The problem was, however, that in my previous examination of the situation I discovered that most of the people selling laptop batteries under website names that look like they should be Australian are, in fact, pretty much one or two companies in Hong Kong operating a plethora of different web fronts. Using 'whois' on their domain names mostly tells you the truth, as these people don't bother to get an address in Australia to use as their administrative contact. Do not be fooled by use of '.au' in their domain names or Australian flag icons appearing in their banners.
These are made more dodgy still by then having spammed the Canberra Linux Users Group list shortly after I posted to it asking "where do I buy laptop batteries at a decent price from an Australian company?". The behaviour makes me think of the stereotypical chinese market hawkers, yelling at you to try their products, very cheap, for you special price, broken English permeating the whole transaction with the feeling that somewhere, somehow, you're going to be ripped off. I resolved, after OSDC, to find an Australian company that would sell me a battery for my still perfectly serviceable Dell Inspiron 6400.
Lo and behold I found one - Laptop Plus, which advertises itself as "Proudly Australian Owned & Operated". I also found a few eBay sellers advertising batteries, but since eBay cares as much about verifying the location of their sellers as they do about checking whether the postage is reasonable, I decided against shopping there. There are a reasonable number of sellers of Inspiron laptop batteries claiming to be in Australia, some even selling the 7200mAH batteries. But I decided to go with Laptop Plus, even though they were more expensive.
My decision was rewarded with prompt service, prompt answering of my questions, and speedy delivery. The battery came in a nice foam-padded box and checks out by the laptop hardware. It just worked, and I'm very happy with their service. I can only hope they will be around in another three years so I can buy another battery from them.
All posts licensed under the CC-BY-NC license. Author Paul Wayper.