Big monitors, big problems

As many of you know, I have professed my affection for the Dell 3007WFP we have here in Damage Labs on multiple occasions.  I think these large displays are one of the most exciting developments in PC hardware in the past few years, very much in a you-had-to-be-there sense.  If you try one, you'll be hooked.  I use two 20" LCDs on my own desktop, and they just don't compare to one big 30" screen.

However, my experience with the 3007WFP is turning sour.  I bought this one just over a year ago.  The first one failed after maybe six months; part of the backlight failed, and it had to be replaced.  That meant wasting half a morning on hold with Dell.  Once I got to the right person, and once he was able to understand what I was saying in my strange, clear-as-a-bell midwestern American accent, they did cross-ship me a replacement right away.  But it was still a pain.

The replacement worked well for a while, but a couple of weeks ago, it developed quite the problem: a bright, green line running down the middle of the screen.  Initially, I thought the problem might be caused by my KVM switch or a bad connection, but after moving the connection around to a bunch of different video cards, bypassing the switch, and as much fiddling with the monitor as possible, I realized that wasn't the case.  I'm going to have to get another RMA replacement.

That's not the kind of quality control you want to see on a ~$1300 display, to say the least.  Those of you who are looking to buy one might want to consider HP or some other brand.

Now, I'm trying to decide when to bite the bullet and call Dell support.  With the cable cuts supposedly messing up call routing to international call centers, I haven't been looking forward to it.

On a similar front, the doorbell rang the other day, and by the time I made it upstairs, my wife and daughter were standing in the shadow of a just-delivered box the size of a small elephant.  The package came from ViewSonic, and inside was apparently an RMA replacement for my 21" CRT.  The thing is: I hadn't requested a replacement.

Not lately, anyhow.  My 21" ViewSonic died maybe three or four months ago, and I had them send me a replacement then.  Apparently the RMA request kept kicking around in their system somehow, and it eventually resulted in another monitor being shipped to my address at random.  Now, I'm going to have to lug the box up to the FedEx store in order to get it shipped back before they charge my credit card for it.

ViewSonic has my credit card info because they required it of me, along with some paperwork and a little special pleading, before I could get them to cross-ship me the initial replacement display those several months ago.  (There was also a blood sacrifice involved, and I've yet to inform my eldest son that he'll be going to live with a ViewSonic CSR at the age of 12.)  The worst part of that support experience, though, was when ViewSonic shunted my call somewhere down a hold queue that wasn't being serviced.  I spent something like four hours on hold before hanging up.  A little while later, I called and got to a rep within ten minutes.

Now, I have a broken display and no RMA replacement (yet) and a non-broken display with an RMA replacement I don't need (yet?).  Ugh.

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