Buying an LCD monitor these days is both easier and harder than ever before with much lower prices and wider selection. One thing that remains a mystery is how dead pixels are widely accepted as the norm by most manufacturer and retailer warranties. Some companies only accept exchanges or returns if the monitor has as many as 8 dead pixels, or some combination of dead and stuck pixels in certain formations. Apparently there is not enough consumer demand for perfect LCD monitors, allowing companies to get away with this for so long.
If you do demand a perfect LCD monitor with no dead pixels, there is hope. There are certain retailers that offer liberal return policies on monitors (and other items), allowing you to exchange if pixel problems should arise. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Dell is actually one of the best places to buy LCD monitors due to their no-hassle 14 days return policy. If for any reason you are unsatisfied, you can return or exchange your order within 14 days. Because of this, they are an excellent choice for monitor purchases. Dell also makes many great monitors and often has low prices with coupon deals. I highly recommend checking out Dell when you are looking for a new LCD monitor, especially a Dell branded one.
A Canadian outfit, NCIX also has a US branch. You may want to compare prices on both of its sites to find the best deal depending on the exchange rate. The appeal of NCIX comes from it’s offer of a 0-dead pixel replacement policy known as express coverage that you can purchase for a small fee in addition to your order. This ensures that you get a monitor with no pixel defects or up to 3 exchanges with no shipping costs. Ironically, the only LCD monitor I’ve purchased without any dead pixels was one I bought from them with the guarantee and no exchanges.
Brick & Mortar
While I am generally not a fan of shopping for electronics offline or at Best Buy, you can’t argue with their return policy. You can return or exchange a monitor within 14 days. I once bought a 21.3″ LCD with several dead pixels and exchanged it at Best Buy. Your experience and degree of hassle may vary depending on the store, however.
Places to Avoid
Surprisingly, Newegg, perhaps the best online store for computer parts, is one of the worst places to buy an LCD monitor. In order to exchange, a unit must have 8 or more dead pixels, which is higher than many manufacturer policies! Buy or research your other computer parts here, but go elsewhere for LCD monitors.
Before buying an LCD monitor, always check the return/exchange policy of the seller as well as the manufacturer to see what the dead pixel policy is. For most retailers, they will likely default to the manufacturer’s policy. The ones I have used in the past with luck include those described above. Some retailers may have written policies but also have excellent customer service. Amazon, for example, has been known to accept returns under circumstances not adhering to their written policies in an effort to satisfy the customer. You should always tread with caution as your mileage may vary.