Given the choice of web sites, when I happened to discover that the best price for a high capacity battery was from another company using a UK domain name I was quite pleased. No worries about import duty or how to return it in the event of a warranty claim or faulty delivery. And on top of all that, the battery came with a 3 year warranty. Too good to be true perhaps?
It arrived a few months ago. It weighed more than the netbook, but at least I didn't have to carry a charger with me. Its capacity was absolutely prodigious. The netbook had a battery lifetime of over 10 hours - enough for a return trip from Oxford to Paris by train! But being aware of looking after batteries, it was rarely discharged below 70% full.
But of course it was not a case of 'happy ever after'. Quite soon it started to show signs of problems. Sometimes the netbook wouldn't start up unless I took the battery out and replaced it. Sometimes even that wasn't enough. I had to plug in the charger for a few seconds and it would start. Having started, it would run fine for hours without the charger but odd battery-related lights would flash at me ominously.
During a long conversation, my 'dear friends' at top-battery.co.uk usually replied promptly and courteously, but I don't think they understand English very well. Or maybe that is just a tactic to avoid answering difficult questions. They ask similar things all the time, take little notice of your answer and finally when I asked for a warranty replacement they asked me to send them £15. You see, they are not in UK at all. Who knows where they really are, but they claim China.
What? £15 in order to claim my statutory right to a warranty replacement - no chance! Their excuse was
"As yo [sic] know, our battery is so competitive.The battery is used for some times,We will resend you once get the payment."
I'm sorry to say that it all reinforces my view that (at least some) Chinese companies have a different view of contract law and indeed common decency. They make promises that they have no intention of keeping.
e.g. http://top-battery.co.uk/, says "We promise all the products sold are 100% brand new and free from defects in material and workmanship. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction." That is, unless you make a warranty claim.
They masquerade as something that they are not - namely a UK company - and their excuse "our battery is so competitive" is quite pathetic. The battery is not at all competitive because it doesn't work properly! In fact, in the following disclaimer you can see how they are playing with the law in innovative ways.
The batteries supplied by our Company are [replacement for] sold for use with certain products of computer manufacturers, and any reference to products or trademarks of such companies is purely for the purpose of identifying the computer manufacturers with which our products [are replacement for] may be used. Our Company and this Website are neither affiliated with, authorized by, licensed by, distributors for, nor related in any way to these computer manufacturers, nor are the products offered for sale through our Website manufactured by or sold with the authorization of the manufacturers of the computers with which our products [are replacement for] may be used.
And yet they claim
And yet they claim
- ACER Laptop Battery
- APPLE Laptop Battery
- Dell Laptop Battery
- HP Laptop Battery
- LG Laptop Battery
- SONY Laptop Battery
But now they can f*** off, and they are not getting another £15 or another order and I write this in order to warn other potential customers who they are dealing with!
I have no way to know how many UK domains they own with credible-looking web sites, but since my correspondent has always signed off with the name 'Sunny', I'm wary of any companies with the word Sun in their name, especially when they also come from Shenzhen province.
I think I'll stick with other traders via Amazon (who don't have the word Sun anywhere in their name)!
Small note: I haven't actually given up on the prospect of a refund via Paypal yet. They should expect the possibility of a long-lasting dispute to occupy them for a while. But I offer a limited warranty on that claim.