Before your phone charges the battery, it needs to communicate with it in order to know its condition (how much charge it has/needs, for example). But in order to do this, the battery has to have enough power. If the battery is completely drained for whatever reason, stayed on shelf for too long, for example, then this process can’t start. This doesn’t mean the battery is faulty, only it needs a jump start. The way to do it is pretty simple: take it out of the phone and use a separate DC power supply to charge it. Check and adjust the voltage, monitor the current to make sure you don’t over charge or cause explosion. I usually don’t want the current go beyond 500mA.
There is 240VAC power in almost every house in America. If you know how to wire it to a special wall outlet, you can plug it in and use it directly without any problem. I am using my Z8 from Europe this way. Update (03/03/2020): This is how US 250VAC, 20A setup looks like: Once you have this setup in US, you can plug any 220/230/240/250VAC small appliances from Europe/Asia into it directly without any transformers. The only thing you need to do is to cut off the original plug and attach a US one to it.