Re: Battery...

(no name) ((no email))
Tue, 28 Sep 93 10:26:30 -0400

> Dear Fellow Ultraliters:
>
> Just a word about NEC - I'm surprised by bthe lack of appreciation being
> shown on thislist. Here's a machine many years out of production, bought
> byt many of us at steep discount from mail order houses specializing in
> remainders and discontinued models. And NEC - voluntarily - recalls this
> the batteries in the old model, replaces the bad batteries and offers a
> cash payment to boot! and all we can do is think up clever ways to bilk them.
>
> Really! How about recognizing NEC's responsible attitude toward customers,
> such as its willingness to support out-of-production machines (and
> out-of-warranty); willingness to seek out potential recipienytts, and
> generous treatment of customers.
>
> We really should find a way to reward this good behavior, and not try to
> find clever ways around their minimal restrictions.
>
> Or do we subscribe to the cracker ethic: it's always the victim's fault if
> they don't assume everyone else is a crook?
>
> With love
> Gene Levine
> elevine@world.std.com

With all due respect -- and I mean that seriously, not facetiously -- while I
admire your sentiments, and agree that thinking up ways to bilk NEC is OK as a
little mental game but reprehensible as an action, I think you're being a bit
naive. NEC is not recalling these things out of the goodness of its corporate
heart: it's recalling them to (a) prevent a catastrophe from happening and (b)
to avoid clear and obvious liability for this catastrophe. Given that they
became aware of problem with overheating, all they'd need is for *one* person
to attribute a significant fire to an UL battery and they'd be looking at far
more expense than this little recall program will run up. I don't think that
it's motiveated by nothing but mercenary considerations, but that's probably
the #1 reason for the recall: if they thought that the cost of ignoring this
(in money and publicity) would be less than the cost of taking care of it,
they'd probably consider just replacing the batteries (and ULs) as they burned.