Disgruntled MacBook Pro users petition Apple to recall defective keyboards

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited May 3
A new petition created by a beleaguered MacBook Pro owner calls on Apple to recall versions of the laptop that incorporate a butterfly mechanism keyboard, a design that some view as inherently flawed.

Apple MacBook Pro Butterfly Keyboard


Created by Matthew Taylor on Wednesday, the Change.org petition asks for Apple to voluntarily recall and repair all MacBook Pro models released since late 2016.

Taylor is not simply asking for replacement keyboards, but instead an entirely new design not prone to constant failures suffered by some owners. Since the 2016 MacBook Pro launched, a number of users have complained of failed, unreliable and unresponsive keys, a critical flaw for a laptop boasting an integrated, hard-to-replace keyboard.

AppleInsider brought attention to the issue earlier this week, offering hard data on failure rates gleaned from service information collected from Apple Genius Bars and authorized repair outlets.

When comparing data from 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 MacBook Pros -- not including Touch Bar related problems -- the 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard fails twice as often as previous models. The 2017 version currently fares a bit better, but a full dataset for that model is unavailable as it has only been on the market for 11 months.

Aside from the frustration associated with an unreliable keyboard, cost of repair is a serious concern.

Apple's MacBook Pro design so tightly integrates components with the chassis that if a switch fails and the keyboard needs to be replaced, the keyboard, battery, and upper metal case all need to be swapped together. We have seen out-of-warranty repair bills reach upwards of $700 for this type of repair, all for a simple broken key.

At the time of press, the petition has amassed over 1,000 signatures.
airnerd
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    vukasikavukasika Posts: 51member
    Sniff, sniff.... I smell butthurt
  • Reply 2 of 79
    Legit issue. What genius decided to integrate the keyboard with the top case? My wife’s kb is almost unusable due to intermittent key presses.
    mike54irelandmuthuk_vanalingamolssuperklotonasdasdbrian greenairnerddysamoriastanhope
  • Reply 3 of 79
    mike54mike54 Posts: 213member
    If Apple wants to make the components inaccessible for effective repair, they have at a min design/manufacture those with no flaws, else Apple has to cough up for a recall. If they cannot replace the keyboard then give customers whole new laptops. It can't be all strawberries and cream getting excited over the revenue figures the last quarter.

    However, I split coffee on my HP Chromebook, rendering many keys inoperative, and the keys are inaccessible, and the whole top including the trackpad needs to be replaced as whole unit. Needless to say, its not worth it. What a waste. And these companies have the audacity to tout their green credentials.
    entropysmuthuk_vanalingampentaetyler82olssuperklotonbrian greenairnerddysamoriaaylk
  • Reply 4 of 79
    irelandireland Posts: 17,207member
    vukasika said:
    Sniff, sniff.... I smell butthurt
    It’s called angry, motivated customers. Rest assured, only loyal Mac users would start such a petition. If they didn’t care they’d ditch the Mac and move on.
    anantksundaramentropysbaconstangMplsPmuthuk_vanalingamtyler82olsrevenantsuperklotonmike54
  • Reply 5 of 79
    mindwavesmindwaves Posts: 42member
    I'm not really sure as to why/how a keyboard will fail that would require a replacement keyboard. I own two Macs with the butterfly 2 keyboards and I am definitely not a fan, but they are usable. One of my keys didn't really work only after a few months but a few blows of can air did the trick. I have to admit that I was worried as just prying off the keys using a pocket knife wasn't an option with these keys.
    apmillerravnorodomairnerd
  • Reply 6 of 79
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 369member

    ...how many even really like the new keyboard (of COURSE there will be some) ? There is no stand alone to match, or with even the most basic backlighting option (really?), and my guess is the cost of the touchbar that macbook pro users are ransomed to pay for would never cut it in a stand alone - even the iMac Pro didn't get it...? What would such a keyboard retail at ? $400+ ?

    Everything onboard - has Apple saddled pro users with this - current management does a lot that is great, but the designs just do not work (for me) any more - even the mini is locked down on ram - really? I mean really ??? Throw away design, especially for entry level which may be starting tight on budget - 'sustainability'...?

    Please give us macs we can actually effectively repair, adapt for OUR often changing needs, and options to vary the cost, configuration, and to SERVE users, vs restricting so much...

    Pro tower - highly proprietary and another admitted misjudgement...

    And then there are the dongles, oh my goodness... The TB3>TB adapter is a favourite which should support Mini DiplayPort to even meet the base spec does not, and so the ONLY monitor I could not get working at the launch of the 2016 macbook pro was Apple's own 27" LED Cinema Display... Wow.

    ...the only mac I might be tempted with now would be the iMac, yet even that has lost the ability to change the vesa mount (yes long ago, yet another post Jobs judgement) and target display, two features I still use clinging to hardware that is adaptable, and compatible with more than the latest beta OS forced on those who pay the ultimate price in so many ways... 

    Yet with profits up, will Apple just keep boiling the frogs...?

    Rant out.

    edited May 3 apmillerbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingampentaesuperklotonmike54brian greenairnerddysamoriaaylk
  • Reply 7 of 79
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,122member
    I own the late 2017 MBP with touchbar.  I have zero problems so far.  It spends most of its time attached to an external monitor and keyboard,  but if they are as failure-prone as people are claiming, then it is and should be a concern for us all as well as Apple.

    I’m curious what Apple will make of this.  I’m sure they have hard data of what’s going on, and perhaps already engineered a fix for future models.  

    I love mine mine and I certainly don’t want it to fail one month after my AppleCare warranty expires, then again that will be in late 2020 so who knows.
    GeorgeBMacstevenoz
  • Reply 8 of 79
    FormerAppleAmbassadorFormerAppleAmbassador Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I have taken my MacBook Pro in 3 times for keyboard issues and looks like the 4th time is not far away. Tim Cook is such a joke. He doesn't care about the end user. Only his $$$$$$$$
    mike54airnerdelijahg
  • Reply 9 of 79
    seankillseankill Posts: 356member
    Over here on my mid-2012 keyboard. Best keyboard ever...... EVER. The new ones suck just to type on, tried them at the store. It’ll be interesting to see how big the keyboard issue gets. 
    irelandairnerdstevenozdysamoria
  • Reply 10 of 79
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,099member
    Imagine how many more macs could have been sold if Apple had kept internals up to date in all models, didn’t have an off putting keyboard, and allowed users to replace ram and hard drives.
    and charged competitive prices.

    edit: none of the above would have been hard.
    edited May 3 mike54brian greenairnerdelijahgd_2freethinkingstevenozdysamoriaaylk
  • Reply 11 of 79
    anomeanome Posts: 987member

    Are there really that many failures that make a recall reasonable action? It's not just people who are upset with the keyboard, it's the actual number of failures as a percentage of shipped units, taking into account safety issues etc (minimal in the case of a keyboard failure, a bit more significant in a battery problem).

    When the keyboard came out, a lot of people didn't like it, some without even using it. Can we filter out the noise of people who were predisposed to hate the keyboard from the people with genuine problems, to see if the petition has any merits? I'm sure a lot of people have signed the petition because they just don't like the keyboard, and want to force Apple to replace it.

    Put simply, the number of people with genuine mechanical problems are the only thing to consider when issuing a recall. The people complaining that they don't like it (for whatever reason) is why you contemplate updating the design for the next model.

    Also, a recall with a redesigned keyboard might prove tricky. The tolerances may not be enough to make much of a difference to the design. Maybe they can fix the problem with dust getting in, but any replacement is probably going to use a similar mechanism, or else it won't fit in the box

    racerhomie3
  • Reply 12 of 79
    VinceRVinceR Posts: 3member
    I bought a new MacBook Pro last year and took it back after a few days, all because of the Mickey Mouse keyboard that sounds like a passenger train clickety-clack down the track when touch typing, annoying my clients. How can you use that piece of trash in a library or quiet setting? My 2011 MBPro has a beatiful keyboard. Get real, Apple! You have no right to call it a “Pro” machine with that kindergarden Mattel keyboard. 
    muthuk_vanalingamirelandmike54elijahgdysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 79
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,022member
    anome said:

    [...] Put simply, the number of people with genuine mechanical problems are the only thing to consider when issuing a recall.

    Apple's failure figures may not be accurate, either. The keyboard in my 2016 15" MBP TB has become unusable three times, but each time I've fixed it myself because the wait for a Genius Bar appointment is over a week around here. That means Apple doesn't know that I'm having problems. I don't know if there are many others like me, but if so, it could make the issue look less widespread than it actually is.
    muthuk_vanalingamretrogustoirelandmike54airnerdelijahgd_2dysamoriadws-2
  • Reply 14 of 79
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,122member
    anome said:

    Are there really that many failures that make a recall reasonable action? It's not just people who are upset with the keyboard, it's the actual number of failures as a percentage of shipped units, taking into account safety issues etc (minimal in the case of a keyboard failure, a bit more significant in a battery problem).

    When the keyboard came out, a lot of people didn't like it, some without even using it. Can we filter out the noise of people who were predisposed to hate the keyboard from the people with genuine problems, to see if the petition has any merits? I'm sure a lot of people have signed the petition because they just don't like the keyboard, and want to force Apple to replace it.

    Put simply, the number of people with genuine mechanical problems are the only thing to consider when issuing a recall. The people complaining that they don't like it (for whatever reason) is why you contemplate updating the design for the next model.

    Also, a recall with a redesigned keyboard might prove tricky. The tolerances may not be enough to make much of a difference to the design. Maybe they can fix the problem with dust getting in, but any replacement is probably going to use a similar mechanism, or else it won't fit in the box

    There's a lot of keyboard haters here, including seem questionable users as well.  I suspect most of the static is coming from people that haven't really even used it.  I and others have zero issues with using it.  I don't even "hear" the clicks anymore after the first day of using it.  

    That doesn't mean there's not a problem.  I wish the haters that are spouting-off nonsense would just shut up and move on.  They are polluting the thread as usual.  The subject though is cause for concern.  I want to think that Apple has put the R&D into testing these new keyboards before putting them out to the masses.  There have been times where Apple knew it screwed up, and at least during those times they fessed up, admitted the problem, and helped affected uses.  If this is a genuine problem then I hope Apple does the right thing and fixes the design and helps current users.  These MBP's are not cheap and one reason we buy them is because of their durability.  I myself would be seriously upset if a failed key results in a $700 repair, and fixed with the same flawed design.
  • Reply 15 of 79
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 256member
    I have taken my MacBook Pro in 3 times for keyboard issues and looks like the 4th time is not far away. Tim Cook is such a joke. He doesn't care about the end user. Only his $$$$$$$$
    As a guy who had 3-4 MacBook Pro replaced over the years. My suggestion is keep calling Apple to complain. Be nice, always ask for senior tech for help. Also, you must buy AppleCare.  
    bb-15racerhomie3GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 16 of 79
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 489member
    viclauyyc said:
    I have taken my MacBook Pro in 3 times for keyboard issues and looks like the 4th time is not far away. Tim Cook is such a joke. He doesn't care about the end user. Only his $$$$$$$$
    As a guy who had 3-4 MacBook Pro replaced over the years. My suggestion is keep calling Apple to complain. Be nice, always ask for senior tech for help. Also, you must buy AppleCare.  
    When I pay over $2000 for a premium/pro laptop, I expect that the keyboard will last longer than a year or two. That's part of the reason I'm willing to pay more for Apple products - quality. I have a 2011 MacBook Air that I have had zero problems with except for replacing the battery. Why should I have to fork out extra money for Apple care because of a design problem?

    I got a 15" 2017 MacBook Pro several months ago, and I'm not crazy about the keyboard, but find it perfectly usable, so no, I'm not a hater that just does't like the new keyboard design; I just expect Apple to deliver on the quality they promise.
    muthuk_vanalingamexsangusirelandmike54GeorgeBMacmazda 3sdysamoriadws-2
  • Reply 17 of 79
    mpschaefermpschaefer Posts: 23member
    I believe that if people think there is an issue then they are free to lobby the manufacturer, no matter who they are, to fix the problem.

    In my case, I held off my purchase as long as I could as I was concerned about the keyboard based on what I was reading online. I was like many in that I tried the keyboard in the store and thought it was the worst thing I have ever used and just couldn't see myself using it at all.

    I ended up making the purchase, more due to my employer moving to provide Macs rather than the BYOD approach and my hating the specs that they picked for the machines.

    I've had mine a few months now and is the keyboard louder than the old one? Yes.

    I decided to put a keyboard protector on as soon as I bought it to keep any crumbs etc (I have a very bad habit eating over my machine) out of the mechanism from day one.

    The keyboard takes some getting used to and I would say it will always be louder than I like but it is not as loud as it was when I tried it in store. There is also something to be said that once you get used to it you reduce the amount of force you use when belting the keys as you type. In fact, this might be the first keyboard which I haven't simply continued to use like the old mechanical typewriter I used in High School.
    muthuk_vanalingamsuperkloton
  • Reply 18 of 79
    wandersowanderso Posts: 37member
    If out of warranty and replacement isn't an option, it seems that some will end up carrying around Bluetooth keyboards vs $700 to fix.  So much for portability if that happens. :)

    Any who who aren't happy and want to sell for the equivalent price of a Mac Mini, I'll gladly buy it and reuse it for a speedy "desktop" machine, using with an external monitor and keyboard. 

    Best wishes though that a solution is worked por for those facing a problem. In the past, Apple has extended warranties for issues like this. 


  • Reply 19 of 79
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,083member
    vukasika said:
    Sniff, sniff.... I smell butthurt
    It’s a real thing. 
    muthuk_vanalingamsuperklotonelijahgdysamoria
  • Reply 20 of 79
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,771member
    sflocal said:
    anome said:

    Are there really that many failures that make a recall reasonable action? It's not just people who are upset with the keyboard, it's the actual number of failures as a percentage of shipped units, taking into account safety issues etc (minimal in the case of a keyboard failure, a bit more significant in a battery problem).

    When the keyboard came out, a lot of people didn't like it, some without even using it. Can we filter out the noise of people who were predisposed to hate the keyboard from the people with genuine problems, to see if the petition has any merits? I'm sure a lot of people have signed the petition because they just don't like the keyboard, and want to force Apple to replace it.

    Put simply, the number of people with genuine mechanical problems are the only thing to consider when issuing a recall. The people complaining that they don't like it (for whatever reason) is why you contemplate updating the design for the next model.

    Also, a recall with a redesigned keyboard might prove tricky. The tolerances may not be enough to make much of a difference to the design. Maybe they can fix the problem with dust getting in, but any replacement is probably going to use a similar mechanism, or else it won't fit in the box

    There's a lot of keyboard haters here, including seem questionable users as well.  I suspect most of the static is coming from people that haven't really even used it.  I and others have zero issues with using it.  I don't even "hear" the clicks anymore after the first day of using it.  

    That doesn't mean there's not a problem.  I wish the haters that are spouting-off nonsense would just shut up and move on.  They are polluting the thread as usual.  The subject though is cause for concern.  I want to think that Apple has put the R&D into testing these new keyboards before putting them out to the masses.  There have been times where Apple knew it screwed up, and at least during those times they fessed up, admitted the problem, and helped affected uses.  If this is a genuine problem then I hope Apple does the right thing and fixes the design and helps current users.  These MBP's are not cheap and one reason we buy them is because of their durability.  I myself would be seriously upset if a failed key results in a $700 repair, and fixed with the same flawed design.

    Yeah, that’s the problem. Once you strip out the Apple haters, the “I need more memory” crowd and the rest of the pet hate brigade then you wonder if this keyboard is really failing more than it should. 

    I always find find it weird that I never see these problems that fill the internet, but surely all these people can’t be lying, can they?
     
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