I may say that I have never had a problem with Apple support. I go to the support page, they call you and walk you through the problem. I have had them follow a problem for weeks to sort things out and they are usually successful in a shorter time. Even with items out of AppleCare, if I bought an Apple product, they are there to help.
Your milage may vary though.
I’d say in the 8 or so contacts with Apple Support I’ve had this year that 6 have been embarrassingly bad and unhelpful. It didn’t used to be like that.
And just to make sure people realize, Apple tech support is available indefinitely now. You can always call for help, regardless of how recently you bought your Mac or other device. I can’t speak to the quality with much experience—the last time I tried was in early 2021 for a truly inscrutable problem associated with adding Tonya in the Home app. Neither the first-level nor second-level tech support folks were able to solve the problem, but they tried hard, made a lot of good suggestions, and stuck with me for multiple calls over several weeks.
That is quite interesting information, if correct. They’ve always advertised just 90 day technical support and that was one advantage of getting AppleCare+, for the extended technical support.
At this site Apple Complimentary Support - Official Apple Support it says:
“Most Apple software and hardware products include unlimited complimentary support incidents within the first 90 days of product ownership, or longer if required by applicable law. Apple Watch Edition comes with 2 years of complimentary support. See the support-related materials included with your Apple product or visit the AppleCare Products page for more information.”
At the AppleCare Products page it says:
I suspect that’s Apple avoiding a promise of unlimited support forever. But I’ve never been asked for proof that I bought something recently; have you?
I never have, but I’ve always been careful to make my requests related either to a device under warranty (e.g. connecting my under-warranty iPhone to my 8 year old Mac) or a service like iCloud I’m subscribed to.
I can do a quick test with an old iPhone 6 Plus just to see…
Some months ago, I called about a several-years-old iPad and was not asked for any information about purchase. Since I stated it was an iPad Air 2 during the call, Apple must have known a minimum age, which I believe would have been four years.
I’ve gotten Apple tech support via phone for my iPad and iPhone after the original free warranty expired. The difference is no hardware or hands on service; I was having problems with email. You will be charged if they need to get hands on.
I always ignored the damp cloth thing as typical corporate CYA. Sure, damp not wet. And cloth not wire brush. But let’s be real here, water is never going to remove grease. I usually use a microfiber cloth with a little bit of dish soap. Gets rid of the grease, doesn’t leave streaks, and since doing this on my first Mac in 1984, I never suffered any issues with any keyboard using this method. Unlike may others, I also never had letters become illegible or keys scuffed to the point they become transparent. Truth be told, I did once ruin an ADB extended keyboard because I managed to use a too wet cloth and ended up getting water into it, but that was really just my own stupidity. If the cloth is moist not wet, you’re fine. And forget paper/kleenex. If it falls apart during scrubbing, you’ll be worse off than you started.
I think the key to keeping the keyboard clean is frequent but gentle cleaning, rather than infrequent but heavy cleaning. I find that a damp microfiber cloth does a surprisingly good job of removing newly acquired grease and dirt from the keyboard, provided these are not in excessive amount and that the microfiber cloth is of good quality; I have used cheap ones before and they are no more effective than normal cloth. For more stubborn grease and dirt I use alcohol wipes and/or iKlear solution.
I use compressed air (in a can) to dislodge and remove debris from under the keys. I do this before the wipe (described above). Some of these debris particles may be oily (say, if you snack) and smudge the keyboard or the display. I spray the compressed air slowly to avoid condensation forming on the keyboard.