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Old 26.01.2021, 10:46
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Beware of the PCR testing at ZRH airport...

Long story short: I needed to get a PCR test done while being in Switzerland. The test center at the airport is more expensive than the pharmacies, but doesn't require an appointment, promises results within 5 hours (from certain times a day) and most importantly also opens on the weekend.

Here is my experience:
- I waited in line and taking the test takes about one hour. I dont think I was at a particularly bad time there, thats just how long they need. Because the space is small, they are clearly understaffed and honestly dont care... they know that you have no other option, so you wait.
- I filled out a form, handed it over to a lady who typed it into her computer and she let me review my information. So I am 100% sure the info was entered correctly.
- I spit in some tube and that sample will get analyzed.
- I was told that the results will be sent exclusively by email and that the attached PDF was password protected. I received a flyer on "what to do if the test is positive" with a sticker with my test number and the "password" on it. "So the password is covid_result?" "yes, we have to do it" "Seriously?" "Yes, its for privacy" "Never mind..."

Problem: Despite paying 200 CHFs (and another 10 for an hour parking...)... the email never came. So the next day I tried to call them up. Had to google the operator of the test center, checkport: https://checkport.info/ Phone number doesnt work but gives me an error message "diese nummer ist ungültig". I try from a Swiss corporate phone, same result. I google the name on the paper I got, turns out to be the producer of the tests. As expected does nobody pick up the phone on the weekend. I try the general number of Zurich airport. "Yeah, I know. The number works, but only from a Swiss phone" "I tried that, didnt work" "Was it a company phone? Many companies block those 0900 premium numbers... you know, for all the phone sex companies and stuff"... bottom line: I had to drive a second time to the airport. Did not receive any word of "oh, we are sorry" but a "You could have called our lab" "Who is that" "Ah, you wouldnt know..."...

This is not a case of being Switzerlanded. I knew the price and accepted to pay 200 CHF instead of the 130-150 that pharmacies charge (btw, here in Lux costs a PCR test 15 EUR...). My complaint is that despite paying a premium price is the service not working. That my email didnt come was hopefully the exception. But the idea of "We charge 2.50 CHF per minute for our support hotline and only allow Swiss people to call it despite having mostly international clients" is just terrible service.

Last but not least: I have traveled a bit and well: it was the first time I took a PCR test without the swab. It is more comfortable and apparently faster. However, I know that some countries who require a PCR test for traveling have explicitly banned those tests. So make sure that this one is allowed for where you need to go.
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