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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA -- So, I made an appointment for a FREE Estimate with Empire Carpet. The appointment was scheduled for between 11 am and 1 pm, although the Salesperson did not show until closer to 2 pm. I called the office several times to see where the salesperson was and when to expect them since I had taken the morning off from work, and was sitting in an empty apartment since I do not live there yet. The company told me that the salesperson was lost, not familiar with the area, and would be there shortly.
When the Salesperson arrived - He barely got two feet in the door before he started his spiel, stating that Empire does a TON of work in that area and they have exemplary customer service. We questioned how he could do a ton of work in the area, yet be lost for over an hour and the sales person had not good answer. At some point in his drawn out speech on Empire's Award winning Customer Service, he pulled out his large black box/brief case and I thought that we were finally going to look at some carpet, but no - He proceeded to show us all of the awards Empire has won and continued to tell us how fantastic and trustworthy the company is.
Finally, we got on the topic of carpet - He asked if we were renting the property and if the decision maker was present. We explained that I was renting the unit and my dad is present because he is the contractor overseeing all of the renovations (therefore the decision maker). The Salesperson then began arguing with us, saying that the website asks that the decision maker be present for the appointment. I explained that I read and understood that portion of the website and ultimately my dad and I would be making the decision, but right now we are gathering estimates.
The salesperson then preceded to tell me that Empire pays him 350 dollars to come to make these visits and if we do not give a definitive YES or NO answer THAT DAY- Empire will not send someone back out to the home. We asked if he could write up the estimate and then we can just call and make an appointment with the installer, but the Salesperson stated that that is not how Empire operates and it cannot be done.
The Salesperson went on to explain how much of a waste of time it is for him to come out when we are not going to give him a clear YES or No that day. My dad finally interjected and told the Salesperson that he was wasting our time and asked him to leave. The salesperson huffed and puffed and made some rude comments before finally exiting the home.
I immediately called Empire and informed them of our interaction. I asked them flat out- if requiring a definitive YES or NO before giving the estimate is the company's usual practice and the representative said "No, Absolutely not." The representative asked that he put me on hold and when he returned to the line (5 minutes later) he stated that he sent my complaint to a manager and to expect a call from them soon. Still no word from them and honestly - I'm not expecting a call from the manager.
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 to assist you.
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- Excellent all the way through. Salesman showed up on time, very professional and extremely knowledgeable of the product. Gave us many option on style and color. Installers were a little late due to finishing up a job from day before, but made sure to contact me and inform me so I was not just waiting. But arrived ready to work. The team was very professional. Moved all the furniture and put it back when done. I was able to watch the whole process, they never minded me asking questions. Explained the whole process. Can't wait to have the new vinyl flooring installed next.
Thanks for sharing, Neil! We're thrilled to know you enjoyed your experience with us, and we're glad that everyone you worked with was helpful and accommodating. We hope you're enjoying the new look and feel of your home, and we look forward to working with you on future home improvement projects! Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
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 email@example.com. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, 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.
30102, GEORGIA -- I had an in home visit from one of their salespeople and it was great. She was helpful and the price was really good. I scheduled the installation and was very excited about getting fresh new carpet for my house. The installers came on time. The crew manager was great, he answered all of my questions and was generally very friendly. He had 2 Hispanic guys working with him. They spoke no English. They finished in 3.5 hours and I was so excited. The carpet looked great. I was thoroughly satisfied. I really thought I would get to go out onto the internet and write a good review of the company. That is, until I started unpacking my stuff that I boxed up to get out of the way.
I unpacked a box and thought that there was some CD's and a DVD missing, but I wasn't sure. That prompted me to check my jewelry box that was in a box under stuff in the bathroom. When I did I was shocked to find 6 rings missing from my jewelry box. One of which was my grandmother's wedding rings (she passed away last Feb and that's all I have left of her). Those rings were on a gold chain. The chain was snapped and the rings gone. I was so upset, I was literally devastated.
I immediately called the crew manager that was at my house and told him that I had belongings missing. He was able to stop his crew. One of the men was working with him for the very first day ever. This guy handed over 2 of my rings, but nothing else.
By that time I had contacted the local police and they were at my house. Long story short, what ended up happening was the crew manager and his wife came all the way back here from the warehouse in rush hour traffic to give a statement with me to the police. It was really great of him to do that and he didn't have to do anything.
If that wasn't bad enough, Empire was notified also and they told me that someone would call me in 24 hrs. They should have made that a priority.
The lady called me the next day got information and said she would call back. She took 4 hours to do so. When she called back (after 2 msgs from me) she gave me the B. S. line of "we are going to cooperate with the police". When I asked what the company was going to do for me, she repeated that line FREAKING PARROT! She wouldn't explain anything.
I spoke with the Installation Manager here in Atlanta and he basically told me that b/c legal is involved they can't discuss it with me. They aren't doing anything to resolve the fact that I paid $1800 to be robbed! This could happen to anyone with any company. My point is that EMPIRE has no customer service to speak of. I wish I had gone with someone else even if I had to pay more money. Beware of Empire.
CORAM, NEW YORK -- Empire flooring installers came with a different quality flooring than what the sales person sold me. The installers were very unprofessional, no tools of the trade and requested full payment up front. I canceled the order. Was very disappointed. I waited three weeks for this installation from the time of order.
Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. We regret that the product and installation experience did not meet your expectations, and we can assure you this not the level of service we expect for our customers. We would like to follow up with you to learn more about your concerns and discuss the situation in more detail, but we cannot locate your account with the information posted here. Please call us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
TENNESSEE -- Victor and his crew were on time very considerate and very professional! Great job Victor!!! If I had another install Victor would have to do it!!
Thank you for sharing your experience! We love hearing from our satisfied customers, and it's wonderful that your installation went so smoothly. We truly appreciate your feedback and hope to assist you with future home improvement projects. Enjoy the new look and feel of your home! Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
HILLSBOROUGH, NORTH CAROLINA -- Worst installation: Berber rug. Spent over $4000. First time came out said I would have to have all carpets cleaned. New rugs. My husband & I senior citizens hardly walk on them!! Berber piling customer serviceman said bad carpet. Nothing done. I refused to get carpet clean wasn't dirty it was piling. Now bubbling up in family room said over warranty would cost another $250 to stretch carpet!!! Nice way to treat your Senior Citizens. Will tell EVERYONE I KNOW DON'T Use EMPIRE CARPET!!!
Hi Catherine, thank you for bringing your experience to our attention. We never want our customers to be disappointed in our service, and we can assure you that we are taking your concerns seriously. We'd like to know more about the issues you've been experiencing and help make things right for you, and we will be contacting you shortly. You can also reach us at email@example.com. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager