2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Battery Charger Doesn't Live Up To It's BIlling
I was recently looking through a catalog called "Improvements" and spotted a "revolutionary" new product manufactured by Emerson that said it would recharge ordinary alkaline batteries. I had to check that twice. It didn't say "rechargeables". It said ordinary, regular alkaline batteries - any AAA, AA, C or D size battery, rechargeable or not.
This sounded too good to be true so I ordered one ($29.99). It appeared to be a well-built unit so I dug through the trash to find some worn-down batteries and started reading the instructions. That's when I spotted the fine print that proved this thing really was too good to be true.
Apparently the recharger won't work on batteries that are worn down all the way. It works best, the instructions said, if the batteries are discharged only about 1/3 of the way. The booklet suggested using it on batteries that get used every day, like a flashlight that you take outside every night. If you recharge batteries regularly when they're only partially discharged, they will supposedly last 10 times longer than non-recharged batteries. But if you let them run down, and then try to recharge them, it won't help at all.
So who's going to pay 30 bucks for that? I'm guessing no one, unless all they read is the advertising copy.
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