UPDATE, November 2006: I moved my vehicle from Rosenthal's service department to Curry's Auto Service in Chantilly.
Curry's Auto Service in Chantilly ROCKS!! WOW, what a difference it makes when dealing with a reputable company that makes it their policy to take care of their customers!! Curry's is clearly a company that the warranty companies trust to provide accurate, honest assessments of repair needs.
Curry's is replacing my entire engine, down to the spark plugs and wiring, with a new engine. My cost: the $75 deductible required by the warranty company. Rosenthal demanded an additional $3,500 over the $5,000 authorized by the warranty company just to repair the the lower crank shaft bearings!
Read my earlier posting to learn about Rosenthal in Chantilly, Virginia:
October 2006: Rosenthal demands $3,500 more than authorized in repair costs ($5,000) – charges $600 to remove oil pan!!
Rosenthal Chantilly kept my vehicle for three weeks (didn't even look at it for the first 1 1/2 weeks) in order to "diagnose" that the lower crank shaft bearings were bad. The service staff – Kevin Dooley and Jack Seaver – were entirely unprofessional, completely without scruples, and thoroughly alienated the warranty company and the customer.
The warranty company authorized approximately $5,000 to repair the lower crank shaft bearings. Rosenthal's service rep, Kevin Dooley, informed me that they would require an additional $3,500 to perform the repairs. I asked him for a reason for the huge discrepancy in cost – he stated the hours the warranty company authorized did not cover the hours it takes Rosenthal to accomplish the repairs. I asked him for the source he used (Mitchell's, Land Rover Warranty, shop book, etc.) for calculating the hours so that I could talk with the warranty company to try to understand the problem. Kevin told me his shop set their own rates and hours and did not follow any standard.
Once I heard from Kevin that Rosenthal charges whatever they want for repairs, I contacted Rosenthal's Service Manager – Jack Seaver – to confirm what Kevin told me. He said Rosenthal sets its own rates and hours and does not provide that infomation to customers. I told him Rosenthal's policy was unacceptable and that I would immediately send over a tow truck (Friday morning, October 27) to tow my vehicle to another repair shop and asked if there were any outstanding items which would prevent me from doing so. Jack assured me that the vehicle would be ready in one hour since I had already paid for the "work" they had done. Rosenthal charged me five hours ($600.00) for their "diagnosis". No surprise – they refused to release the vehicle to the tow truck driver.
Here it is Monday morning, October 30. I just spoke with the General Manager of Rosenthal – Andy Lavin. Andy told me he was sorry to hear I was experiencing so many problems and that there was no reason for them not to release the vehicle on Friday. He said I could send the driver back over this morning to pick up the vehicle and he would make sure there were no problems this time.
Andy was very pleasant, though, he did not offer reimbursement for Friday's tow truck costs. More importantly, he did not address the $3,500 discrepancy in repair costs; however, I did learn that the service staff works on commission, so there is definitely incentive for their dealings.
Luckily, I experienced this problem while I was in the process of purchasing a new RangeRover to replace this vehicle, a 2003 LandRover Discovery. I instead purchased a 2007 VW Tourag V10 TDI. I'm sure the loss of one sale won't bring Rosenthal to their knees, but at least I won't be on my knees when dealing with their service department in the future.