squishy is good for pillows, not batteries
March 22, 2006 3:28 PM   Subscribe

iPod battery turned soft and squishy. Why?

I replaced the battery in my 3rd generation 10GB iPod back in October. The battery started to lose its charge too quickly about two weeks ago (a full 8 hour charge would provide an hour of playback, tops), so I opened it to see what was going on.

When I put the battery in back in October, it looked like a flat, hard, wrapped in silver package. Now, it's slightly inflated, soft and squishy (but not leaking).

Has this happened to anyone else? Do I need to worry about damage to my iPod (it seemed to be working fine except for the battery issue). Did I do something to cause this to happen (I didn't treat it with kid gloves but I didn't throw it down flights of stairs)?

(I'm sending it back to the company for a replacement, though that was arranged before I opened it and saw the battery's condition.)
posted by Lucinda to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
It sounds like your battery is leaking (inside the wrapper). I would take much care in handling it as it may spring a leak and you could get Battery Acid on you.
posted by stew560 at 4:24 PM on March 22, 2006

It actually might be
than acid.
posted by pullayup at 7:54 PM on March 22, 2006

Yeah, sounds like it burst and is being held together only by the foil. Like stew says, be careful with it. I don't think Li-Ion batteries contain much acid but they do definitely contain plenty of toxins including (I think) a few bioaccumulative heavy metals that you don't want to absorb through the skin or ingest.

I'd send a nastygram to Apple about that and tell them that yours died of a manufacturing fault rather than normal wear and tear and therefore should be replaced by them.
posted by polyglot at 8:17 PM on March 22, 2006

I'd send a nastygram to Apple about that and tell them that yours died of a manufacturing fault rather than normal wear and tear and therefore should be replaced by them.

Calling Apple to complain isn't going to do much when it wasn't installed by Apple.

When I put the battery in back in October

Nastygram? Jumping the gun there a little, aren't we? Assuming Apple installed the battery, he hasn't been screwed around by some endless cycle of service stupidity or corporate stonewalling.

Nastygrams and being demanding are almost never, ever the ways to go when it comes to getting good support from a company. Not until other methods have been exhausted.

Whenever you're talking to a customer support person, ask yourself, "What do I want to get out of this conversation? How do I get that?" and remember that ARRR I AM CUSTOMER I AM ALWAYS RIGHT DO WHAT I SAY BECAUSE YOUR PRODUCTS ARE DEFECTIVE might not attract as many flies as a nice pot of honey.

That sounds like "oh then that guy shouldn't be doing customer support", but in the end, it's pure pragmatism. It's just how the world works. Put nice into a support call and you will get nice back. Basic Golden Rule stuff.

Honestly, it sounds like you just wanted to snark at Apple, 'cause it's fairly clear, assuming you actually read the whole post, that the problem has nothing to do with them at all.
posted by secret about box at 9:18 PM on March 22, 2006

That should be "pretending Apple installed the battery".
posted by secret about box at 9:19 PM on March 22, 2006

I wouldn't mail a leaking battery!!!! It's dangerous and probably illegal. Call the company and tell them the deal and ask for a replacement without having to mail it back to them.
posted by fshgrl at 9:24 PM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah, I sent an e-mail to the company that sold me the battery saying that upon examination of the battery, it looks like it's leaking and I don't really want to send it back to them. Haven't heard back yet.

I'm not going to go the nastygram route (and certainly not to Apple, because like Mikey-San said, they had nothing to do with it). So far, the company's been perfectly reasonable about it. Worst case scenario, they tell me they won't replace it, I shell out $30 and buy another one.

Which, I suppose, brings up another question - what would be the best way to dispose of a battery like this? I'm guessing that throwing it in the trash is not an option...
posted by Lucinda at 4:53 AM on March 23, 2006

Response by poster: Happy ending - the store will send a new battery without requiring me to send the potentially leaky one. Huzzah! (Now just to figure out what to do with the one I have now....)
posted by Lucinda at 9:20 AM on March 23, 2006

just read this this that might interest you. It seems that lots of stores like circuit city, wal-mart, radio shack etc are part of a recycling scheme for batteries including the lithium-ion type. You just need to find out where the closest store is. Click through the link as the list is more exhaustive than the stores I have mentioned, so if you don't have a wal-mart or radioshack nearby you might still be in luck.
posted by thelost at 1:44 PM on March 23, 2006

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