The laptop is an Asus N10J, and was originally purchased in early/mid-2009 (making the battery 2.5 years old and therefore out of warranty), but not from us. Said customer comes back complaining the battery won't charge at all and the laptop can only operate on mains power.
He claims the battery was working for 3 hours before it was brought in, and also says his other Asus laptop has gone 5 years with no loss of charge. The repair agent said the battery was terminally flat when they got it. Under our watch, the battery was never removed, the laptop was never dropped or zapped, and was packaged in 2-3 layers of bubble wrap.
He's insisting technical malpractice is at fault, and wants nothing less than a free battery or money back on the repairs. We think it's a PEBKAC or otherwise Murphy's Law invoking itself at a bad moment.
How common is it for laptop batteries to die suddenly? Could the battery be counterfeit? Come to think of it, given its past repair history, could the laptop itself be counterfeit? I've read of mixed reports on laptop battery life, and that running the laptop until zero charge can hasten battery death.
We don't do full-on laptop repairs proper, only a bridge between customers and repair agents. I've written to Consumer Affairs about the matter and am waiting for their response.