The Jeep is About to Look A LOT Different: A Customer Service Story With a Happy Ending (Thank You Smittybilt and 4 Wheel Parts)

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One of the cash money (literally and meme-atively) things about Jeeps is the endless customization options. When we bought ours in 2018, we knew we wanted it to look like “our Jeep,” not “just another Jeep.” Enter the Smittybilt Safari top.

We loved the Safari top because:

  • All the extra headroom! The soft top that came with our Jeep sat right on the top bars, and adding the Safari top gave us extra room for storage. (And by “storage” I mean the wireless subwoofer that’s currently perched there like a deranged bullfrog. Because bad sound isn’t a thing we allow in our world.)
  • It let us have the cool Landrover look without dealing with the maintenance nightmares that come with actually owning a Landrover. (We love screaming and throwing tools as much as the next person, but living in a motorhome and not having a garage rules having a vehicle you have to constantly fix out for us.)
  • The swinging glass door in the back made our Jeep the final boss of “grocery getter mode.”

Unfortunately, within the first month of owning the Smittybilt Safari top, we started wanting to vote it off the island. Fortunately, Smittybilt was good about helping us apply multiple Dollar Store bandaids to the injuries.

First the back windows came loose, which was corrected by a visit to the transparent amorphous solid masters at Safelite. Then one of the top windows nearly came flying out in traffic, which would be a pretty sweet defense mechanism against tailgating if we didn’t, you know, need it to be a window.

Then the headliner started doing its best impression of a saggy ass, and the exterior went from black to something resembling a charred marshmallow dropped in a pile of campfire ash.

The area around the bolts on top where the roof rack goes on cracked like mud on a 120-degree day in Death Valley, and we worked through the issues and fixed what we could for around two years.

We live in Arizona, so it’s dry most of the time. But when it does rain, it rains a lot. It gets so wet I’m surprised Cardi B doesn’t have a song about it yet.

The final indignity came when we woke up to “Lake Smittybilt,” about 3 inches of water in the belly of the Jeep. And us adding extra sealing to the doors and windows only made the Jeep’s WAP worse.

Even though Smittybilt was great about working with us on the issues with their top, our living situation means we need a lid on the billy goat that performs.

The Jeep top in its better days. Mostly still black and not leaking. Probably.

So we took advantage of the 5-year warranty and asked for a refund, expecting at worst a “nah breh” and at best some store credit at 4-Wheel Parts.

The customer service reps at Smittybilt put together our bedtime story of issues and appealed to the people behind the magic curtain at Smittybilt corporate for us.

Imagine us a few days later, with our chops on the floor, when the manager of the 4-Wheel Parts in Tucson appeared on the other end of our cellular device.

“What card would you like your refund sent to? The one we have on file is expired.”

No store credit. No excuses. They refunded our cheddar and let us keep the leaking pile of problems. In a world where it seems no one stands behind their products anymore, Smittybilt did.

We aren’t associated with Smittybilt or 4-Wheel Parts (other than letting our debit card make out with their swipe-y boi in our hot little hands once in a while). But we wanted to share this story because if you’re thinking about slapping down some cash for your off-road shenanigans, your investment is safe with Smittybilt. 

Smittybilt and 4-Wheel Parts: Thank you for listening and backing up your products.

Now we’re off to construct our “white flag on the current Jeep top” master plan, with chapters “fun things to do with a $2300 paperweight” and “it costs how much to ship a Jeep top to Arizona?!”

Check back later to see what Jeep top we end up with and how it works out for us!

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