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Battery Junction and Efest cells; poor QC, CS, and misleading descriptions

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by T.H.Cone, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    So if I'm selling knives, and the person I buy them from gives me a box of scissors instead I can still sell them as scissors? Even after customers complain and send them back? Because the manufacturer did they were knives it's okay? I understand that it might cost the company money but profit is not how I judge right or wrong. Moral choices aren't supposed to be easy and they aren't going to be without cost. And life certainly isn't ever fair.
     
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  2. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    I don't know if I agree with that, Geek.
     
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  3. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    Sorry TH :(. The only Efest cells I have are 10440 IMR's (due to lack of IMR options). They are great but again, competition is slim.

    For 16340's and 14500's while Efest generally performs admirably, especially in IMR format, I would prob go elsewhere. Even with the slight length/diameter variance that is bound to occur I think other companies provide a more proven product.

    Note: in fact, all the more reason is possible to use IMR's. No PCB to add an extra few mm's.
     
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  4. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Agree with all that THC. Don't get me wrong, if you want to blast BJ for poor CS, then you should feel to do so. I'm just saying don't waste your time doing it on a site that BJ controls - they'll just delete it. Blast them as a vendor on external review sites if you want. If BJ doesn't post your Efest review, then I'll will question BJ's integrity.

    I just have to ask a silly question, because I didn't see mention of it.... but do all these cells fail to operate in your lights do to the extra length?
     
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  5. geekandwife

    geekandwife Loaded Pockets

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    That would be a blatant misrepresentation. It would be more like if I sell blocks of Beeswax in 5lbs blocks and one I sell comes up to be 4.98 lbs to one known customer. Should I as a business destroy my business with my wax supplier because of one known complaint? Now if T.H. had bought a lot of lets say 10,000, and a significant number out of that lot were out of spec, then as a business owner i might take greater concern. But as it stands there is too small a number to make any real judgements of the product. Just like in your example, if I ordered 100k knives and 1 box came with scissors, I would not refuse to do business with the supplier. Mistakes happen. What maters is the frequency of mistakes. We just have too small a sample size, and I always give a business more leeway around the holiday times.

    Now you do bring up something else, businesses and "Moral" choices. A business cannot be moral or immoral. And it is wrong to hold anyone to the same moral guidelines as yourself because morals are a personal internal belief. Businesses can be ethical, but they cannot be moral. And unless you are saying we should not use the free market system of capitalism, how else would you expect a business to act? They have a duty to their customers, but they also have a duty to their owners, and those that work for them and any shareholders to be profitable and to be ran as a business. That is once again something that many people today do not understand. The business eating costs due to things out of their control many times means they have to cut costs elsewhere, such as pay, or even the number of employees. A restrictive return policy not only protects the companies profits but also the workers jobs. Payroll is often one of the first things cut when profits go down.
     
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  6. landwire
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    landwire Loaded Pockets

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    Businesses do eat costs all the time. I run a business and there is plenty of times when this happens. It is going to happen and it is foolish to think it won't happen. The secret for a business to survive is to balance how often I have to and can I recover my losses elsewhere. Customers changes their minds all the time. There are lot of costs involved when a customer returns something because they no longer want something. I can certainly see a restocking fee for those returns. However, in the OP case, the store was offering batteries for sale that are listed for being a specific size. The batteries that were delivered did not meet the specified dimensions. Unless it is specifically indicated that all returns, regardless of reason, incur a restocking fee, no restocking fee should have been levied. As the business owner, I would eat the cost up front to settle the issue with the customer and look to recapture it elsewhere. Very most likely with the distributor(s) where I ordered my stock from.

    The sad truth is that many people will provide just enough to not get fired.
     
  7. FL Woods Bum
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    FL Woods Bum Your Grace!

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    I don't do business with companies that attempt to lay their "business risks" at my feet. Interestingly enough, if you take a look at the majority of Fortune 100 companies that sell products directly to customers, they deal with their supplier's manufacturing issues behind the scenes, and actually write clauses into their supplier contracts to outline how these types of issues will be handled to minimize their risk. These companies learned long ago that you can minimize your risk of doing business if you deal with the right person (your supplier) vs. hanging your customer's out to dry.

    Since the dawn of the Internet Business Boom, folks have been trying to skate by on doing as little as they can and maximizing profits however they can, all with very little business experience. This usually means cutting corners and gambling that they won't have any issues. Just my experience, but it sounds like BJ is probably following that business model.
     
  8. FL Woods Bum
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    FL Woods Bum Your Grace!

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    Amen brother. :) How anybody goes into a retail business (and expects to be successful) without the ability to deal with a defective item or to accept returns without penalizing their customer base is beyond me.
     
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  9. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    As of right now, neither review is up at BJ's site. They are probably just getting to work, so maybe it is too early to expect that anyone has looked at or had an opportunity to approve it. Time will tell.

    As to your question, this all started because of those LEGOed Foursevens "Noisy Crickets" which are based on their single AA body which is designed for a AA alkalines. So, yes, the longer cells simply would not work; and trust me, I tried. Also, I've since aquired a Thrunite Neutron 2A V2 which, again is designed around AAs, and the AW 14500s I'm using (very close to a true 14500 in size) barely fit in that application, so the longer Efests would have been a no go in that light as well.

    The 16340s were intended to go in a couple of SMW lights that are designed for cr123a but can handle the higher voltage. Again, there was no way the longer Efest cells were going to fit. Even the shorter of the two was was too long.

    Now, because Foursevens sells the AW 14500 in the Noisy Cricket kit, I knew that those would work. I probably should have purchased from them right from the get go, but didn't. I had learned that the AWs were designed to be shorter than other protected cells from the get go. I also knew that I needed cells as close as possible to primaries. Because I like to deal with BJ, and I had read good to glowing reviews of Efest cells on the web, I went the route I did. Part of it was based on their advertised length.

    At the time, i figured it was a no brainer. True to size protected cells from a reliable supplier.

    Now, will a careful reading of every review have alerted me to the potential length issue. Yes. But I did look around and I don't remember any red flags being raised in that regard. Plus, BJ is a US based company that I've dealt with a lot over the years. I didn't have any real reason to question what I was reading off their site. Despite Geek's assertion, I don't consider them to be a low cost option the way I would about some overseas companies which have a reputation for being shady.

    I think all this talk about who's responsible for the misleading info being up on BJ's site misses two important points.

    The fact remains that the advertised specs in regard to length are wildly inaccurate; 4mm + on a 34mm cell is like 12%. Also, there is an apparent problem with Efest producing a constant and uniform product; again, a 2mm difference on a 34mm cell is a substantial percentage. Like I said before, have any of us seen to Duracells that were not only the wrong size, but not even consistently wrong?

    The question of whether or not the restocking fee should have been waived in this instance is a bit of a side show. I think I can make a reasonable and rational argument as to why I should not have been on the hook for it. On the other hand, it is their official policy. At the end of the day, moving forward, i have the option of not dealing with them again. Will the few hundred dollars from me every year hurt them? Probably not. Is it wise to lose a $300 a year customer over $15 dollars? Probably not. But we all make our own decisions and it is what it is.

    And the reality is, after this happened, I purchased two Fenix BTR20s from them. I probably wouldn't have, but because of sale prices and coupons, I saved almost $50 off of MSRP, it was by far the best deal on those items I could find. But, I spitefully placed two orders, instead of one, so they paid for shipping twice and I got a second keychain light. Now they are only $10 up on me instead of $15.

    Even now, there is free shipping over $50. If the price is right and I need $160 bucks with of stuff, I would probably buy from them but in three small orders. It's kind of a slimy move, but I will rationalize doing it until I feel the score is settled.
     
  10. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    hehe... I guess my question was dumb - why would you complain about battery length if the batteries worked in your lights? Yeah, I guess I would be pissed at both companies if I were in your shoes even though Li-ions tends to be a bit of dice roll. I've seen a few posts of Olight's own 14500 not fitting in its own S15 flashlight, and same with ZL's own 14500 in the SC52 - must be sample variation. The battery manufacturers keep trying to push the mah capacity up, but I guess it has to come through increasing cell volume until a new chemistry is developed.

    If you have a late model Quark tailcap, longer cells should still work - they stopped anodizing the tailcap threads following the SF lawsuit and it will work until the tailcap falls off - but it's not ideal. The Neutron V2, I can see, only has 1mm maybe 2, of extra space from the AW IMR I'm using. You could stick in a shim washer or two to complete the circuit in either light, but again, not ideal solutions since you start to expose threads and o-rings which collect dust and compromise waterproofness.

    Not sure if your returns/reviews had some influence on BJ - they seem to have demoted both Efests on their website. Clicking Rechargeable > RCR123/16340 and AA-size/14500 shows no Efest choices any longer (I know I saw them before - I was recently shopping for 16340s myself), although they will show up if you use the search box. If this is the case, you may have alerted them to a bigger problem with Efest cells that may have saved them even more $$ and dissatisfied customers.... something they should compensate you for via waived re-stocking fee.

    Might be a matter of timing (ie. receiving your return cells and then measuring some of their inventory), but I could see them having a change of heart on the re-stocking fee if you have highlighted a bad batch for them. In a few days, it might be worth calling and addressing why they demoted the cell on their website, and depending on the answer, ask if you were treated fairly.

    I know we discussed this before regard these lights, but running 700-800 lumens from a single 14500 or 16340 on a QT2L BM or Neutron V2 head is pushing ~ 2 amps and well over the amp rating (2C) of the ICR chemistry. These configs really should be run on IMRs.... or at least quality AW ICRs. HKJs battery reviews do show that the AW ICRs can handle the amperage better than the Efest ICRs. Maybe you're lucky the Efests didn't fit... if used in the Quark or NV2, you would have been running the Efests at redline - it's not worth risking burning down the house :(.

    Good luck THC :)
     
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  11. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    I have always had good experiences with Battery Junction.

    If I faced the situation described by the OP (incorrect specs for the product where it prevented me from being able to use the product in question) I would not pay a restocking fee. If the seller insisted on it after having the issue explained to them I would be contacting PayPal or my credit card company for a chargeback.
     
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  12. hal_chase
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    hal_chase EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Do you know for sure they are genuine Efest? (there's LOTS of counterfeit Efest around)

    The GF uses purple Efest (18650 and 18350) in her vapes and they are brilliant batteries
     
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  13. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Reppans, the AW 14500s fit and work fine. I understand that they may be being pushed a little hard the way I'm using them, but while I use the lights a lot, I'm usually not using them for long periods of time, especially on turbo.

    Hal, It's hard for me to say one way or another. I have to assume that when I'm dealing with a vender who has been around for awhile and is US based that I'm getting the real thing.
     
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  14. vinniec5

    vinniec5 Loaded Pockets

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    I used Ultra fire 14500s for a while and never had problems but I've switched to Nitecore 14500s and 18650s and they work great+ fit all my lights with no trouble. All from BatteryJ.

    I do agree that any defective items should be replaced at no cost. even If they shipped it First class USPS to save on shipping, send me a label with the new items to return it USPS and I'd be happy. A customer should not have to pay to ship defective brand new items back and then again for the new stuff. That's not how to treat a customer or anyone
     
    Last edited by vinniec5, Dec 30, 2014
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  15. keith1234
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    keith1234 Loaded Pockets

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    Your situation with BJ has given me second thoughts about ordering from them, even though I've never had an issue with them before. I was going to look at a charger and some li ion batteries but now I don't know if I trust their CS since you reported your issue and it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
     
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  16. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    It may very well be they are understaffed between the holidays, but after two full business days, neither of my reviews are up yet.

    BTW, the reviews simply stated that the cells were over the advertised length by Xmm and, in the case of the 16340s, inconsistent in size. I gave them only one star and I checked the "I would not recumbent to a friend" box. No hyperbole, no anger, no sarcasm, no bad attitude.
     
  17. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Still no sign of either review being posted.

    For those keeping track at home.
     
  18. FL Woods Bum
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    FL Woods Bum Your Grace!

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    No need to keep track, I was done with them when you said they wanted to charge you a restocking fee for the product you received that wasn't as described.
     
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  19. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    My friend, I don't think you will find your review posted because they have instead chosen to effectively pull the product off the shelf.

    Plenty of Efest 18650s appear when shopping for that size, but NO Efests come up** when shopping for 14500s or 16340s, after your raised this issue with them. I still suggest what I said in my previous post.

    ** yes you can search for them, but otherwise, they are now virtually invisible to the casual shopper.
     
  20. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Just an update. My reviews are still not up on there website.
     
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