Back in the end of 2007 I bought a Celsius H250. I ordered it, choosing every component, including a docking station and extra power adapter and a swappable hard drive. It took about 2 months to arrive. Cost me over 2300€. After less than one month of usage, and little use of the battery, the battery was already only able to provide me with about one hour and an half of charge and, worse, the screen was getting scratched by the the top cabinet (the space around the touch pad). Since I never submitted it to any pressure, the problem was not the result of wrongful usage, but of a conception/manufacture flaw. I contacted support and brought them the device so they could repair. Notice that this device has a 3year collect and return warranty, but I was always forced to bring it myself to the support agency.
When I received the device, with a new screen, the back of the screen was scratched and the new screen had no quality: it had vertical banding problems. Two faded white bands were degrading the image. I once again contacted support. They told me they would order a new part and replace it and assured me it wouldn't take longer than a week. The part never got in time, taking longer than one month. By this time, I had already moved out of my country, to Denmark, to work there for a few months. I didn't even got an apology. And this new screen was getting scratched again. The top cabinet always got scratched too.
By this time I contacted the Danish support. Their reply was nothing more than a dry "go ask for support in your country" reply. I replied telling them that I was living in Denmark and never got an answer back. Mind you, the warranty of this device is, supposedly, a three year collect and return INTERNATIONAL warranty and, according to the information on the documentation, it is valid in Denmark. Because of this I contacted the Portuguese support again and they told me I had to bring the device to them.
So I booked a >500€ flight after talking with the local FSC support team, giving them a one month notice. I went and they replaced my screen again but, this time, not the top cabinet, even thought it was scratched again. No, there was no lower cost flight option to travel from Copenhagen, Denmark to Porto, Portugal.
Later, when I had the chance of testing the device at my home, I noticed that it came with dead pixels. I contacted FSC support again and they told me to inform them the next time I was going to Portugal, that they would have a replacement part waiting for me. I booked another flight, giving them, once more, one month notice. When I arrived, the part hadn't yet. It was a wasted trip. If only the danish support had fulfilled it's obligations in the first place.
The screen and top cabinet were getting scratched again, with nothing more than two careful open and close cycles of the laptop lid per day. Opening after getting home, closing before going to bed, opening after getting to work, closing before leaving work.
I got back to Portugal once more for assistance, me and the laptop had taken one more trip to get it to maintenance. Since that laptop was my only means of communication with home while I was in Denmark, it was all I had to work with, and danish support refused me assistance, I had no other choice.
Later I came back to Portugal for good. I delivered the laptop once more to get it fixed. The support team was taking a long time to fix it, so I contacted the person that sold me the laptop, which was one of the administrators of that place. I told him I didn't want the laptop anymore, because it failed me so many times that I could not trust that model, that I wanted the newer model and that I would even pay the difference, despite the fact that I spent more than 1500€ in flights to get the laptop fixed. According to Portuguese law, I was in my right to even ask for my money back and I threatened with it. He told me he could do nothing without authorization from the regional FSC representatives. I contacted them and told them about my situation. That was 6 months and ago.
After 4 months of calls, and a lot of insisting, I finally got a Celsius H270 for which I had to pay an additional 700€. They ripped me off 100€, because they decided that the difference should be calculated against the current value of the H250, and not against the actual value I paid for it. It was a question of warranty not being respected, so they had no right to do it. I fought against it, but in the end, I needed the machine, I needed to work, so I accepted it anyway but warned them that I would still take legal action on it. But before this, FSC Portugal tried to force me into accepting a replacement machine which was mostly lower spec'd than mine, claiming it was actually higher spec'd and saying that I would only win from the situation. The machine's configuration hardly resembled the configuration of the H250 I first ordered. The point of being able to choose the components is the possibility of better adjusting the machine to one's needs. Having a machine that has nothing to do with what I need serves no purpose. The only thing that the computer actually had "higher" than mine, was the screen resolution. Which, in my case, was actually not an improvement. I work with pixel based imaging. I do GUI development, so I need to be able to analyze images with pixel precision. I also have -5.5 graduation of my contact lenses. Having a 1920x1200 resolution in a 15.4" screen is actually a downgrade from my 1680x1050 original Celsius. 1680x1050 I can still clearly see what I need, even though I have to apply some, but not much effort. 1920x1200 is impossible to deal with, in my case, in any screen smaller than 17".
After one more month and an half I finally got my new H270. But when I tried it, it had two flaws. First, one of the power adapters came with the wrong cable, so I have one useless power adapter, which they still haven't replaced. And, second, the screen had a darker frame all around, about 2cm from the edge. It appeared to be the result of being subject to some pressure from behind, from the cover itself. That flaw seriously degraded the image. That's not admissible in a 3000€ business computer, which FSC advertises as targeted to CAD and design professionals. I once again contacted FSC and took the device to repair. I was without the device for three weeks.
When I got it back, the device still displayed the same frame which degraded the image. The power adapter hadn't been replaced also. I immediately contacted the local FSC representative and told him that, under Portuguese law, I was going to exercise my rights and ask for my money back. The reply I got was "we can't do anything else for you, and it's not the company policy to give the money back", basically the same as saying "it's not the company policy to comply with the law".
The worst part is, because I didn't have the laptop working when I needed it, for a presentation to a potential investor, I was unable to present the prototype for a software I was developing. Something that cannot simply be installed in a borrowed friend's machine, since I'm a low level developer and have precise requirements of both hardware and software, which a borrowed machine wouldn't make viable. I lost a funding of several thousand euros because of this.
I have now set in motion the preparation for a lawsuit against FSC so I can get a refund for the money I paid for the laptop, the amount I spent in the flights, the money they extorted me from the difference between the value of the laptops (plus interest), the gas I used to deliver the laptop to the support team and, due to the huge loss I suffered in funding, probably more, so FSC learns to respect the warranty and to build better products. I am deeply disappointed with FSC's current quality of both product and staff.
Last edited by joaommp
on Wed Jan 28, 2009 18:47, edited 1 time in total.