Re: NEVER BUY WALMART'S BATTERIES OR YOU WILL BE SORRY

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Although, Even though I don't agree with Geoff's environmental views, I'd have to agree with the bike helmet thing.
I grew up in the first county in America to have a bike helmet law. I
could see from my house the place where someone had cut a hole in the fence beside Route 29-a 6 lane limited access highway. Everyone knew that it was a stupid idea to cross 29, and it was rare that anyone did it, but some idiot kid crossed it at dusk and got hit by a car. So his sixth grade friends started lobbying to have a helmet law introduced. The rest of us thought it was silly. He was stupid enough to be out there playing in traffic, and getting hit by a car dong 60 would probably mess up someone badly enough regardless of protective gear. However, the county coudln't say no to a group of little kids asking for a law to save little kids. So, they passed a law that anyone under 16 had to have a helmet on to ride a bike.
Fortunately it wasn't actually enforced. I refused to wear one, and saw cops several times. Never anything mentioned about it. But this was just a few short years after seatbelt fines popped up. I'm sure the cops thought it was silly too. But the damn law spread like wildfire.
Now don't get me wrong. I think that seatbelt laws are necessary, and I wear mine religiously.(Especially since I definitely wouldn't be here without one.) I think that motorcycle helmet laws might be going a little far as far as encroaching on freedom, but I don't really have a problem with them since I think it is stupid to ride without one. Especially given that laying down a motorcycle is more a matter of when than if. However, I think that the risk of serious head injury on a bike is low as long as you are defensive and alert. I've rode literally thousands of miles as a kid, a college student, and an adult. I've rode in traffic on all sorts of roads, and have never been hit or been in an accident where I said, whoa that was close, maybe I should wear a helmet. I make my intentions clear to cars by where I place my bike on the road and how I move. The only time I wear one is when I go mountain biking, just because there can be some pretty bad obstacles to hit, and with funky terrain the odds of falling are much higher. I'd liken the paranoia behind major head trauma while biking to that of an extremely obsessive compulsive person who won't touch anything for fear of contracting an illness, and resultingly stinks up their workplace with continuous applications of purell and lysol.(Not that I've ever experienced such a neurotic screwball.)
I think that kids need to have an exposure to danger. It helps them develop a sense of cause and effect, and a sense of responsibility. The person who grows up in a society where accidents are almost impossible because someone has legislated out all possible causes is not going to do very well outside of that society. But more importantly, they don't learn to take responsibility for their actions. If they do get hurt, they are quick to assume that it was because someone else didn't do their job correctly, or somehow wrongly put them in harm's way, or that an owner should have predicted that it was possible for a freak accident to happen, and invested loads of money to prevent it. It's absurd. Nowadays, people are sooner to point the finger at someone else than to reflect on their own actions.
And as for today's world being a more dangerous place, I don't think that that really is the case. There are child abductions. But there were child abductions in the 30s. People do drive like maniacs now, but if my fathers stories of how he and his friends used to drive are any indication, I'd think that there used to be maniacs on the roads in the 60s also. In fact, I'd say that the number of cars that I see weaving in and out of traffic at thirty miles over what the flow of traffic is significantly lower today than 10 or 15 years ago. But then again, maybe I just have the wrong sample. Different areas of the country have different driving habits.
I love the allusion to the Christmas Story made by Geoff. Very nice.
Have a good day, Bill
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Bicycle helmet save lives. I think the laws are a good idea, and I think bicycle helmets should be mandatory for all people riding bicycles under the age of 110.
<http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/276/24/1968 <http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/110/5/e60

Yet the cars are controlled by drivers. Are the drivers noticing you? Are they distracted by kids, music, cell phones? Are you sure they can see you and your signals? Is the sun glaring in their eyes? Do they even know what the signals mean?
The data clearly show that bike helmets prevent serious injury and death.
As a physician, I have taken care of kids who been killed in motor vehicle crashes and kids who died from other causes.
I strongly feel that all people should be wearing bike helmets whenever they ride. I do.
Jeff
<...>
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"Jeff" ...

Thanks, Jeff - you're absolutely right, but those who are determined to ditch helmets will never be convinced.
The actor Gary Busy nearly had his brain totally scrambled, said he would wear a helmet from then on, but still didn't believe helmets should be required.
You know what? If they want to scramble their brains, they have that right, but MY insurance rates are affected by their stupidity.
Ditto seat belts.
Natalie
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[buying a battery at Costco]

When I bought a battery at Costco, I took the old one to my local Sears auto department. They have a pallet for old batteries sitting next to the building.
Geoff
-- "Is it true that Dorothy Parker named her pet parakeet Onan because he kept spilling his seed upon the ground?"                 -- David Mikkelson
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writes:

That is good to know. Thanks.
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The Costco "Kirkland Signature" Batteries are from Johnson Controls - "Eveready" and a few hundred 'house brands' for chain stores. But of course they can make those private label batteries to many different quality levels to meet the price point of the retailer.
Whoever makes the batteries for WalMart can deliberately skimp on the overall quality (life span, long term current capacity, etc.) to meet the price point target they are given.
--<< Bruce >>--
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///snipped drivel///

When I worked at the Sears Auto Center in Fairbanks AK we would take batteries back if (big if) the battery had not been damaged and tested good. I can't vouch for that policy Sears wide and I know that when Sears cut back on the scope of their service and closed some stores that, it seemed to me, that the "bottom line" had gained prieminence over Customer Service. That is why I quit working for them.

True...There are only about three (major) battery manufacturers in the U.S. but the batteries they make are built to the specifications set by each individual retailer. They are not all the same. Nor are they all equal in quality.
DaveD

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Many retailers do not accept returns on electrical items because it is very difficult to determine whether they have been damaged or abused. I suspect that a lot of people buy and install new batteries and then find out it was some other problem.
I would prefer not to shop at any retailer that allows returns on batteries or similar items. The reason is that means the returned items will be put back on the shelf for another unsuspecting customer who ends up with a used item. Anyone who thinks that retailers who allow battery returns is not reselling them to other customers as a new battery is smoking something illegal.
About 20 years ago, Sears had the most liberal return policy of any retailer. Satisfaction guarentted or your money refunded without conditions. I was with a friend of mine when he returned some items he received as a gift about a year before. The items had no tags, no receipt, and it was not even obvious as to whether it was sold by Sears. Sears no longer has such a policy, probably in part because some customers have probably tried to cheat them.

Agreed, they are not necessarily equal in quality, but there is no reason to believe that Wal-Mart's are any worse than anyone else's. Of course most retailers (including Wal-Mart) have more than model, each of different quality (usually differentiated by the warranty). I would bet a lot of money that a Wal-Mart battery is as good or better than any other battery being sold elsewhere at the same price (unless there is a major sale price being offered). But clearly, there are some batteries that cost a lot of money that are probably better than the ones Wal-Mart sells.
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batteries
used
I would think the illegal smoking would come from someone who thinks like that.
According to your statement... You would prefer to buy a new battery, which could possibly be defective from the assembly line, and be stuck with the bill and a defective battery?
Most any large retailer is not going to put something used or damaged back on the shelf, as they simply can Return To Vendor or dispose of the item and get credit.
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DaveD,
I too had been a tech in a Auto-Service Center, Many years ago, before the current restructuring. Even then, we would accept a returned battery, in new condition, if the customer had purchased the wrong type for their vehicle. Many times the customer would guess about the size they needed, even though they were advised and shown what would be the proper fit for their car. Usually, their recollection was the battery was smaller than what they were looking at, only to find out they were wrong, once they got the battery home. Then back they'd come, asking for the proper size or a refund if they ended up getting the battery elsewhere.
As for Sears and the cut backs, their big goal was the $, and not really customer servcie. All too often, a customer would bring in a battery because it'd be giving them a problem. We were required to fill the electrolite to the proper level if it was low, then check the voltage and load test the battery, if the voltage was with a specific range. But if the voltage was too low, we'd have to give the customer a temporary loaner battery and put their battery on a slow charger for 3 days. In most cases, the customer would return, only to be told their battery was no good and they'd need to replace it. Maybe Sears figured that if the customer couldn't or wouldn't wait the 3 days, they'd just buy a new battery. Anyway, I didn't care for the policy because I felt for the customer. The time and inconvience it took (4 days) just to replace a battery you've already checked out to be bad. Personally, I preferred killing a cell in the battery to make it a done deal and get a replacement right away.
Point of note: while at Sears, heads looked the other way when certain service advisors sold things that weren't needed and made big bucks on commissions from the sales. The honest service advisors and whench turners got screwed when they kept adjusting the "incentive" bonus amounts. It initally started out as a reward for working hard , but when upper management saw what everyone was earning, they restructured everything the following year. Long story short, the harder the you worked, the more you got screwed.
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And the 3 companies are JCI, Exide, and Delphi. JCI stands for Johnson Controls Inc. and they make Interstate and Optima plus many others.
Exide sells batteries under its own name and the Wal-Mart batteries where I live say distributed by Exide technologies on them. They also have their own version of the Optima spiral cell battery called the Exide Select Orbital.
Delphi makes the AC Delco Freedom batteries along with the clones that have a flat top with the "Delco Eye" and a flat oval vent hose port at either end of the top.
I know this isn't a very long list but a simple google search can tell you the rest.
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I returned one to Canadian Tire once. It took a bit of convincing the manager but I did do it.
The thing was faulty and I ened up buying an Optima from - ironically, Wal Mart while on the road. Given I'd returned a faulty charger the week before I think they were just sick of me and just wanted me out of the store :-)
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What a pile of technical dribble. (I'm an electrical engineer)
However WalMart is not my choice of store for anything. Just a bottom end store that trys to undercut other stores. The continually beat their suppliers down to lower prices, regardless of the lack of quality that results.
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