Yep, if the rest of the pixels are all working as expected up to that point, I'd say it's a bum strip. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
and include a link to this thread for posterity, and we'll get a replacement to you.
If it's a really tight deadline, and if you can get by with 24 pixels instead of 25, I'd suggest cutting out the first non-functioning pixel and rejoin the two partial strands, see if that helps. But it's possible the problem is on the output side of pixel #n-1.