Help! battery leak :(

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by asia_werbel, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. I bought my mamiya 645AFD at Focus, NEC from a reputable outlet in Feb 2009. There was a sealed pack of batteries with it which I installed approx 3 weeks later.I have shot 3/4 rolls of 120.Last time I used it was 3 weeks ago and it worked fine.Today I couldn't get any display on the LCD.I opened up the battery compartment to change the batteries thinking they'd expired and to my horror found that one of them has leaked.I cleaned up the battery holder and inserted brand new batteries to test the camera.still nothing.Has anyone else had this problem and can anyone advise me what I should do/who do I contact etc?
  2. Try cleaning the all metal battery contacts with baking soda and a tooth brush.
  3. OK....I did what you suggested Bruce. And when it was bone dry I tried again with new batteries.Still no display when switched on.I need some I ring the company who sold it to me, or get in touch with Johnsons Photopia who have after sales customer service, or do I ring the company who made the batteries.What would your first port of call be?
  4. Asia,
    Sorry to hear this.
    My next move would be to find a small file and rough up the contacts a bit so you can see some shiny metal.
    I doubt you have any recourse considering it's the batteries fault not the camera seller.
    The battery manufacturer will claim no liability or say you stored them improperly.
    I've had luck cleaning leaked batteries in a few Vivitar 283 flashes with this method but it all depends on the extent of the damage from the battery acid/leak.
  5. Thanks Bruce i'll try that next. I was also wondering about getting hold of a new battery compartment to check if it is the cause.Anybody have one I can test in the Stratford-upon-Avon area?
  6. Thanks Bruce i'll try that next. I was also wondering about getting hold of a new battery compartment to check if it is the cause.Anybody have one I can test in the Stratford-upon-Avon area?
  7. After the baking soda that Bruce mentioned, I use a pencil sized fiberglass brush. I also have an old pencil sized "typewriter eraser." Since typewriters are scarce these days, finding such an eraser might be difficult. Try a stationery store. I find either method usually rough enough to polish the contacts. If that doesn't do the trick, then a file would be in order.
  8. Thankyou Jack, I'll have a try. I'll try anything!
  9. How likely is it that the leak has damaged not just the battery holder? and can anyone recommend a UK outlet which would sell replacement battery holders? I have googled and not really getting any joy - one is in hong kong and another in the USA.
  10. Asia, I don't know how you feel about the auction site but that is one option. Finding that particular piece/part might not be too easy? ? ?
  11. Hi Bruce I'll give it a try. I'll also be ringing the shop I bought from and Johnsons - photopia (uk distributor) first thing tomorrow. I love that camera! :(
  12. Bought a fiberglass pen from Radio shack. It works great!
  13. Asia,
    One thing about 'cleaning' contact points, is that I have found (and Nikon repair has confirmed this) that battery corrosion is 'viral' so even if you make contact through cleaning the tips, that does not mean there is not internal damage that still is working its way up the 'cleaned' wire or metal circuitry, possibly to cause further outage down the line.
    Although US law and UK law differ, there is a law of Sales in the UK and unless disclaimed by the retailer, there will be a warranty on the batteries AND the battery holder as well as the electrically (electronically) driven device.
    If you bought them all from the same dealer, I'd just find my receipt or track it down or the sales number showing the transaction in some say, take it back to them and dump the whole affair in their laps.
    Be kind, be polite and try to use the method that works usually for me best. Don't ever scream, shout or try to get rough or threatening, and at the same time don't deal with a clerk unless you have advance word that the clerk has 'authority' to fix the problem
    I'd start by making a telephone problem and ask for someone 'in authority' but sometimes clerks pretend they are 'in authority' just by whomever answes the phone or who is not scheduled not out to lunch next, so beware.
    I might be 'in authority' if I'm next on phone pickup rotation, if you get my drift.
    Irate customers sometimes get special treatment and don't forget that, but safe that for a last resort.
    Find the real person with AUTHORITY who can fix your problem and after identifying them, determine if it is better to approach them on the telephone and find out what info they need from you and then determine whether it is best to try to meet with that person face to face, and then learn that person's schedule and also when that person is not making oddles of money selling cameras, etc. to others and when a complaint will be seen as separating that person from next week's or month's income.
    Be polite, explain that you've researched the law, regardless what a receipt says and that a court routinely will disregard the fine print disclaimers on receipts (call a solicitor and make sure it is so in your country -- it is in mine -- the USA) and then if that person says 'go sue me' have at it,and throw your weight around, but first try to overcome that hurdle and explain that while you're so upset that the cost of suit is something that you're willing to undertake since you've been so disrespected, especially since you went to such care to be calm AND research the law about warranties, and you have been a good, patient customer who wants to buy more lenses and cameras, etc in the future and have just begun to spend, but you just cannot do that if they disrespect you.
    Of course, they see their pocket book eaten away by attorney fees, time in court (remind them of that) and the ultimate problem is that if they sold the whole thing to you, it does not matter to you what manufacture sold you what, if is all a ale from them to you and you don't care WHO fixes it, so long as they arrange it for you. Put the onus on them to coordinate a fix, and REMIND them that all corrosion is viral -- call the product repair center and talk to a tech to confirm that this is so (don't take my word for it and also find out if I'm correct and how far I'm correct. I think I am, and Nikon USA tells me I am, but hey, their source may tell them differently.
    Look the person in the eye, tell them that you look to them as trustworthy people who will stand by their word -- after all you're sure they don't beat their children and are upstanding citizens, and surely as such good people they will take care of your problem for poor, unsuspecting you, and OH, BY THE WAY, HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO FIX THIS PROBLEM AND WHAT PARTS DO YOU NEED TO POSSESS TO FIX IT -- within reason of course. "I'll help in any and every way, just have the proper person call me about it, but you call me first to tell me what is most helpful to tell them of the various varieties of the truth (there is always more than one viewpoint)
    This approach works startlingly well with reputable dealers.
    It has earned me one $3,500 laptop.
    One dozen 80 gigabyte laptop hard drives.
    Free data restoration for damaged hard drives that 'crashed' - no cost to me, and overseas where I was.
    Invitation from a prominent 'hard drive' manufacture to 'walk into the President's office anytime for having probably saved them millions for pointing out a defect and why it might eventually cost them millions but taking the extra effort, rather than taking the hard drive back, to take it to the President's office directly so he could round up my defective drives and identify the improper manufacturing process and FIX it (and therefore save possibly a million or so.)
    And so forth.
    There is an art to complaining.
    I once was an attorney, long, long ago, and there are only certain people with authority to resolve such matters and they are NOT telephone help people who read from scripts. You might try them (if applicable).
    At the same time call the President's (or owner's office) and as for that person (if they won't tell you, look at the stock filings which will identify who is the President. Get that name and ask for that person by name.
    You'll never speak to that person, but believe me they all have 'fixers' who surround them fixing problems. When the president's fixer calls a division chief and says the President says fix Asia's problem in the most expeditious way, it probably will get fixed. And well.
    If it's ever gonna get fixed.
    (c) 2009, John S. Crosley (I might publish this later, so copyright is just in case. All rights reserved.
    Hope this helps.
    In a circumstance like this, even a temporary fix may only be temporary -- given the viral nature of corrosion. A FIX may only be temporary no matter how wonderfully something works. so at least make a record if it seems 'fixed' now. Believe me you may be very glad you did.
    I wrote this for all others of all stripes who have any sort of complaint to make -- and it's a good guide about how to get things resolves, or find out they won't be resolved except by a judge in Court.
    John (Crosley)
    Because of the nature of Sales and the law, the retailer owes you the duty to sell you merchantable goods, both in the UK and the US. Don't get kicked piller to post between manufacturer, after sales persons, battery manufactuere. etc., resolve it directly with the seller (and if there's stil. time, charge it back on a credit card, even if it now works). until the 'hidden' damage to those wires/contacts) is resolved, perhaps by an 'extended warranty' even if they have to craft one just for you, perhaps in a letter form -- there's no law against doing jsut that - don't take there oral word or oral promises, get it in writing and if the writing does not say what they promised precisely, send them a counter letter that does just that -- don't be shy. It's your money and they have it now; they'll be triply unwilling to part with it down the road and to dismiss your claims as 'insignificant' and devote their lives to 'selling' rather than 'resolving' so be bold (but very polite)l.
    If you're politte but steadfast, they'll probably bend over backward to help you.
  14. Hi John
    and thankyou for your reply/time.
    Update: I have now discovered that the new batteries which came with my new camera expired in 2004! However I did contact the seller who are going to collect by courier tomorrow morning.They will ascertain the damage and let me know whether its covered under the warranty. I have sent them a letter (polite but to the point) saying that i hope they will cover any repair costs considering they supplied me with the camera and batteries.I hear you with the 'temporary fixing issue' and will definately be looking into my rights as a consumer.
    Many many thanks for all your prompt replies.Its good to know theres help out there when one needs it :) now fingers crossed they sort it...

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