Hello fellow off-road enthusiasts,
I am writing this to try and avoid any of you from suffering the same experience I had with a bumper manafacturer for Jeeps and Landcruisers; the company I am referring to is Bulletproof Manafacturing (http://www.bulletproofmfg.com
). I had put a lot of time into deciding on where to order bumpers from, unfortunately I failed to research this on the forums as you might be doing now. After looking at many different bumpers, I decided that I liked the way the line from Bulletproof Mfg looked and called to place an order, this is where my trouble began.
I placed my order on December 3, 2002. I ordered various pieces from them, this included rocker guards, rear bumper, swing out tire carrier, trail rack, mounting brackets for a Hi-Lift and my PowerTank, and some other accessories (total of $1871.10 + $250.00 shipping, after holiday discount). After submitting the order the sales person (Lauren) told me that he was not sure if I'd recieve the bumper in time for Christmas, but made it seem that it would be a possibility.
I was very anxious to get this bumper and get it installed, I waited and waited...finally the end of the month was near. I hadn't heard anything back from Bulletproof Mfg so I decided that I would call and check on the status...this was a few days before Christmas. I called and got Lauren (sales guy) on the phone, I asked if I could get a status update and was lead to be leave that I would get the bumper early on in January...I was happy with this and let it be. January came, I again hadn't heard any updates, I called the company again...getting Lauren on the phone again, this time I was a little more upset after I was told that the bumper wasn't close to being ready. I asked to speak to someone else, he said that he was the only person there. I asked for him to call me with any status changes and left it at that.
In summary, I didn't actually start to recieve any of the items I had ordered until April 2003 (over 3 months after the date I was told I would have recieved everything by). I had made calls to Bulletproof Mfg on a regular basis, sometimes calling 2-3 times a week. Often I would get their answering machine, I left at least 15 messages asking for updates...during the entire process I believe they returned 1 message. I was told (by Lauren, and agent of the company) that the company was horrible, they couldn't ever meet any ship dates, the manafacturing process was slow, and that I had every reason to be uspet...I was also told that I would be refunded the cost of shipping to try and make things right.
The problems didn't just include delayed shipping. I had finally recieved the bumper and swing out tire carrier and was all set to install them. I had a couple of buddies over and we went over the instructions a few times and began. The bumper wasn't all that difficult to install, other than that DC had shifted the gas tank on the 2003 models...this made it impossible to put 2 of the bolts that attached the bumper in...I haven't worried about this because the bumper is tied in extremely well with the cross-member reinforcement brackets. We then began to try and mount the tire carrier, we got it on the bumper...something didn't look right. In fact, something was very not right. The tire carrier was welded 100% incorrectly, the angles were not right and nothing would line up correctly. After it was mounted we were unable to close the tire carrier all of the way, due to the tube that extends up to hold the tire being angled *towards* the Jeep and contacting the tailgate when the carrier was still 6" way from being closed. Assuming that it had to be our mistake, we took it off and re-read the instructions...placed it on again...same results.
I called Bulletproof the following Monday (they aren't open on weekends), got Lauren again. Explained the situation to him, he didn't believe me. I had taken photos with my digi-cam and game him a URL for the location of the pictures. I heard back from them a couple of days later, apparently he and the "boss" looked at it and agreed something was wrong. They agreed to ship a new tire carrier to me, I would just need to return the old (bad) one. About 2 weeks later I recieved the 2nd tire carrier, it fit and worked as it should have.
I ordered the bumpers on December 3, 2002...I didn't recieve all of the items until June 2003. This is 6+ months after I ordered the item, I had been told I would recieve everything in January 2003. I was promised a refund of shipping costs to try and make things better, I have so far recieved nothing from Bulletproof Mfg. I have since left many polite messages asking for them to call me back, I have not recieved any calls. I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. A former co-worker also had ordered a bumper about the same time, he had the same exact troubles with it taking much longer than promised to get the bumper...so this is not just a 1-off deal, it seems consistent.
Perhaps you are willing to deal with this type of service, personally it was not worth over $2000 to me...and if I was warned ahead of time i would have bought a bumper elsewhere. This is why I am posting this, to give you the warning so you can make a decision that works for you.