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Stuck pixels on my Zenfone 6; Asus won't refund the return delivery

Star I
Hey everyone. I was very excited about owning this phone, and waited for 3 months until it was in stock in the UK, as the UK store serves Ireland too. I finally got the phone earlier this week, and when I turned it on I saw a cluster of blue pixels. My heart dropped of course. See the photos attached.

I contacted Asus customer service UK, and they told me they'd pass the photos on to technical support. Then later, I received an email telling me to return the phone to them. I did this, and it was over 50 euro to send it from Ireland through a courier. I asked for a replacement, as I liked the phone and have a case and screen protector on the way from Amazon.

About an hour ago however, I received a full refund for the phone, and nothing for the return delivery. I spoke to live chat for an explanation, and they told me that the technician didn't find any problem with the screen, and that it was treated as an unwanted return. This is utter nonsense, as why would I make up a problem with blue pixels, become amazing at photoshop to fake it, return it (which they asked me to do), be without a phone for days, and then get an exact replacement? Why would I do this?
I was singing the praises of this phone to friends and coworkers, and now I see that Asus has just screwed me. I'm unbelievably disappointed, and will have to open a small claims court case to get my money back. I only sent the phone because that's what they asked me to do, and then when they do, I get none of it refunded. I asked for someone else to look at the phone, but I was told the decision is final. Maybe the issue with the pixel resolved itself after the screen being off during transit, but this is something out of my control and not something I should be punished for.

It's just awful customer service, and I'm so sad and let down by Asus right now.


Rising Star I
My advice? Approach the situation with one thing in mind. Look up the definition of the word obtuse. Then when dealing with support staff you can adjust your approach. If you know what you're dealing with, it's easier to find a solution. Also keep in mind that support staff are script readers. You also have to ask yourself is the agony of being on hold and dealing with obtuse people, is that worth X amount of dollars for the shipping. If they have lost you permanently as a customer, they actually don't care. You can spare yourself some stress and angst keeping these things in mind.