Hello, macworld!

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This blog ain’t for fans or fanatics. It is for macusers having experienced the poison side of the Apple.
I did af few weeks ago. Complained to Apple Europe that the keyboard-letters of my 18 months aged iBook G4 are vanishing. Seven letters have complety gone and seven are vanishing. Half the alphabet invisible.
The answer from Apple Europe: “We have never heard of such a problem and by the way we cannot help you as your iBook is past the one year warranty.”
The twist: In the last few weeks Apple Europe have had to tell 50 danish macusers the same sad lie.

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57 Responses to “Hello, macworld!”

  1. Tell us what You think Says:

    Hi macuser, put your comment here and let us know if we abuse anybody demanding a little decensy from the highly branded Cupertino company

  2. Celeste Elizabeth Arnold Says:

    I too am a macuser and my mac has passed the sad old age of two and a half. It is also G4 and two letters have almost vanished and four other letters are leaning towards the same horrible destiny.
    Thanks for starting the blog – what a great initiative.

  3. Sebastian W. Says:

    I have never had a problem like that, but I’m am a Macuser, and we must stand together.

  4. Dr. Mac Says:

    Easy low-cost sollution for missing letters on Macintosh keyboards:

  5. Merete Klinkvort Says:

    My Mac has lost several letters after only one year of typing.
    Since the very beginning it suddenly goes black, and I have to remove the battery, put it back in and restart.
    I have been trying to complain several places, but noone has any interest in taking care of a customer, that wants to complain.
    When I complained to Mac in Ireland, they made me buy an insurance first and then told me some advice, that turned out to be common knowledge.
    I feel ridiculed.
    Will this message be received and read by anyone?
    Will anyone do anything about it?
    I doubt Mac will.
    Merete Klinkvort

  6. Niels Andersen Says:

    Great initiative. My iBook is about a 18 months old and I am now suffering from the same problems that others are describing. Right now only about four keys are affected, but it seems ridiculous to just deny the problem. Why is it so hard for Apple to admit that a faulty product has been released? With all the iPod revenue there should clearly be enough cash lying around to replace a few keyboards.

  7. someone Says:

    HOW DO YOU DARE sending people junk email about this ?
    I made lots of efforts not to receive spam, and what I see in my mailbox? Two of your emails with a picture of a keyboard.

    PLEASE, Mr Blog autor, DON’T flood people with your mail, I don’t care about you, your website, your problems and I never will.

  8. appledash Says:

    Okay, I was not aware that a wordpress blog could be setoff for spammers. I will turn on antispam plugins right away to ensure this blog reaches only those who seek it.

  9. Bob Says:

    Did you use some type of solvent to clean your keyboard? I have a 3+ year-old iBook G3 and it doesnt show any wear at all.

  10. appledash Says:

    On the contrary – I have been very careful using only demineralized water.
    I too had an iBook G3 with a solid and longlasting keyboard. That’s why I claim the G4 keyboard (at least for certain series of the G4) to be far beyond expected standards.

  11. Søren Says:

    @: Dr Mac suggesting permanent marker for easy low-cost sollution for missing letters on Macintosh keyboards

    In the same (silly) category I will suggest this wonder tool for fixing cars that tend to fall apart: http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000AXEBV.01-A1787XOD7Q2I4M._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

    Off course none of these minute-mending remedies should even be considered when paying for a high-end top quality product that Mac is usually known for. Which is what this blog is about. We want the letters back!

    Søren

  12. Rick & Sydney Says:

    Good on you all. We hope you get what you’re entitled to.

  13. Mike Says:

    Replacement keys are available. Just do a Google search, such as “ibook G4 replacement keys” (without the quotes). Check around as prices vary considerably.

    I think some keys were opaque and some were translucent, so make sure you order the correct kind so they match your keyboard.

    Mike

  14. nikster Says:

    Hello – where did the “90 days guarantee” thing come from? I have tons of macs and they all came with a 1 year warranty. World-wide.

    Since your Mac is 1 1/2 years old, that won’t apply here. Which sucks. But you can probably get a replacement keyboard and if there are enough a recall/replacement. Buying a replacement shouldn’t be that expensive.

    Apple does screw up a lot in the quality department lately, but they usually do the right thing when it comes to the warranty.

    PS No Powerbooks are not affected.

  15. Hector Peiterssen Says:

    Yo, I have a Powerbook 15inch G4 that I bought second-hand nearly 3 years ago and the keyboard’s fine. I’ve used it all day everyday since I got it. I use it without aircon in 30 degrees and African dust and sometimes it gets too hot to touch. It’s a little battle worn: both screen hinges have siezed and broken off and the cd drive no longer burns and the battery only lasts 3 minutes and the fan makes a loud grinding noise but other than that it’s still going strong. I’m amazed it’s still going at all.

    I feel the best thing Apple can do is post a reply at this blog and let everyone know the true situation and find a way to replace the keyboards. They should also award me a brand new dual core intel MacBook Pro for battle testing this machine so thoroughly.

    But if it has overheating, yellowing keypad and fading keyboard problems, perhaps I’m better off with this one.

  16. Protoge of Dr Mac Says:

    Duct tape for fixing a car and a permanent marker for fixing a keyboard aren’t really the same thing. A permanent marker is perfectly acceptable for faded keys. Just find a fine-tipped marker and carefully write in the missing letter and no one will know the difference. Using duct tape on a car is a more temporary solution well-suited for people who don’t care about their vehicle at all. While Mac did mess up on this one, letting your keys fade until you cant see them isn’t exactly a wise form of protest.

  17. LIzzie.K Says:

    My own ibook needed 4 replacement keys in less than 9 months, after that I traded it in for another laptop. This problem is not just a matter of one or two isolated cases, and even if there are hundreds of ibooks with keyboards that are ok, for every one with problematic keys, it is no excuse to use cheaply manufactured parts in an expensive item of equipment. I and my partner have been using Apple computers for over 10 years, non of our desktop Apple commputer keyboards have this problem and they get far more use than my laptop.

    As of the 3rd of July, the following web discussion on the Apple website has 62 different people including myself ( I have checked the names and disregarded multiple replies ) who have had trouble with their ibook keyboards, within months of purchasing the machines. Many people are on their third or fourth keyboard. Apparently it is not recommend using ‘skins’ to protect the keys, due to the static that can be caused and the effect on the track pad and screen.

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=1040344&#1040344

    Further lists of discussion relating to keyboard problems can be found on this page ( I am not going to count the names ).

    http://discussions.apple.com/search.jspa?objID=c130&search=Go&q=keyboard+letters+wearing+off

    I suggest that any one who has a G4 ibook that keeps loosing keys, should keep pestering Apple for replacement keyboards, even after their one year warantee is up.
    These keyboards are after all brand new when fitted, so even if the laptop itself is past a so called 1 or 2 year warranty, the keyboard if replaced 3 or 4 times already is not!

    Good luck!

  18. appledash Says:

    Hi nikster, hi Mike.

    Thanks for your concern. I was too fast on keys when I wrote 90 days. The source is the free 90 days of AppleCare. Of cause the warranty is one year. Edited right away.
    Oh, and … One more thing.
    Replacement keys happen to be rather expensive IMHO. And I won’t accept replacement of 14 keys 18 months after purchase as a natural part of the mac experience.
    Would you, honest?

  19. appledash Says:

    “letting your keys fade until you cant see them isn’t exactly a wise form of protest.”

    Well I may not be that sharp, but I thought Apple would 😉

  20. DKrapster Says:

    Just to clarify: Danish Law requires 2 (yes, two) years warranty against manufacturer’s defects on ALL goods. Clearly Apple is a fault here, not the users.

  21. dirk Says:

    Mu keyboard sucks ass well. My space bar doesn’t work well and the letter k keeps ‘hanging’ now and the so you get kkkkkkklingon when i meant klingon.

  22. Adam Says:

    hi

    I had the same keyboard problem, after around just under a year of fairly hardcore use of my ibook, purchased back in Sep 2004 and was told by Apple that it was not a recognised problem. I’ve had to buy another keyboard, which is already wearing away, so whilst I really love the iBook i’m going to be put off buying more Apple products in future due to this clear lapse in after-sales service. Apple need to rectify this problem sooner rather than later, otherwise it could escalate into a PR disaster for them. Come on Apple, nip it in the bud now and dish out keyboards to disgruntled users still within warranty.

  23. Adam Says:

    voila! http://www.digitalworldtokyo.com/2006/07/apple_rotten_in_state_of_denma.php

  24. Dutch Says:

    This website does get some media coverage in the Netherlands. Popular newssite posted a story (in Dutch) http://www.nu.nl/news/770811/50/Denen_klagen_bij_Apple_over_toetsenborden.html

  25. Be Me Says:

    People, why do you torture yourselfs by using appleproducts while the world is loaded with high quality stuff…? I just don’t get it! All I hear about Appleproducts in the past view years is that they make rubbish!

  26. marieke Says:

    Hello, after reading an article i got redirected to this website: i have the EXACT same problem. I purchased my ibook in december 2004 from a norwegian applestore, with a norwegian -scandinavian- keyboard.
    After a few weeks the first keyletters began to fade. Now after 12 months pretty much ALL keyletters are gone , accept for the numbers and functionkeys.
    I can send a picture if you give me a mailadress.

    (BTW: norway has the same 2 year warranty arrangement as denmark)

  27. fATIH Says:

    HEY I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM AND FOUND A SECOND HAND KEYBOARD AND JUST REPLACED TWO KEYS WHICH WERE ERASED. THIS HAPPENED AFTER 8 MONTHS THAT I BOUGHT MY IBOOK 12 INCH. I BOUGHT IT FROM APPLE WEBSITE. THE KEYS OF IBOOK SUCK. FINALLY I GOT RID OF IT AND REPLACE IT WITH A POWERBOOK.

    THERE IS ANOTHER COMMON PROBLEM MANY USERS EXPERIENCE BUT APPLE DENIES ( SOMETIMES i THINK THAT APPLE IS A BIG RIP OFF) I BOUGHT AN AIRPORT EXPRESS WHICH WENT DEAD AFTER 14 MONTHS WITHOUT ANY REASON. I FOUND OUT THAT THERE ARE MANY USERS WITH THE SAME PROBLEM. UNFORTUNATELY, APPLE DOES NOT TAKE ANY ACTION. I AM VERY DISSAPPOINTED.

  28. erik Says:

    I don’t want to spoil this topic, but I’ve been looking into warranty issues the last 3 months because i was looking for a new laptop. In the end, i didn’t choose an Apple since their support plan (Apple Care) is ridiculously expensive for a service which doesn’t even include onsite support. Besides that, they also screw you over with the 1-year warranty lie in The Netherlands where i am from. It’s EU legislation that obliges the EU-members to support 2 year warranty on these kind of products.

    After searching and reading a lot i ended up with Dell (the default Apple user will start to laugh now…. i know; they’re not so pretty, but my machine has SUPERpower and it very small). They’ve got a very good value for money productline in my opinion, especially when you take into account that you get 3 years onsite support. I’ve used it once now (some little crappy detail which needed to be fixed) and they show up and replace whatever is wrong with it the next day.

    All in all, if you want solid support so you can keep on working, i feel that you shouldn’t buy an Apple. Simple as that. The fact that Apple has crap-support in combination with pretty steep prices tells me to keep on searching for a laptop.

    Good luck to y’all and i hope you can get a win. If Apple wants give a trustworthy signal to their markets, they’ll start giving 2 year support as a standard. That will make them stand off good against their competition.

    Greets,
    Erik

  29. IceMan Says:

    fATIH,

    I think your CAPS LOCK key still needs to be replaced…

  30. Lasse Hillerøe Petersen Says:

    Whereas fixing a car with tape may be a good solution in some cases (Look up Mach 3 tape in Google Groups. If tape is good enough for Mary Shafer’s SR-71 Blackbird, it’s good enough for any car), using a permanent marker for fixing faded keys on a computer still under warranty is not a good idea. Even if it were for a very old computer (like my ancient Amstrad), I’d use letraset rubbing transfers and seal the surface with a strong enamel varnish. Of course this depends on your handwriting. However, for a computer less than two years old, unless it has been used by the proverbial room full of monkeys, the keys should not fade. If they do, it must be due to faulty printing of they keys, and should be exchanged, without any discussion whatsoever.

    I am surprised to hear that Apple has gone so low. Ten years ago Apple’s service was quite excellent in my experience.

    -Lasse

  31. John Says:

    We have 1 Ibook 12″ and 1 Ibook 14″.
    Apple replaced both keyboards in the 1 year warranty we have in the Netherlands.
    The new keyboards are still OK

  32. Laptop lover Says:

    I had the same problem with a compaq laptop about 8 years ago. They did replace my keyboard, but afters three times of replacing the keyboard they decided that the degree of acidity in my fingertops was too high, which caused the letters to disappear….. I was told they wanted to seal the keyboard with some chemical layer….

    Anyway, good luck on your hunt for a reasonable solution!

  33. bloglily Says:

    Who knew it was the acid in my fingers? I just assumed my keys were disappearing because I’m such a fast typist. For a while, I thought it was even a bit of a badge of honor, a sign of my fidelity to the written word — I’ve used it so much the alphabet is actually disappearing. But now I see that people the world over who own iBook G4s have the same problem. I’m marching down to my apple store tomorrow and demanding a new keyboard. While I’m there, I’ll see about getting a case of permanent markers for use after my warranty runs out.

  34. just cosmetic Says:

    Nobody looks at their keyboard anymore when they’re typing, do they? This is a pretty harmless issue, the mac still works the way it should. Heck, you could maybe use a chemical to rub down the rest of the key and end up with a super stylish blank keyboard! (they’re the new nerd fad you know)

  35. Ed Dekker Says:

    We bought an iBook G3 a while back. Within a year keys started to fade. First, the reseller replaced those faded keys. After a while they started to fade again and the complete keyboard was replaced. To protect it, a transparant cover like a varnish was sprayed over the keys. I guess it was the stuff they use to protect PCBs.

    Alas, fading has started again, though a bit slower. It seems to me the paint on the keys is not string enough to withstand fingertip/nail impact or there may be something chemical going on.

    But, since they managed to get past the warranty period we’re stuck. Even an appeal to quality levels that may be reasonably expected from a product (an official term in customer rights in The Netherlands) has had no effect.

  36. David Says:

    This is not a problem … it is an opportunity! Apple are merely trying to institute a program to teach the world to touch-type. You get 18 months of normal use and thereafter you must be able to touch-type. Eventually you will be glad Apple was so customer-centric and thoughtful!

    Seriously, though, keys at one time had letters and numbers of a different coloured plastic embedded in the key. Now, for cheapness, they are printed on. Apple, normally very good at customer relations and replacements, really need to act quickly to put this matter right. In any case, they must obey Dutch law!

  37. David Says:

    My apologies …

    I meant Apple must obey Danish law (Dutch, too!).

  38. Flemming Denmark Says:

    Danish law does _not_ give 24 month warrenty, but many have that idea wrongly – but it does give you 24 month in wich to complain about a problem which can be traced back to faulty manufatcoring, and that is not the same as warrenty by a far shot..

    In this case though Apple has a problem as a keyboard is build to last more than 24month and therefore will fall under the rule of manufactoring issues..

  39. Petronella Says:

    My husband and I both have iBooks G4 and neither of them has given us problems with fading keys – because our kind son provided us with special transparent plastic keyboard covers. These are actually intended to keep the keys clean and to stop dust falling between them, but they presumably also protect them from acid (or whatever) in our finger tips! Thank goodness, as neither of us can touch-type (I did try to learn, but gave up…)!
    (The covers are regularly advertised in MacWorld and no doubt other magazines.)

  40. Tom Hayes Says:

    Hi,
    2 points

    1) There is an EU directive, which has been implemented in most EU countries that gives consumers protection for up to (and some national laws give protection up to 6 years). So if this was happening in ireland, the purchaser would be protected as well.
    The law isn’t well advertised, I wonder why. i found out about it by accident and subsequently my boss got an 18 month old camera fixed for free because he quoted the law. i wish more people knew about it.

    2) I suggest Merete video the problem and her attempts to get the computer going before she has to pop the battery to get it to restart. Put the video on Cd and enclose it with the iBook when she contacts apple and sends it back for repair (keep a copy of the video!) I have used this method successfully.
    I can see both sides of that problem, as there is an onus on the repairer to reproduce the problem before they can order new parts. If it is an intermittent problem it can be cery difficult to get the problem to reproduce in the workshop, so thats where the video comes in. If that doesn’t work, contact customer relations outlining everything FACTUALLY! and sending thema a copy of the video. State teh frequency of the bug as well. Yes it is extra work, but they need your help to determine the actual problem. That should work.

  41. Usama Says:

    ha this what you get for insulting Allah

  42. Benno van der Helm Says:

    I readed about the keyboard-problem on the internet in Holland. And it surprised me that you all have the same problem. I bought an Ibook in September 2004 and my keyboard is not wat it has to be.

    I’ll will call the customer service in Holland, to look if they could solve my problem. It’s good to see that I am not the only one, with the problem.

    I’ll keep you informed.

    Benno van der Helm
    Amsterdam

  43. acnescartreatment Says:

    This and many more are the problems they have and do not admit it. Their customers are treated as consumers always. Say NO to that.

  44. Christian Says:

    Søren seems to think that the iBook is a high-end quality product. It’s not high-end and was never inteneded to be. Obviously you can’t expect to get the same quality as in a PowerBook.

    I’ve had a iBook G3 for over three years without any problems with the keyboard.

    THe first time I heard about this problem was a woman who used the iBook keyboard as main keyboard. Ergonomically speaking that is pure madness. I would never use the keyboard of my iBook for more than two hours a day.

  45. Pesto Says:

    My A and S has disappeared from my iBook G4. The iBook is almost 2 years old and only two months ago started the two letters to vanish right before my eyes.

    I think the letter D is next. Some of it has been rubbed off.

    Sad.

    I agree that with other bloggers that Apple is responsible for this, as the letters are obviously printed in a cheap and not long-lasting fashion.

    A keyboard should be able to endure being typed on.

    Pesto

  46. Jens Michael Damm Says:

    It’s not only an Mac problem. I have got 3 new keyboards in one year. I use Logitech-keyboard, and got a new keyboard in may. I have allready problems with e and r
    JMD

  47. wasted webspace » Blog Archive » All Change Says:

    […] Oh dear – silly mega-apple corp looks like it continues to do its best to shoot itself in the foot, maybe new thinkpad here i come! […]

  48. Christian Says:

    If hardware is your only reason to buy Apple then you should probably buy a Thinkpad. They have sublime keyboards. Just remember that they don’t run OS X.

    Another comment points to Dell as a solution. My old Dell Inspiron 8000 had the best keyboard I ever had on a laptop. Sadly the rest of the machine was utter crap needing repair every half year. There is a reason why Dell has extensive service support you know.

  49. Marieke Says:

    OK, as promised with my earlier reply, here are the pix – the keys started to fade about 4 weeks after i bought the machine and continued to get worse:

  50. Susie Hunter Says:

    I am a Mac babe for over 30 years. I love my IBookG4 but the keyboard is APPALLING! l have 20 keys where the letters have been worn away … admittedly I am a touch typist so it’s easy for me to know what I’m writing. For once I am very disappointed with Apple Mac and considering the above comments I’d like to add that Mac needs to take note and do something about the obvious inherent problem.

  51. Bjorn Says:

    So.
    Apple bashing, why not.
    As long as a few rubbed off letters are all the problems that you can come up with…
    Even the sight of a windows machine makes me shiver with horror.
    I am no fanatic what so ever, but you’ll have to do better than this, i count excactly 2 problems, on this site.
    Now lets discuss other brands of computers.
    I have never ever had one single problem with a mac, ecxept with a used one, wich the asses at the shop tried to sell me as a new one, while it was second hand. But that is the shop people, not Apple.
    Anyway, the processor exploded, so i found out quitte soon that i was being conned. I got a new one, immediately.

    Regards. Bjorn

  52. Karen Says:

    Hi
    I am also a not-so-happy owner of an iBook G4, and I experience exactly the same problems as many others. I bought my computer in May last year (2005), and the letters that I use most have almost vanished. It seems like the company has used a special sort of printed letters for this edition of the computer. I have never experienced anything like this with my previous Apple computers. Ever.
    Does anybody know the email adress of the person who complained through Forbrugerklagenævnet in Denmark?
    Best regards –
    Karen.

  53. Jessica Says:

    6 months after using my ibook like any normal person – these keys VANISHED: DCVNML – all gone! Apple sent a new keyboard for free in 2 days. Here it is 6 months later and those same 6 letters are GONE> I went ahead and put some cool scrapbooking letter stickers over it. I am an art teacher and I think it looks cool but it really goes to show how CHEAP and CRAPPY and EXPENDABLE ibooks are and their customers.

  54. Mouse Says:

    Mouse

    yeah thats what I ment, i didnt remember the spelling but i did remember the meaning of the Mouse

  55. Sklepy Internetowe Says:

    Thanks for your article
    Nice piece of work! I’m expecting more soon!
    Keep up the good work! Cheers

  56. lace wigs Says:

    i’m working on a solution for an anti-radiation screen for my imac. any suggestions?

  57. Raleigh Colocation Says:

    Who knew it was the acid in my fingers? I just assumed my keys were disappearing because I’m such a fast typist. For a while, I thought it was even a bit of a badge of honor, a sign of my fidelity to the written word — I’ve used it so much the alphabet is actually disappearing. But now I see that people the world over who own iBook G4s have the same problem. I’m marching down to my apple store tomorrow and demanding a new keyboard.

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