Should a single dead pixel bother me?
April 11, 2006 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Should I ask to return my new GPS?

I received my Garmin nuvi this evening. It's awesome, but I noticed after I got it home (from the UPS pickup) that there's a dead pixel close to the center of the screen. I can live with it, but it's annoying. Is it reasonable to expect to be able to return the unit, or is this sort of thing just an unfortunate fact of life? It's not "in the way" as far as I can see - just stuck red, and visible due to the black background.
posted by aberrant to Technology (12 answers total)
 
Check your manual, it almost certainly has a line in there about a dead pixel or two being a normal part of the production process.
posted by fenriq at 11:16 PM on April 11, 2006


I received my Garmin nuvi this evening. ... Is it reasonable to expect to be able to return the unit...

You received it today? Yes.

...is this sort of thing just an unfortunate fact of life?

Yeah. I've got one on my Olympus digital camera LCD. It's mildly annoying, like you say, but it's not a big deal. It happens.

Should I ask to return my new GPS?

Depends how much you paid, versus how much you feel like investing in the bother of an exchange. I might. Most people probably wouldn't.
posted by cribcage at 11:29 PM on April 11, 2006


Almost certainly Garmin has some minimum number of dead pixels (i.e. > 1) they require before they'll fix or replace it. If you're lucky they might be flexible in that if the dead pixel is really intrusive they might fix it anyway. If you're really lucky Garmin has a zero tolerance policy regarding this (a la Nintendo) and will replace it.

My PSP and tablet pc each have 1 dead pixel, and I never notice them during actual use. (Though they're not right in the middle.)
posted by sevenless at 12:09 AM on April 12, 2006


I think it's reasonable, certainly. Especially because the display is far smaller, so, percentage wise... it's a bit more of an annoyance.

I just bought two 20.1" widescreen Dell LCDs, and I'm running them both at 1680 x 1050, and I while looking awfully carefully for dead pixels, thought to myself if I'd perhaps be better off not knowing they exist... But I would have been upset to find one or two, I know it, though I'm not sure I would have returned them.

Still, they're massive displays that require a great deal to ship back. I think for a GPS unit, you're okay to ask for a product that works. You didn't buy it to suck.
posted by disillusioned at 12:16 AM on April 12, 2006


Garmin handles returns rather well, in my experience. It's the maps you have to watch out for. They sold me "City Select South Africa", when I was still in the UK. It was missing most of the major secondary routes (which are often superior to the primary routes here). Now they sold me "Garmap" South Africa, a more complete product, for less than City Select!!!
posted by Goofyy at 3:12 AM on April 12, 2006


Is there a restocking fee?
posted by smackfu at 6:38 AM on April 12, 2006


Thanks for all the answers. There will be a restocking fee if I go through the reseller for a "non-defective" return, which this wouldn't be. If I go through Garmin directly under mfr's warranty, I doubt there'd be a fee.

It is annoying that a dead pixel exists in a product so expensive - the device was just under $800. I've written to Garmin tech support and will be calling the reseller today.
posted by aberrant at 7:03 AM on April 12, 2006


(er, just under $700.)
posted by aberrant at 7:03 AM on April 12, 2006


It is annoying that a dead pixel exists in a product so expensive

It would be way, way, way more expensive if they had to throw out every LCD screen with one dead pixel.
posted by mendel at 7:15 AM on April 12, 2006


Attempt to "massage" the pixel back to health. If you have any means of toggling the red pixels on and off repeatedly, that may help; if you gently rub the screen above the pixel, that may help.

Or it might break it. YMMV, IANALCDE, No warranties expressed or implied.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:02 AM on April 12, 2006


Massaging might be difficult as it's a touch-screen unit. However: I talked with the retailer and they've agreed to RMA it - not only that, but they're cross-shipping me a new unit. These guys appear to have some great customer service.
posted by aberrant at 10:35 AM on April 12, 2006


And the final followup - Garmin offered to help, the reseller offered to replace it (even cross-ship!), so I wound up getting a new one (fortunately, defect-free this time) and am out $18 for shipping and about a week of time. The reseller was fantastic.
posted by aberrant at 1:11 PM on April 29, 2006


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