Giz Tip: Don't Charge Your Phone Overnight

Lately my cell phone battery has been lasting maybe 30 minutes of talk time before dying, so I schlepped through Union Square last night to take it to Verizon and see wtf was up with it. The battery, predictably, was dead, so I was stuck dropping $40 on a new one to ride out the last 5 months of my infernal contract.

Literally every single person at the Verizon store in the technical support line was there to get dead batteries replaced, from people like me that have had the battery for over a year and a half to people who had just bought their phones a week ago.

Maybe I missed the memo on this one, but I've been keeping my phone plugged in overnight every night, and apparently it's my own fault my battery is dead. According to the Verizon tech reps, you should only charge your phone 3 hours a day or so and never leave it plugged in overnight or it'll die. Now, I've heard things like this before, but I never thought it caused such a dramatic difference. And why isn't it made clearer? As the girl next to me asked, why does the Motorola manual tell you to charge it overnight?

Yeah, you could laugh it up and tell me I'm an idiot for not knowing this, but you lovely gadget blog readers are in the minority of cell phone owners when it comes to product knowledge. Most people have no idea that they shouldn't charge their phones overnight. I'm no scientist, but can't they develop batteries that stop taking a charge when full? And why is this info not more widely known? I'm tempted to think that it's a conspiracy, that Verizon only tells you this when you come in to fork over $40 for a replacement battery.

What do you guys think, have you inadvertently killed off your phone's battery? Are they intentionally giving bad advice so people need to replace their batteries? Could a smarter battery (for dumber people, I guess) be developed?

All I know is that I am not overcharging my phone ever again. That $40 was earmarked to be donated to charity, Verizon! Now the children can't eat. What do you think of that?

Update: So apparently the Verizon rep was, surprise surprise, completely full of it. While this might be an issue on some phones, most should be able to handle an all-night charge without a problem. The general consensus seems to be that letting your battery completely die once every couple months will keep the life nice and long, so let's see how that works, shall we?