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Unread 04-02-2013, 11:32 AM   #1
extremejm
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Bestop Soft Top - you might want to avoid it

I'm the third owner of my daily driver Jeep and the original soft top was in great shape until one of those development/parking arms came down on my jeep and tore it. I like to take the top off and cruise around town and the beach but the Jeep has a pretty good life (read low miles). I did a bunch of research and decided to go with a Bestop replacement top because I wanted another soft top. I even upgraded the top to the "sail cloth" that was supposed to be more quiet and last longer. This top has got to be the worst made top available. After paying around $850 for this top, I thought I would have it 10 years.

Try 3. I'm on year 4 because I have two kids and $$$ doesn't grow on trees, but now it's leaking like a sieve and coming apart at the seams - LITERALLY. (I can ul pictures later).

NOW, that all being said, I tried to see what Bestop could do, since it was obvious that this was not "normal wear and tear" and you can tell that it's not all faded and still strong overall... After multiple calls, emails, etc., all I got was a "sorry!". and NOTHING, not even a reduced price on another top direct from them.

So to anyone looking for a replacement soft top, do NOT go BESTOP!!!! I wanted to be sure to let my fellow jeepsters know so that they don't end up where I did.

If anyone has had a better experience with another soft top company, please let me know. I like having a soft top!

XJM

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Unread 04-02-2013, 09:22 PM   #2
JeeperDon
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Sorry for your problems, but your experiences are very (very) atypical for their products.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 09:55 PM   #3
JrTjK
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Where exactly is it leaking?

In the instructions, they mention periodically spraying them with products like Scotchgard if you experience any leaks or seeping.

They also have their cleaner kit with the protectant that helps keep it soft, waterproof, and clean. Have you used anything on it to keep it like new?

Not trying to instigate, just wondering because realistically, they're fabric exposed to the elements and the sun can really damage/dry them out over time unless you help protect them.
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Unread 04-04-2013, 01:38 AM   #4
DallastheJeeper
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Iv seen allot of bestop tops and all have been dry and durable.

Just FYI Bestop makes the oe tops..
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Unread 04-04-2013, 06:50 AM   #5
wilson1010
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Probably 50% of the guys on here who have replaced a top went with Bestop and I think this is the first time in a long while anyone has complained. And, since people here will complain about anything, I am thinking the problem is more with your install or usage than with Bestop.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
mike_dippert
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All 5 of the Bestop tops I've had were great quality. I replaced two aging (and abused) OE tops with RATs (in a parking lot). All 4 exceeded my expectations. Especially the sailcloth tops.

Maybe you have a lemon, but you are definately in the 1% crowd with your issues. Did you just get replacement fabric, or an entirely new top with hardware?

If you think Bestop's quality is bad, try any of the discount brands in a Qtec catalog. Those are engineered to only last a handful of years.
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Unread 04-08-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
Davetopay
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Factory tops tend to have a lifespan of only about five to six years with proper care.....and at the end of that time, they can be pretty ratty. The more it is put up and taken down, the more it will wear. Hot sunny weather can also age it faster.

You won't do better than a Bestop. If cost is an issue, look into the Trektop NX.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 03:46 PM   #8
extremejm
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Hope this answers some of the questions

The install wouldn't have anything to do with the leaking unless you're really just unable to follow instructions. They really do make that part simple. With a little assistance you can have the old top off and new on on in no time at all.

The problem isn't fitting, it's the fact that the VELCRO and the stitching are so cheap that the top is literally falling apart. (see photos) It's leaking because the velcro has given way, causing the seals not to close properly.

Mind you I've only had this top on and off VERY minimally. If I had it on and off constantly I might understand. The velcro on the doors would still have to be in decent shape though, since you never undo that when taking the half doors on and off.

I understand some people may have had good luck with their product but when customer service sees these photos which clearly show bad craftsmanship and says "sorry, nothing we can do", that really irks me.
img_3171.jpg   img_3169.jpg   img_3174.jpg   img_3173.jpg  
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Unread 04-30-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
extremejm
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PS. I have more photos if anyone wants to see. And the only problem I have with cost is that if you pay $800 for a soft top you expect it to last a while... particularly if you DON'T take it on and off a lot.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
mike_dippert
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Wow. I've never seen a Bestop suck that bad. I'm going on year four of my current sailcloth replacement top and it's nearly flawless.
The sailcloth R-A-T I had on my 99 was in near perfect condition at four years old when I sold it too (and I barrel rolled that Jeep with the top up).

Sorry to hear Bestop isn't stepping up to the plate. I honestly believe you got one of the 1% that fail to live up to their reputation.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneRZA View Post
JF taught me that the 2.5L, Ax-5 and D35 together are so powerful that angels weep when I shift into 4LO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
The only thing a bicycle inner tube is good for, is tying a knot in the end of when you run out of condoms.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 04:30 PM   #11
jcrawler93
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The top looks bad...Really rare of Bestop products. Also soft tops have to be properly taken care or else they won't last you a good while keep in mind that sun and heat age it faster. and they won't last you for 10 years lol unless you had the jeep in your garage all the time.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 08:30 AM   #12
extremejm
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I guess what really surprised me was the lack of care at Bestop. They were kind of like "oh well" and happy to end the call. I just couldn't believe that this top, which is obviously poorly made, was something they wanted to readily call "normal".

What probably surprised me the most was that they didn't even offer to sell me another top at cost or even a discount. In the end that told me what I needed to know about their customer service.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 08:55 AM   #13
mike_dippert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extremejm View Post
I guess what really surprised me was the lack of care at Bestop. They were kind of like "oh well" and happy to end the call. I just couldn't believe that this top, which is obviously poorly made, was something they wanted to readily call "normal".

What probably surprised me the most was that they didn't even offer to sell me another top at cost or even a discount. In the end that told me what I needed to know about their customer service.
Did you try sending them an email with the pictures? Maybe if they see that the top hasn't been abused and the failed stitching is a quality issue they'll help you out.

I can speak from both sides of the situation that sometimes CS reps are just having a ****ty day and don't want to deal with other peoples' problems.

I had night/day experience with Oakley's warranty reps. First one couldn't hang up fast enough after I said I didn't have the original store receipt. After I found the transaction in my bank statements I called back. The second guy was extremely helpful and emailed me all the required forms and instructions without any questions. If I based my opinion on the first guy, I'd never buy from Oakley again.

Also, as a supervisor at CVS, I would sometimes try to be less than helpful so could get back to my tasks instead of dealing with 'stupid' customers. Most of the time I would go out of my way to be helpful though.

If you'd rather communicate via phone, keep asking to speak to a supervisor until you find someone who cares. I wouldn't let that poor quality slide by.
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You can't argue with ignorance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneRZA View Post
JF taught me that the 2.5L, Ax-5 and D35 together are so powerful that angels weep when I shift into 4LO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
The only thing a bicycle inner tube is good for, is tying a knot in the end of when you run out of condoms.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
extremejm
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Yep, I sent them pictures (they actually requested them) and the woman just couldn't be bothered really. As a customer, it's really aggravating when you know they know that someone at their company screwed up and yet you get that really cheesy "I'm really sorry, but there's nothing I can do".

Knowing customer service, as it sounds like you do, what would it have cost them to at the VERY least say "Sir, although it's out of warranty, we can see from the pictures that it's obviously a defective top and we'd like to offer you one at our cost (plus shipping)" That would have built a LOT of customer good will and I wouldn't be complaining about how bad their service actually was...

Guess I'll just look towards another brand.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 07:07 PM   #15
WakeDoctor
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I only got 4 years out of my 2 bestops when I lived in South Georgia. You probably see hotter days and more water in your location and it eats the seams out of these tops from what I can tell..
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