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Old 12-20-2018, 11:40 AM
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"My experience with Extreme Terrain" or "A clown circus by any other name"

So here’s my experience with Extreme Terrain.

I’ve placed a total of five orders from Extreme Terrain between June 30, 2018 and August 7, 2018. Three of those five orders ranged from “total clusterf^@# nightmare” to “OMG are you guys really that stupid and incompetent?” I think they don’t really stock anything; they mostly drop ship, but their customer service makes Comcast look fantastic by comparison.

Order #1: June 30, 217 – two items: Rubicon Express 2.5” lift kit and Rubicon Express rear shock relocators. Before ordering, and again after ordering but before delivery I asked ET if the kit came with new shackle bushings. Each time I was told that yes, the kit is complete and includes everything I’d need. This was a lie. I made arrangements with a buddy who has a garage and jeep/off-road business in Charlotte, NC while I awaited delivery. The kit arrived a week or so after I ordered. It was delivered FOB to the end of my driveway, all wrapped and banded on a pallet. After it arrived, I unpalleted the parts and took a quick inventory. I discovered a set of four shock absorber boots I didn’t know I was getting. (See Order #2 below.)

July 13, 2017, I loaded the new lift kit parts into the back of my jeep and drove to Charlotte, NC to my buddy’s shop and house. We were most of the way through the install when I discovered the QD sway bar links they sent in the lift kit were not correct. That was discovered while the jeep was on the lift and we were hanging leaf spring #4. I got on the phone and called Extreme Terrain to see what we could do to rectify the situation. I spent nearly two hours on the phone, and got nowhere. Their customer rep and his supervisor both told me I would have to send the entire kit back to Extreme Terrain so they could verify they sent the wrong QD links. “Seriously? Are you effin’ kidding me??? You want me to take all the pasts I installed back off, and repackage it all, and return it to you?” I tried repeatedly to explain that the jeep was currently hanging in the air on a lift and the kit was 95% installed, and that I was several hours from home and would be without a way home should I go that route. To the good folks at Extreme Terrain none of that mean anything. They were adamant that I was expected to remove all parts for the jeep, repackage it all back on a pallet, and ship it back at my expense so they could verify the parts they sent were not the correct parts. And then reassemble a whole new kit (if applicable) and send it out to me. It would take perhaps two to three weeks, they said. Clearly that was not an option. I went ahead and completed the install, drove three and a half hours home and dealt with it the following week. Finally, after wasting another week of my time, making multiple phone calls to ET, and threats to involve my card card company, the BBB and posting to the various jeep forums they relented and sent me the correct set. This would ultimately be Order #3 and one of two problem-free orders. I did, however, call them upon receipt of the new QD sway bar disconnects and asked about why they did not me a return label for the incorrect set. Their reply? “Don’t worry. Keep them, it’s not cost effective for us.” WTF??? If wasn’t cost-effective, why just send me the correct set in the first place? Shaking my head…

Order #2: July 4, 2018 – two (five?) items: four Zone Offroad rubber shock boots and one Omix-ADA 3 point front seat belt. Had I know the shocks that came with the lift kit (above) included boots I would not have ordered these. Eh. It was $14 for the Zone Offroad boots; it’s not going to break the bank, but again… Anyway, the parts arrived. The boots were installed the same time as the lift kit. The seat belt was installed the following weekend when I got home. The seat belt lasted until early November then the interior parts of the seatbelt buckle spontaneously self-destructed. OK, things happen, right? No big deal. The seatbelt has a one year warranty and I’m only 3 to 4 months into it. A quick call to ET and their rep tells me he’ll email me a return label and RMA number (he does so.) He also asks if I want a refund or a replacement. I said “Refund, please.” He responded that as soon as ET’s system sees that UPS has scanned the return label they’ll credit my credit card with the $98.99 cost of the defective seatbelt. “Cool!” (I ordered two new seat belts form Quadratech – different brand, different set-up.) November 15 I find myself sitting a hotel in Charlotte, NC awaiting a morning flight to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with family, when I get a notice from ET that I have a package coming: a new seat belt. O_o What??? Uh, no. And where’s my refund? And why does my ET account now show a second charge of $98.99???? A quick phone call should clear this up, I think. Wrong! I made multiple phone calls that night, shuffled from “Dave” to “Matt” to God knows who else. The message was the same: “You don’t get a refund of $98.99 on the first seatbelt until we actually have it in-hand and inspect it” (that’s not what you told me when I first called) and on the second one “yeah, I don’t know why we shipped you a second one – that was our error, but a soon as you return it to us we’ll credit your account for the second $98.99.” WTF part deux??? You lied to me the first time then, right? Then you sent me an item I did not want and did not right, right? Right. And then you tell me you’ll only remove the charge for the second seat belt you sent me in error after you receive it too? What kind of clowns run this ****ed up outfit, anyway??? Ultimately, they were able to recall the second seatbelt while it was in transit and finally refunded my original charge in early December, 2018.

Order #3: July 19, 2017 – the QD swaybar links they sent to replace the incorrect one set they originally included with my RE lift kit. As noted above, they finally sent a correct set but did not send a return label or RMA number. Their response was to keep the set since “it wasn’t cost-effective” for them to have a $150 set of QD swaybar links returned.

Order #4: July 25, 2017 – one item: an Omix-ADA replacement radio antenna base. No problems with this order.

Order #5: August 7, 2018 – two items: Smittybilt replacement front seats. The web site said the weats were in stock so I clicked on the cart to check out and pay. One arrived just fine. The other was on backorder, and no idea when it would ship. After waiting a couple of days I cancelled the second seat and ordered it from (you guessed it) Quadratech.

At this point, it would take a miracle for me to go back to buying anything from Extreme Terrain, or even recommending them to anyone. (Yeah, forget the “10% off your next order to make up for it” thing.)

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Old 12-20-2018, 12:33 PM   #2
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Great write up. Had me laughing with (at) you a couple times. I ordered a lift kit from them without trouble, luckily a few years ago. You are spot on about them not stocking anything, all dropped shipped.


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Old 12-20-2018, 12:43 PM   #3
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Ok, so inquiring minds want to know: After the lift kit debacle why would you ever order from them a gain?
Seems like your culpable in some of this. If you hit a vendor that cant resolve your problem, stop using them.
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Old 12-20-2018, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventurebob View Post
Ok, so inquiring minds want to know: After the lift kit debacle why would you ever order from them a gain?
Seems like your culpable in some of this. If you hit a vendor that cant resolve your problem, stop using them.

Am I culpable? Maybe. Maybe not. Looking back I clearly should have done some research on Extreme Terrain before placing the first order. Being that this YJ is my first foray into "modern"/non-military Jeeps, this was also my first experience with civilian jeep part vendors. I'm well aware of the reputations of antique and military jeep part vendors like TNJ Murray, Beechwood Canvas, Red River P&E, Frontline MV, even Northstar Willys, having spent thousands with them ovedr the years. But hey, ET has a slick glossy badass-looking catalogue and pretty cool web site, etc. so I fell into the trap of assuming they were a competent and reputable company instead of the bunch of jacktards who couldn't organize a one car parade whom they are.

Regardless, why would I continue to order? That's a fair question, Bob. Part of the response lies in the time frame: June 30-Aug. 7 - about a five week period. I'll admit I was placing orders faster than parts arrived or faster than I could install them. Likewise, the problems didn't exactly manifest themselves immediately.

But back to the time frame, shall we? The second order was placed right on the heals of the first order and before the first order arrived. (Basically, I was rounding up parts that I needed for the lift. Between receiving Orders 1 and 2 I also placed an order with Amazon for shackle bushings and a few other odd bits. Gotta love that two-day shipping with Amazon Prime!) Order #3 was a result of them finally sending me the correct parts from Order #1, so really it wasn't an order I made, but an order they fulfilled on their own. Maybe we shouldn't really count it as an order, after all? On the other hand, when I clicked my account info with ET it shows as a a separate order...

Order #4? I figured the lift kit debacle was a one-off. Besides, how bad can you **** up an $18 order for an antenna base? Clearly, this was one order they couldn't/didn't **** up.

Order #5/the seats? Orders 1 through 3 being essentially the same, and Order #4 working out, and the fact that ET initially said the seats were in-stock... C'mon, Bob... Can you blame a fellow for thinking the lift kit trouble was a one-off situation that was behind him? So yeah, they sent one seat and I cancelled the other. After all, a fellow can't have only one seat in his jeep. They sent what ws ordered, but had I known I would have had to order two seats from two different vendors, I'd've referred to place one order with one vendor for both seats. Certainly Order 5 wasn't the mess of orders 1 through 3, nor the follow-up mess from Order 2. I was only griping about their lack of inventory awareness. By itself it's hardly something worth mentioning. But as part of the bigger picture? Yep. It goes to the pony show and part and parcel to the general asshattery that is Extreme Terrain.

So to recap: Order(s) 1 (through 3) ultimately turned out to be one colossal cluster****. Order 4 they did right. Order 5 they missed their inventory count. The seatbelt double-charge debacle? That was merely a continuation from Order 2 that happened long after I'd ceased buying from Extreme Terrain. The seatbelt was under warranty so a call went out to ET, but do note that I ordered a replacement from Quadratech; I did not ask ET to send out a replacement, only to refund my money.

But back to the first part of your question, yeah the last time I spent money with Extreme Terrain was August 7, 2018. Unfortunately, the last time I had to fool with those clowns and waste my time was early December, trying to get my refunds and having them clean up their mess - definitely much longer to clean up the mess than to make it. Between August 7, 2018 and today, however, I've placed other orders for parts from other vendors. I'm quickly coming to love Quadratech and Summit Racing.





In fact, while I'm on a tear, I'll go out of my way to give a shout out to both. Quadratech has always been pleasant and cheerful on the phone and will even match prices from other vendors who are lower. Plus, they include these nifty little jeep-shaped magnets and Quadratech stickers with each order. Woot! Who doesn't love free swag? (And what company doesn't love free advertising???) Summit Racing? Equally cheerful and helpful. Most recently, they helped me track down an obsolete (according to Chrysler, anyway) part by directing me to other vendors who specialized in obsolete parts. On top of that, one of their techs gave me an over-the-phone lesson on how to convert my a/c compressor into an onboard air compressor for tires and pool toys and blow-up dolls (for a friend...not for me, of course) - wholly unrelated to my part order.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:04 AM   #5
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I'm in the middle of a 4 1/2 inch Rough Crountry lift install I purchased from XT. Guess what I just found they sent the wrong sway bar disconnects, sound familiar? Called them and got the "send back the whole kit" story, which like you is not an option. I finally got them to allow me to send a picture of the defective part. Which is not defective just for a different application. After reading about your interaction with XT, all I can do is hope for the best. Meanwhile I'll need to drive very carefully on the roads without a sway bar.
BTW, I've read several reviews since I found out I had the wrong sway bar disconnect and it seems to be a common problem. You'd think they would figured it out by now.
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:05 AM   #6
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I've received their catalogs for a couple years now and have never found a product I wanted to order. Lucky me. (The fact that they offer Steinjager products was a big red flag to me.)
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:17 AM   #7
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Too many stories like this about ET. It will catch up to them.

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