Fraud in writing: PC Clinic

I got my laptop back today, after three very long weeks. Remember my recent post about how the repair shop tried to sell me a new battery?

Well, they put their fraud in writing, on my service ticket/receipt. It says, “Bateria está consumida, nova bateria €168.” (Battery is consumed, new battery €168.)

There are two problems with this.

First, my battery is far from consumed. I just ran an evaluation on it, and my memory was a little off. It’s not at 90% health, it’s at 93% health.

Second, a new battery from Apple Portugal costs 141€ (with free shipping), not 168. Not only is this repair shop trying to scam me on a new battery, they’re inflating the price by nearly twenty percent over retail.

Other joyous results from my interaction with PC Clinic include a viewscreen that is now loose and creaking on the right hand side — it feels like someone grabbed it for leverage — and a statement from the clerk that the replaced logic board has no warranty at all. Upon being pressed, he allowed that the labor did at least have a 3-month warranty…but not the parts. (For comparison, I can go to iFixit.com and buy a used logic board for my laptop with a 6-month warranty.)

And just to put the icing on the cake, when I turned my laptop over to finish cleaning it, I found a large service sticker slapped on. It’s not the kind of sticker that easily peels off, either — this one took me 15 minutes of thumbnail work and assiduous use of Goo Gone to remove. It’s not a big deal, but that annoyance on top of the delay, bad customer service, lack of warranty and outright attempted fraud pretty much put me over the edge.

So, Portuguese readers: Stay away from the PC Clinic if you can possibly help it! I couldn’t help it because it is apparently the only place in Portugal where AppleCare warranty work is done.

And yes, I am writing a letter to Apple, for all the good it will do.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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11 Responses to Fraud in writing: PC Clinic

  1. Ines says:

    I’ve never used PC Clinic, but after reading this, I never will. What an awful service!

  2. fatima says:

    Thanks for warning. As it seems in a very portuguese expression there are aldraboes… First cause they are cheating you with battery by saying it’s broken when it is not and force you to pay extra for a new one. What a real shame…wonder if it’s just by the portuguese bad efecience or general apple rules…

    • oregon expat says:

      I can assure you it has nothing to do with general Apple rules. My experiences with Apple service in the US were all fantastic examples of top notch customer service. So unless Apple has a whole different set of rules in Portugal, this is all on the PC Clinic.

  3. Lilaine says:

    Really sorry for you 😦

    The loose screen might be caused by a forgotten screw on the hinge… hence the creaking : something’s moving that shouldn’t…

    As for the guaranty, any computer repair shop would take a risk if they guarantied a used part : PC clinic won’t do it !
    And the labor is certainly guarantied, you shouldn’t have had to insist on it !!

    At last, the inflated price of the battery is sadly a universally spread trade practice that consists in applying ‘treatment costs’ (usually 20%) on every part and equipment provided when repairing a machine !!

    Did you keep the sticker ? It may be a proof(seal) without which they wont even admit the labor guaranty, if something occurs during those 3 months …

    If you need further advice, ….

    • oregon expat says:

      I’m not certain the part is used at all — in fact, it should be a new one from Apple. I’m just saying that as a retail customer, I can buy a used part from another company that comes with a 6-month guarantee.

      And yes, I did save the sticker.

  4. syrin says:

    You should go ahead and file a complaint at PC clinic (Livro de Reclamações) and DECO. Maybe it won’t solve anything right now, but there is strength in numbers. If everyone complained, things would work much better.

  5. Jbrandao says:

    Wait a minute… maybe I’m reading something wrong, but this makes no sense. Did PC Clinic actually replace the board? If they did, and it’s a new one (as it’s supposed to be), then they must give you full warranty of 2 years on that particular piece.
    If I bought a computer, and after the warranty runs out, I decide to replace the graphics card with a new one, the new one obviously has a 2 year warranty, even if the rest of the computer does not.
    That’s the law.
    And did they actually charge you for the battery? And you paid?

    • oregon expat says:

      Yes, they replaced the board. As to whether the replaced part is new, I assume it is, but my receipt doesn’t say. (It simply says “Logicboard trocoada ao abrigo de garantia.”)

      Did I buy a new battery? Oh hell no! But the receipt makes note of the “fact” that it is consumed, that a new one is recommended for €168, and that “Cliente recusou bateria nova.”

  6. Fletcher Ian says:

    Maybe a miracle will happen and Apple will reimburse you or do something. This PC Clinic sounds like a not-so-funny in real life Saturday Night Live skit on incompetence amplified.

  7. nando says:

    1-your hardware will make a warning in top right corner when you need to change battery (usually if drops below 80% or is faulty)
    2- apple centers have specific software battery test that detects the faulty battery, given a random number to insert in apple system so that everything will be out go charge, if the specific battery test doesn’t detect apple refuses to give guarantee.
    3- if you have a new board your guarantee is 2 years by portuguese law
    4- if you have repair under apple guarantee(2 years in portugal , second year must be with proof of purchase) you shouldn’t pay a cent.
    5- i believe they try to scam you with a new battery .
    if you need apple repair shop in portugal go to lisbon “touaquitouai” apple center.

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