It only took seven months, a report to the BBB, 30 phone calls, a half dozen emails, and threats of reporting Westinghouse to the FTC and CA Attorney General, but they finally sent me back my monitor. It's the one on the right there (with the very slightly crappier picture quality).
I must say, 3840x1200 resolution is pretty much a dream come true. I can have Firefox and Vim/Emacs open and nice and big, and still have room for lots of terminals, and maybe even a file manager or two. Multiple that by eight virtual desktops.
As near I can tell, it appears to e a new unit, not refurbished. If it is refurbished, it's refurbished well enough that I can't tell one way or the other, which is fine. However I'm still expecting this one to die too. My first monitor died in such a way that it wouldn't power on at all. This one is running very very hot, which scares me. I give it 3 months tops.
It makes me sad every time another person posts to my blog that Westinghouse is giving them the same horrible treatment. But hang in there. Lessons learned:
- Don't buy a crappy brand just because it's cheap. I saved $75 or $100 on this monitor compared to a better brand, but it cost me over seven months of anguish (and $25 in shipping fees to send it back to the factory, and I had to buy a replacement!) Cheap things are cheap for a reason: The company isn't paying anyone to support their customers, or it's cutting corners in the quality of the merchandise, or something similar. Is it worth the gamble?
- Don't buy anything expensive online unless you have a very clear method of getting it replaced if it breaks. Manufacturer standard warranties are evil. Is the time savings of shopping online rather than going to the local big box electronics store really worth it, if you have to pack up and mail your stuff to Zimbabwe for seven months?
- UPS sucks. Hey UPS, how about if you don't drop off $500 pieces of electronics on a random person's front porch without a signature next time? I hope whoever ended up with my first monitor is enjoying it. (Actually I hope they die in a fire.) Westinghouse sucks. Suffice it to say I won't buy this brand of anything ever again. And neither will my family or friends, who've heard me complain about this for seven months. And neither will many people reading my blog, I hope. Note to companies: Take care of your customers. A new monitor costs you a few dollars, but treating your customers like garbage costs you FAR MORE in the long run.
(Read the whole crappy story of Westinghouse's dishonesty and horrible customer service: The beginning, Update 1, Update 2, Update 3, Update 4, Update 5, Update 6, Update 7, Update 8, Update 9, VICTORY, aftermath.)