Bad experience at "Rover Specialist" - Vinnie Tarrone - Garfield, NJ

discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
4,503
7
Northern Illinois
I work in a dealer 50 hours a week and have a shop near my house. At that shop I mostly work on my own stuff, but people find me and ask me to do jobs. When I do take a job the rate I charge is half what they charge at the dealership, $75 a book hour. If I have to put my money out for parts I charge 20% for that.

I have a hard time working on this old shit at work because of parts availability, and parts dept people who really struggle with the old stuff. I finally won a battle and was able to refuse one and it left. Thank God. It's not cause I don't like the trucks, it's just the wrong arena for that old stuff. I have used parts but can't sell them to people because the policy at the dealer won't allow it. Probably for good reason.

Anyone on this board who fixes cars for a living will understand a saying I have for when this type of job pisses backwards on you. " I'm sorry I took the money"

Another thing I will tell you with certainty. I can tell you how the whole transaction is going to go after the first 5 words out of the customers mouth. So read that opening post again, and put yourself in that shop owners place. If it was me towing it out would have been the only option. Cause if you bring it to me and I quote you a reasonable price, and you question that price we're done.
 

kade

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2013
219
1
Upstate, SC
I have enjoyed the dialogue on this thread. I think a lot of this has to do with that in life, a lot of the times, it’s not what you say but how you say it. I have to give people bad news all the time but I use some finess with it.

I would guess if vinnie used any finess, same price and all just explained his situation and pricing, Walt may would of posted a nice review and told us to go check him out.
 

WaltNYC

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2010
414
1
NYC
Kade, I'm afraid not. Vinnie was as nice as could be. Our conversation was never once discourteous. Each of us knew what we were doing and accepted the other's decisions and ramifications thereof quite politely.

This is about economics and competition. There are plenty of "yeah, but..." excuses. None of them fit the circumstances of this particular situation. If Vinnie has a bunch of fat cat customers who wouldn't know any better, more power to him. That does not sound like a great business model for an independent shop.

My intention here is to warn those who value their dollars a bit more and maybe prevent a low value but much-loved truck from being punted into the crusher because the local shop prices their services beyond sensible levels. As one well-known Rover mechanic said to me once, "I help people because I want to keep D1's on the road and away from the crusher." I expect that is the main point of this forum. Perhaps not.

I too have enjoyed the dialogue and do appreciate the perspectives offered.
 

pinkytoe69

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2012
995
2
minnesota
kade;1085695' said:
I would guess if vinnie used any finess, same price and all just explained his situation and pricing, Walt may would of posted a nice review and told us to go check him out.
Right.

Well if you want the work to be done right, that is what it costs

This is the line where it's like, eat a dick homeboy.

He's not repairing particle accelerators in there.
 

proper4wd

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2015
59
0
boston
As one well-known Rover mechanic said to me once, "I help people because I want to keep D1's on the road and away from the crusher." I expect that is the main point of this forum. Perhaps not.

ah, so you're looking for charity. got it.
 

WaltNYC

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2010
414
1
NYC
ah, so you're looking for charity. got it.
Dude, what is wrong with you?

Do you know WHY he said that to me? He offered to talk over a situation with me for which I was grateful to tap into his experience and you know what the very first thing I said to him was? I told him that the parts involved were nickle and dime stuff and that in this situation I would not be able to 'pay him back' via a parts order this specific time. I wanted him to understand that up front because I respect the wisdom and time people offer which sometimes does not have an immediate pay back. In fact I was conducting myself in precisely the opposite manner you describe. I will go out of my way to order parts from him the next opportunity I get. I wouldn't be able to do that if my truck were sold off for parts.

Similarly when I see a thread on this board where I believe I can add something to help, I do so. As I understand it, that is why this forum exists.
 
Last edited:
Jan 25, 2010
3,542
1
your moms bed
It's important to remember that the people's republic of New Jersey is a filthy shithole. The lesson to be learned here is to stay away from that vile state.
 

JohnC

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2005
853
0
Tappan, NY
Next time check with me, I have 4 good starters and I work in the city and come in on the weekends. I could've given you a hand installing it.

John
 

fishEH

Well-known member
Jan 26, 2009
6,293
6
Lake Villa, IL
So, if the starter cost you $275 and you spent two hours fixing it, you would have charged $480. 20% part markup and $75 hourly rate. I'm guessing Nick probably wouldn't have taken exception to that.
I work in a dealer 50 hours a week and have a shop near my house. At that shop I mostly work on my own stuff, but people find me and ask me to do jobs. When I do take a job the rate I charge is half what they charge at the dealership, $75 a book hour. If I have to put my money out for parts I charge 20% for that.

I have a hard time working on this old shit at work because of parts availability, and parts dept people who really struggle with the old stuff. I finally won a battle and was able to refuse one and it left. Thank God. It's not cause I don't like the trucks, it's just the wrong arena for that old stuff. I have used parts but can't sell them to people because the policy at the dealer won't allow it. Probably for good reason.

Anyone on this board who fixes cars for a living will understand a saying I have for when this type of job pisses backwards on you. " I'm sorry I took the money"

Another thing I will tell you with certainty. I can tell you how the whole transaction is going to go after the first 5 words out of the customers mouth. So read that opening post again, and put yourself in that shop owners place. If it was me towing it out would have been the only option. Cause if you bring it to me and I quote you a reasonable price, and you question that price we're done.
 

BarryO

Well-known member
May 15, 2018
76
2
Bend, OR
Sooo, the OP has his rig towed to an indy shop. In Northern NJ, one of the most expensive regions in the country. Right there, you know it's gonna cost him. The shop quotes him a price for repair higher than he'd like it to be. OK, we've all been there. 'sounds like the shop was ethical about it; they quoted the price before starting any work and didn't charge anything for looking at.

Then things get a bit odd. The OP is almost lecturing the shop owner about his business model, where he thinks the shop should fit in the marketplace, and even what he thinks his overhead is (or should be)(?). If you want to take your business elsewhere, go ahead, but this seems weird to me. Then again, I'm not a good haggler, and maybe some folks do things like this as a normal course of things.

I know a few high-end "Rover specialists" that charge a pretty penny. They cater to owners of late-model Rangies and other expensive low-mileage rigs; ones that are out of warranty where the owners are looking for an alternative to a maybe long-distance dealer, but are still looking for the Exclusive European Service Experience. They must be doing OK in that segment. No one would take a ~20 year old rig there for service; not more than once anyway. That doesn't mean they're not serving a market need. I would think there'd be a good market for that sort of thing in the greater NYC area.
 
Last edited:

DiscoPhoto

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2012
2,437
0
Vermont
So, if the starter cost you $275 and you spent two hours fixing it, you would have charged $480. 20% part markup and $75 hourly rate. I'm guessing Nick probably wouldn't have taken exception to that.
$75/hr is not a reasonable rate in the area OP is in, that's a craigslist mechanic at best, not a rover specialist. Sure, where you or I live it's low but reasonable, but it's a lot different in the city.
 

jprover2

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2017
74
2
Birmingham,Al
So, if the starter cost you $275 and you spent two hours fixing it, you would have charged $480. 20% part markup and $75 hourly rate. I'm guessing Nick probably wouldn't have taken exception to that.
$75.00 per hour is low. I'm in Birmingham, Al and we have $95.00 per hour rate. Alabama does not have the highest median income. I would expect the northeast or southwest to be well above $100.00 per hour at any shop.
 

discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
4,503
7
Northern Illinois
$75.00 per hour is low. I'm in Birmingham, Al and we have $95.00 per hour rate. Alabama does not have the highest median income. I would expect the northeast or southwest to be well above $100.00 per hour at any shop.
I'm really not trying to run a shop here. Just setting up my retirement gig.
 

discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
4,503
7
Northern Illinois
So, if the starter cost you $275 and you spent two hours fixing it, you would have charged $480. 20% part markup and $75 hourly rate. I'm guessing Nick probably wouldn't have taken exception to that.
Well. I looked up the labor time on a D2 starter. It's actually .5 warranty time. So about .75 or just round up to an hour. Whatever you say the starter cost. So yea what ever. But I am a Rover Speacialists I suppose. All I've done is fix them for a living since 1999. The people I call customers wouldn't cry about the cost of a starter.
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
9,584
16
North Carolina
He had a replacement in stock, the truck was on the lift, and could do the work immediately.
That's the most important sentence in the original post.

Convenience is the most coveted and expensive luxury. Everyone endures it in one way or another. Your Starbucks coffee, that soda you bought when filling up, popcorn at a theater, paper plates, and immediate service with all parts available.

At a different time, with the truck off the lift, with a scheduled appointment... Those factors may have changed the quote a bit. The time to negotiate is before she's on the bed with her skirt around her ears. The psychological effect of seeing your vehicle on a lift cannot be underestimated in regard to perceived value of service immediacy.

I'm no professional mechanic, but I suspect that he had a choice between back burners, a break, or doing that job. It took a bit more than might have been expected to encourage the last option. That's probably the end of the story. He fixed that vehicle when he could have been kicking back or catching up.

The only strange thing I'm seeing here is one of the most canned conversations I've ever seen quoted. If I encountered that in reality I'd seriously question whether or not we've been invaded by alien androids. It's like a script for a bad commercial from 1983.

Is the price reasonable? Well... Was it paid? If so, it was reasonable, given the circumstances. It may not have been palatable, but it was reasonable. People here aren't wrong; very few want to touch older Land Rovers now. Those who will do so are therefore more valuable, whether or not they choose to charge for that value.

Dude just tripped and ended up landing bent over a barrel, in the end. It happens.

Cheers,

Kennith