Quick question on cordless phone battery...

So my years-old cordless phone isn’t holding a charge nearly as long as it used to. I’m looking around for a new battery, and found a line of generics. However, the notice inside the phone battery case said to use THEIR brand (which I obviously have a harder time finding) “to reduce [the chances of] fire.”

Is that just scare tactics on the manufacturer’s part, or is there actually non-negligible risk in using a generic battery?

I’d think the main purpose is to reduce their risk of liability in case a consumer purchases an unsafe battery from the back streets of China.

I’ve replaced my laptop battery with a generic one and have been fine, and that’s a much larger battery.

When I first started shopping for cordless phone batteries, I noticed that they are about the same price as a cheap cordless phone. So I quit buying the batteries and just started replacing the phone.

Really? They’re $17 these days? With what features? (I honestly haven’t even looked at prices for them in ages.)

No, the main purpose is to increase the profits of the manufacturer, by selling overpriced batteries.

After all, it’s highly unlikely that the phone manufacturer actually makes batteries, too – they probably buy from a battery company, and put their own name on them. So the ‘factory’ batteries are effectively generic ones, with a new label pasted on them.

Remember that there are only something like 6 actual battery manufacturers in the US – all the others selling batteries are really just buying from one of these and putting their own labels on the batteries. A few years ago, Consumer Reports disassembled many name-brand batteries, and found that under the label & outside case, they were often the same battery. They could even recognize the markings that indicated which maker & factory the batteries actually came from.

I have two of these: [url=“http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=cordless+phone&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1067&bih=583&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=3498821996292044555&sa=X&ei=SWyZTfe6FcK20QGJg83tCw&ved=0CJMBEPMCMAI#”]VTech CS5111 Cordless phone
. They were $12 at Walmart, which made them cheaper than buying the the two phone model at $30.

Battery charging algorithms are tailored to battery chemistry. So putting a third party battery in THEORETICALLY could result in poor charge, over charge, or even failure. And yes, the failure could be physical, and could cause harm.

Many cell phone companies, for instance, use a thermistor in the battery as a safety measure - if the battery gets too hot, they stop charging. It’s a single analog line. A cheap replacement may just use a pull-up instead. This defeats a layer of safety.

You also get a less accurate read of how much charge you have during use - your battery bars are not accurate. This probably doesn’t matter to you in a cordless phone, because it’s charing almost all the time.
That being said - I use third party battery in my camera. But not in my cell phones. I’ve never had to replace one in a cordless phone…given that it sits on the charger constantly, I’d lean heavily towards the real battery unless I had enough technical information to convince myself there was no issue.

Just as a data point, I recently had the same problem as the OP. My cordless phones weren’t holding their charge so I bought some cheap generic batteries off Amazon instead of replacing the whole phone.

Verdict: the new generic batteries only lasted a couple months until they were holding their charge as poorly as my phone was previously. I eventually just had to buy a new cordless phone, which was pretty cheap. I wish I hadn’t bothered with the generic batteries.

OP: Your phone manufacturing company would like to make more money from you.

Match Voltage, Current Capactiy (MaH, Approximately), Polarity, Chemitry, Physical Size and connector size/shape and you can use it.

And yes, at your friendly local RadioShack, most of the phone batteries are $19.90. A pretty-good single-line cordless phone with caller ID is… $19.99.