
So that’s my story, a year with a macbook, a year of frustration, numerous calls, chats with Apple support, service stores and so on. In the end I’m left with the broken glass (so to say). apple hides behind procedures. I’m looking at legal options – need to consult some friends with knowledge – as this has gone to far. I sincerely hope you will never have to experience this.