Chris M. bought an ASUS laptop for $1,800 bucks. It had a stuck pixel — a garish, polygonal barnacle of LCD green which maddeningly drew his eye. But upon contacting ASUS, he was informed that the subpar screen on his $1,800 investment couldn’t be replaced for free. Why? ASUS doesn’t have that deal with Toshiba, the manufacturer of the screen.

Chris’ email tells us many things. It tells us that people in foreign countries with non-American accents simply can not be named “James.” But it also tells us a lot about the wiseness of not buying ASUS laptops, especially when this is the caliber of tech support email you receive:

    Plz be informed that we don’t have dot free LCD in stock ,so we can’t replace dot free LCd for you ,
    Sorry for inconvenience caused!

    James (ACI)

Hi! Plz continue to Chris’ email, after the jump.

Hi Consumerist,

I recently purchased an ASUS W3J laptop for $1,800. Considering ASUS only sells through distributors I was a little hesitant about purchasing online, considering my chances of getting a unit with dead or stuck pixels on the screen.

After waiting about a week for my shipment to arrive, low-and-behold, a stuck pixel was indeed present on my shiny new laptop.

Normal people probably wouldn’t be bothered by this, but I’m a perfectionist type so I was pretty upset. Every time I looked at the screen my eye would immediately be drawn to the constantly green lit pixel.

Having no other choice, I called up ASUS ‘Notebook Tech Support’ to see what they could do. I got a hold of ‘James’, who, I can only theorize, does not use his real name when answering the phone. He had a heavy accent and was difficult to understand, but told me ASUS has no dead/stuck pixel policy for the W3J model I had purchased. I asked if I could pay out of pocket to have the screen replaced, and he instructed me a technician would be in touch with me soon via email to facilitate my request.

After not hearing back from ASUS for two days, I call them up again and receive James again. I tell him my story again and again, he repeats they’ll be in touch with me soon. I hang up, but get the feeling I’m not getting anywhere, so I call the RMA department listed on the ASUS website. A very polite woman answered (who did not have a accent) and I explained to her my problem. She said they do not replace screens because they cannot guarantee all pixels will work (conflicting information from their Notebook Tech Support Department). After inquiring why, she said Toshiba (who is the manufacturer of the screen) would not make the arrangement for the model.

Feeling like I exhausted about every possible avenue for getting my laptop picture perfect, I’ve been forcing myself to live with this single stuck pixel — that is — until today.

Below is the email I just received from an ASUS engineer who James (apparently there is a James in Notebook Support and a James in Repair, maybe all these guys are named James?) said would contact me to replace my screen. I cannot believe how unprofessional this guy sounds. Not only is his writing atrocious, he gives completely different information from the RMA department’s ‘no screen replacement’ stance.

In short, fuck ASUS. I love their motherboards, but I’ll never buy another laptop from them again. For a company of their size to have such conflicting information, such terribly trained employees and service, I’m feeling buyers remorse for not looking into them further before making my purchase decision for a new laptop.


Edit Your Comment

  1. aka Cat says:

    Is this just a single stuck pixel? If so, Chris would be sol no matter who he bought the laptop from. Companies just don’t replace lcd screens for one bad pixel, no matter how annoying it is.

    (Unless you have a DoD or similar contract, in which case you’re paying 10x the retail price to start with.)

  2. pete says:

    Actually, I think some (very, very few) companies will replace a screen with 1 dead pixel – Apple maybe?

    What you should do in this situation is just return the laptop and re-buy until you get one without dead pixels.

    Most retailers have a 2 week no-questions-asked return policy – take advantage.

  3. McJared says:

    If the pixel is stuck on a solid color all is not lost, all James had to do what apply pressure to the area the where the pixel is affected for a few moments (smallest area possible, best done with a cloth and a pen.) The reason it is constantly green is because the liquid has not filled the Red and Blue cells, applying pressure will squeeze the liquid into the cells. I’ve had this problem on many monitors and this method worked each time.

    Now dead pixels (permanently black) that’s another problem, which is often not fixable. You should check your warranty, it should contain the threshold that the manufacture will accept the monitor back for replacement. The magic number seems to be around seven.

  4. Kat says:


    I have seven dead pixels (that became stuck long after my laptop was out of warranty) and I don’t even notice them!

    Furthermore, I barely notice the stuck pixel on my Nintendo DS Lite, even though it’s bright green!

  5. JMC says:

    Hardly any company will replace a monitor with a single dead (or stuck) pixel. Not even Apple. Check out this article from Tom’s Hardware about the subject.

    What’s inexcusable is the use of IM slang in a customer support email. Plz give me a break. That’s inexcusable.

  6. Ran Kailie says:

    I had great experiences with Asus support when I went through my motherboard nightmares, they even responded on a holiday weekend and sunday. They were helpful, spoke good english and were knowledgeable about the motherboards.

    But seriously? A single stuck pixel? Give me a break. No company will replace a LCD for a single stuck pixel.

  7. peejaybee says:

    Actually, ASUS has a policy with certain models to replace LCDs with even one bright dot.

    Still, I doubt I would have bought my ASUS had I known that they had B1FF!!! working tech support.

  8. Magister says:

    I would have IMMEDIATELY returned the laptop, you shouldn’t even have to deal with warranty stuff.

  9. Ookseer says:

    I’m with the “What’s the big deal with 1 stuck pixel?” crowd.

    But the CS person needs some blunt head trauma. (Or possibly, less).

    It should also be noted that ASUS provides OEM laptops for a number of companies. I don’t have a current list of who, but if you’re buying an off brand laptop, there’s a decent chance it’s a rebadged ASUS.

    If you are “the perfectionist type” what are you doing buying something sight unseen? It’s not like there is shortage of mid-range laptop choices out there. Or do you live in an Alaskan village or something? (If it was price based, then you are forever going to be a frustrated perfectionist.)

  10. LintMan says:

    I think any number of dead pixels is unacceptable in a new product purchased at full price. If they want to sell dead-pixel units at a discount to people who don’t mind, fine. Coming from the CRT world, it seems ridiculous to me that manufacturers expect us to unquestioningly accept these flawed displays.

    Sadly, most vendors online have a “dead pixel policy” of 7 or more dead pixels before they replace it. I’ve also heard some LCD manufacturers won’t replace one with less that 21+ dead pixels.

    When I recently purchased a new 21″ LCD display, I was determined not to get stuck with any dead pixels, so I bought it from a place with a 14-day no-questions return policy – B&H Photo. It cost a bit more than Newegg, but was worth it for the assurance I wouldn’t get stuck with a dud.

  11. dualref says:

    I wouldn’t have another piece of ASUS crap again. I have never seen such a high failure rate on their Motherboards or laptops as they have. We stopped using them years ago.

  12. Blu3ird says:

    I agree with you. ASUS sucks. I bought my notebook this summer in August and I had to send it for repair in September for a problem with the hard drive. I first thought that ASUS’s global repair service would fix my notebook immediately, but that was not the case. Even after 2 months, I have not yet been able to retrieve my notebook! The only response that ASUS could give me was that they were “waiting for the shipment of a hard drive.” Of course… I was satisfied to know that a mega computer manufacturer can not acquire a computer part in 2 months and counting….! I’m still waiting for my once brand new notebook, while it depreciates and becomes outdated. So, as a kind note, do RECONSIDER when buying ASUS notebooks!!!