BodyGuardz, as its name suggests, specialises in the protection of the 'body' of your mobile device, mainly through the use of their ScreenGuardz screen protection film and their UltraTough clear body skins. Apart from that, they also sell the armor series of artistic carbon fiber skins, cases for the iPhone, iPad and Kindle, as well as their own earjax in-ear monitors.
BodyGuardz, founded in 2002 in Draper, Utah by April and Kirk Feller, began as a provider of screen protectors for a small range of devices. Originally known as NLU Products, it was officially renamed in March 2011. Since then, it has greatly expanded its portfolio and now provides thousands of protection products to mobile device users worldwide. BodyGuardz prides itself as being a women-owned company and a member of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), with April Feller being the Chair and CFO of the company.
Among user-submitted reviews, BodyGuardz products have a largely mixed ratings. For their screen protectors, most of the poor reviews are attributed to the difficulty in applying the screen protector properly, the most significant problem being the forming of bubbles on the screen protector. A common complaint is that BodyGuardz does not always agree to send a replacement screen protector in the event that it is applied incorrectly. On the other hand, users who manage to apply it properly find that they are of very good quality and are rather tough to scratch, while being rather affordable at the same time. Their Carbon Fiber Armor Full Body Skin for the new iPad, however, has rather positive reviews, with users saying that it looks great and protects well.
In reviews by iLounge, a resource for iPod, iPhone and iPad users, BodyGuardz screen protectors, armors and cases have generally received rather favourable reviews, mostly falling in the Highly Recommended and Recommended range. In their review for the Armor Carbon Fiber for iPad 2 + iPhone 4, the product is praised for helping to 'prevent dings and scratches without adding noticeable bulk or weight', however, its utility may be limited as it does not 'protect an iPad or iPhone from serious drops or falls'. In another review by TechCores, their screen protector package was lauded for providing clear, handy instructions while being scratch resistant and somewhat fingerprint-resistant. However, a drawback noted by TechCores is that the protector tends to form 'dimple like creases on the surface of the sheet giving the product an almost cheap appearance'.
From both user-submitted and editorial reviews, the general consensus is that BodyGuardz products are pretty durable while still being affordable, but may be very difficult to apply, especially for the inexperienced.
The BodyGuardz brand usually surfaces in technology-centric websites, in product reviews and editroials. More mainstream news sources such as the San Francisco Chronicle carry news about BodyGuardz from time to time as well. CNet, considered a major technology-centric media website, carries information about BodyGuardz too, such as in this how-to guide on installing an iPhone 4S screen protector.
According to the company's profile page, they were awarded the 2011 International Service Award for providing outstanding customer service. In addition, as mentioned above, BodyGuardz is also a Certified Women's Business Enterprise.
BodyGuardz currently has an A- rating on the BBB Business Review, with its good rating mainly attributed to the length of time it has been operating and the comparatively low complaint rate.
As BodyGuardz is a rather niche brand, its website ranking is rather average. As of June 2012, it has a ranking of about 179,000 globally and 55,000 in the USA, according to Alexa. Meanwhile, it has a Google PageRank of merely 4 out of 10.]
Narrowing down to the keyword 'screen protector' alone, BodyGuardz is the sixth result on Google, and is a sponsored ad result on Bing.
Socially, BodyGuardz is pretty well-connected. It has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed and even a YouTube account which has mainly promotional videos as well as various instructional videos for their products. Their social media pages are rather well-maintained, with their Facebook and Twitter accounts being updated on a near-daily basis (as of June 2012). Their Facebook page, in particular, is pretty well-done, having properly utilised the timeline feature. They have about 4,300 likes on Facebook and slightly over 2,000 followers on Twitter as of June 2012.
In addition, they also maintain a blog, which unfortunately is not as frequently updated.
All in all, they have a rather established social media presence, but could do better if they were to spruce up their blog.
According to the Google Safebrowsing tool, the BodyGuardz website is not currently listed as suspicious (as of June 2012).
The company's website is not encrypted, but the checkout page utilises HTTPS encryption. In addition, BodyGuardz is also a certified McAfee SECURE website.
However, according to Firefox, the checkout page is only partially encrypted, meaning parts of the checkout page was not encrypted before being transmitted over the Internet. Hence, the company's website security deserves only a Good rating.
Their screen protectors generally run from the US$15-US$20 range, depending on the size of your device, while their full-body protectors cost about US$30. Meanwhile, their cases ranges from US$29.95 to US$49.95 and their earbuds cost from US$19.95 to US$64.95.
Their cases are a little on the high side; for the same quality, one could probably spend about US$5 to US$10 less on a competing Belkin or Griffin case. Their screen protectors, meanwhile, are competitively priced with ZAGG's invisibleSHIELD and considerably cheaper than the widely lauded PowerSupport screen films.
BodyGuardz offers a Competitive Upgrade Program, which provides a 30% off coupon to users who switch from competitive products.
One thing to note is that BodyGuardz has an Advantage replacement program, whereby one can purchase another set of the screen protectors, for example, for a discounted price of the original. This means that a loyal customer of the company will enjoy better value than a new customer. However, invisibleSHIELD offers something better, with a lifetime guarantee on all of their screen protector films.
Therefore, their pricing is only average as compared to its competitors, such as invisibleSHIELD, which has a more comprehensive and cheaper replacement program. Over the long run, this probably outweighs the savings from both the Advantage Replacement and Competitive Upgrade programs.
BodyGuardz ships through UPS and USPS. There are various shipping options you can choose from, as detailed on their FAQ. Within the United States, normal shipping is about $2.50 for an iPad screen protector, while the prices go up for expedited shipping.
In addition, BodyGuardz ships to over fifty countries, and international postage is not that expensive. For the same iPad screen protector, it costs about $6.95 to ship it to Singapore, a small city-state halfway across the world in Southeast Asia.
Free shipping is also provided on domestic orders of $24.95 and up. Tracking information is also provided, within 24-48 hours of shipment.
Due to the number of countries they ship to, the various expedited shipping options and the affordable shipping costs internationally, BodyGuardz deserves a 'Best' rating in this respect.
BodyGuardz does not detail the accepted payment methods on their FAQ page. On the checkout page, you are only given the option to pay via credit or debit card, through VISA, MasterCard and American Express. Hence, it is assumed that no other forms of payment is accepted through their official store.
In this respect, BodyGuardz is only average. Its competitor, ZAGG, offers payment via Discover as well, and has a gift card option, conspiciously missing from the BodyGuardz payment page.
BodyGuardz offers a 30-day return policy, where all used and unused products must be included for them to successfully process the refund. This is, however, not applicable during major promotion sales days (such as Black Friday) on orders over ten units.
Shipping costs in either direction are not refunded and it takes up to three weeks for the refund to be processed. One thing to note is that you will not be refunded the full amount; $5 will be deducted per order ($10 with MacBook products).
Something to note about BodyGuardz's return policy is that they do not usually offer replacements (or at least, they do not bear the cost of shipping) if you have botched the application of the screen protector, or if their product is slightly defective. This is the rationale behind why they include two screen protector films on most of their products. This customer review from Ripoff Report details a particularly bad experience from a customer in getting his defective screen protector replaced.
Due to the bad experiences some users may have had and that they do not refund the full cost, the company's return/refund policy gets only an 'Average' rating.
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