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Hi All 

Had Lunch today with a old friend who is now back in the country to live. Been out of country over 20 yrs. 

He works for Game and had a customer come in saying she was trying to send some not charging Nintendo switch controllers back but as it has batteries in it, lithium ones, companies were refusing to take them as they are prohibited. Royal Mail/ Post office said no, and so did Yodel and Evri via the T&Cs 

He asked why they, company's like Game can send them via the postal/courier delivery system but they are classed as prohibited if going back. His manager did not have the answer and just went with its the law. This got me thinking why is that. Could not find a answer online so thought the fountain of knowledge might know. 

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As you probably know it's the fire risk that is the concern and leads to the prohibitions. Lithium batteries in some circumstances can short circuit and catch fire. Because they are energy-dense they give off a lot of heat when they burn.

A quick search on Royal Mail's site shows that lithium batteries  aren't actually totally prohibited but there are myriad conditions regarding packing which differ depending whether the batteries are enclosed in a product or loose so I'm not surprised if post office staff generally find it easier to say 'prohibited' than to go through the full list of questions about the battery types and packaging, questions probably not fully understood either by the individual customer or the PO counter staff. 

As an example last week I needed to return a pack of 4 Size D alkaline batteries to Amazon that had been sent to me in error. PO staff told me they were prohibited and couldn't be sent by Royal Mail in any circumstances. I can now see from this link that they are not prohibited as they were correctly packed and should have been accepted by the PO. The PO clerk simply didn't know the rules. (Problem solved by Amazon saying 'keep them'!).

Have a look at this page on Royal Mail site, scroll down to Batteries and then individual battery types. Prohibited goods - items you can't send through the post (royalmail.com)

My guess, and it is just a guess, is that businesses are able to certify in some way when sending out new products that these packaging etc rules are being complied with, whereas the average customer sending in a return doesn't have the knowledge to make such a declaration.

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Two possible reasons:
number one, if the companies are sending out electronics containing batteries, these batteries are normally protected with some kind of tab so that at least one terminal is not making contact inside the item.

Second possible reason is that the companies who are sending out these electronic goods are much larger than individual consumers. The company provides a fairly large amount of business and so is to be reckoned with.
The consumer is just a nuisance and nobody really cares about them very much. They will have to make do
 

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That make perfect sense. If they just ay sorry they are prohibited then they dont have to deal with it. The further thought to this tho is that as secondary sellers, eg a controller or console, has to come from the company with them they being shipped in from China so without opening how do they know they are safe.

Its the same with phones now as they are back to being inside the case where as 10 yrs ago they would be separate inside the box. 

 

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Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

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@BankFodder  Its more likely the second one but the first is always a possible option but more now batteries in devices are coming enclosed. 
I know with a nintendo its not attached to a terminal as l repair all ours and we have 10 sets in he house. 

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Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

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You should probably accept @Ethel Street's explanation as it is far more sensible than mine

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Working for a company who regularly takes delivery of electronic equipment (two way radios), we were told in the past by one of our suppliers that batteries could only be sent (through their courier) when associated with / installed in equipment. This created a ridiculous scenario that when we ordered spare batteries only, they supplied batteries with a written off radio!

This has now gone by the board.

Batteries are now supplied to us with only 30% charge, to reduce risk. (New "regulations" apparently)

As a company, we now simply send them on in the same state. (We used to charge all batteries fully as a courtesy to our customers).

On another note, when we send end of life batteries away for recycling, we have to pack them in vermiculite.

I believe the general guide to end users, is that the batteries must actually be installed in the equipment, to send by post.

Things changed, carriage wise, with the advent of newer battery technology (Lithium-Ion, and their derivatives).

If you've ever seen one of those go up after being punctured, (I have, the heat and fumes are horrendous) you'd certainly understand the risks!

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14 minutes ago, Nicky Boy said:

Batteries are now supplied to us with only 30% charge, to reduce risk. (New "regulations" apparently)

It's the 64th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations for air freight that limits the charge to 30%. (I only know this obscure bit of information because I came across it yesterday when I was posting upthread 😀 )

 lithium-battery-guidance-document.pdf (iata.org)

I guess some courier companies find it easier to adopt the IATA regulations even if they are only carrying by road within the UK.

The requirement isn't in the Royal Mail prohibited goods list.

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6 minutes ago, Ethel Street said:

I guess some courier companies find it easier to adopt the IATA regulations even if they are only carrying by road within the UK.

Invariably, batteries are manufactured abroad, so air freight is probably used during some part of the supply chain?

My! You certainly do find some obscure stuff Ethel...😯

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I get it with air travel and agree they are dangerous.  As l said its strange l could not find anything for uk and logistics company's. 

Think Ethel is right just easier to adopt a law related to flying. 

 

Thanks All.

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Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

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FWIW: 99% of small sized lithium batteries today are nothing like the technology of 20yrs ago when they could explode.

dx

 

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@dx100uk  Can say that about everything tho. Mobile phones, Laptops, Computers, Wifi and stuff liķe beds and Mattresses are nothing like they were 20 yrs ago. I use to carry a breeze block compared to the pebble l have now for a phone. Same with laptops when they first came out you needed a suitcase to carry it round. 

Oh and l messaged him last night to ask what the rules in NZ for that sort of stuff and he said ppl just bring them back or post them without issues..

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Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

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no, low capacity small sized li-on cells dont catch fire now if shorted/heated , Different internal chemicals are now used. 

nothing to do with passage of time of technological microsization.

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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