"Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

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bythesea14 Forum Member • Posts: 71
"Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
2

Today I received an email from B&H Photo about sending me a replacement EN_EL15b battery for the "one I most recently purchased from them".  They stated that some of these batteries from the latest production run are "subpar".  What does that mean?  I have three of these batteries, one that came with my Z7 Kit (from B&H) and two that were purchased from B&H  in February and March.  I've used them all and they all look the same. So which one of my three batteries is subpar and the one they are sending me a free replacement for?  I've talked to B&H customer service about this and they don't know how to handle this replacement.  I asked for two replacement batteries but they have asked me to call them back in a few days. All I know is I'm getting one battery that I don't really need.

Nikon Z7
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mgblack74 Contributing Member • Posts: 671
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
2

Could be code for “we didn’t know they were counterfeit, they looked so good”. There was a post here not long ago showing legit vs fake EN-EL B batteries with subtle but distinguished differences.

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Alex Permit
Alex Permit Senior Member • Posts: 2,335
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
9

mgblack74 wrote:

Could be code for “we didn’t know they were counterfeit, they looked so good”. There was a post here not long ago showing legit vs fake EN-EL B batteries with subtle but distinguished differences.

Here is a photo.  You can see the printing on the fake is subpar, and the hologram is wrong.

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shuncheung Contributing Member • Posts: 643
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
10

Alex Permit wrote:

mgblack74 wrote:

Could be code for “we didn’t know they were counterfeit, they looked so good”. There was a post here not long ago showing legit vs fake EN-EL B batteries with subtle but distinguished differences.

Here is a photo. You can see the printing on the fake is subpar, and the hologram is wrong.

The most obvious difference is the second comma is missing in the counterfeit:

Do not incinerate, disassemble, short.

The comma before "short" is missing.

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mgblack74 Contributing Member • Posts: 671
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Thanks Alex, this came up in the Z6/Z7 FB group so I’ve shared there too.

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Discombobulate Regular Member • Posts: 163
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
2

bythesea14 wrote:

Today I received an email from B&H Photo about sending me a replacement EN_EL15b battery for the "one I most recently purchased from them". They stated that some of these batteries from the latest production run are "subpar". What does that mean? I have three of these batteries, one that came with my Z7 Kit (from B&H) and two that were purchased from B&H in February and March. I've used them all and they all look the same. So which one of my three batteries is subpar and the one they are sending me a free replacement for? I've talked to B&H customer service about this and they don't know how to handle this replacement. I asked for two replacement batteries but they have asked me to call them back in a few days. All I know is I'm getting one battery that I don't really need.

it wasn't subpar, these were fake! I contacted Nikon too and they tried everything to avoid the discussion - coward!

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briantilley
briantilley Veteran Member • Posts: 4,088
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
4

Discombobulate wrote:

bythesea14 wrote:

Today I received an email from B&H Photo about sending me a replacement EN_EL15b battery for the "one I most recently purchased from them". They stated that some of these batteries from the latest production run are "subpar". What does that mean? I have three of these batteries, one that came with my Z7 Kit (from B&H) and two that were purchased from B&H in February and March. I've used them all and they all look the same. So which one of my three batteries is subpar and the one they are sending me a free replacement for? I've talked to B&H customer service about this and they don't know how to handle this replacement. I asked for two replacement batteries but they have asked me to call them back in a few days. All I know is I'm getting one battery that I don't really need.

it wasn't subpar, these were fake! I contacted Nikon too and they tried everything to avoid the discussion - coward!

I'm not sure whtat someone being sold a fake battery would have to do with Nikon.

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Stan Disbrow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,578
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
1

Hi,

I have been thru this many times on the supplier end. What happens is some folks swap out OEM batteries for fake in a warehouse somewhere. One time it was in a semi trailer along the way. Anyway, the fakes wind up in OEM boxes and sent to retail as OEM product.

The fakes cost a quarter of the originals, so plenty of money to be made selling the originals thru various online methods.

The OEM is on the legal hook to make things right once it comes to their attention.

I mentioned all this in one of the other threads. Also, they won't be giving any details on the issue beyond this.

It may be it only involved B+H. It may be we here of other outlets swapping. It is too early to tell.

Stan

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shuncheung Contributing Member • Posts: 643
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

briantilley wrote:

Discombobulate wrote:

bythesea14 wrote:

Today I received an email from B&H Photo about sending me a replacement EN_EL15b battery for the "one I most recently purchased from them". They stated that some of these batteries from the latest production run are "subpar". What does that mean?

it wasn't subpar, these were fake! I contacted Nikon too and they tried everything to avoid the discussion - coward!

I'm not sure whtat someone being sold a fake battery would have to do with Nikon.

I am not sure whether it has been confirmed that B&H had sold some counterfeit Nikon EN-EL15B batteries as genuine, and charged their customers as genuine. But for purpose of this post, let's assume that was the case. And B&H is now doing the right thing supplying the correct battery.

Now the question is how those counterfeit batteries go to B&H. I would imagine either (1) someone in Nikon (or some of their contractors or some company transporting their products) made the switch at some point or (2) someone inside B&H made that switch. That is why this may have something to do with Nikon.

However, if it was an inside job within Nikon (or their contractors), I would imagine it would affect not only B&H but also the other stores.

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j_bro New Member • Posts: 10
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
13

This hasn’t just affected B&H. I purchased one in the UK from e-infinity which is one of the popular grey suppliers. They asked me to return for a refund. Currently out of stock with them so I believe they’ve pulled it whilst they sort stock.

I know people have received genuine batteries from them before, I purchased mine 2-3 weeks ago which was counterfeit. Others purchased around April were okay.

These are the differences I noticed:

Along with the below the battery showed as 92% fully charged. I also used it and got the battery low/shutter error. There also differences around the terminal of the battery

Genuine Left / Fake Right - Has EN-EL15b engraved

Genuine Left / Fake Right - XLMD engraved, hologram bubbled/more shiny. Along with the comma missing.

Genuine has small slots/cuts in the hologram

Fake doesn’t

Genuine 79 grams

Fake 72 grams

DerKaiser Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
3

j_bro wrote:

This hasn’t just affected B&H. I purchased one in the UK from e-infinity which is one of the popular grey suppliers. They asked me to return for a refund. Currently out of stock with them so I believe they’ve pulled it whilst they sort stock.

I know people have received genuine batteries from them before, I purchased mine 2-3 weeks ago which was counterfeit. Others purchased around April were okay.

These are the differences I noticed:

Along with the below the battery showed as 92% fully charged. I also used it and got the battery low/shutter error. There also differences around the terminal of the battery

Genuine Left / Fake Right - Has EN-EL15b engraved

Genuine Left / Fake Right - XLMD engraved, hologram bubbled/more shiny. Along with the comma missing.

Genuine has small slots/cuts in the hologram

Fake doesn’t

Genuine 79 grams

Fake 72 grams

Thanks for all the details!  Excellent info.

shuncheung Contributing Member • Posts: 643
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
2

j_bro wrote:

This hasn’t just affected B&H. I purchased one in the UK from e-infinity which is one of the popular grey suppliers. They asked me to return for a refund. Currently out of stock with them so I believe they’ve pulled it whilst they sort stock.

j_bro, thanks for the detailed post with various images. If this is affecting not only B&H but also stores in the UK, it sounds like the problem comes from inside Nikon or their contractors handling the batteries somewhere inside the Nikon supply chain.

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j_bro New Member • Posts: 10
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

I’m not sure about UK retail stores if they been affected, but people should check their batteries.

To clarify e-infinity is a grey supplier based in Hong Kong, but as I mentioned there were numerous people on a forum who purchased from them before me and theirs are the same as the one which shipped with their Z6/7’s (genuine).

Something definitely in the supply chain somewhere.

fad
fad Forum Pro • Posts: 17,353
Thanks for the info
1

I received a replacement battery from BH today, without noticing any warning email.

Sure enough, I've been getting shutter locked messages.

For future reference, I've labeled my EN-EL15b batteries to show the source.

What a wicked world we live in. 

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shuncheung Contributing Member • Posts: 643
Re: Thanks for the info
1

fad wrote:

I received a replacement battery from BH today, without noticing any warning email.

Sure enough, I've been getting shutter locked messages.

For future reference, I've labeled my EN-EL15b batteries to show the source.

What a wicked world we live in.

Fad, just curious, does your older EN-EL15b battery (i.e. not the replacement you just received from B&H) show the sign of being counterfeit? E.g. the missing comma, etc.

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DerKaiser Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

I checked out the battery that came with my locally purchased Z6.  Looks legit and comes in at 79g on the kitchen scale.

Oddly enough, I ordered one from B&H on Tuesday which should be here tomorrow.  Hopefully they had their stock sorted out before that.  -

Bob Baron Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
1

About a month or so ago I purchased a battery on eBay from a seller in China.  This was to be an extra spare for my Z6; the packaging and battery looked real and the price was right.  Alas, I now learn it has all the markings of a fake.  if something is too good to be true.....

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Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 7,868
Petapixel article
1

"Although B&H states that the batch contained “subpar” batteries, we’re hearing from a trusted source that B&H (and possibly other reputable retailers) accidentally sourced a batch of counterfeit Nikon batteries and sold a number of them to customers before discovering the issue.

Thus, it wasn’t a problem with Nikon manufacturing that produced this “subpar batch,” and Nikon is expected to come out with a public statement saying that it never made or sold those affected batteries."

https://petapixel.com/2019/05/22/bh-is-replacing-a-subpar-i-e-fake-batch-of-nikon-batteries/

Hoof Arted Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Petapixel article

If the batteries were swapped out somewhere in the delivery chain I can understand Nikon insisting they didn't make or sell them. Those who sold the fake batteries will make a similar argument that they bought the batteries in good faith. Everyone else in the chain will also want to be thought blameless and fingers will be pointed all over the place.

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OP bythesea14 Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
1

I got another communique from B&H today basically saying the same thing they told me initially a few days ago: they are sending me a replacement battery since I might have been given a "non-genuine" battery when I purchase one alone from them a few months ago. In no case has B&H specifically stated exactly what the difference in performance is between this genuine and non-genuine Nikon battery. It's only the issue of giving some people non- Nikon genuine batteries, that's all.  Fortunately, the three batteries I have all are genuine.

B&H emailed message:

Dear Recipient,

This week we shipped a new replacement battery to you, as indicated in our e-mail from 5/21. You should have received a shipping notice on 5/21 or 5/22 for the new delivery. If you have not received already, the shipment should arrive shortly. We are writing to provide some additional information:

  1. Why is there an issue with these batteries? Occasionally, we purchase batteries from a distributor to meet demand. We determined that a small order of batteries purchased from a distributor were not genuine Nikon batteries. We only sell genuine batteries. Since the batteries we shipped to you were not genuine, they could be defective and therefore could cause your camera to not work properly. As always, we fully stand behind everything we sell. Once we learned of this issue, we immediately communicated to you and replaced the item.
  1. Was the battery I purchased not genuine? We are aware of a very small quantity of such batteries. We cannot be 100% certain which orders contained the affected batteries. Out of caution, we reached out to inform you of the situation, explain how to determine if the battery is impacted, and to let you know we sent a replacement. To determine if there is an issue, please e-mail us (reply to this e-mail) or call at 800-221-5743. Regardless, we have sent a new battery to ensure you have no concerns.
  1. If I purchased a camera that came with a battery, is that an issue? No. Only certain spare batteries purchased as individual items may be affected.
  1. What should I do if I have a non-genuine battery? Do not use it. Please take it to a recycling center. To find a center visit: https://www.call2recycle.org. Batteries should never be put in the garbage.
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