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  • Durango4x4 product/customer service review

    In Jan 05 I ordered the complete Durango4x4 rear bumper system which included the: Bumper, Swing Away Spare Tire Carrier, Snubber, Dual Gerry-can/Hi-Lift holder, and mountain basket. Additionally I ordered the Durango4x4 Front Bumper. I ordered the rear bumper system for the extra space the "Mountain Basket" and Gerry can holder would provide me in anticipation of an upcoming trip to Baja in March with a local 4x4 club.

    Initially I was pleased with what appeared to be a quality product. Additionally there service was rather prompt and couteous. Not only that I inquired if they had a military discount to which they did and I received about a 10% discount! The installation went rather smoothly despite the somewhat sub par instructions.

    The finish of the product was good. The only major obstacle during the installation was the spare tire mounting plate. Unfortunatly I didn't take any photos. The plate I'm refferring to is the plate that actually has the studs to hold the spare. It was in the shape of an inverted V which in turn mounted ontop of the spare tire carrier that had a smaller inverted V. There was a channel hole for a bolt to mount and secure the spare tire bracket to the spare tire holder. I'm hoping I'm makeing this clear. Unfortunatly the holes did not line up! The spare tire bracket was bent at a wrong angle. I called Durango and informed them of this and they said they woudl send me a new bracket out which they did.

    Once everything was assembled the rack system rattled alot. I did order the snubber which was supposed to help prevent rattling and secure the mountain basket when a load was on it. The snubber secured the rack by means of a wingnut. Guess what, it didn't hold. It always rattled free with one exception that I will explain later.

    So the big day arrived and my family was off to Baja for our first offroad expedititon as a family. I loaded the Jeep and strapped everything securely so no movement was possible. We met up with several other Jeeps and the other members were impressed with my rack system, a few mentioned "thats the setup I'm going to get", this of course made me pretty proud of my purchase. The trail we were about to embark on was by no means extreme or hardcorps as my Unlimited at stock height was able to negotiate the trail with no real problems.

    After the first day of moderate wheeling I discovered the "Mountain basket" had been tweaked! Not only that but the snubber didn't secure the spare tire carrier, it always rattled free. It did secure the basket/tire carrier on one occasion. It actually got stuck and I had to take a hammer to hit the wingnut free. After I did this I found that the top of my tailgate had been bent at the top corner by about 1/4". Throughout the ride I had to continually re-tighten the brackets that held the Gerry cans to the rack system. They were secured by wingnuts as well.

    On the second day I almost lost a Gerry can but fortunatly my son was vigilant and informed me that the gas can was loose. The only thing holding it on was the basket carrier that craddled the bottom of the Gerry can. Fortunatly I brought extra straps/bunjee cords and had to strap it down. At the end of the offroading expediton the admiration my fellow offroaders had for my rack system was replaced with sympathy and disgust. Durango defienetly lost at least three sales by the end of the trip.

    When I returned I called Durango and told them what happened and that I was sending the parts that failed back (Mountain basket, Gerry can/Hi-Lift holder) and I wanted a refund. They said they would "test" them and that something like this has never happened before. They said they would repair them and send them back. I informed the lady (wife of the owner) that I did not want a repaired product as I didn't trust the mountain basket or the dual gerry can holder and would never put them back on my Jeep. She said it wasn't up to her but her husband and they would test it and let me know. Durango4x4 recieved the dual gerry can holder and mountain basket on the 11th of April.

    It is now the 9th of May and I have called them four times to see what the status of my request was. Everytime the answer has been "they still have to test them, as soon as I know I will let you know." I called yesterday the 8th of may and again asked (fourth time calling) and I recieved the same response. "they still have to test them, as soon as I know I will let you know." I replied that it has been almost a month and that it is getting ridiculous. Her reply "Well you can't expect them to just drop everything" I didn't expect them to drop everything, but you would think that in a month they could find time to conduct the tests on the products that I returned. I don't think that is unreasonable, do you? The lady said she would have her husband call me.

    Well it is a day and half later as I called in the morning and still haven't heard anything back. There customer service after the sale has been extremly poor. I will say that the front bumper is a good product, I would imagine there is not alot you could mess up on that. The rear bumper and spare tire carrier are ok but they rattled nonstop! I ended up selling the spare tire carrier and bumper and informed the buyer about the problems I had with the basket and gerry can holder in case he planned on purchasing those in the future. He had no plans to so he bought bumper and tire carrier.

    Now like I stated before the only reason I bought the whole system is for the extra space it would afford me. Without the basket and Gerry can holder I had no interest or need in just there spare tire carrier and rear bumper. I now have a Garvin system sitting in the garage awaiting installation as I have heard great reviews about there products. So no, I didn't use it for the camping trip and send it back with some bogus reason when I was done with it. I would have rather only made one purchase. Anyways below are some pics that show the system. I know this was long and I apologize but I wanted to be as detailed as possible and for those of you who read this in its entirity thank you. I hope this helps dissude others from buying something from Durango4x4.

    05/10/05 I called today and the lady that answered the phone said "I think he (her husband) is going to refund you for the basket and gerry can, that should get taken care of today." We will see. I will keep you posted. It took one day short of a month to get this resolved, or more accuratly to get an answer out of them as I still don't have the money back in my credit card yet.

    Well it is now the 25th of May and the money still has not been refunded to my account. So I decided that i would give Durango4x4 a call. I just got off the phone with the owner who had read my review and was not pleased. "Oh your John Vera the guy that wrote that long nasty letter on jeepforum.com," I said "yep thats me." I only spoke the truth. If the truth is nasty then I guess I'm nasty. If you read the above posts I do not believe I was malicous but I was brutally honest.

    Anyways he claims to have sold thousand of these units and this is allegedly the first time this has ever happened to any of their jerry can/hi-lift holder as well as the mountain basket. When I inquired as to when I should expect to see a refund he said he would send it out today and that it would only be 75% as that is their refund policy, although it is not currently posted on their website or documented in any of the enclosed materials I receieved when my products arrived. I asked him where his polilcy was posted on his website and he responded that he did not know and he would have to find it. At the time this was written no such policy was on the durango 4x4 site.

    He claims there is no way that the basket could be bent from the stuff I had mounted on it. I then told him I have 13 other Jeepers who witnessed what was strapped to my Jeep and if he would like I could get them to tell him what they saw. He said that was not neccessarry and repeated that it was not possible to bend the basket with the stuff I had mounted or claimed to have mounted on the basket. I then quoted him his site. Following is the exact wording copied and pasted about the weight the mountain basket can hold:

    The Durango Mountain Basket is a great addition for anyone with a Durango Tire Carrier and can be added to the tire carrier at anytime. The simple installation allows it to be easily mounted or removed in about three minutes. The basket is laser cut and made from heavy duty 16 gauge steel and measures 20" by 34"x 4". The Mountain Rack is great for anyone needing more space for their 4x4 adventures. The Mountain Basket can be used with any combination of our modules including single and dual j-can racks, vertical hi-lift holder and 3rd brake lite options. All Durango 4x4 products come standard with a textured semi-gloss black powder coat finish. We are often asked "how much weight can the Mountain Rack hold?". The only response we can offer is " when the front tires come off of the ground, add some weight to the front to make it balance". We highly recommend the optional " Snubber " with this item.

    Also he claims there is no way the Gerry can baskets could have possibly have bent the way they were (very slight tweak) from just having the Gerry cans in them. He said "I don't know what you did to bend the Gerry can holders and the mountain basket in the way you did, but there is no way they would bend from having the stuff you claimed to have put on the basket or from just the weight of the Gerry cans." Now keep in mind from my above posts that I didn't take issue to the Gerry can baskets being bent as it was so slight I never took issue with it. The issue I had was the mechanism that secured it rattled free forcing me to strap strap my jerry cans to the carrier as you can see in the above photos.

    So anyways he said what do you want me to tell you to which I replied I wanted a 100% refund. He said well thats not our policy and that if I wanted to rent the equipment I should have stated that before I ordered it. Now like I said in an above post I did not just order this for this camping trip/run. I only wanted to make one purchase and I told him this. I then proved my point by telling him I now have a Garvin system mounted on my Jeep as his product failed. Trust me I would not have taken the time or gone through the trouble of mounting and then taking off their product then paying for the shipping (approx $150) back to durango so I could use it one time. I sold the bumper and tire carrier at a loss of a couple of hundred dollars, then I ordered a Garvin rear bumper system. So all in all I'm down about $500 not to mention the time I wasted and the grief the Durango system caused me. And then what sense would it make to put a Garvin system on the back of my Jeep if I just wanted to "Rent" the Durango system?

    Obviously the owners of Durango read the Jeep forum and the reviews and I invite them to refute anything I have said here. I have several witnesses who observed how the Durango system failed over the course of a moderate run.

    For those considering a Durango4x4 system please heed my advice and look elsehwere there are better quality products for less money out there. Not only that there customer service after the sale has been less then exemplary. Prior to the sale of their service was great, even giving me a military discount which I did mention in an above post. I wanted to present everything as unbiassed as possible pointing out good things as well as bad things. At this point I'm so sick of Durango4x4 I'm probably going to end up selling their front bumper as I'm so disgusted with them even though as I have said previously their front bumper is a quality product.

    I hope this review post helps those who are considering purchasing Durango products.

  • #2
    I read this over on JF...Im sorry to hear your problem still hasnt been resolved.

    Keep us posted ...and WELCOME to the forum

    Youll find us pretty friendly here. Keep an eye on the trail runs section, and Join us for a run

    Tam
    2002 TJ on 35s a bit of lift with some stuff
    Rock-ItMan all the way around

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    • #3
      Dang long review, and welcome aboard !

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      • #4
        Thats one hell of a first post. I guess your not too happy with them?
        [COLOR=blue]Chris[/COLOR]
        SAVE JOHNSON VALLEY!!! - CLICK HERE
        Ya Savvy?

        Motech Performance

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        • #5
          Oooooooo....I can SO relate. I am in the process of suing the a**hole who installed my lift and took my money for - ready for this- rocker panels! Plus other things. (I guess I should be thankful he tried to rip me off, otherwise I'd never have bought my Rock-It Man rockers). Makes you feel so ticked off to be treated like you're stupid. Keep the pressure on them.
          Donate Life - Be a tissue, organ and blood donor

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          • #6
            Hey, thanks for everyone's support. I'm sorry to hear about the jerks that ripped you off, I hope they get everything they have coming to them and then some.

            Comment


            • #7
              Jeepgal

              I will join you on a run once I get my Jeep back into action. Right now it is out of commission with a broken transmission cooling line. It was caused by excessive vibes. One of the nuts on the MML came off and the line was resting on my Nth Degree mobility skid so all the vibes were transferred to the line causing a leak. Good times, I have only had it since Dec!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by U.S.MarineLJ
                I will join you on a run once I get my Jeep back into action. Right now it is out of commission with a broken transmission cooling line. It was caused by excessive vibes. One of the nuts on the MML came off and the line was resting on my Nth Degree mobility skid so all the vibes were transferred to the line causing a leak. Good times, I have only had it since Dec!
                HOOOYAAAAA! (did I spell that right?)
                Donate Life - Be a tissue, organ and blood donor

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by U.S.MarineLJ
                  I will join you on a run once I get my Jeep back into action. Right now it is out of commission with a broken transmission cooling line. It was caused by excessive vibes. One of the nuts on the MML came off and the line was resting on my Nth Degree mobility skid so all the vibes were transferred to the line causing a leak. Good times, I have only had it since Dec!

                  That sucks! Do you need help getting it fixed back up? We've got a pretty open garage door policy around here...Let us know, and well see what we can do to help.

                  We look forward to meeting you

                  Tam
                  2002 TJ on 35s a bit of lift with some stuff
                  Rock-ItMan all the way around

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Perhaps I will need some assistance but right now my Jeep is not mobile so any help would have to come to me. I'm gonna give it a try tommorrow and if I can't get it done I will let you know. Provided the offer still stands being that I can't transport my Jeep. Thanks again.

                    John

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