Apple to face class action over MacBook butterfly keyboard

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 56
    entropys said:
    wood1208 said:
    When Apple agreed to repair and extend keyboard warranty, class action law suit is immaterial. But, if this law suit continues than at most Apple might have to agree to repair more than current 4 years from the purchase date.
    Even pre 2015 Macbook Pro keyboard has kind of high keys. Butterfly keyboard has very low keys, There are users who like either or don't care. But, Magic keyboard seems likable by most.
    Yes, I am at a loss what they can claim compensation for? Free repairs? Oh, wait.
    I'll work on a charitable assumption that you're not being sarcastic and you honestly don't understand why this may matter.

    If all you use your laptop for is for appearance, then sure, perhaps it's no big deal: you can move over to some arbitrary laptop while your regular laptop is down.

    It's true, people aren't absolutely required to buy Apple laptops, they can also buy Apple desktop machines, too.  You may be thinking to yourself (like an idiot earlier in the thread) that nobody is bending your arm to buy an Apple laptop, get a Windows machine.  For a lot of things, that's valid, if you're wanting a cheaper system you can replace easily with another cheap system.

    However, Apple laptops don't cater to the cheap laptop-using crowd, and a MBP is certainly not a cheap machine: it's a tradeoff between being portable and powerful, and for those that have a reasonable need for that combination of things, a good buy, until it starts eating their time.

    "Nobody needs a Mac laptop!" someone may say.  What if they're doing MacOS/iOS/other Apple platform development?  Sure, they can still do it with another form factor Macintosh, but what if there's a valid reason to need it to be portable?  Anyone suggesting people carry around a non-laptop and calling it "portable" aren't serious.

    I live in the Seattle area and do developer support at a big tech company by day (and when doing on-call, weird hours of the morning on the weekend) and iOS development otherwise.  I'm not a graphic designer or anything like that: just a developer with lots of experience.  What do you think my time is worth per hour?

    I just bought a 2019 16" with maxed out GPU, 1 TB SSD, 64 GB RAM (I run virtual machines) to replace my 2016 15" MBP, largely due to the keyboard issue (though I've not had a fatal problem with mine, yet, but that's easily foreseeable) and not nearly as much RAM as desired, that's going away.

    If things went perfectly smoothly, I could get in and out of the nearest Apple Store in about an hour to drop off my laptop if it needed to be repaired, but then I'd need to disrupt my schedule to do that after regular work hours not only to drop it off, but to pick it up once it was fixed.  That's 2 hours alone right there.

    I have Parallels installed on my machine: that requires a per-machine machine-locked license.  If I am forced to spend time taking my laptop for repair, I also need to get a backup machine and switch over licensing for a short time for Parallels, or do without it.  It's common that such per-machine licensing schemes don't allow you to switch back and forth too often or for more than a fixed number of times, who wants to deal with getting into it with their Support?  What if you have other applications that also are licensed like this?

    What if you have someone's data on your machine that you're not allowed for legal or security reasons to have on a machine when you take it in for repairs?  All that costs you time, and time is money, quite a bit of money.

    There are legitimate business reasons to have a laptop that's sufficiently powerful, and being a consultant of some form is one of them: time is money.  Wasted time is wasted money and lost revenue, because you can never get that time back.

    That's why there's a reasonable justification for a lawsuit: these are machines that claim to be for professionals, but history has shown enough people have them out of commission for extended time periods for a cause that was readily avoided, and Apple should have reasonably figured out quicker than they did.  Sure, Apple has extended the "free repair" program longer than normal Apple Care, but that doesn't help users that otherwise treat their machines perfectly and have them go out of commission get their time back.
    muthuk_vanalingamcanukstormchemengin1anantksundaramMplsP
  • Reply 22 of 56
    Apple's voluntary repair program blunts most of the claim BUT these lawyers appear to be asking for a LOT more - like a recall and full refund. This isn't a defective Pinto that causes death or something so seems a bit much given Apple standing behind their product (and I've had issues with the butterfly keyboard unfortunately so am glad Apple made it easy to get a repair). I'm sure what the lawyers REALLY want is to be able to conduct discovery to see the extent of the issue knowing that Apple won't want to provide it. My personal opinion is that Apple has done the right thing and has done enough with its repair program to address the concern. Just greedy lawyers at this point...Apple gots the deep pockets.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 23 of 56
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,430member
    macmarcus said:
    Apple's voluntary repair program blunts most of the claim BUT these lawyers appear to be asking for a LOT more - like a recall and full refund. This isn't a defective Pinto that causes death or something so seems a bit much given Apple standing behind their product (and I've had issues with the butterfly keyboard unfortunately so am glad Apple made it easy to get a repair). I'm sure what the lawyers REALLY want is to be able to conduct discovery to see the extent of the issue knowing that Apple won't want to provide it. My personal opinion is that Apple has done the right thing and has done enough with its repair program to address the concern. Just greedy lawyers at this point...Apple gots the deep pockets.
    I don't think Apple's action has blunted the legal case that much. The article and a couple of posts cover aspects like keyboards being 'repaired' using components with the exact same supposed design problem, downtime, the limit of four years on the extended repair programme etc.

    I think you (and a couple of earlier posters) are very right in the potential impact of having to reveal internal communications on the issue. There may be some potentially explosive information in there. At the very least we will probably see Apple reveal the real numbers of affected users.

    However, class action suits are a very U.S thing and I have little knowledge of how they function beyond the obvious. For example, I don't know if Apple can keep its internal mails out of the public eye ot if an out of court settlement would bring things to an early end.

    If it turns out that a design flaw was admitted internally and subsequent actions limited their scope to mitigation without remedying the underlying causes, I think they will be in hot water, especially within the EU. UK law has a very clear stance on products being fit for use. Apple admitting to a design flaw would have far reaching consequences.
  • Reply 24 of 56
    As with others, I have an MBP with that keyboard and never the remotest hint of a problem and I type quite heavily. In fact, the keyboard has a lovely feel to it and I make far fewer errors than on other types of keyboard.
  • Reply 25 of 56
    uraharaurahara Posts: 674member
    wood1208 said:
    When Apple agreed to repair and extend keyboard warranty, class action law suit is immaterial. But, if this law suit continues than at most Apple might have to agree to repair more than current 4 years from the purchase date.
    Even pre 2015 Macbook Pro keyboard has kind of high keys. Butterfly keyboard has very low keys, There are users who like either or don't care. But, Magic keyboard seems likable by most.
    I LOVE my 2018 MBP's keyboard. I wish they did an external keyboard like this for my desktop station.
    edited December 2019
  • Reply 26 of 56
    What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah.. FUCKTARDS !!
  • Reply 27 of 56
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 693member
    Hope I am eligible to be part of this with my 2018 Macbook Air.  Literally since DAY freaking ONE the "O" key has been an issue.  Half the times I hit it there will be no response.  It is the only key that has this issue, the "P" key is just fine (so it's not an issue with how I'm typing).  I took it to the Southlake store, they took it in the back and brought it out later saying it was all fixed.  Not a thing changed. 


    I knew better than to buy a butterfly keyboard Mac but I did anyways.  Now I have to deal with hitting the "O" key twice to get it to actually register.  So if there is a lawsuit that will let me put my name down as a giant middle finger back to Apple, where do I sign up.  Would love to cash my $.83 check by endorsing with an "all fixed" memo.  
  • Reply 28 of 56
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,505member
    sflocal said:
    Oh jeez... here we go again... 

    disclaimer: owner of 2017 MBP with that keyboard and have had zero problems with it.
    Same here.  I have MBPs with both and can go between them and not even think about it.
  • Reply 29 of 56
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,505member
    ... If a butterfly flaps its wings in East Texas ...
    pscooter63
  • Reply 30 of 56
    entropys said:
    wood1208 said:
    When Apple agreed to repair and extend keyboard warranty, class action law suit is immaterial. 
    Yes, I am at a loss what they can claim compensation for? Free repairs? Oh, wait.
    Eh? That repair program didn't come into affect until butterflies had been out for at least two years. I got burned for $700.
  • Reply 31 of 56
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 983member
    Owned a lot of Apple products over the years (since before the Mac) and have never had a keyboard fail on me. My experience with Apple is that is when there is a problem with their products they make it right- that is one reason I buy things they make.

    Not a fan of many choices Apple has made like sealed batteries in keyboards, trackpads, laptops and cell phones, but nobody makes us buy them. When I have a choice (desktops and iPads) I generally buy Logitech keyboards which have served me well.

    Lawsuits should be a last resort and I have seen no evidence Apple has treated customers poorly. Tell the ambulance chasers- not in my name.
    edited December 2019
  • Reply 32 of 56
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,603member
    lkrupp said:
    The actual data says otherwise. The failure rate was within norms. As usual the internet amplifies the negative. The keyboards were not defective. That people detested them, constantly bitched about them, does not make them defective. These lawsuits benefit only the lawyers and that’s why they get filed. The plaintiffs claiming they were damaged by Apple will get diddly-squat as usual. They will NOT get the free 16” MBP they are expecting.
    The only actual data that exists are within the halls of Apple.  You have access to that data? If so, let's see it otherwise you're full of it.  The fact that Apple had to announce a 4-year keyboard replacement program for Mac laptops with the butterfly keyboard is proof enough of serious reliability issues.  If you can't accept that, that's your problem.
    chemengin1avon b7MplsP
  • Reply 33 of 56
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,603member
    entropys said:
    wood1208 said:
    When Apple agreed to repair and extend keyboard warranty, class action law suit is immaterial. But, if this law suit continues than at most Apple might have to agree to repair more than current 4 years from the purchase date.
    Even pre 2015 Macbook Pro keyboard has kind of high keys. Butterfly keyboard has very low keys, There are users who like either or don't care. But, Magic keyboard seems likable by most.
    Yes, I am at a loss what they can claim compensation for? Free repairs? Oh, wait.
    I'll work on a charitable assumption that you're not being sarcastic and you honestly don't understand why this may matter.

    If all you use your laptop for is for appearance, then sure, perhaps it's no big deal: you can move over to some arbitrary laptop while your regular laptop is down.

    It's true, people aren't absolutely required to buy Apple laptops, they can also buy Apple desktop machines, too.  You may be thinking to yourself (like an idiot earlier in the thread) that nobody is bending your arm to buy an Apple laptop, get a Windows machine.  For a lot of things, that's valid, if you're wanting a cheaper system you can replace easily with another cheap system.

    However, Apple laptops don't cater to the cheap laptop-using crowd, and a MBP is certainly not a cheap machine: it's a tradeoff between being portable and powerful, and for those that have a reasonable need for that combination of things, a good buy, until it starts eating their time.

    "Nobody needs a Mac laptop!" someone may say.  What if they're doing MacOS/iOS/other Apple platform development?  Sure, they can still do it with another form factor Macintosh, but what if there's a valid reason to need it to be portable?  Anyone suggesting people carry around a non-laptop and calling it "portable" aren't serious.

    I live in the Seattle area and do developer support at a big tech company by day (and when doing on-call, weird hours of the morning on the weekend) and iOS development otherwise.  I'm not a graphic designer or anything like that: just a developer with lots of experience.  What do you think my time is worth per hour?

    I just bought a 2019 16" with maxed out GPU, 1 TB SSD, 64 GB RAM (I run virtual machines) to replace my 2016 15" MBP, largely due to the keyboard issue (though I've not had a fatal problem with mine, yet, but that's easily foreseeable) and not nearly as much RAM as desired, that's going away.

    If things went perfectly smoothly, I could get in and out of the nearest Apple Store in about an hour to drop off my laptop if it needed to be repaired, but then I'd need to disrupt my schedule to do that after regular work hours not only to drop it off, but to pick it up once it was fixed.  That's 2 hours alone right there.

    I have Parallels installed on my machine: that requires a per-machine machine-locked license.  If I am forced to spend time taking my laptop for repair, I also need to get a backup machine and switch over licensing for a short time for Parallels, or do without it.  It's common that such per-machine licensing schemes don't allow you to switch back and forth too often or for more than a fixed number of times, who wants to deal with getting into it with their Support?  What if you have other applications that also are licensed like this?

    What if you have someone's data on your machine that you're not allowed for legal or security reasons to have on a machine when you take it in for repairs?  All that costs you time, and time is money, quite a bit of money.

    There are legitimate business reasons to have a laptop that's sufficiently powerful, and being a consultant of some form is one of them: time is money.  Wasted time is wasted money and lost revenue, because you can never get that time back.

    That's why there's a reasonable justification for a lawsuit: these are machines that claim to be for professionals, but history has shown enough people have them out of commission for extended time periods for a cause that was readily avoided, and Apple should have reasonably figured out quicker than they did.  Sure, Apple has extended the "free repair" program longer than normal Apple Care, but that doesn't help users that otherwise treat their machines perfectly and have them go out of commission get their time back.
    "That's why there's a reasonable justification for a lawsuit: these are machines that claim to be for professionals, but history has shown enough people have them out of commission for extended time periods for a cause that was readily avoided, and Apple should have reasonably figured out quicker than they did.  Sure, Apple has extended the "free repair" program longer than normal Apple Care, but that doesn't help users that otherwise treat their machines perfectly and have them go out of commission get their time back."

    100% this.  You reap what you sow.  I agree with this 9to5mac article.  This lawsuit deserves to succeed.

    https://9to5mac.com/2019/12/03/keyboard-class-action-lawsuit/
    anonconformistanantksundaram
  • Reply 34 of 56
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member
    Apple stopped using the faulty design do you people need more proof they sold a shoddy product?
  • Reply 35 of 56
    avon b7 said:

    If it turns out that a design flaw was admitted internally and subsequent actions limited their scope to mitigation without remedying the underlying causes, I think they will be in hot water, especially within the EU. UK law has a very clear stance on products being fit for use. Apple admitting to a design flaw would have far reaching consequences.
    It won't be that cut and dried.  I can easily imagine three results of discovery:

    1. There is no "smoking gun" whatsoever.  Not a single email or meeting minutes talking about whether the new design was less reliable.  Perhaps even test results showing the opposite.
    2. There are emails from key people saying "this new keyboard sucks. the failure rates are thru the root.  let's ship it anyway; people will have to replace their computers more often."
    3. Some data/emails showing that the butterfly keyboard has some issues that the earlier design didn't, but it also is better than the old design in other consumer-friendly ways.

    I'd be willing to bet that case 3 is what happens.  And some poor jury will be charged with figuring out whether a keyboard with a failure rate of x% is "defective."  To make up numbers here, if a company has an initial version of a products with a defect/failure rate of 5%, it's not illegal or immoral if their new version has a failure rate of 6%, is it?  But where is the line?  Knowingly releasing a product with a 50% failure rate is problematic, but what about 10%?  Or 5% or 1% if there are known ways to make them 99.9% reliable (at a cost of $ or features)?

    That's why we have a court system to thrash through these questions in entirely unsatisfying ways.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 36 of 56
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 818member
    spice-boy said:
    Apple stopped using the faulty design do you people need more proof they sold a shoddy product?
    Lol. Designs change all the time. 
    fastasleepMacPro
  • Reply 37 of 56
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 801member
    I have a 2013 MBP keyboard and it's wonderful! The trackpad is just the right size too!
    Yes, what’s up with the gigantic trackpads that’s Apple is now putting in their laptops. It’s ridiculous. The palms rest on the trackpad instead of on the aluminum top. 

    I looked at the 16” MacBook Pro at a store and left disgusted. I do not want it. It’s huge, heavy, and the trackpad is of the gargantuan size. 
    edited December 2019
  • Reply 38 of 56
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 801member
    airnerd said:
    Hope I am eligible to be part of this with my 2018 Macbook Air.  Literally since DAY freaking ONE the "O" key has been an issue.  Half the times I hit it there will be no response.  It is the only key that has this issue, the "P" key is just fine (so it's not an issue with how I'm typing).  I took it to the Southlake store, they took it in the back and brought it out later saying it was all fixed.  Not a thing changed. 


    I knew better than to buy a butterfly keyboard Mac but I did anyways.  Now I have to deal with hitting the "O" key twice to get it to actually register.  So if there is a lawsuit that will let me put my name down as a giant middle finger back to Apple, where do I sign up.  Would love to cash my $.83 check by endorsing with an "all fixed" memo.  
    I had the letter T repeat itself once or twice every time I pressed it. The Apple store fixed it by simply replacing that one key in front of me. I thought it was a bogus repair, but it fixed the problem. 

    I have another problem with the 2018 MacBook Air. When I plug it in, I can feel electric buzzing when I touch it. I took it to the Apple store, but they couldn’t feel the buzz. I later figure out that if you take your shoes off, you can feel the buzzing on the MacBook’s body when it is plugged in. If you wear your shoes, you can’t feel the buzz. Also, if you use the three-prong Apple extension cord instead of t two-prong plug with the power supply, there is no buzz. So, the ground wire in the three-prong extension cord directs the voltage into the ground. The Apple support told me it was normal behavior. Do you have this problem as well? 
  • Reply 39 of 56
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member
    JFC_PA said:
    spice-boy said:
    Apple stopped using the faulty design do you people need more proof they sold a shoddy product?
    Lol. Designs change all the time. 
    LOL sure but going back to a previous design replacing the "new and improved"  is not what design change is suppose to be, Apple realized their mistake and brought back the old version. 
  • Reply 40 of 56
    gw1gw1 Posts: 1member
    My MBP 2016 is a total sh!tbox with the keyboard problems, Bluetooth connection problems, and battery life issues. There are two class action lawsuits on my model alone. When I was an Apple Fanboy, I looked over these issues but I just can't any more. Apple tried to replace the keyboard and gave me back a computer that took 30 minutes for the OS to load and indicated the only way to repair was to wipe the disk. I refused to accept this and forced them to put the old keyboard back which restored performance immediately. That was a waste of 5 days and 3 unexpected hours at the Apple Store trying to convince them to provide some sort of customer service and deal with the issue. Don't tell me that I cannot eat around my computer, or that the issue only occurred on a small percentage of computers. Neither of these arguments help my situation and are not realistic. In the 27 years working as an IT Pro, I have never had so many problems with such an overpriced computer. I am not going to assume that Apple is doomed but forcing beta products on customers and not providing adequate support is unacceptable to me - hince the class action lawsuits.
    anantksundaram
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