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.


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 the in-store shift for most keyboard repairs, but the company is highly regarded for its 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.


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.

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 Roundups: MacBook Pro, MacBook

This article, "Apple Now Prioritizing MacBook Keyboard Repairs With Quoted Next-Day Turnaround Time" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Says iPhones With Third-Party Batteries Now Eligible for Repairs

iPhones with aftermarket batteries installed by third-party repair shops are now eligible for service at Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers, according to an internal Apple document obtained by MacRumors from three reliable sources. The change was first reported by French blog iGeneration.

iPhone X battery with pull tabs via iFixit

This is significant news for iPhone repairs, as the Genius Bar and AASPs were previously instructed to deny service of any kind for an iPhone with a third-party battery, regardless of the circumstances.

If the repair is unrelated to the battery, the Genius Bar and AASPs are now instructed to ignore the third-party battery and proceed with service as normal, according to Apple's internal document. This could include repairs to the display, logic board, microphones, and so forth, with normal fees applying.

If the repair is related to the battery itself, the Genius Bar and AASPs are now permitted to replace the third-party battery with an official Apple battery for the standard fee. Before starting the repair, the Genius Bar must drain the third-party battery to less than 60 percent of a charge.

If the iPhone's battery tabs are broken or missing, or there is excessive adhesive, the Genius Bar and AASPs are permitted to replace the entire iPhone for only the cost of a battery replacement at their discretion.

The updated guidelines went into effect Thursday and should apply worldwide. Apple will still decline service for iPhones with third-party logic boards, enclosures, microphones, Lightning connectors, headphone jacks, volume and sleep/wake buttons, TrueDepth sensor arrays, and certain other components.

Apple similarly loosened its repair policy for iPhones with third-party displays back in February 2017.


This article, "Apple Says iPhones With Third-Party Batteries Now Eligible for Repairs" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Launching Pilot Program Allowing Repairs of Soon-to-Be Vintage Mid 2011 iMac in United States

Apple today internally announced it is launching a new pilot program that will permit Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers to continue offering repair service for 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models released in mid 2011, despite the fact they will be classified as vintage starting next month.


The pilot program will be available in the United States only between March 1, 2018 and August 31, 2018, subject to parts availability from Apple, according to the company's internal memo obtained by MacRumors. After the pilot ends, repairs will only be available in California and Turkey, as required by law.

Apple and Authorized Service Providers can usually repair an iMac's display and hinge, logic board, graphics card, hard drive or SSD, power supply, and other components, although the exact availability of replacement parts remains to be seen. It's unclear if RAM and storage upgrades will continue to be offered.

Apple typically offers repairs and replacement parts for a Mac until five years after it is no longer manufactured. Mid 2011 iMac models are now approaching this cutoff, as the last education-only configuration was discontinued in March 2013, but these machines will now remain eligible for service for an additional six months.

Apple didn't specify if the pilot program will eventually expand to other vintage products, or whether it will be available outside of the United States.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)

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Samsung Wants to One-Up Apple’s Genius Bar With New WeWork ‘Care Centers’

Samsung is teaming up with co-working startup WeWork to create customer "Care Centers" that are similar to Apple's own in-store Genius Bars, reports Fast Company.

Apple's Genius Bars are designed to allow customers to receive technical support and repairs on a range of Apple products, including Macs and iOS devices. Samsung's upcoming Care Centers will work in the same way, but Samsung wants to one-up Apple with a better waiting experience.

A WeWork facility in New York

At one of three pilot service centers opening in WeWork locations in Detroit, Miami, and New York later this month, Samsung customers can come in and get help for their products while also using the WeWork facilities.

Because it's a co-working space, WeWork gives customers a place to get their own work done while also enjoying fresh coffee and fruit-infused water.

Samsung Electronics America VP of design Mick McConnell tells Fast Company that he came up with the idea while waiting for an hour and a half at a Genius Bar at an Apple retail location. "I was like, there's gotta be a better way to do this," he said.
"Service is a hassle. I know I'm going to have to take time out of my day to do it," says McConnell. "The concept was, if I take time out of my day, at least I can sit in a conference room, make phone calls, and do work, as opposed to sitting in a busy room with a bunch of angry people."
Samsung is taking over a portion of each WeWork location and installing a steel and glass box with shared tables and Samsung workstations. The space features a midcentury-inspired design that matches up with the rest of the WeWork facility, but with special touches like higher-end furniture and Samsung video conferencing systems.

Image via Fast Company

Samsung Retail Design project director Danny Orenstein told Fast Company that the aim is to make Samsung customers "feel welcome" at WeWork while also making WeWork subscribers feel comfortable working in the Samsung space in an effort to expand Samsung's potential customer base.

Along with offering Care Centers at select WeWork locations, Samsung also plans to host after-hours talks with creatives in WeWork spaces, much like Apple does at its own retail stores.

Samsung will use the WeWork spaces to experiment with what works and what doesn't work before considering expanding to additional locations. WeWork currently has 235 locations, and should the project pan out, it could mean a major expansion of Samsung customer support locations.

At the three centers opening this month, Samsung will offer "tier 1" support, letting customers get help with using features on their phone. Staff can also send Samsung equipment to repair centers, but there are no on-site repairs available.


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