Feel like I got cheated by Apple

Amasashi

macrumors member
Original poster
May 17, 2010
85
0
Here's a long story short.

About two and a half weeks ago, I bought an iMac 27". The guy assured me that he would keep opening new machines for me until I got one that was perfect. First one we opened was good. No yellow-tinting, no flickering, no black spots, and no dead pixels. We ran PiXel Check 2 times just to make sure. He checked, I checked, we both double checked. Satisfied, I took my iMac home. He said that should any problems arise, I should bring the iMac back and he'll exchange a brand new one for me right on the spot. Within 14 days, of course.

After I got home, I ran PiXel Check a third time just to make sure. There were absolutely no pixel defects.

Now fast forward 16 days later. Yesterday, while editing a photo, I noticed what appeared to be a pixel defect. After making sure it wasn't anything outside of the screen, I ran PiXel Check again, and whoa and behold, there was a stuck red pixel in the upper right grid on the screen. Stuck pixels are worse than dead pixels, in my opinion, and though it was in the upper right grid of the screen, it was located on the bottom left corner of the grid, which means it's pretty damn close to the center of the screen, enough so that it's fairly noticeable (especially now that I know it's there) during routine computer use.

So I called the Apple Store, but unfortunately I was past the 14-day return policy, so they couldn't (or wouldn't) give me a new iMac. Instead, they said it would have to be sent back and repaired. No problem, I can wait. However, Apple's policy on pixel defects is that there has to be at least 3 (or 5, depending on who you talk to) pixel defects before they're willing to replace the screen, so unless more defective pixels start popping up, I'm going to have to live with this stuck red pixel that's practically in the center of the screen.

Now I understand that LCD monitors are not perfect and that there's the off-chance you'll get a pixel defect. It's just part of the manufacturing process. What I'm bitching about here is that Apple's warranty is too narrow in scope. Macs cost a premium price, and in return I expect premium service. To be fair, I've always had great customer service from Apple, and the people at the Apple Store are always very helpful and friendly. But Apple really needs to step up its policy regarding defective pixels. Some PC brands go as far as offering free repair for even one defective pixel in a span of 3 years. Because come on, the screen is like one of most important components of a computer. You're looking at the damn thing 100% of the time! To expect customers to make their peace with even one defective pixel is unreasonable considering how much a Mac costs.

And don't let anyone give you that crap about how 14 days is enough time because if there aren't any defective pixels at the time of purchase, there will never be any defective pixels, ever. Mine was perfect at the store before spawning a defective pixel 16 days later.

I still love Apple, and I still love Macs. But why can't Apple fix display issues as liberally as they do other hardware problems? This policy flat out sucks.
 

This policy flat out sucks.
My issue with Apple's stuck/dead pixel policy is that it is count based and not location based. I could live with 10 dead pixels if they were on the very top line and at the right edge, I would never notice them. On the other hand a stuck, bright red, pixel right smack in the middle of the display is amazingly annoying.

Since location annoyance is subjective then the Apple store managers should (or should be able to) take the location of the pixel into consideration, despite the quantity.

That being said I realize that Apple has to draw the line somewhere, I just wish that you were not on the wrong side of that line.
 

Amasashi

macrumors member
Original poster
May 17, 2010
85
0
Nope, tried that already, ran some color programs too. Still red as hell :-(
 

Vikz

macrumors regular
Nov 13, 2007
134
2
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Unfortunately, Apple doesn't make the display so they cant in itself check that all displays are 100% good. since apple has more control over its other components then you see that those problems are resolved better than the display ones like GPU's disck drives etc.

As a technician i can tell you from my experience that 1 stuck or dead pixel is the norm and very common in all TV's LCD's etc I have seen and repaired. The industry standard for display panels are 5 completely dead or 5 stuck pixels and if in combination of stuck and dead then its 3. Of course theres always exceptions to the rules in which a number of user never get problems with displays but all of these is attributed to mass production.

from what I read in your story, yours falls in the norm of pixel anomalies all displays are expected to have and produce.

if you wish to return the iMac i say do it but from what you saw a significant number of units had the same problem and if you go to other computer manufacturers you will see the same thing. Remember it is made by man so it will never be perfect.
 

RedReplicant

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2010
693
5
Be glad, I have a cluster of 30-40 dead pixels in a 3x3 inch area on my 27", I can't go without the computer so I am stuck.
 

Amasashi

macrumors member
Original poster
May 17, 2010
85
0
30-40 in a 3 x 3 spot? Are you serious?! You definitely need to get that fixed! Someone must have dropped something on the LCD at the factory.
 

newfoundglory

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2007
264
1
The problem - as you have discovered - is that display defects do not always reveal themselves immediately.

Even if you get the display replaced you may not have a perfect screen. You may very well do, but you have to accept the fact that you may not.

I remember when I got my first gen iPhone from the US (i live in the UK), got home and discovered that within the first week it had a stuck pixel in a really annoying place. I couldn't try take it to the London apple store because the phone wasn't even out the UK at the time and i'd unlocked it from AT&T so i had to live with it anyway. I now have a 3GS which is (luckily) perfect.

I got my first MBP while in Hong Kong, which was fine in-store... got back to the hotel room and discovered a cluster of black, dead pixels. Took it back to the HK apple reseller who replaced it - all good. Anyway, I got back to London and discovered that the display had LED backlighting issues... it was darker in one part of the screen that the other but was only noticeable in certain conditions.

It was easily within tolerances, but the Genius who i saw offered to replace the screen anyway. (Risky for me, as the screen was dead-pixel free at that time). I remember seeing the invoice of what it would have cost if not covered by Apple, which was something like £480.

I think Apple try their best, but with things like screens its always a bit of a lottery. If apple manufactured the screens themselves i'm sure they'd be a lot better.
 

Stealthipad

macrumors 68040
Apr 30, 2010
3,220
7
Like the others said, you have no guarantee that there will not be stuck pixels that can sow up anytime.

Why do you feel cheated, Apply went WAY ABOVE what any other company would do to make you happy but now you expect to get them to bend the rules just for you!

You must be very naive to think that life could be as perfect as you wish it to be. The real world is much different. If one dead pixel ruins you entire computing experience then you are going to be hard to please.:eek:
 

Rhalliwell1

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2008
588
1
You have 1 year apple care, thats your warranty, you can extend it to 3 years. On that warranty apple does not cover a single defective pixel - would you?

The 14 day return policy is if you are dissatisfied with your product and obviously a single dead/stuck pixel is a reason to be dissatisfied.

The 14 day policy has been clear to you throughout so i don't think you can say apple has cheated you, i think it is just bad luck.
 

Amasashi

macrumors member
Original poster
May 17, 2010
85
0
You have 1 year apple care, thats your warranty, you can extend it to 3 years. On that warranty apple does not cover a single defective pixel - would you?

The 14 day return policy is if you are dissatisfied with your product and obviously a single dead/stuck pixel is a reason to be dissatisfied.

The 14 day policy has been clear to you throughout so i don't think you can say apple has cheated you, i think it is just bad luck.
Would I cover a single defective pixel? Yes, I would, if I was selling a premium product, which Apple clearly is.

Here's how I think it should be:

14-day return policy. Anything wrong with the machine at all and you get a new one right on the spot.

For the duration of your warranty after 14 days, if a monitor has even one defective pixel, it should be sent back for repair.

That is how premium service for a premium product should be.
 

Amasashi

macrumors member
Original poster
May 17, 2010
85
0
I forgot to say that the reason why I felt cheated was because I was under the impression that even a single defective pixel would be eligible for repair. No one told me this straight out, I just thought that was the standard of Apple's warranty.

The terms of the 14-day return policy was made clear to me, yes. I was merely dissatisfied with the fact that it was only 2 days after said policy expired that the pixel became stuck. Perfect timing :p
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
You have 1 year apple care, thats your warranty, you can extend it to 3 years. On that warranty apple does not cover a single defective pixel - would you?

The 14 day return policy is if you are dissatisfied with your product and obviously a single dead/stuck pixel is a reason to be dissatisfied.

The 14 day policy has been clear to you throughout so i don't think you can say apple has cheated you, i think it is just bad luck.
Dell's warranty on their Ultrasharp monitors covers a single dead or stuck pixel. They even cross ship you a new monitor before you have to send yours back. And it's good for 3 years.
 

belltree

macrumors 6502
Feb 17, 2008
394
60
Tokyo, Japan
You see, this is part of the reason why I will never buy an iMac (despite how sexy looking they are). I don't want my computer (data) tied to the monitor. If ever the monitor goes bad (and it appears to not too uncommon with the iMac), I don't want to have to send in my whole system. Forget that, the Mac Mini or Pro are the way to go. Just get your own monitor.
 

fabian9

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2007
1,100
68
Bristol, UK
Here's a long story short.

About two and a half weeks ago, I bought an iMac 27". The guy assured me that he would keep opening new machines for me until I got one that was perfect. First one we opened was good. No yellow-tinting, no flickering, no black spots, and no dead pixels. We ran PiXel Check 2 times just to make sure. He checked, I checked, we both double checked. Satisfied, I took my iMac home. He said that should any problems arise, I should bring the iMac back and he'll exchange a brand new one for me right on the spot. Within 14 days, of course.

After I got home, I ran PiXel Check a third time just to make sure. There were absolutely no pixel defects.

Now fast forward 16 days later. Yesterday, while editing a photo, I noticed what appeared to be a pixel defect. After making sure it wasn't anything outside of the screen, I ran PiXel Check again, and whoa and behold, there was a stuck red pixel in the upper right grid on the screen. Stuck pixels are worse than dead pixels, in my opinion, and though it was in the upper right grid of the screen, it was located on the bottom left corner of the grid, which means it's pretty damn close to the center of the screen, enough so that it's fairly noticeable (especially now that I know it's there) during routine computer use.

So I called the Apple Store, but unfortunately I was past the 14-day return policy, so they couldn't (or wouldn't) give me a new iMac. Instead, they said it would have to be sent back and repaired. No problem, I can wait. However, Apple's policy on pixel defects is that there has to be at least 3 (or 5, depending on who you talk to) pixel defects before they're willing to replace the screen, so unless more defective pixels start popping up, I'm going to have to live with this stuck red pixel that's practically in the center of the screen.

Now I understand that LCD monitors are not perfect and that there's the off-chance you'll get a pixel defect. It's just part of the manufacturing process. What I'm bitching about here is that Apple's warranty is too narrow in scope. Macs cost a premium price, and in return I expect premium service. To be fair, I've always had great customer service from Apple, and the people at the Apple Store are always very helpful and friendly. But Apple really needs to step up its policy regarding defective pixels. Some PC brands go as far as offering free repair for even one defective pixel in a span of 3 years. Because come on, the screen is like one of most important components of a computer. You're looking at the damn thing 100% of the time! To expect customers to make their peace with even one defective pixel is unreasonable considering how much a Mac costs.

And don't let anyone give you that crap about how 14 days is enough time because if there aren't any defective pixels at the time of purchase, there will never be any defective pixels, ever. Mine was perfect at the store before spawning a defective pixel 16 days later.

I still love Apple, and I still love Macs. But why can't Apple fix display issues as liberally as they do other hardware problems? This policy flat out sucks.
Lesson learnt for next time - run the rest on day 13, don't ever run it again after day 13 as you might notice something that won't be fixed and you probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
Get used to it. Many of the iMacs have stuck or dead pixels. Be careful. Many are reported in refurbished models.
They are normal for all consumer LCDs, not just for iMac. IMO if they are not in the centre of the screen, get used to it, they annoy you for few days then you forget them.
 

Pachang

macrumors regular
Dec 17, 2009
236
0
The iMac forum game
1) Person criticizes XXXXX problem to do with the iMac display
2) Fanboy says XXXXX is common on all displays and they should stop complaining.
3) People who have bought displays before know that XXXXX is not actually very common and it is easy to make a display without XXXXX tell them to shutup.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
The iMac forum game
1) Person criticizes XXXXX problem to do with the iMac display
2) Fanboy says XXXXX is common on all displays and they should stop complaining.
3) People who have bought displays before know that XXXXX is not actually very common and it is easy to make a display without XXXXX tell them to shutup.
They are pretty common... Quality control is another thing and Apple's may not be the best but it's impossible to make displays which are all 100% perfect. Consumer products have ~5% failure rate which is acceptable. I've seen dozens of non-Apple monitors which have dead or stuck pixels, some even use the same panel as iMac so...

You all have to keep in mind that people come to MR to tell about their PROBLEMS so it's normal to see all those horror cases. Pixel issues are very minor and IMO acceptable, I have 2 dead ones and I barely even know where they are!
 

cryer

macrumors regular
May 3, 2010
175
1
They are pretty common... Quality control is another thing and Apple's may not be the best but it's impossible to make displays which are all 100% perfect. Consumer products have ~5% failure rate which is acceptable. I've seen dozens of non-Apple monitors which have dead or stuck pixels, some even use the same panel as iMac so...

You all have to keep in mind that people come to MR to tell about their PROBLEMS so it's normal to see all those horror cases. Pixel issues are very minor and IMO acceptable, I have 2 dead ones and I barely even know where they are!
Let me ask, what if you were within your 14-day period with those 2 dead ones. Would you replace it the machine?

That's the situation I'm in now. There's two dead ones. One in the bottom left quadrant, and one in the bottom right quadrant. Just about center inside each of those two quadrants.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
Let me ask, what if you were within your 14-day period with those 2 dead ones. Would you replace it the machine?

That's the situation I'm in now. There's two dead ones. One in the bottom left quadrant, and one in the bottom right quadrant. Just about center inside each of those two quadrants.
I replaced it two times (first one had ONE stuck) and ended up getting worse and worse all the time. Live a week with it and then rethink about it, if they really annoy you, then return it. I got over it in two days, now I'm having hard time to find them :eek:
 

cryer

macrumors regular
May 3, 2010
175
1
I replaced it two times (first one had ONE stuck) and ended up getting worse and worse all the time. Live a week with it and then rethink about it, if they really annoy you, then return it. I got over it in two days, now I'm having hard time to find them :eek:
To be honest, I can't see them if I don't look for them but it kind of bothers me that I just can't get a 100% working display/machine the first time when I've just gotten this computer recently and spent $2k for it. I've also got a fan running at 1109+ constantly (I'm told it should be below 1100) and a stomach grumbling noise from the hd. My question now is whether to replace or repair, with the fear that a replacement would be worse and a repair may not fix these issues? What would you do?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
To be honest, I can't see them if I don't look for them but it kind of bothers me that I just can't get a 100% working display/machine the first time when I've just gotten this computer recently and spent $2k for it. I've also got a fan running at 1109+ constantly (I'm told it should be below 1100) and a stomach grumbling noise from the hd. My question now is whether to replace or repair, with the fear that a replacement would be worse and a repair may not fix these issues? What would you do?
Grumbling HD will likely be fixed, just ask them to replace it with different drive. As for the display, it's up to you. Out of 3 686 400 pixels, it's not a surprise that one or two aren't working. Keep in mind that the replacement might have e.g. yellowing and even more defective pixels. I've lived with mine, I tried to get a perfect iMac, but I gave up and haven't regretted. I might ask a replacement LCD soon anyway due image persistence