UPDATE 3/25/2015: Jeep has been in contact with me (per the comments) regarding changes and fixes they have been making on this program. I downloaded the new version from Google Play this week, and so far the app looks like a total redesign and it seems nice. Time will tell when I attempt trail logins and other activities on the site, if I decide to give this another shot (I did notice my previous achievements are still missing in the big browser version). Check back here and I will update my review!
I suppose by the featured image you can guess what I think about Jeep’s “Badge of Honor” program.
In principle, it’s brilliant. The program has Jeep owners create a profile (linked to their Jeep’s VIN) and perform certain tasks to rank up among fellow Jeep owners.
If you upload a photo from the trail you get 15 points, you can give a virtual Jeep wave for 5, or comment on a thread for 5 points. You also get 10 points for each day you log into the system. But the real points come rolling in when you check in at a trail for some Jeeping with a whopping 200 points per check in.
And unfortunately that is where Badge of Honor really falls apart.
The app (which is available for Android and iOS) allows you to check in on certain trails in the BoH program. Now, most off-road trails are not within cellular data range so the app designers allow you to check in, then “upload” the check in once you return to civilization.
The cool part? Jeep will send you some really nice, well made full color hard badges for each of the trails you run.
The bad part? It never works. I have even tried it on multiple devices.
So, basically I can never check into a trail. Which is really the crux of this program. Now I know this is a free program, so I should appreciate what Jeep is trying to accomplish. And I really do. But with a concept like this comes a great amount of responsibility, especially with a passionate brand following like Jeepers.
If you give us a program to log into trails, collect points, have virtual jeep waves, and get cool badges…well make it work.
The website is not much better. When I click on “Trails” on my profile (presumably to see the trails I completed) it does nothing, goes no where. Or, if I am really lucky, I get a never ending loading indicator like below:
To get badges for the trails I ran, I had to call Jeep’s customer service number. Most people that answer the phone aren’t even aware of the Badge of Honor program and it is up to you to educate them on it (even though the same number is on the BoH site for help).
Once educated, they will issue a case number for you and send you a link in your email where you can upload “proof” that you did the trails. So I am relatively OK with this and appreciate the work around, but how about just making it work!? For the last few missing badges, they said they would email me the link, and it never arrived. Never.
I ran my first trail – the Rubicon – on Labor Day weekend 2013. I had a successful check in as there was a data connection at the trailhead. My badge arrived in the Spring of 2014. And it took me about 10 calls to customer service and back to get it squared away, and I still do not have all the badges for trails I have since run.
So I gave up.
Jeep needs to fix the mobile application to allow users the ability to reliably check in when on the trails. Another frustration among many Jeepers is that the trails recognized by the program are determined and chosen by Jeep – there are no community sourced trails. This leaves a lot of people (mostly on the East Coast) without representation and the ability to participate.
If Jeep is committed to making Badge of Honor work, they only need to make some very simple changes and it would be an amazing asset to the Jeep crowd. But the stench of corporate bureaucracy is strong with this one. It is a half-baked attempt.
For now, I will stay away.