I'll start by saying that even though I read all the reviews, I just had a morbid sense of humor and wanted to see first hand just how sketchy Empire was.
I filled out the online in-home estimate request and then noticed somewhere that it stated if you weren't spending at least $750.00 that they would not come out so I emailed a cancellation request (only needed 20 sq. yards of carpet). Not only did they send me the cancellation confirmation, but right behind it, they rescheduled my appointment again. When I called, I had to jump through hoops to actually speak to a human being, explained my situation, and the woman stated that no job was too small and that they would be here today, Monday, January 31.
My sales guy called and was super nice, he was close to my home so he was coming an hour early if that was OK. Sure, no problem. Now I have already spoken with Lowe's, Home Depot and Molyneaux over the weekend and each provided a rough quote of around $540.00 - $560.00. So I figured hey, Empire says they save you money, why not let them come in for an estimate.
Well, my salesman arrived happy as a child on Christmas morning. I quickly escorted him to the small bedroom and hallway that I wanted to have carpeted and explained what I have explained above. Suddenly, this kind old man became so enraged that he literally turned 4 shades of red and began shaking. He told me that unlike these stores, he only installs quality product. I told him that I was looking at Stainmaster carpet with upgraded pad and I thought that was quality. He then threw his metal briefcase on the floor and fumbled his phone out of his pocket to call "his boss" and told me that I had to tell them I canceled my appointment.
When he put me on the phone, I told them that no, I didn't cancel, I was told that 20 sq yards of carpet would be no less than $900.00 and that I was going with another quote. He ripped the phone away from me, hung it up, called me an ** and dropped his phone. At this point, I felt I was under attack. I kicked his phone towards the door, grabbed it, threw it out into the snow and politely told the old man that he was about to meet Jesus unless he left this moment. I won't make this mistake again, and I hope this helps you avoid it as well. It was good for a Monday laugh, but that's about it. Thanks all :)
I've read your recent post and I'd like to follow back with you regarding some of the things you've described. I'm sorry you had difficulties cancelling your appointment. It's our normal process to contact a customer that cancels to see if there is anything we could have done differently or to see if you've reconsidered cancelling your appointment. However, we don't automatically reschedule since we need to be sure of the customer's availability.
Please accept my apologies. The situation you described with the sales representative is not in line with our standard of service. If you're willing, I'd like the opportunity to send another sales representative to your home to better show you our dedication to world-class service. If you're interested, could you email your contact information to email@example.com or contact me via phone at 888-588-2315 x4195 and we will follow back with you to address your concerns.
We knew we were in trouble as soon as we all sat down because we were forced to get a history lesson on Empire when all we wanted was a carpet and install quote. We were held prisoner in our own home (unless we wanted to be rude) while he spewed his sales pitch, and spew he did, sending spittle into the air. When the first words out of your mouth are showcasing all your awards we became suspicious. Why is this necessary? Doesn't your workmanship speak for itself?
We found out later why because he gave us this outrageous quote of $3100 for ~ 350 sq ft of room, next quote was what Empire could provide it for at $2100 but if we signed TONIGHT, we could get it for ~$1300. By producing the first quote you think you are getting the deal of a lifetime, but the caveat is that you HAVE to sign a contract that night or else the deal is off the table. When we did not fold to his sales pressure he got mad and defensive claiming he would not be back as it costs $350 for him to even come out. He tried to guilt us into signing by saying Empire would not do business with us otherwise. What a awful sales approach.
I work for a sales oriented company and our guys cold call all the time. It is the nature of the business and if we ever tried to bully a customer into buying from us we would never get through the front door again. Your deal or no deal tactic will not work in this economy. Bully sales tactics don't work. He also claimed the commercials do not say anything is free, "pay for this room and got this room and this room for free" is not what they say. Really? I am complaining here, to them and to Better Business Bureau.
We are currently researching your concerns. We are dedicated to service and satisfaction. A representative from our customer service team will continue to be in contact with you to assist with all your concerns.
DENVER, COLORADO -- We needed to have our entire home re-floored after we flooded in a bad storm. Initially the salesman was nice and informative. He made a quote that was quite high and when we balked, he then "pretended" to call his boss to see what kind of deals he could give us. After ordering a laminate floor and carpets for the bedrooms we got a decent price compared to other companies. They told us they could be in to install within 2-3 days.
A week later a carpet team showed up hours late (they called once to say they were behind). One of the installers was ill and went into our family bathroom for 42 minutes and got sick!!! He continued to use the bathroom frequently and it ended up taking he and his partner 6.5 hours to do a bedroom roughly 15X12 feet! I urged him to go home several times and that we could reschedule, but he barely spoke English and refused.
A week later as we already put a deposit on our laminate floor we had a contractor in for other repair. He told us the slab we wanted to put the floor on was badly damaged and would need significant repair before a laminate floor could lay flat and click together. I got a second opinion and they said the same thing. The empires salesman was ignorant and sold me something I could not even use. He had no understanding of the floors structure or make-up and what would be needed for prep-work.
Finally, we went for carpet and after paying and expecting the carpet the next morning, we got a call at 7:48 the night before saying we owed $648.00 more dollars. We fired them. The entire team from salesmen, schedulers and installers were idiots. Poor quality and would NEVER recommend them. EVER. And I still do not have my last room of pre-paid carpet in. Three weeks later we are "on the schedule". I made a total mistake with Empire!
Kristin, we regret any inconveniences that occurred during your installation process. The experience that you've described is not in line with the world-class service that we expect for our customers. A member of our customer service team will be contacting you soon to discuss your installation experience and work towards a resolution. You can contact us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- In March 2011, we foolishly hired Empire Today to install Laminate and Carpet in our home at a cost of over $11,000. Salesman stated Laminate must be installed before carpet and he schedules it accordingly. Laminate crew arrives and discovers that they do not have all the materials to do all the rooms paid for. Laminate crew chief returns 4 days later, which happened to be same day carpet scheduled for install, and completes Laminate job.
Carpet crew consisting of two men in shorts, flip flops, and undershirts arrive to install carpet in four rooms. They immediately yell at me because Laminate was installed first. I told him that is how salesman stated it MUST be done. They then complained about having to move furniture which they were required to do per our contract, and complained that job was going to take them longer than the 90 minutes they like to spend doing a job. They rolled out our carpet in the middle of the road and proceeded to cut the pieces.
I inspected each room upon completion and noticed the carpet was not tacked down in most rooms along the walls and none of the thresholds had been tucked in all four rooms. I complained to the I staplers and the told me it was supposed to look that way and it would probably work itself out over next 6-8 weeks. That has to be the dumbest thing I ever heard.
I called Empire Today in May 2011, to have someone come out and properly install the carpet. Have been getting the runaround for two weeks now. Finally got a day and time for someone to come out to fix, take off early to meet them for the 2:00 pm appointment, and they don't show up and don't call. I call them again, get on schedule for next day (June 3) same time, and as of 5:33 pm, no show and no call. I complained to corporate office, someone named **. She just said she would call me Monday, June 6 to see if they showed up.
We are SO SORRY we chose Empire Today. They advertise buy one room get rest free. It's NOT free. You only get material free, and have to pay out the ear for labor and installation. Carpet is of very poor quality and poorly installed. DO NOT purchase anything from Empire Today. They are a total nightmare and complete ripoff.
Michael, it's always our goal to make the installation process as convenient as possible for our customers and I'm sorry for the issues you've experienced. It's my understanding after working with our customer service team a few weeks ago, your repair was completed and that you're satisfied with the results. Please feel free to call me at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email me at email@example.com if you have any further questions or concerns. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
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.
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.
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 3-way 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 course the one we selected was not one of them. So I said "OK thanks for your time but you're 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 it's installed, otherwise, have a nice day." Lo 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.
DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS -- We purchased Empire's version of modern shag September 2005 for our living room. The salesperson and installers were fantastic. Problems started about 3 months later. I vacuum with our Kirby everyday but the carpet was starting to take on a very dingy and flat look. So I had it shampooed. After about 3 days it still looked bad but we dealt with it. We have had to get the carpet shampooed every 4 months since purchase just so the house doesn't look dirty.
Last month I was vacuuming and I noticed our 1 and only seam in the room had split so I called Empire. Their guy came out and couldn't fix it (the carpet and laminate separated) so Empire sent an inspector out to assess the damage. The person actually took a piece of wood and made our 1 foot seam tear into a 3 foot seam tear and stuck it between the carpet 1 foot on either side. She cut a bunch of fibers so now along with the seam we now having fraying. Long story short she found pet urine on some of the fibers. Conveniently right on the damaged part.
SO now because we "damaged" the carpet the warranty is void and we have to throw out the carpet. I wasn't expecting new carpet just a repair. The man I spoke with finally, John **, was extremely rude and unhelpful. I am furious right now and completely disappointed with Empire's Service. I am a Chicago native and have been hearing the Empire promises since I was a kid. I expected so much more from them. So here is my advice - stay away from Empire, they do not stand behind their product or service promises. Once they get your money it's a whole new ball game. $3000+ down the toilet in 1 year. Anyone know of carpet sales in the area?