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Old 03-08-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
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Problems with Smittybilt

I posted this in the general discussion forum. Thought I'd post it here too.


I'm usually not the type to talk negatively about a company, but I feel pretty strongly about a recent negative transaction with Smittybilt. I'm pretty big on customer service, as I'm in sales myself. Being on the consumer side, I can definitely say I would never treat one of my customer's like this...and here's why. I apologize in advance for the long rant.

I purchased some 3" Smittybilt Sure Steps through Quadratec on December 27th. They came in about a week and a half later and I slapped them on my '05 Sport. A couple of days later, I noticed a pretty bad grinding/squeaking noise coming from the tubes. I sent an email into Smittybilt via their site to ask about this, but there was never a returned email or call.

I called in on January 27th to follow up. They said they never got my email, so I spoke with a Mike P. about the issues I was having. He asked what they could do to make me happy. I told them I would like to have the squeaking taken care of, or I can exchange them for the SRC Side Armor and I'd pay the difference. I attached pictures of the steps on my Jeep, along with the invoice from Quadratec. He said he was going to talk to his supervisor to see what they can do.

Didn't hear anything for a few days, so I followed up with an email on February 1st. He asked for my phone number (which is on my signature line on my work email that I've been emailing him from) so they can have it on file. I once again, gave him my number. He emailed me back and said he still hasn't talked to his supervisor and wanted to know if I had anything in mind to remedy the issue. I explained to him...once again...that I did everything I could - i.e. tightened all of the bolts, took the bolts off and put lock tight on them after cleaning both the surface of the brackets & the frame, etc. I told him this wasn't some small noise that only I hear. People in parking lots turn around and look when I'm driving behind them. He said he'll do everything he can to help me out.

Fast forward to February 10th. It's been a week and a half and I've yet to get a response from Smittybilt. I sent an email to Mike P. to check the status. I asked him if I needed to send them back to Quadratec and if I did, to please let me know quickly, so I don't miss the window on when they will take returns.

After no response from the February 10th email, I decided to call Mike P. at Smittybilt on February 15th. When I spoke to him, he asked me to give him a recap on my situation, as he didn't seem to remember me. He put me on hold for a few minutes, then gets back on to tell me his tech department has advised him to send me new mounting hardware. He said they've had some inquiries of this before and new mounting hardware seemed to remedy the noise. He asked me to email him the address I wanted the mounting hardware sent to, which I did that same day - February 10th.

Three weeks go by and the hardware never showed up. I ship and receive a lot of things at my job, so I know it takes time...but not that long. I'm finally fed up, so I send them an email on Tuesday (March 6th) saying that I've been patient throughout this whole process, but enough is enough. I sent them pictures of the invoice from Quadratec, as well as the steps on my Jeep. I told them I wanted a refund and I wanted these noisy steps off of my Jeep.

Once again, no email return or call back. So yesterday (March 7th) I forward the same email to Mike P. of Smittybilt asking him to advise on this matter ASAP, as this has gone on long enough. So finally, yesterday, Mike P. of Smittybilt responds to my email with this:
"Good morning Joe,

I apologize once again for your trouble. I just spoke with my supervisor once again in regards to the matter at hand.
We’ve come to the conclusion that this is one of those rare situations where the sure steps in question are making
a bit more noise than usual. If you feel that strongly about the circumstances of the matter, I would urge you to contact
Quadratec in regards to their terms and conditions upon return. Make them aware that we “Smittybilt” will issue them
“Quadratec” the necessary RA “Return Authorization” to assure that you are taken care of.
Once again I am sorry for the inconvenience and trouble, MP"

I called and spoke with Ian from Quadratec and forwarded him Mike from Smittybilt's email. Quadratec was totally cool with the situation and sent me a UPS label to send the steps back. They're going to give me credit after they get the steps back, and when they do, I'm going to get the Body Armor Rockcrawler Side Guards (http://www.quadratec.com/products/12053_402_07.htm ).

The worst part of this situation was I have the Smittybilt SRC front bumper and the matching rear bumper on my Jeep, which they were aware of. I told them that I've always supported them when people bash them on the forums, but I'm obviously done with that. I don't see how a customer that supports their products can be treated so poorly, with no regard for customer service.

I've thrown up my front and rear bumpers on craigslist, and it looks like I'll be selling both of those today. I'm done with having anything from Smittybilt on my Jeep and I will never buy anything from them again. Anyone who is thinking about buying something from Smittybilt, I would strongly urge you to spend the extra $20 or $30 for a product from another manufacturer who gives a damn about their customers.

Again, sorry for the rant, but I don't want anyone else to waste 3 months on a noisy part, only to be told to send it back in the end.

- Joe

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Old 03-08-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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Thanks for the honest feedback, Joe. I've been looking at the SRC bumpers, and now I'm scratching them off the list of possibles.

Any Smittybuilt vendors listening on here?

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Old 03-08-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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Joe hate to sound like a dick but what were you expecting they are a horrible company they didn't get the nick name S**tybilt for nothing. I hope others read this an support companies that build their products here.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:55 PM   #4
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I guess one bad apple (part) spoils the bunch? I have had the smittybilt SRC front and rear bumpers with swing away tire carrier for months without any problems. This sounds like a horrible situation but it seems like you were happy with the bumpers before all this came about no? If so then dont let one bad experience ruin your whole expeirence. This is just my opinion and everyone is entitled to their own.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:05 PM   #5
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I had a similar problem with smittybilt, but with the pocket style flares. I had them on for a week and the rear one broke, I emailed them about 3 times. Never heard anything, called and talked to a guy, he started a claim, I emailed pics like he requested and never heard back.

I would only wait about 2-3 days in between contacting them, I hounded them so they knew I wasn't gonna forget. About 2 weeks later, 8-10 emails and 3 phone calls, the replacement flare came in the mail.

I too have src front and rear bumpers, 8k winch and some other small
Smittybilt stuff and haven't had any other problems
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
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Your post makes me want to sell my Smittybilt nerfs along with their "you get what you pay for" crummy src rear bumper and tire carrier. I already have the JCR Offroad rear bumper/tire carrier on order.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep_guy3 View Post
I had a similar problem with smittybilt, but with the pocket style flares. I had them on for a week and the rear one broke, I emailed them about 3 times. Never heard anything, called and talked to a guy, he started a claim, I emailed pics like he requested and never heard back.

I would only wait about 2-3 days in between contacting them, I hounded them so they knew I wasn't gonna forget. About 2 weeks later, 8-10 emails and 3 phone calls, the replacement flare came in the mail.

I too have src front and rear bumpers, 8k winch and some other small
Smittybilt stuff and haven't had any other problems
kind of irrelevant but how do you like your 8k winch? I've been thinking about getting one, but after reading this idk if i want a smittybilt product...
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info ... I was considering several companies for bumpers and rails. This helps me narrow down my choices.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will George

kind of irrelevant but how do you like your 8k winch? I've been thinking about getting one, but after reading this idk if i want a smittybilt product...
So far I like it, I've only used it a handful of times to pull other cars out of snow. My buddy had one and never had an issue with it for the 4 years he had it.

I looked at it as I do harbor freight tools, great price and product of your just gonna use it occasionally, but if I was gonna use it every weekend, more then once a weekend, I'd fork over the money for a higher quality name brand item.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:39 PM   #10
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This helped me with my next decision on what rear bumper/tire carrier to buy.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #11
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I had a really good experience with smitybuilts customer service.
Over a year after installing my xrc front tube fenders they started to get some surface rust in a few of the seams. I called and let them know, they told me to email them some pics, and 2 weeks later I had a brand new set at my door, and they told me to just keep the old set.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solman
I had a really good experience with smitybuilts customer service.
Over a year after installing my xrc front tube fenders they started to get some surface rust in a few of the seams. I called and let them know, they told me to email them some pics, and 2 weeks later I had a brand new set at my door, and they told me to just keep the old set.
:O let me know if they do it again I would love some tube fenders.. Just sayin Lol
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Irongrave View Post
Joe hate to sound like a dick but what were you expecting they are a horrible company they didn't get the nick name S**tybilt for nothing. I hope others read this an support companies that build their products here.
I was expecting a company to make the situation right, even if it was just one defective part...which I don't believe is too much to ask for.

If one of my customers is unhappy with material I sold them, I do whatever I can to make them happy so they will continue to buy from me. If they would have followed through and not wasted my time, it wouldn't have been an issue. The fact that they just brushed me aside is why I'm not going to buy from them anymore. Not just because the steps squeaked.

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