Tuesday 28 June 2016

The misery of buying a 4K Benq 32" BL3201PT from Amazon

Another story of broken hardware, out of the box. My 2 year old Yamakasi 30” monitor, with a 2560x1600 display, that was about to be listed as hero hardware, died. E-mails to Yamakasi went unanswered, so money down the drain. I decided to go 4k, and after reading a lot of reviews went for a Benq, BL3201PT from Amazon Warehouse Deals, and hence began another wretched episode, that I’ll cover in two parts. From the outset it’s worth mentioning that Amazon censored my review, which wasn’t much of a review but a factual list of how badly I was treated. In fact they had a review cull and removed other reviews too that showed defects in videos etc. Most odd was that one of the older critical reviews had been there for months, and mine was up for over a week before they had their review cull, negative ones only of course. More on that in part two, but here’s what Amazon censored to start with:-

I’ll dispense with opinion, and just list what Benq have ‘done’ to date, bearing in mind that I don’t actually have a monitor that I paid £700 for that they collected 23 days, i.e. over three weeks, ago, i.e. I have the e-mails sat on Google’s Gmail server as proof of their behaviour.

Monitor is just six weeks old and develops a flicker/glitch problem, more on that at the end. 

Day 1: Contact Benq Support. Support ticket issued by e-mail, but then nothing happens.

Day 2: DPD van turns up with a collection request on behalf of RepairTech. The driver has no idea what is to be collected, and does not know anything about Benq, so nothing given. More tickets opened, again no e-mails after support ticket e-mails issued.

Day 8: Benq get in touch, claim I never received e-mails they sent, though ticket acknowledgements came through just fine, and the very e-mail they had sent claiming this had come through. They offer a choice of a repair or a re-furbished unit, the latter is their “normal service term”. I agree to a re-furbished unit.

Day 12: They decide not to provide re-furbished unit claiming that it’s “of easy solution”, and that, “you will have your monitor back in short time.”

Day 15: The monitor is collected by DPD, they (RepairTech is Benq’s UK repair agent) receive it the following day, DPD confirm this in an e-mail when asked.
All e-mails are now not answered.

Day 25, 9 days after it was received, Benq send an e-mail that now claims that it was only received on day 24, although it was signed for having been received the following day, i.e. day 15. The e-mails were not being answered, as sole Benq employee who deals with defective monitors was absent due to being ill.

Day 35, i.e. over three weeks on, all e-mails on requesting a status update are now being ignored, no timescale, no re-refurbished monitor, nothing.

What’s the problem? The whole picture flickers every so often, and very rarely, also produces a crackling sound from its speakers.

Using VLC media player and doing a simple well timed screen grabs, no need to do slow motion, shows what the flicker is, it’s a band that appears across the screen. Graphics cards used:-

Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 270

.. and finally a brand new graphics card purchased to better cope with games at 4k resolution:-

Sapphire Radeon R9 390 NITRO Tri-X Graphics Card - 8 GB GDDR5 - 512-bit - 1040 MHz

Different display port cables used too, with no difference.
Video flickers at 9 seconds, and then at 15 seconds. The images speak for themselves.

Oh and here's the video.

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