Random Thoughts – Randocity!

Done with Duracell

Posted in botch, business by commorancy on February 22, 2015

Rant Time Again.. I’ve tried. I really have. But, Duracell batteries are not what they used to be. Gone are the days when Duracell used to outlast the competition. Now, they don’t even outlast the cheapie batteries you get from the dollar store. Let’s explore.

Duracell Quantum Copper Tops

71sTO-1qNKL._SL1500_Sometime early last year, I bought the red bottom ‘Quantum’ copper top batteries that were supposed to hold more power and last longer. Well, that’s a total fallacy. These batteries lasted no longer than the no-name brand batteries. In fact, these batteries died far sooner than these generic batteries. I put these Quantum batteries into an Apple Magic Mouse. Typically, this mouse will get at least 6 months on and off use with Energizer batteries. These Quantum batteries died within 2 weeks. Literally, they died to the day at the end of two weeks. I chalked this up to a new battery technology (they’re red colored after all). I vowed never to buy these again.

Duracell Black Bottom Copper Tops

DuracellAATarget was recently having a sale on the standard alkaline copper tops. I hadn’t bought them in a while and thought they would be okay as they aren’t the same as the Quantum batteries. Was I ever wrong. These are not the copper tops of the days of yore. Far from it. I placed 3 of the copper tops into a clock. Yes, a clock. This specific clock, I might add, typically requires a battery change once a year or sometimes longer when using normal alkaline Energizer batteries. So, into this clock these 3 Duracells went. I can tell when the batteries are about to expire in this clock because the temperature gauge on the clock stops working. I had these ‘copper top’ batteries installed for approximately 1 month. Yes, 1 month! Seriously, 1 single month and the batteries began dying… the temperature gauge had stopped functioning.

I went and found my last 3 new Energizer batteries and replaced these Duracell batteries immediately. The temperature gauge begin working promptly. I should point out that the copper tops had recent dates and had a long expiration period. They were not old by any stretch.

Battery Technology Improvements?

Whatever Duracell is doing, it isn’t great. In fact, it’s horrible. Whatever design change they have made within their batteries has cut their lifetimes by over 90%. At first, I thought this problem was limited to the Quantum batteries. Nope, it extends to all of their batteries. Whatever they’ve done to try to ‘improve’ their batteries has seriously degraded their longevity.

One has to wonder, is this a ploy to sell more batteries? Is Duracell intentionally hobbling the lifespan of the batteries to force consumers to buy more batteries? Are they silently slipping in this change as a money making ploy? Is it intended to get people used to changing their batteries more frequently and then people won’t know any different? Clearly, they think this change will make more money for Duracell, at least that’s what they hope. Instead, all this is likely to do is chase consumers over to Energizer. This is exactly where I’ll be going. Duracell no more!

It’s been nice knowin’ ya, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out

As the subject of this article says, I’m officially done with Duracell. I will no longer invest money in or entrust my devices to any batteries produced by this company. I don’t know what happened over there and I don’t want to know. All I want to know is that when I put 3 AA batteries into my clock that I don’t have to change it for at least 9 months, just as I always have. I have absolutely no intention of changing batteries in this clock every month or in my magic mouse every week. That’s entirely ridiculous ask on the part of battery manufacturers.

Energizer_AA_E92I’ll turn to using Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables before I’ll stoop to that. There is absolutely no reason why a commercially produced alkaline battery should ever have a reduced life of over 90%. So, there you have it. No more Duracell batteries in my house, ever. Unless Energizer makes the same big change to their batteries also, I’ll officially stick with Energizer for all of my battery needs. I might consider generics or Rayovacs if that happens. But, I’ve had bad experiences with leaking batteries when using generics. This is especially true in clocks and other low power rarely changed devices (i.e., remotes). I’ve rarely ever had this issue with Energizer or Duracell. I simply can no longer trust Duracell to provide the longevity that they formerly have.

Anyway, I’m off to Target to get more Energizers. These Duracell batteries are officially in the circular file.

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5 Responses

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  1. Martin said, on August 17, 2018 at 2:59 am

    I’m joining in with similar comments over 3 years after the original post. Years ago, I felt as if Duracell was “the god of batteries.” No more. Their quality has gone down the drain along with my faith and respect for that company. I wonder when the general public will stop buying and why Costco still sells them.


    • commorancy said, on August 17, 2018 at 3:26 am

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks for commenting. I always try to write on article topics that remain timely and relevant regardless of the date they are written. Some of my oldest articles date back to 2008. If Duracell changes their battery formula and somehow returns to higher quality formula, I’ll update this review.


  2. Chris C. said, on February 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Unfortunately, you are right. This is what happens when profit comes ahead of quality and bean counters dictate to engineers how to build things. Did I mention that we should get rid of bankers who have infested every aspect of society and trump democracy through their control of money, and send them packing back to their abcusses? Every problem in the world you look at, there is a banker at it’s source. Mark my words.

    As for the Duracells – I have had the exact same experience. Had batteries in my 80s vintage calculator still running after 20 years… Replaced them with new ones, they corroded the contacts within a couple of years.


    • Bob said, on November 29, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Not sure anyone will see this as I am about a year and a half late, but I have to say recent experiences with Duracell have not been good. Batteries not even near the expiry date are leaking and corroding the contacts. But recently found an old radio with 10 yr old Duracell that still worked and no leakage. Something has definitely changed, I’m guessing China is somehow in the equation.


      • commorancy said, on December 1, 2016 at 6:53 am

        Hi Bob,

        Thanks for commenting. I believe there are still people reading this article. Clearly, you found it. However, there is definitely something wrong in the land of Duracell. Considering that the cheap battery brands are now comparable to Duracell, I’ve certainly stopped buying that brand. Duracell used to have a great name in the battery business. Today, they’re just another cheap brand.


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