- Mar 8, 2017 at 12:07 pm #3455155
Pictures talk by themselves about the manufacturing or designing quality of Black Diamond Beta Light tent (tarp). This tent looks like this after very lilttle use (few nights, light winds). I have used silnylon tents for years, but never has happened something like this. I contacted Black Diamond Customer Service more than 2 months ago, and after several emails, they don’t give me any solution, they are just ignoring me. What do you think?
Mar 8, 2017 at 4:20 pm #3455208
Ben H.BPL Member
@bzhayesLocale: So. California
Is this within the warranty period (1 year)?Mar 9, 2017 at 7:21 am #3455326
Yes.Mar 9, 2017 at 8:54 am #3455346
Ken T.BPL Member
You sent them the photos?Mar 9, 2017 at 9:37 am #3455362
Ben H.BPL Member
@bzhayesLocale: So. California
Then that is pretty bad customer service. They say on there website to take it back to the place you purchased it from if possible. Have you tried that? The other thing you can try to do is take the issue up with your credit card company. It looks like they have a quality control problem and you got a tent that should have never left the factory.Mar 9, 2017 at 10:26 am #3455367
Dena KelleyBPL Member
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
Ben H makes a good point- if you paid for it with a credit card, and you can’t work it out through the company you bought it from, you can initiate a “charge back”. You’ll need to show that you made a good faith effort to work things out using the normal channels, so keep your documentation. It also doesn’t hurt – as a final resort- to tell the company you bought it from that a lack of response from them will result in you issuing a charge back. I can tell you from personal experience, charge-backs are a paperwork nightmare for the manager of a company that gets one issued against them. Even if your company is in the right, you have to prove it to the credit card company beyond a shadow of a doubt. They err on the side of the consumer always.Mar 9, 2017 at 11:45 am #3455390
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Good to know about BD tent quality. BD used to be Patagonia but was separated after a nasty lawsuit against Patagonia when their climbing harness failed when a guide did not check to see that the client had it properly rigged.
Maybe BD needs to drop that Chinese factory. Unlike the Japanese who are obsessive about quality the Chinese companies will screw you every chance they get.
I have a relative who deals with Chinese factories for his products. He has to watch them like a hawk or he will get substandard products.Mar 9, 2017 at 1:36 pm #3455417
“Unlike the Japanese who are obsessive about quality the Chinese companies will screw you every chance they get.”
We’re tiptoeing into Chaff territory but that’s not accurate. There are a number of products that come from China like the iPhone, Montbell sleeping bags, and some Nikon lenses to name a few that are high quality, and there is plenty of crap built in the US.
My BD Megalight is great and its quality is on par with any of the cottage gear gear I’ve purchased. I’m not sure if the OP’s experience is a symptom of declining QC since I purchased mine, the last shelter sewn together on a Friday afternoon, or a convincing counterfeit. Either way, it’s unacceptable.Mar 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm #3455444
Yes, I sent them these photos.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will tell you if I get any news about this.Mar 9, 2017 at 5:31 pm #3455468
Jeff JeffBPL Member
The Mega Light does that as well. They also have a reputation of poor service on their Bibler line of tents.
It’s a shame because their customer service on all their other goods is top notch. I usually don’t have to pay for parts, shipping, or repairs even when I would be happy to do so.
I doubt I will ever need to warranty any of their clothing, but I hope they are good if they do.
In related news, they are shutting down their plant in China and moving a lot of production to Europe or the US.Mar 9, 2017 at 5:40 pm #3455473
eric chanBPL Member
A year or two ago there were a few recalls on some BD cams, carabiners and slings …. Things that could kill you
everyone on da intrawebz started ranting about BDs china factory until it turned out the recalled goods were from their SLC, Utah, USA factory which they had moved back
Shortly there after there were bew job openings for QC director and QC technicians where one of the main wualifications was showing up to work
say what you want about china … But dem AZNs from the motherland dont usually have too much problems turning up late and stoned because they went snowboarding on the local hills
note also that ALOT of dead bird is made in china … As are many of the top brands
;)Mar 9, 2017 at 10:50 pm #3455555
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Could not glean from your post whether you bought it from BD or a retailer.
Either way, if it were me, and the use was minimal as you state, I would return it to the seller and ask for a refund. But you need a parcel service that will track the package.
If they continue to ignore you, there are various ways you can turn up the heat, including posts like yours. Ignoring you suggests they are taking into account your residence in another country, from which a small claims action would be cost prohibitive. Disgusting, but not uncommon.
Try a little web research, such as the website for the Secretary of State for the State where they are incorporated. With the names of some company officers, you can appeal to someone higher up the food chain. The Attorney General for their home state may also have a consumer protection bureau. Note: Have used the credit card process, and it took almost a year, even though I had emails from the seller agreeing to a refund. Lots of work.
Please let readers here know how you fared.
Sam in NHMar 10, 2017 at 3:00 am #3455572
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
BD used to be Patagonia but was separated after a nasty lawsuit against Patagonia when their climbing harness failed when a guide did not check to see that the client had it properly rigged.
Not accurate. Chouinard Equioment Company started in the late 50’s. In 1973 Yvon Chouinard started a separate clothing company, Patagonia. In 1989 Chouinard Equipment Company declared bankruptcy and its assets were purchased by a group of former employees and became Black Diamond.
It’s a shame that the OP is having this problem. I still use my 30+ year old Chouinard Pryamid and used it at this year’s GGG.
If you can’t get the retailer to warranty it, then your only option is BD. My experience in these situations is email doesn’t work. You have to start calling people and work your way up the chain of command, which eventually usually gets the result you want.Mar 28, 2017 at 3:58 am #3459943
I contacted again the retailer (bikewagoncat in ebay), told him my problems with Black Diamond customer service, and he told me he was going to take the tarp into warranty, but before I sent it back, Black Diamond customer service contacted me, directly saying they had sent me a new tarp. Today I have received it, and after checking it at home… it seems that this tarp will have the same problems as the first one… I have to mount it and see, but looking to the construction of the top reinforcements… I’m not very optimistic.
Thanks for your help.Apr 6, 2017 at 10:33 pm #3461999
George FBPL Member
I just got a Beta Light in and I think i see what is going on. In each of the peaks they have a robust protective cup that is sewn to the tent body evenly in a circle. But the grommet for the pole tip is supported by four straps. There are five seams in the peak so there is no way they can all hit a seam. But the big issue is that the stress will always go into the tent in four spots, not an even circle. And with the stretchy nature of sil-nylon this could easily cause problems. I think I see the solution: don’t use the grommet. Instead put the poles in handle up avoiding the straps. This should load the cup evenly with the stress being distributed around the ring.
Yep, just set it up again by headlamp and looked at it both ways. Handle up in the cup is much more evenly loaded than tip up in the grommet. In fact it loses that puffy top that they have in their stock shots of the shelter. I am going to play with it for a while before I do any cutting but I am sure that is how I will be setting it up from here out. Thanks for the thread, I never would have thought of that until there was a problem.Dec 6, 2017 at 11:54 pm #3505967
Any thoughts on the long term durability of this tarp? Does George’s recommendation of using the trekking poles handle side up sufficiently alleviate the stress on the seams?
I’m looking for a two person shelter for use on an upcoming winter trip with one of my friends. I currently use an MLD solomid for myself, so I was looking at the Duomid as a possible two person option. However, its specs indicate it’s only 45 sqft, which is just 10 sqft bigger than my solomid (which just barely has enough room for me and my pack). The Beta Light specs say it has just 35 sqft of “usable floor space”, but 50 sqft total coverage. However, most of the reviews I’ve seen have claimed that it’s fairly comfortable for 2 people, whereas many feel the Duomid is too tight for a second person + gear. Anyone have experience winter camping with two people in the Beta and/or the duo?
I know MLD makes the DuomidXL but 1. I don’t think they’d be able to make one in time for my trip in a couple weeks, and 2. since this will just be an occasional use shelter for use w/ a partner and maybe some winter solos, I don’t want to spend more than $200-300. If anyone has other recommendations for a shelter that would fit those criteria (plus is light enough to justify carrying solo), please let me know!Dec 7, 2017 at 12:50 am #3505973
George FBPL Member
I don’t have a lot of time in on my Beta Light, but here are some pictures showing the difference on a quick backyard setup, same tension in each. The tarp is new here, the difference will likely be more pronounced with age and stretching.
If memory serves, when BD first introduced the BetaLight and had both it and the BetaMid on the market, the BetaMid was considered 4 season and the BetaLight 3 due to the difference in fabric strength.Dec 7, 2017 at 2:38 am #3505993
@iagoLocale: Boston & Galicia, Spain
@kevin, not sure if you saw Phil Werner’s review at sectionhiker.com a couple of days ago. He discusses the size of the tent to some detail.Dec 7, 2017 at 7:12 am #3506033
For me, using the trekking poles handle side up, works.
I can’t say anything about durability. I don’t use this shelter that much.Dec 7, 2017 at 2:41 pm #3506056
Great pictures- that looks like it does help quite a bit to even things out. Thanks!Dec 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm #3506057
@iago- I did read through his article, but missed his comparison with the Duomid in the comments. Very helpful:
“Anyway, this tarp is definitely a competitive offering to a Duomid.
1) you can actually get 2 people into it
2) they can both get out without crawling over each other
3) longer so much more livable, no fabric 1 inch from your face
4) doesn’t have the same factory adjustable guyout as the Duomid, so you need to do add line locks, tie an adjustable knot, or gasp, move your stakes to tighten up your initial pitch
5) just as weather worthy as Duomid
6) less expensive in silnylon
7) Reinforced door zip with buckle, just like Duomid
8) no peak vents but I was never convinced they worked on the Duomid anyway. What mattered more was ground separation gap.
9) additional external loops to stake out tarp in super stormy conditions”Dec 7, 2017 at 7:13 pm #3506094
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I agree that my China quality rant does not apply to many Chinese products. But we all know about bad Chinese food imports, even in dog food, and most of us have seen problems with Chinese goods at one time or another.
True,I have many goods made in China that have excellent quality including clothing and even a Vortex SPARC 2 red dot firearms sight. Usually the high quality from China is due to a Western or Japanese company rep being on the spot in the Chinese factory constantly doing quality checks. This according to my wife’s niece’s husband, the guy who sources all his goods from China.
But this BD tent seam separation looks more like a combination of a design flaw and a manufacturing flaw.Dec 7, 2017 at 7:40 pm #3506101
Philip WernerBPL Member
@earlyliteLocale: New England
Regular trekking pole handles should work. I suspect that the reason I haven’t encountered this problem is because I’m using poles with snow baskets and the snow basket is probably distributing the weight of the peak more than the pole tip and grommet.
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