WARNING : Duracell Batteries

Started Aug 20, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Peter Bendheim
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WARNING : Duracell Batteries
Aug 20, 2007

In the middle of a professional shoot today, at about image 100 I heard a very loud bang coming from my near new Nikon SB600 flash.

I thought the unit had exploded. From the outside it looked fine. But when I opened the battery compartment, I saw one of the AA Duracells had literally exploded, sending mucky acid all inside the flash unit. The whole top of the battery had burst off under great pressure.

I did my best to clean it all off the compartment, put a new set of batteries in and the flash carried on working.

After the shoot I spent an hour or so cleaning out the battery compartment as well as I could, but I suspect from the plastic joins inside the flash that the acid has crept through into the unit. No doubt it will die a premature death as the circuits corrode!

The battery blister packs sold here in South Africa have absolutely no consumer informaion on them whatsoever. No toll free line...only a website, but a European or US website, no South African website whatsoever. The lack of consume rinformation is a disgrace. Sold here in South Africa by the millions, these battery packs have only a made in belgium manufacturer info on them.

Finally after several phone calls I acertained that Duracell batteries are made/owned by monolithic giant Proctor and Gamble. Eventually, I got through to their unadvertised helpline and they have agreed to "inspect the unit" and determine their liability if any. No doubt they will try to get out of it.

I won't accept a repair or any global corporate PR bull...I want a new flash, thanks very much...and no more Duracells.

In the meantime, and several hours later the skin on my fingers is still burning and itching from this very unfortunate experience.

It should be obligatory for manufacturers to print contact and warranty info on every product. It may be so in the US, but here in the third world we always get screwed by the multinationals. I guess they think most of us are too ignorant to demand our consumer rights. I wonder how much they get away with every year?

 Peter Bendheim's gear list:Peter Bendheim's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon PowerShot G16 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D3S Canon EOS M +1 more
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