I wondered whether stores had seen an increase in the decibel-level of complaints. I wondered what they'd say to reassure customers.
Are Geniuses being flooded with machines that insert unwanted double-spaces into artists' great works? Have they been poking more iPad screens that respond by sticking their noses in the air and doing what they feel like?
So I went to a Bay Area Apple store, browsed around the laptops, until a salesperson volunteered her help.
"I hear people are complaining that these keyboards don't work very well," I ventured. "Haven't there been problems with dust?"
Wait, what did the salesperson mean by "it's the opposite"?
"There's no way dust can get in because they've put an extra layer of plastic underneath to make sure it doesn't," the salesperson explained.
"So you don't see customers having problems?"
"Well, they have problems with the keyboards being so thin, if you see what I mean," she said.
I tried to see. "You mean the keys don't go as far down as they used to?"
"Yes, but you just get used to it."
"But you don't get people coming in here all the time with MacBook problems?"
"We get some, but it's not as if one in every two MacBook has a problem."
We chatted a little about the pros and cons of the MacBooks and the iPad Pro when it comes to typing. She plumped for the 15-inch MacBook, but said that some people really do prefer the more compact nature of the Pro's keyboard.
And, well, try getting dust under those keys.
"It just depends what you like," she said. I like machines that don't break down and I've been very lucky with Apple products over the years, as it simply hasn't happened.
That's why problems such as the ones recently being reported are so disturbing.
So I got back in the car and took my disturbance to a second Apple store.
The Perfect Sales Answer?
I began: "I hear people are complaining that these keyboards get dust inside them and start playing up."
"Mine doesn't," said the salesperson.
I've heard some sales rap in my years. This was a new level of disarming.
"Ah, good. Well, I've been reading that some people are saying that their keys are behaving erratically."
"I haven't heard that," she replied.
This choice of blatant deadpan was an interesting one.
"So you haven't had customers coming in here saying their MacBooks need fixing?"
"No," she said and then slid immediately to explaining the difference between the second generation MacBook Air keyboard and the third generation MacBook Pro keyboard.
"The third generation is quieter, but they both work great."
I ventured that Stern's experience had seemed especially pained.
"I guess I'll have to catch up on my reading," said the salesperson. "But as I said, I haven't heard of these problems."
I was silent for a moment or two, then thanked her for her help.
"Maybe one or two customer have come in with MacBook problems, but nothing unusual," she suddenly conceded. "In any case, there's a one-year warranty and you can always get Apple Care."