Dead pixel on new '09 iMac. What should I do? Will there be more eventually?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Eanair, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Eanair macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #1
    Well, I've joined the ranks of having a dead pixel. As it's black and not an actual color, I am guessing that it's dead rather than stuck. I tried the flashing video just in case, but that didn't work. The iMac is just about a week old.

    I've been reading about people who've had similar problems, and I don't see any consistency in outcomes of what happens when they try to repair/return it. Some have had >1 dead pixels on arrival and their Apple store wouldn't let them return. Some others have had even just 1 dead pixel anytime within the 14 day return grace period and they were able to replace their machine no problem (I'm assuming they also had to pay a restocking fee). Some people say that you can only return if you have >5 dead pixels. Some say >8. Some say just 1 if within 7 days. Some say 2 if they're within an inch of each other.

    (seems to me like it all depends on how nice the person you speak to is...)

    The Apple Support site does not really go into details about pixel abnormalities other than if you suspect you have a high number of pixel abnormalities you may take your machine in for a consult at a store and a consultation fee may apply. (however they define "high number")

    What would your advice be for a single dead pixel? It's not in a corner somewhere, but it's not dead center either. I notice it the most when I have Word or Excel open and I'm working with that bright white screen and keep reflexively trying to brush it away. It's not enough to really disrupt the functioning of the machine, but it's just annoying enough that it catches the eye when the window/background is a light color.

    I'm not sure that paying the restocking fee is worth the single dead pixel, especially as a replacement model could be worse. But I am within the 14 days return window, so I could return it and deal with the restocking fee if I had to.

    So I am wondering - if you get one dead pixel, will that mean you'll eventually get more in a snowball effect? Does having a single dead pixel denote that there's something wrong that could escalate to cause many other dead pixels to pop up, or could one just be an anomaly? I read in one forum that once you get one or two dead pixels popping up, that means that something is wrong with your computer and it will just continue to get worse and worse over time. If that's true, I very well may consider trying to get a replacement iMac...

    As always, thanks. :)
     
  2. Vanilla Cocoa macrumors member

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #2
    You should be able to return it as defective without a restocking charge.
     
  3. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #3
    I'm not sure though that they'll consider a single dead pixel (annoying or not) defective... :confused:

    EDIT: If it's going to be a huge hassle where I'll have to argue with someone for several minutes, totally not worth it. While a bit annoying now, I I can deal with it in time. I worry that there will be more though, if there's a problem that's causing them to pop up suddenly.
     
  4. Vanilla Cocoa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #4
    As far as I'm concerned, Apple sold you a defective product (doesn't matter how many dead pixels it has)... so they should take it back. It's always worth a try - they can't do anything other than say no. :)

    Not sure about whether more will appear, though.
     
  5. uefigs139 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    #5
    My 6 year old iMac came with 4 hung (not dead) pixels spaced sporadically over the screen. I really noticed them at first, but now I can't even remember where they are unless I look for them. The problem never got worse, I still have the same 4 I had when I got it. A dead pixel might be a lot more annoying than a hung pixel, but I wouldn't worry about more appearing.
     
  6. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #6
    Is a hung pixel a stuck pixel?

    I know there are stuck pixels and dead pixels...
     
  7. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

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    Feb 27, 2009
    #7
    Tis true... but I would be afraid a replacement would have even more dead pixels than my original.
     
  8. SydneyDev macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #8
    Tell them about how you keep having to brush it away. They probably have some sort of guidelines in the store, and user annoyance is bound to be a factor.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    Some guy here mentioned that Apple's policy is that if there's more than 5 dead pixels or one in the middle of the screen, you can get replacement
     
  10. kurosov macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 3, 2009
    #10
    tell them you are a photographer and that one pixel kills productivity. ;)
     
  11. waiwai macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #11
    1 dead pixel or "foreign particle" in the display is not going to get you a replacement. All LCD manufacturers state that any number of dead pixels under 4 OR 5 is deemed acceptable and its actually stated in most warranty manuals.

    Apple is pretty anal about the dead pixel policy as well. I had an Early 2007 MBP and it was plagued by what I thought was dead pixels but the apple care dude said it was "dust/foreign particles in the display that was probably factory defect. But they first told me that if its under 4, they won't do anything about it. This was a few months after I got it, so I could only go through Apple Care instead of in-store. They ended up replacing the lcd under warranty because it was beyond the stated acceptable limit of garbage in the lcd lol :p

    Same deal with my new aluminum macbook I got back in November 2008. Came in with a few dead pixels, some were clustered so it was big black dots on several parts of my screen (not just single pixel dots, about 2-3). Clearly it was unacceptable to me. You just bring it back to Apple store if you've only had it for a few days and say you want to get a replacement or a full refund because you are not satisfied with the quality of the iMac. Keyword... "Satisfied". If they stick you with restock fee, explain to them that you are being treated unfairly as every other customer gets iMacs with no problems with LCD, and ask them personally if it makes sense that you should have to pay the same price as everyone else but instead you get a defective LCD. When you do that, they most likely cave and will do the replacement or refund without applying restocking fee...

    Thats the best route to go. After your exchange/refund period is up... You're in for a whole lot of hurt if you think Applecare will replace your iMac due to a single dead pixel.

    Anyway, good luck - head on down to your retailer asap if you want to have a chance at getting a non-defective iMac.
     
  12. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #12
    I don't think I would be this concerned with it if it was some time after my purchase, but it's only been ~1 week.

    The pixel is something I could eventually learn to live with, it's just somewhat annoying when I happen to be working with a bright screen background, like Word, and keep thinking there's something on my screen and trying to brush it away before remembering that it's the pixel rather than dust or lint or other debris.

    I'm in my 14 day return period, so I could return it, try to negotiate out of the restocking fee, and just get a new one as mine is not custom ordered, but I am a bit fearful that the new one might also have a dead pixel, and it might be in an even more inconvienent place or there might be more of them.

    How common are dead pixels in these displays?

    I've heard many people online complaining about them, which leads me to believe that they are somewhat common, but then again, no one's really going to come online and post about how great their display is with no dead pixels, so I can't tell if dead pixels really are common, or only seem common because it's the only time people really post about them - when they have them.

    Someone on a notebook forum elsewhere posted that dead pixels are rare nowadays in screens. If so, I would be tempted to try my luck at a new iMac and assume my dead pixel was just a case of bad fortune or whatever.

    Anyone know of some solid or pretty good estimates of how common dead pixels are?

    If I'm going to take a gamble, might as well try to be at least a little educated about it... :p
     
  13. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #13
    Quote from one of the largest LCD panel manufactures warranty statement about what the warrenty does NOT cover:
    Therefore, they have an expectation of a number of dead pixels ... 5 seems to be the common magic number and they won't(might not) honour the warranty for a single pixel
     
  14. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #14
    They might not honor the warranty, but I'm still within my 14 day return period. As I believe, as long as you're in this period, you can return anything for any reason - you'll just have to deal with the restocking fee (though I've heard some particularly nice reps will let it slide if you have a reason you can explain successfully).

    I'm a bit torn about living with the pixel now, or taking a chance and returning it and just getting a whole new one (and possibly negotiating the restocking fee lower or to have it waived completely).

    If I have to pay the restocking fee, I'm not sure it'll be worth it for that single dead pixel. :(

    If the pixel were in one of the corners, I wouldn't mind as much...
     
  15. waiwai macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #15
    doesn't hurt to go into apple store and see what they say...
     
  16. Macist macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #16
    If it's black, have you tried moving your head up and down if front of the screeen seeing if the 'pixel' moves. If it moves, it could be a spec of something stuck the other side of the glossy front - I have this on mine and would assume if I could take the machine apart if could get ride of it but that's too much hassle. Still, how did it get in there?
     
  17. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #17
    Tis very true. I plan on visiting the Apple Store on my way home tonight to see what they have to say. Worst they can say is no. :) But it never hurts to try.
     
  18. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #18
    I've tried moving my head to see if the pixel moved, thinking it might be something just stuck on the glass screen I needed to wipe off, but the pixel is gosh darn stationary. :(

    That's interesting about yours. :confused: Dust, perhaps? Black lint? I would assume it probably got stuck in there sometime during the manufacturing process...
     
  19. Benguitar Guest

    Benguitar

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    #19
    I would show up at the Apple store the minute I found it and ask them to fix it or replace the computer.

    Rebellious pixels drive me CRAZY! :p

    Absolutely go to the Apple store and see what they have to say.
     
  20. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

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    Feb 27, 2009
    #20
    I was trying to live with my rebellious pixel...it's just so eye catching when you know it's there now... :/
     
  21. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #21
    Well, I am now in the possession of a new iMac, dead pixel free (knock on wood it stays that way).

    They were really awesomely nice about it and no questions asked, let me return my old one and get a new one - even without having to pay the restocking fee.

    My rep said, "Well, yeah, there is a dead pixel policy, technically...but come on. It's a brand new computer - there shouldn't be anything wrong with it at all."

    So, to anyone who gets a new Mac with a dead pixel, at least give it a try to take if back if you want! You never know!
     
  22. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #22
    it's clearly bothering you since you posted here. go back and return it for a swap and don't accept a restocking fee. Boot up the machine in the store to verify before you leave that it's OK.

    you shouldn't accept dead pixels on such an expensive machine. The iMac is one of the most expensive desktop that consumers actually buy, and you shouldn't tolerate it here.

    Also, if you ever want to sell the computer, the dead pixel will turn a lot of potential buyers off.

    EDIT: Didn't see the post above mine!

    I'm happy you have a good machine now. Enjoy!

    My white 24" iMac that's around 2 years old is running perfectly, same as the day I got it, with all pixels accounted for.
     
  23. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #23
    Thanks everyone! :)

    My replacement iMac is now running quite smoothly, and still dead pixel free. Long may that last!!
     
  24. ciaobello macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    #24
    Apple Store Replaced LED Screen without question

    Just received my Macbook 13.3 Unibody back from Apple. I went to the Apple Store SoHo in New York city on Tuesday afternoon to report one dead pixel. The Mac Genius saw the dead pixel immediately and said I would have a brand new screen (clamshell) by the end of the week. There were absolutely no questions asked. I was prepared to plead my case because of all the horror stories I've read on MacRumors and other sites, but I never needed to say anything. FedEx delivered my repaired Macbook Thursday morning at 10am. Just take your Mac to an Apple Store, if one is nearby. You should have no problems replacing. Btw, my machine is about 8 months old, and the new screen is actually an upgraded version (AU Optics).:)
     

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