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February 23, 2004

Senator Leahy replies

Almost two months later, he finally replied to my email.

Dear Mr. Mermelstein:

Thank you for contacting me about potential legislation on portable consumer electronic devices. It is good to hear from you, and I apologize for the delay in my response.

I share your concerns that several companies have begun manufacturing products that need replacement batteries in a short period of time at prohibitive costs. I believe that as more consumers hit their power buttons with no results, companies will be forced to replace batteries at a lower cost to consumers. Americans will not warm to the idea of paying several hundred dollars for gadgets that become little more than expensive paperweights in two years' time, and companies will have to react by creating better products with longer lasting batteries and improve their service plans. In the case of Apple's iPods, which you referred to in your note, I was glad to see that the company has announced it will significantly reduce the cost to consumers of its battery replacement program. This decision followed outrage by many iPod purchasers who found they would have to spend nearly three hundred dollars to get a replacement battery. Consumers got upset, and Apple -- realizing that they may lose customers over the issue -- made changes.

This is a situation that I will continue to monitor closely, and I will keep your thoughts in mind. Thank you again for contacting me, and please keep in touch.

Patrick Leahy
United States Senator

Posted in Podcasts & iPods by usrbingeek at 2004-02-23 13:52 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink


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