With that being said, the process of replacing a defective keyboard is not a simple one, and requires removing the whole top panel of the notebook (which includes the integrated battery). Not only is it time extensive – currently requiring a few business days for the machine to be shipped off-site, repaired, and then sent back – but it is an expensive repair (for Apple) as it’s covered on a free extended keyboard replacement program.
According to internal documentation that was obtained by Mac Rumors, Apple is looking to alleviate one of the pain points for customers that encounter keyboard problems by dramatically reducing the amount of time for repairs from a few days to next-day. It’s still an inconvenience to be without your computer, but at least this is a little bit more bearable. The internal memo reads:
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 acknowledged the persistent keyboard problems late last month, saying in a statement, “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.”
Apple faced a number of lawsuits and customer backlash over the keyboard failures, which prompted the company to institute the free repair program. The silicon membrane introduced with the third-generation butterfly keyboard design, however, doesn’t seem to have reduced the reports of failures.