Battdepot - miserable customer service

Shepherd Spy

Standard Member
I decided that my Dell XPS13-9350 battery had lost enough of its capacity to justify a replacement. This part isn't seemingly available from Dell any longer and authentic replacements elsewhere are ludicrously expensive. So I sought a lookalike and came across BattDepot who are heavily promoted by google.

To be fair - I have had a perfectly good replacement for another laptop - an HP - from them in the past.

It's all to easy to evaluate "customer service" based solely on availablity, speed of dispatch and so on and - as long as the product is fit for purpose then that's where any evaluation ends. Which is fine.

But where one company differs from another is when things do not go well.

The battery fitted, it charged, and it ran the laptop. Fine.
But after installation the laptop began to misbehave. The nature of this misbehaviour was rather random and very unusual. It would do things like,
  • after 15 minutes on battery only, the WiFi and BlueTooth connections would drop out. Often only for a very short while.
  • on bootup on battery only, the screen would not illuminate at all - no logo splash, nothing. The keyboard and power button would illuminate, but the bootup would hang requiring a long press on the power switch to kill it. It would start on the second attempt.
  • when plugged in it would, without warning, go into a low power state and shut down (evidenced in the event log)
and so on.

The odd nature of these symptoms meant it took me a while and a fair amount of trying (eg to re-flash the BIOS) to fix it.

It was (therefore) only after a period well in excess of 30 days that I eventually decided to refit the original battery with its reduced capacity. I was only at this point totally convinced the BattDepot replacement was indeed the cause of all this oddness, since the symtoms have all stopped.

So I contacted them. They agreed an RMA for testing and so I mailed it back to them.

A few days later, without any advice, I spotted a refund on my card for the original retail price of the battery, excluding shipping and excluding my return costs; these total £11.19.

I contacted their customer service by Email. This is the conversation:

Me: Good Morning.

Have you tested this and if yes, what was the finding?

BD: Thank you for your email.

Your refund was issued on 16 March. Please check your payment account Credit Card# ****.

Me: Hi

Thanks. May I conclude from this that you did find the battery to be faulty?

BD: Thank you for your email.

The battery could be charged and discharged in the testing machine.

If it did not work with your laptop, it should be compatible issue. (communication problem between the laptop and replacement battery)

Me: Thanks. That confirms my own findings. Charging and discharging was never the issue, so I suspect it was indeed a compatibility issue. If that's the case then I must say - I think it disapponting that you have chosen not to refund either the inbound or outbound shipping costs, leaving me £11.19 out of pocket for an incompatible item.

BD: Thank you for your email.

We have a 30-day refund policy for all products. Your order was placed in early January, but your first contact was Mid March. Providing a refund of the product price is already a conditional offer.

For orders after 30 days of purchase, customer is responsible to return the product to us and the original shipping fee is not refundable as it was charged by the courier, not us.

Me: Noted. Blind, rigid enforcement of such T&C is hardly good customer service. Different matter if it wasn't a genuine compatibility issue. I know where I won't ever shop again. Enjoy your £11.19.

BD: Please understand that the shipping charges you paid would not go into our pocket.

We have already waived 15% restocking fee for you.

Me: Also noted. You advertised the item as being suitable for a particular application. If there is a "compatibility issue" then it's not suitable for that application. I acknowledge that it took me longer than your stipulated period to establish beyond doubt where the issues with the laptop arose; but then I doubt you would have been sympathetic had I returned the item on a whim. I remain of the opinion that customer service appears not to be a priority.

BD: It is a common issue that the laptop will not accept replacement batteries. It is because of the factory setting of laptop.

Thus we provide 30-day refund period for all products. 30-day period is long enough for every customer to test the product and get back to us to report the problem.

For orders after 30 days of purchase, customer is responsible for all the shipping charges.

Me: "It is a common issue that the laptop will not accept replacement batteries. It is because of the factory setting of laptop."

If so then it is an equally common issue that you supply goods that are not fit for (their advertised) purpose. Great company to deal with. (NOT).

Very disappointed with your approach to this.

I have to suggest that being of genuine sympathetic service to their customers is not a priority. They even acknowledge that compatibility is a likely issue yet still market this product as a compatible; it appears that it is not.

Compare this to another recent purchase experience described here

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