I was in need of a new window covering on a large picture window in my living room. I had a shade that finally gave up after many years and after research, decided to go with a vertical blind. I saw an ad for Empire Carpets on window coverings. I visited the website and found that they do handle vertical blinds. I called and they made an appointment for the following day.
The salesperson showed up late, and gave me a rather substantial quote of $875 for a basic vertical for a window 126 X 56. No next day installation as they claim, as it takes two weeks, which I thought was probably the case. As this was my first estimate, I was shopping around. The salesperson was very pushy when I told him that this was my first estimate and that I wanted others before I made a decision. He told me to put the order in, and that I could cancel it if I found a cheaper quote.
They also said that Empire would beat any quote I received which led me to believe right away that it was overpriced. The written quote had no dimensions on it, and I also asked for a price on another window in the area, in the dining area. That had no dimensions on the so called "quote" only a price. I thanked the salesperson, but they kept repeating that he can make a phone call and Empire will beat other quotes. I did not feel comfortable with this person.
I went to a local store that handles paint, flooring and window coverings that I had used in the past and they gave me a quote of $360 for the same verticals, including installation. Yes, it would take two weeks for the vertical to be ordered and made. Less than half of what Empire wanted and the salesperson at this local establishment was not pushy, only wanted a third down and even suggested getting other estimates. (I did have another estimate and it was higher, $500, but still cheaper than Empire).
I immediately gave a deposit and my verticals are on their way... The local store even took measurements for the other window and the order is ready to go, when my budget allows.. just one phone call. Oh, and the salesperson from Empire kept asking about floor coverings, even though I told him that the carpeting and floor covering in the kitchen area was new and provided by my landlord and I was very satisfied with what I have. Stay away from Empire... Shop around!
Thank you for bringing your window treatment sales experience to our attention. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. We are dedicated to service and satisfaction, should you have any questions please contact us at 800-588-2300.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Fell for the 3 rooms for the price of 1 sale. I specifically asked the salesperson how easy it was to scratch the flooring and pointed out the medium sized dog in the rear yard. Sales guy assured me that it was very tough and that the dog would not damage the floor. My mother just recently had hard wood floors installed from another company and she has a dog and doesn't have a single scratch, so I figured he was being truthful.
As soon as the installers leave and I bring my dog in for the night, the floor was scratched. I called the company to have it repaired and they told me that as a courtesy they would repair that area but that damage done by pets wasn't covered and that they wouldn't repair any more. I called the company and explained to them that their sales person assured me that this wouldn't be a problem and they tell me that hard wood floors are extremely easy to scratch. I am constantly having to patch small dents and holes in the floor with wood putty now. I dropped my flipping car keys the other day and it knocked a hole it it.
I complained enough that I was able to get them to refund $1000 but that really wasn't enough. Now I'm stuck with a worthless floor that you can't walk across barefoot without damaging. NEVER AGAIN Empire. You will not get a dime of my money ever again.
Thank you for bringing your hardwood experience to our attention. We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused you. Empire provided a free repair for an issue that was not covered by warranty as well as provided a discount to the order for customer satisfaction per our agreement.
I fell for the ad of 60% off carpet. The salesman was good I will give him that. He played a guy who was having to sell carpet in a down economy. He opened up his books and made us feel that he was selling it to us at the lowest profit margin available 6%. Being naive we decided to go with Empire spending $3500. Then the lies began. They were not able to provide me with the specs on the carpet, found out it was polyester not nylon. They tried to string me along for the 3 days so that I would not be able to cancel. Installed 2 rooms and brought the wrong color for the third. Continued to get runaround.
Carpet at Lowe's and Home Depot much better quality 1/2 the price. I had them take up the carpet as I cancelled in the 3 day period. To do this you have to send copy of paper to Illinois. Not one person gave a crap after I signed the contract. RUN FROM THIS COMPANY. Should have listened to the countless negative reviews all over the internet.
P.S. Check out the company response below. YOU KNOW IT IS BAD WHEN THE COMPANY RESPONSE IS CUT AND PASTED ON ALL THESE COMPLAINTS SAYING THE SAME THING BUT ACTUALLY MEANING NOTHING.
Thank you for bringing your sales experience to our attention. We apologize for any inconvenience, and our customer service team would like to work with you to explore a resolution. Please contact us at 800-588-2300 so we can assist you.
I live in Cleveland, OH and we recently had an Empire Carpet Salesmen out for an estimate. It was a small job, and we had received a couple of other estimated previously in the $450 - $550 range. Empire did have the carpet we desired, but their initial estimate was $1100 much to our shock. I said "thanks, you're not even in the ballpark though." Well that was "list price" he said, and got it down to $860 or so. Still too high, so he calls a manager and gets it down to the $750 range. Still high, so he calls manager back and gets the "best they can do" which is around $680. "Thanks for your time, but you are still much higher."
So he calls someone else, and gets it down to their final offer, $500.... I asked how he got it there and he called the "district manager" who gave us a family and friends price. And of course, we had to sign right then to get that price. I did not want to buy and was more than prepared to tell him to leave, but my wife did and said as much, so I reluctantly went along and bought the carpet but I am now having second thoughts.
What this all tells me is that this company easily would have gouged me and charged me $1000 for a $500 job if I did not balk at all of their outrageous prices. I certainly did not appreciate their cheap sales tactics and had a nice talk with my wife after the fact about how dirty this whole thing felt. I have not yet had my carpet installed by my choice, so I hope all goes well on that front. In the end Empire gave me a fair price for what I wanted based on of my other estimates, it was just the entire process of getting there that was wrong. I would not recommend or go back to Empire based on that alone, who knows how many people they have taken advantage of in their time.
SANTA FE SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA -- What good is a 25 year warranty on the finish of a wood floor if they won't honor it when the finish flakes off. Apparently, you're not supposed to actually walk on the floors. They sent their own guys to take a look. They said that it was a manufacturer defect. They even paid an "independent" third party to take a look. It doesn't appear that they are very independent. When I asked about what their own guys said, I was told that he's not a flooring professional. Good thing they work for a flooring company. I would never use these crooks again.
We are interested in replacing our floors with tile. I saw the salesperson at the mall and inquired on the products offered by empire. He offered me a free estimate and I accepted the offer. The Salesman was 2 1/2 hours late for the appointment. He gave this long speech telling us about the product, etc., then about his career path that led him to Empire. He stayed over two hours at our home and left after 9 pm, we couldn't get him out faster. However, we did pick out two tiles.
Since, we weren't ready to purchase that night, he refused to measure the floors and give us an estimate. Instead, a new appointment was scheduled two weeks later. Again, he was 1/2 hour late for the appointment. He asked if we were ready to buy. I told him only if it was within our budget. Forgetting the tile we picked out two weeks ago, we choose two other tiles which had two different prices. He quoted the prices to us which were way too high, 14,900 and 17,900. We told him that it was way too high at this time because we just located 1200 miles to another state to start new careers after being laid off from our present jobs.
So, he called his manager who dropped the price, on the lower quality tile, which we had told him long before he wrote the quote that we didn't want. The price came down to $10,300 for 1100 sq ft of tile. Again we told him that we wanted to wait a couple days to think about it, plus, we weren't sure if the price was too high since we hadn't had any other quotes. He said put $200 down and think about it you have three days to think about it. We again said no. The pressure started to rise when he told us we needed to decide now or the deal was off and the price will be $14,900. We were firm and said no and we could tell he was angry.
The last statement he made to us was, "do me a favor, don't ever call me again". When he walked out of my home, my jaw dropped. I ripped the flier with the additional $300 off. If circumstance where different I may had purchased since I want to change my floors. Times like today, time needs to be taken to ensure that good decisions are made. Like I told the salesman, I need to weigh out my decisions and determine if I am spending my money wisely. Maybe the answer is that I did make a wise choice tonight and that is not to be pressured into buying. All this Christian stuff he bragged on was a bunch of lies.
JONESBORO, GEORGIA -- Like the others before me I called Empire and set up an installation consultation. The representative was very helpful and did not pressure us like other companies had nor did she talk bad about competitors which I appreciated. After much negotiation we finally reached an agreement we both could accept. So what's the problem you ask.
Well the problem came when she said that we had to pay for the carpet in full prior to installation. Naturally my husband and I were shocked. We could not believe that she expected us to pay them $10,000 before the job was complete with no guarantee of a full refund if we were not satisfied. Well after a discussion with her "supervisor" they agreed to hold the check until the job was complete and our satisfaction was confirmed in a follow up phone call. We agreed.
So imagine our surprise the next day when I checked my account and found that the money had been withdrawn despite our agreement. I called my bank immediately and filed a fraud report. I then called Empire and cancelled my order. They told me that although the order was cancelled they could not refund my money until they completed an internal investigation which could take up to 10 business days because it has never been their policy to hold checks. It was not until my bank contacted them via 3way later that day that they agreed to refund my money immediately.
I was outraged!
Do you know they still sent the installers to my house for instillation, Mexicans who spoke no English, who even after a detailed explanation were still unloading their trucks. I had to go in my house and call Empire before they left.
BEWARE! Unless you are willing to pay thousands prior to work completion. I would not recommend Empire!
LONG BEACH -- I just had Empire install some carpet. We are very satisfied with both, the installation and carpet.
However, I would never use them again nor would I recommend them to anyone. The reason I say this is we called because they were offering 60% off. When we picked out the carpet we wanted, the guy gives us the price, and it was way way higher than the other quotes we received. When I asked if the price included the 60% off, he tells me that discount only applies to a few select carpets, and of coarse the one we selected was not one of them. So I said OK thanks for your time but your not even in the ballpark. That's when he calls his manager, and gets special permission to lower the price, by over half. That tells me if I didn't ask about the discount, they would have happily gouged me.
It gets worse from there. After thinking about it, we called him back and say OK, let do it. He comes back to the house and after filling out all the paperwork asks for payment in full. So I say, what do you mean payment in full? You haven't installed the carpet yet. He says that's just how they do it. So I tell him forget it then. I'm not paying you in full before the work is done. I just had $10,000 worth of windows replaced in my house, and they didn't ask for payment in full. I'll give you half now and the other half after its installed, otherwise, have a nice day. Low and behold, his manager gives special permission to pay half now and the balance after the installation is complete.
The lack of trust was unbelievable. He actually sat in my dinning room calling his office so they could run some kind of check approval, making it very clear to me that they did not trust me to write them a valid check, yet I was supposed to trust them and pay it all in full before the installation.
I think I got lucky. Most of the time if a company wants to be paid in full BEFORE the work is done, they do very very poor quality work, and know they won't get paid after, so they need to get it up front.
Like I said earlier, I do not recommend using Empire for the simple fact that they were not straight up with me from the beginning.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager