There are some important things that consumers should understand about Empire Carpets' business plan. First, almost none of the people you interact with are actual employees of the company. Generally, people understand that the installers are contractors. Did you know that the sales reps are contractors too? Every sales representative is a 1099 employee that is required to set up a personal corporation within 60 days of employment. And, of course, the sales reps earn 100% commission with no other compensation.
That means that the temptation to over-quote and give false promises is outrageous. Once you pay the company and the sale is final, the sales representative gets his/her commission. Because the sales representative is not an actual employee, there is little reprimand for outright lying to a customer in order to close a sale. That is why the reviews on the sales force are across the board. Some people are just unscrupulous while others actually have some sense of integrity.
In the sales rep's mind, he/she doesn't even work for Empire. And legally that is the case. The sales reps are contracted vendors who provide sales services for empire for a commission cut. Empire is legally separating itself from its own sales force. (I can only assume that customer service representatives are actual employees. I have no knowledge to the contrary.)
As for the 60% off sale: OF COURSE, the sale is only on the cheapest, poorest quality carpets they have. This is common. Does anyone really think you'll get top-of-the-line designer carpet for 60% off? The company baits you with the glossy sale offer and then the sales representative comes in to try to up-sale you on something that you really want. (I guarantee you that you don't want the sale carpet.) But understand that this is NOT just an Empire Carpet thing. All companies do this.
Now, I don't know if the 60% off is supposed to include installation as well. I highly doubt it. Chances are that it is just the materials on discount, and that may be why people are still shocked at how high the price is. Next, Empire Carpet knows that they have high prices. They tell you that you are getting a good deal because they hope you'll believe it. But this is also a common sales practice. Consumers should always comparison shop. Also, there is nothing wrong with negotiating with a company for the best price. When you are making high-priced purchases, ALWAYS negotiate.
I'm researching this company because my husband was recently hired as a sales representative and has just started training. The person that hired him told him that the biggest problem they have is sales reps lying to the customers and giving false expectations. Expectations that the company will not honor. Maybe if their sales force were actual company employees, they wouldn't have that problem. But the amount of complaints they get from fraudulent sales reps must pale in comparison to the amount of money they make from not having to pay payroll tax, health benefits, life insurance, retirement, and anything else for their employees.
All companies get complaints, but I am shocked to see the volume of complaints against this company. Customers consistently complain about quality of carpet, being over-quoted on price, feeling misled by advertising, and extremely poor customer service. I'm going to bring all of this up to my husband this evening, because he does not want to work for a company that is fraudulent in any way.
It seems like the company has left many of you with no other recourse than to actually sue them for breech of contract. That would cost more than replacing your carpets, and the headache of using the court system isn't worth it. Corporations know this. One more thing: Empire Carpets is privately held. This is unlike companies like Lowe's and Home Depot. In publicly traded companies, bad press pisses off the stock holders and stock prices drop. Private companies often have more tolerance for bad publicity.
CALIFORNIA -- They say that the lack of a physical location allows them to pass the cost savings on to you. Not true. The real reason is that they want to corner you in a spot that you can't leave and rely on your relaxed condition to get your money. Do you really want a pushy commissioned salesman in your home? I can't begin to tell you the things that went wrong because this salesman wanted to make his Mercedes payment. I will regret letting these people in my house for the rest of my life.
The installers will NOT help you move furniture despite what the salesman will tell you. You may be without a house for 10 days like I was. The salesman even tried to sell me financial consulting services which was his "side" business. The floors we got scratch easy. I can still picture my dog getting out while I was trying to move things back in from the garage. He was hit by a truck and died in my arms. There should be a special place in Hell for companies like this.
Hi William, thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. It's disappointing that you have not been satisfied with your experience, and we'd like to know more about what happened. We can assure you that we are committed to working with our customers when issues arise, and we will be contacting you soon to discuss the situation. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
LABELLE, PENNSYLVANIA -- Salesman came to my home on 3/15 and measured and came up with a price of $4600 for 144 square feet of laminate flooring. I told him that was too much and he came down to $3,679. I did some calculations and research and found out that it should be not be no more than $2,800. I called Monday (2 days after contract was written) and canceled.
Pennsylvania law says that you have 3 business days to cancel a contract. Also, gave a credit card deposit of $200. Customer service was very hesitant about cancelling. Told me he would get price down to $3,000. Still too high. This company rips people off. Customer service told me that I will received my credit in 7 to 10 days. I am anxious to see how truthful that is!
Hi Susan, thanks for making us aware of your concerns. It's disappointing that you were not satisfied with our all inclusive pricing. Per your request, your order has been cancelled, and we will be following up with you shortly to advise you of the status of your refund. If you have additional questions, you can also reach us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email@example.com. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- My husband and I had several carpet estimates for our home and decided to go with Empire as the carpet looked good quality and the salesman assured us they only used "licensed and background checked" installers. Well, they installed my carpet last Friday Jan 10, and after they left, I noticed a gold ring (valued at $2,000) missing from my master bathroom, where they had no business entering. I searched for over an hour for it, then called Empire. No manager available so they told me to file a police report and a manager would call me back ASAP.
72 hours later (ridiculous) I received a call asking for the police report # and telling me they would start an investigation. I asked when I should expect a follow-up call and was told by Friday the 24th, still haven't heard ANYTHING!!! Funny how great their customer service was before the job but now they want to ignore this situation. I loved that ring and I am most upset that I had a criminal in my home (I was here the entire time of install, working downstairs while they put in carpet upstairs) who now knows where I live! This is scary and ridiculous. Do not use this company!!
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- We purchased new carpet from Empire Today, and overall we were happy with the cost and timeliness of the company. The next day carpet was installed throughout our home, however, due to a miscommunication, no closets were carpeted. We immediately brought this to Empire's attention and they said someone would be back the next day to finish the install. No one came. We called again and were again told someone would come the next day to complete the install. Again no one came. This has happened the last 6 consecutive days and our carpet still is not complete.
When calling Empire Today's corporate offices repeatedly over this past week we have been given many reassurances that "someone will complete the install tomorrow", but never specifics as to who, or when, that will occur. It is obvious that Empire Today contracts out their work, so in a sense there is no accountability to a certain person (besides myself) to ensure the job is complete.
I think that if you are present during install and can confirm the job is done correctly, this would be a good company. However, if there is miscommunication or an issue, it will be extremely difficult for someone to take ownership of the issue and correct it in a timely manner. Because of this I would definitely not recommend Empire in the future.
Hi Andre, we regret that your installation has not been completed and any confusion or miscommunication that occurred. We understand that we've been in contact, and we will be following up with you again to discuss the situation and ensure that everything is being completed to your satisfaction. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE -- I will never use Empire Carpet again... beware if you choose to. Use anyone else. I thought I was getting two years to pay off the carpet on a loan through a national bank. At least that is what the salesman lead us to believe, when I received my bill in the beginning of August and saw that there was over 2000.00 dollars of interest added on I flipped. When I called the bank and Empire, I was told that it is on the contract that I signed. Now they are charging me 15% interest every month, for the next two years. The salesmen are liars.
Keith, thank you for making us aware of your concerns. We do not set or control the terms of the financing. We understand that we've been in contact with you about this matter, and we will be following up again shortly. If you have additional questions or concerns, you can also reach us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
COVENTRY, CONNECTICUT -- Empire was a bad decision made! The install of the floor was horrible, the molding came up the next day, called several times to have it fixed, was blown off several times then a crew comes out - don't speak any English and the guy says the other people didn't know what they were doing. They used too small of nails. Also had chips and scratches in floor but of course they did not have the right color match with them so they had to come back and again was blown off several times.
They come back, tear up most the floor and put it back together the exact same way, made several calls to Empire never a callback. Most of my floor has moved, I kick it back into place daily and all the surrounding moldings have been taking out and I have upgraded myself!!! And if I would have known how easy this floor is to do I would have done it myself!!! Stay away from Empire. They don't deserve to be in business!!!
We were disappointed to read your review. The installation experience you described is not what we expect for our customers. We are committed to working with our customers until they are completely satisfied, and we regret any inconveniences that occurred during your installation process. We would like to follow up with you and ensure that everything has been completed to your satisfaction, but we are unable to locate your account with the information posted here. Please call us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email email@example.com, and we will contact you to discuss the situation. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I called last week and was given an appointment for that afternoon. I had to go out to do some errands and rushed home. When I came home I got a message on my machine - they could not make it. Then a few days later on a Friday they called to re-schedule for that Monday. Monday came and I got a call from them. They could not make it. Apparently when you call the 1-800 number they give you an appointment without knowing if the salesman in your area is available. Needless to say I will not use them again. If this is the customer service they give, I can only guess how it would be to deal with them if there is a problem with their merchandise.
We were disappointed to read about your missed appointments, and we regret any inconvenience that occurred as a result. We understand your frustration, and we can assure you that this is not the experience we expect for our customers. We would like to make things right for you, but we are not able to locate your account with the information posted here. Please call us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I scheduled an online appointment for Empire free estimate. The first appointment was on a Saturday time between 6-8. I ask if they could come closer to 7. They said no problem. It was about 7:50 when I was just about to call them to see how much longer, my other lined rung with an Empire's representative stating that the contractor was still with another customer and would need to reschedule.
I reschedule for Wednesday between 7-9. I hadn't heard from Empire, so I called about 7:20. I was told that the sales representative was with another customer and would call me soon. It's now 8:35, no call. I call customer service to check on appointment and lo and behold while I'm talking to one service person, another calls me and states the sales representative is still with a client and it would be past 9:00 before he or she got here.
I explained that this is the second time and I felt that must get lots of business and don't need my money. They wanted to reschedule. I said no thank you. I will take my business elsewhere. Never again. I would be a fool to schedule another appointment and wait. My time is precious and not to be wasted. It was just interesting that every time I called Empire would call me on the other line. Huh! Just a note, don't waste your time.
We're disappointed to learn of your missed appointments and any inconveniences that occurred as a result. We can assure you that this is not what we expect for our customers, as we always want to provide world-class service. We understand your frustration, and we would like the opportunity to make things right for you. Unfortunately, we cannot locate your account with the information you've provided here. Please call us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email email@example.com, and we will follow up with you. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- I have a 260 sq ft room with an adjacent flight of stairs that I needed to get recarpeted and always feel vulnerable when talking to salespeople, especially, if the subject is something that I don't have too much knowledge in. I had gotten my first quote before meeting the "Empire man" and it was roughly about $600. I wanted a second opinion and was willing to splurge a couple hundred more if the price was in the range. I set up the appointment and for doing so online I received a $200 off coupon. The "salesman" did arrive on time and was quite cheery. I took him up to measure the room and stairs; he soon realized that I didn't know too much of what to expect.
It gets funny from here, because after he measured, to my shock, he said that it was 400 sq ft (completely off, because I had been worrying about the pricing and had measured/remeasured; all that on top of the first quote whose measurements matched up to mine).
The first person that gave me the estimate gave me the option of different carpet textures and pricing per yard. The empire guy didn't give me any of the pricing per yard and showed me which pad was going to be used (wouldn't let me switch, because he said the yellow stain-resistant pad is the only thing that Empire is allowed to use, meanwhile, I see many other pad samples in his bag that he won't show).
He gets to writing and he has two initial quotes. One for $1400 and the other for $1600. OK... so I tell him that I have another quote and showed it to him and he scoffed at the price and tells me that the people that gave me the quote likely didn't know what they were doing, I would get poor service, and I couldn't trust them. He goes back to his writing and now gets it down to $1200 (still a shocker) and says he might be able to get it lower if I could agree the same day, but I was confident that he wasn't going to beat the first estimate so I told him that I wanted to wait and make a decision.
He says that the offer would then be at $1200. I said OK, helped him pick up his samples and helped him out to his truck. I thought the sales-con was over, but this guy was SLIMEY!! We were at the table with the first quote, the one he scoffed at, and after he leaves **ta da** it's gone!! I know he took it with him and I couldn't help but to chuckle for a good hour, because I didn't think that a salesman would stoop so low. I luckily did have the phone number of the first estimator, but really... I can't say that I would ever consider Empire after the dirty trick. All in all... Empire makes sales and they have their salesguy running numbers instead of looking at the basic cost of the project.
Thank you for bringing your sales experience to our attention. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. We are dedicated to service and satisfaction; please contact us at 800-588-2300 so we can assist you.