Here's a nice rant for you: One of my two Laptop batteries for my Dell Inspiron 8500 died a couple of weeks back in the middle of a business trip. Since I have two of them this wasn't a huge issue, but still this is a major bummer especially since the batteries both are barely over a year old and have not been used very much at all. In fact I was using the battery a few days before it started 'acting' up and it has been holding a charge well.
Here's what happens: The battery is not really dead, but it looks to me like some electronics inside of the battery are preventing the battery from charging. When I click on the battery indicator I get a funky blinking light and when inserted into the computer the the charge light just blinks orange instead of the regular green charging indicator. Did I mention the battery was working just fine a few days earlier with a charge hold well over 3 hours of work time.
This seems like such a rip off if you ask me. I started calling tech support to see if I could get a warranty on the battery. Of course the warranty had expired exacly two weeks ago, and there was no budging the Dell support guy. FWIW, Dell doesn't warranty batteries that are older than a year even if you have an extended warranty for the rest of the system.
Next I went to the Web Site to see what a new battery would cost and sure enough there's some language that says it's rated for 300 charge/discharges. Now I would really be curious how this is measured. I'm pretty sure this battery isn't actually dead, but something has been quietly counting roughly how the batteries been charged and decided - dup, that's enough for you buddy. So now I can't even use that battery as a hold over battery while the system is plugged in (I like to use the battery as a UPS since we loose power on a regular basis here on Maui).
At $199 list this isn't a game I like to play.
The worst part about this is that I rarely use the battery anyway. Sure when I travel I use the laptop on the plain or around a client's office, but for the most part the machine is plugged in and under power. But even when it is - according to Dell the battery is discharged/recharged. If there's electronics in the damn battery shouldn't it be smart enough to figure out that while it's under power it should not engage the battery in any way at all?
It really eats at me that we get reamed by so many companies any way they can get you. Always stick it to you in the details. There are a couple of other things that happened today that go along with that but I'll leave that for yet another rant ...