Empire Today

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Warranty Ignored - Good Job Empire
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- I had some work done in the house by Empire before, and I had no complaint about it, so I called Empire for some more business. I was under the impression that I will have a pleasant experience as before, but I was in for a ride this time. May 2011 is when it all started, the salesmen showed up, and gave me a pressure squeezer must spend money today or else all prices will skyrocket... Yeah I bought into it. Got the papers signed money was placed in the guys hand, and the rest upon completion of work. The crew showed up with one guy able to speak English and the rest, well, not too sure, but I cared less since I am more concerned about quality work, then if the installers can talk at all. They proceeded to tear out my good carpet, and start laying the laminate. The tools they used would make an OSHa representative pull out a thick pad and would have a field day writing up all the problems, no blade guards on saw, no protective eyewear, the cord they used was ductaped and electrical taped in several spots. I should have guessed how this will turn out... Anyhow, the foreman of the group explained that the floor must be level grinded all the highs, and the lows should be filled so the laminate will not "bounce". They spent a good hour and a half grinding, but no fills.
I guess it was all well, and they laid the padding and the laminate. It was getting into the afternoon, and I told them I was allergic to mosqueto bites, and to keep screen door closed. They managed to poke a big hole with their fingers through my screen door damaging it. At 10:30pm they called it a day, and wanted me to sign papers, which I did, but I told them I can't really look at it over since I am tired, and will look at it the next day. Next day I find that the laminate bounces in several areas, and the loining area to the kitchen its totally crooked. Manager came out takes pictures, sets up appointment for crew to come out to fix. Crew comes back (even after I told manager not to send same crew)... they tear up half the area, and hall to patch the lows, put cement down and try to smooth it out, replace laminate. They discover that the worker who was on the job where the kitchen meets the room has cut things short, and that is why the transition is crooked to "cover up" this mistake. While they were ripping the floors up to do this repair, they manage to scuff up my walls where the 4" wood toe boards go around the base of wall. After they left, I called the manager back up to complain about this terrible job. She looked at the screen, looked at the walls, looked at the way they placed one door stop so the door know would hit the wall. She took pictures, and left, but no call back. I re-innitiated the contact around Sept 2011 and supervisor said they were waiting for me to get a third party for estimate on repairs, which I did for the walls, and screen door. They said they will credit account. No credit. Called back. Oh now its a check they are sending. No check. The company insisted again on their third party to check what I was talking about, cause they probably had no clue what the manager did with the picture, and her notes on this issue. Third party comes out discovers laminate is defective. Empire decides to replace it. But in order for them to replace an In Warranty I must sign a form that I will promise not to post a gripe, I will not talk about my problems. I refuse to have my freedom of speech trampled. HERE IS MY GRIPE EMPIRE! They want me to sign a form prior to installation that says they did a good job! Amazing. I feel this is a threat, and let them know. The crew finally comes out, a manager is with them, and we talk calmly about this nonesense, and watch from 8am till 4pm as the laminate goes into the room. I watch as the crew removes molding and tear more paint off my wall further damaging my property, and I point this out to the manager. This is a different crew as before. (by now you could guess Empire has NO WORKING CREW, they SUB CONTRACT!!!!) These guys lack of OSHA safety is as the others. No safety what so ever, and I point this out to the manager. I inspect the install. Run my hand across the laminate where is is supposed to be a smooth transition, but its rippled. I say nothing except to have the manager run her hand through it. Then the foreman... they both feel the same low quality of the material. (another bad batch???) Then I point out the flexing areas, and I ask one of the workers if that could be fixed, and he said, yes but the whole floor needs to be taken up. I said "go for it! Fix it" they look at each other as if I asked them how magnets work? The manager calls another manager on the phone we wait about 20 min for response. Offer on table is to pick a different material, maybe that is not impacted with low quality. A few days later she shows up with another sales representative and samples. We pick the material, and she said her manager still has to approve this. I get an email from the manager, with a contract attached (as before trying to get me to sign a "you can't talk, post about your gripe" paper, and that I will make sure the California State Licensing board will be notified that all is well PRIOR TO INSTALL. Come on.... if it was maybe AFTER, but before? No thanks! I sent a letter back stating that there were 4 options and I am willing to go either way. First option was to just replace the laminate with the laminat we picked original, give me money to repair damages to house, and I will not sign any documents. Second was replace laminate with the new pick of laminate and they still give me money to repair my property, and I still do not sign documents. Third was to give me back my old carpet which was in good to excellent shape, and give me full refund, and some money to repair my property, and I will not sign any documents. The fourth was lets go to court and see how a judge likes a company not honoring warranty they claim to support. The date was set up for install and it was January 19th 2012 nobody showed up. By not showing up she has made her statement well known to me, and now to the world where Empire Today stands. Their warranty is nonexistent, and a consumer must go to extreeme measures to get anyone moving in the way so the warranty is upheld.

If the representative of Empire Today dares to write any smart comment to contact her on phone or Email, its pure fraudulent, and I have tried over the past months to get results. It is not working!

I do hope Lawyers are reading these "gripes" if you want work, please contact me. Los Angeles, California area. Looking forward to discussing legal action against Empire today with you.
     
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At Your Service on 2012-01-19:
Interesting read.

You state towards the end of your complaint, "The date was set up for install and it was January 19th 2012 nobody showed up." How was this installation date set. Was this something Empire agreed to and scheduled or was this an ultimatum you placed?

Please keep us updated.
face it on 2012-01-19:
Interesting read indeed,
Without going into a long drawn out explanation of this and that. The basic simple truth is as evident here as ever. And that is that these corporations rely on there advertising to reach people and convince them that this is their best choice. What do you think of that opinion now?
Simply said corporations / organizations like Empire operate as such : sell the customer on an idea. Get as much money out of the customer as possible. Hire less than professional people to do the installation and pay them minimum wage. In a nut shell that's who is behind the barrage of commercials you see. It is not the little smiling cartoon guy you see on the screen, It is the absolute definition of corporate greed at work here folks. They preach customer satisfaction? sure they do. Much the same as a used car salesmen would. There intent has nothing to do with your satisfaction however. You will NEVER find a true seasoned professional installer at an organization like this. Why you ask? they have systematically reduced the profession to those willing to work for pennies. Regardless of what the charge is for the customer, the installation crews make an equivalent of minimum wage. As consumers we need to stand together and boycott places like this. As professionals in this field of work we also need to take a stand and stop letting companies like this run our name and livelihood in the ground! Imagine working a trade for 20-30 years, expecting to make a better living for yourself as you grow in experience, to only be told that you do not deserve to make more than minimum wage. What most people do not realize is that you will actually spend more with a company like Empire than if you hired a private contractor for your project. Does hiring a private contractor insure that you will get the quality job your looking for? If you hire the right one it does! This is unfortunate for this individual as well as countless others out there that get drawn in by the advertising. But until people take a stand and force companies like this to close there doors issues like this will continue to grow.
trmn8r on 2012-01-19:
This is a great advertisement for why not to choose Empire for anything.
ok4now on 2012-01-20:
As soon as I heard "must spend money today or all prices will skyrocket" I would have thrown the salesman out. This is a pressure tactic to get your money. Window Wizzards (now out of business) tried this tactic on me. Big mistake. He instantly lost the sale. Reputable businesses don't have to resort to this. They give you an estimate and will honor the price if you want to do business with them. Stay Away From Empire!!
Venice09 on 2012-01-20:
"But until people take a stand and force companies like this to close there doors issues like this will continue to grow."

Welcome to the Revolution, UnhappyConsumer 242!
dan gordon on 2012-01-20:
I've posted some advice here before as I was in wholesale carpeting and know Empire well. They work on an extremely high markup, there certainly is nothing 'free' no matter what the ad says. Also none of the salespeople are 'employees' just contractors who are trained on an aggressive one stop close. High pressure, high profit, and lousy service. What else would you want'
UnhappyConsumer242 on 2012-01-20:
The 19th was stipulated on the day when the supervisor came out to have us re-select a different material. And it was a supervisor who decided that without a signature on a contract which would stipulate my silence, amongst signing a complaint "that the install was done properly" prior to install. Also to notiy the California State Licensing board that Empire has done its job and things are resolved within 7 days of job completion. Now with this stipulation I would have had to do all this EVEN IF THE JOB was not to my satisfaction. I do not sign things that stomp on my rights, or written in such way that it does not make any sense. Hope that clears up that date that was set at the end of "my gripe"
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NEVER use Empire Today for Carpet, Laminate, Hardwood Flooring
Posted by on
I contracted with Empire Carpet to install carpeting in 4 rooms and a vinyl floor in my kitchen during their "Buy 2 Rooms and Get the rest for free" sale. That was my biggest mistake ever.

I met with the salesman that reviewed my home on a Saturday morning. He was nice. That's the best thing I can say about him (more on him later). I purchased 5 total rooms of flooring that was to be installed the following Tuesday (all carpet) and Friday (vinyl kitchen floor).

Only one person that showed up on the carpeting team spoke English...not good. He promised me when he arrived he would do a professional job in all of the rooms. That pleased me. About 4 hours later, he told me he only had enough carpeting to put in 3 of the 4 bedrooms and that he would have to come out again to finish the job. I told him to either credit me BACK the money I paid that Tuesday morning or bring another role of carpeting to finish the job today. HE SAID HE COULDN'T DO EITHER!!! I quickly got on the phone to my salesman who could make absolutely no decision whatsoever when I explained the situation to him. All my salesman could do is apologize.

Finally, after a couple hours on the phone with the Empire "team"...they agreed to take off $750 my Tuesday bill. I was happy with that at the time (but wait! There will be more on this!) Since I agreed to have the vinyl floor put in on Friday, I stated I wanted the carpeting team there at the exact same time as the vinyl floor people to minimize the time I would be out of work...

The vinyl team showed up Friday morning and finished early Friday afternoon. The carpeting team arrived at 2:00pm Friday afternoon as the vinyl team was leaving. I placed numerous calls to the Empire team...nobody cared. Nobody agreed to do anything. I was out of work another entire day.

The vinyl looks nice in my kitchen...however, I have a sliding door to a bathroom off of my kitchen, and they put a threshold in that blocks the sliding door from opening. I had to schedule a time for the Empire Team to come and fix my sliding door problem.

Also, when they were installing the carpeting in one of the bedrooms, they broke a wood threshold between the carpeting and the hallway. This took 3 (yes, THREE) visits from the Empire team to fix. All of this time I had to miss work.

The lying Empire Today team NEVER gave me a credit for my $750...they only told me they did. Empire Today's management team did not care. They just stated "your work is done, and you've paid your money".

I will never use Empire Today team again. What a worthless outfit. If you enjoy headaches, missing work, getting lied to, and listen to the English speaking Empire employees complain about the company they work for, then by all means...please use Empire Today. Everybody else should stay far, far away.
Company Response 03/23/2011:
Kevin, we’re sorry for the inconveniences you were caused before and after your product’s installation. It’s my understanding you’ve spoken with a member of our Customer Service Team yesterday and that we were able to verify that your credit was processed approximately two weeks ago. It’s my understanding that you’re satisfied at this time, but if there’s anything else we can do for you, please let me know. You can email me at customersupport@empiretoday.com or contact me via phone at 888-588-2315 x 4195. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service



     
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dan gordon on 2011-03-22:
you obviously didn't read any reviews before signing your contract. That's unfortuante. You probably overpaid by several $1000 dollars. Its not unusual to have two different set of installers as its different work. Your salesman can't do much as they aren't employees of Empire today.
Ytropious on 2011-03-22:
True, the salesmen just sells you the carpet, they don't do a whole lot after that. I'm sorry OP, but I think you were being a little little little bit hard with them. You were upset he only had 3 of 4 rooms of carpet. Their trucks can only hold so much carpet. If he had installs before you, he probably doesn't have time to head all the way back to base and restock. I don't know why you find this unacceptable. Also you demanded that the vinyl installers were there the same time as the carpet people. It's hard enough installing one room, but I bet had that gone as planned for you they would have been walking all over each other and it would have been frustrating for everyone. Appointments are hardly an exact science. They don't know exactly how much time it's going to take for a job until they get to it.
ok4now on 2011-03-22:
You now have the dubious distinction of being ripped off by one of the two major home improvement contractors. The other one is Window Wizzards. Don't even get me started with these people. There are numerous negative reviews on this site about Empire. They advertise heavily and dupe unsuspecting customers in. I have never read one favorable review about these toads. Actually you came out better than most people. They did show up as promised and attempted to complete the job. As Ytropious correctly pointed out the trucks can only carry so much. Also to get a quality job done you don't want the carpet installers & the vinyl floor installers at your home both at the same time. What's the rush? Hopefully you put this on your C.C. so you can dispute the $750.00 charge. This is a hard lesson learned. Do Not do business with these people ever again.
face it on 2012-01-19:
Here we go again! I made a mistake signing up to install products for Empire Today. Regardless of what they charge the customer, the installers wages are reduced to minimum wage pay. Companies like this are ruining the market for contractors as well as customers. The Empire shop I did work out of is absolutely the most unorganized outfit I have ever seen. One person tells you one thing, they next tells you something completely different. If I hired a contractor to come into my home I would want to know they had all there credentials (insurance,etc.) but what most people do not realize is that in a situation like Empire The contractor wages are cut to below minimum wage although Empire's typical charges are as high if not higher than most others in this market.
Several times I was put in a bad position because the sales person failed to properly evaluate a job site. Meaning cost to me for labor time,gas,materials,etc. That Empire refuses to reimburse us for. Stating there "policy" does not allow us to be paid for situations where the sales person failed to do a competent job and evaluate the scope of work properly.So basically they have a bunch of "non English speaking" labor, or they have less than professional installers willing to work for pennies! People BEWARE! avoid companies like this! Empire Today, Lumber Liquidators,etc. There position in the market place is solely to make a profit. There is no allowance for the personal service you can only get by hiring a private contractor.
A person could potentially go to work for Empire and spend out more in labor and gas than they would ever make in return for there time.And from the customer side of view? The sales person is the first contact they have with a company like this. And the sales person can and will make promises to sale a job, making it sound as if nothing is impossible. Then when the unskilled labor crew arrives at your home with the wrong material, not enough of it, or some other condition resulting in an unsatisfied customer. So the argument could be that if you hired a private contractor would that solve this issue? It would if you hired the right contractor! And there a lot of us out there they strive to do the best job possible, and there are allot out there who do not. For people to put faith in an organization like Empire is exactly what they hope for. When the truth be known if the customer could see all that goes on behind the scenes they would NEVER want to deal with a place like EMPIRE!!
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Dissatisfaction with Service/Treatment Letter
Posted by on
2918 BRICK CHURCH PIKE, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- ( This is a letter I sent to the company via the email address I was supplied. No other contact information would be given to me.)

I am writing to notify you of how unhappy I am with the service and treatment my husband and I have received. On May 21, we placed an order for new vinyl to be put in our kitchen and laundry room. I paid in full that day for the total cost of the materials and installation order in the amount of $1349.00 We were told that it would all be done and finished in a week. The installation should only take 4-5 hours or so. The installation was scheduled for Tuesday June 1. Our check was cashed a week later.

The installer called about 9am that morning to notify me that he would be at our home soon but needed to stop and Home Depot for supplies. He said to expect him in about 30 minutes. An hour and a half later he called to tell me that he forgot something at the office and had to go back to the warehouse and pick it up. He finally arrived that day around 1pm with another installer. This installer's name was ************** and during his time at our home repeated told us how we didn't need to contact Empire for any other work because he could get us a much better deal through him and the people he works with.

He stapled our floor down along the edges - telling us that that is how you install flooring now because it's the best way ( I don't know . I believed since he was your installer he must know what he was doing.). He and his fellow installer informed me that I could not walk on the floor for at least 24 hours. They even made sure to point out a small area that I could walk but no where else.

The next morning when I could "walk" on the floor is when I noticed the horrible job that was done. The laundry room ( one of the areas I supposedly couldn't even get to in order to look at) was cut 1/2" short of the wall. That was a large star shaped tear alongside the doorway from the laundry room and kitchen where the installer had glued it back. The Staples that he placed in the floor were so far away from the wall that we wouldn't be able to cover with the molding/quarter round. The floor had huge air bubbles in it and anytime I sweep the floor it would roll along with the broom. The vinyl would create waves and rolls when my computer chair was rolled on it as well. I called that very day and filed a complaint ( Ref#1-556817376).

I was told by customer service that they would have to schedule for the "review" installer to come out and determine if "it really needed to be completely replaced or if it can just be repaired". I was told that you only have one person who is qualified to determine these matters and I would have to schedule a time with them. The time was scheduled for him to come out on Tuesday June 8th. We would be his first stop that morning.

June 8th at 9am ( after I called to determine where the installer was) I received a phone call from the installer, who in broken English informed me that he wouldn't be able to be at my house for at least another 2.5 more like 3 hours. I asked why since I had things I needed to take care of. He told me that he had other customers to take care of first and that he wouldn't be there for another 3 hours. I verified with him that he would be there around 11:30am or 12:00pm and he once again repeated that it would probably not be til 12:00pm. I told him that I would run my errands and be back to meet him then. I got home at 11:20am to find a message on my machine. The installer had gotten there at 11:10am and left stating that we had to reschedule. When I called and my husband called we were both told that the installer could not come back out that day. We were told that we should have stayed at the house that it was our job not your company's to arrange our schedule around them. Once again we were told that he was the "only one" qualified to check the floor to see how bad it was --- they would not send a manager or anyone else out.

After called again, my husband took off Friday June 11 to be able to have installer come out to look at the horrible installation that had been done. ( Of course this was a different guy. Not the "only one" installer that I had dealt with on Tuesday.) This installer confirmed the installation was completely unacceptable and arrangements were once again made. Because our family vacation / daughter's National Dance competition was the following week, we scheduled for the replacement installation to be done on Tuesday, June 22. ( The first Tuesday after getting back.)

I received a voicemail message this morning ( June 22) at 8:15am stating that your company couldn't preform the installation today and it would have to be rescheduled again. The vinyl for the order was somehow left off the truck. It was left in the warehouse in Atlanta, GA. When I called back and spoke with ********* in the local office, I asked why it hadn't been shipped before now and held locally for this job. "Well that's not how we do it" was the reply I got. She told me that it was standard policy to order and ship the supplies/merchandise the night before the job. The order should have been placed and shipped into the local warehouse/holding dock to make sure all supplies were ready for the job but when I mentioned this, she once again told me that was not how you handle it.

After crying and letting her know how I was upset because this has been ongoing for a month now, she said she could "put a $100. credit to our bill for the inconvenience". I made sure to let her know that I had already paid in full and the check had been cashed and I still don't have my floor done. She never even acknowledged that she or your company were sorry for all the trouble. When I asked for the address and name of a person to contact, I was given this email and told that I might just have to keep sending emails. I couldn't talk to anyone or get a physical address.

I have since contacted the sales representative who sold us the floor to notify her that I will not be ordering the hardwood flooring that we had discussed and I would never recommend Empire to anyone because of everything we have had to deal with and the way we have been treated.

My washing machine, dryer, and stove are now out on my front porch. My refrigerated, dining room table, boxes of pantry items, and computer file cabinet, computer, etc. are all in my living room. My China cabinet, computer desk and various items are in my garage. I have been living like this for a month now because of these circumstances. I just got back from a weeks vacation and have laundry to do and now I can't even do that today.

I want a FULL REFUND of my money. I don't want to have to deal with any of this or your company anymore. I intend on contacting the Better Business Bureau and filing a formal complaint. I will not be doing any further business nor will I recommend Empire to anyone else because of the way we have been treated.

If you need more details or further information to facilitate the refund of money you can reach us at ********** home # or my husband's cell number of ************. We can also be reached at the following address:
***************
**************
Company Response 06/23/2010:
Thank you for bringing your installation experience to our attention. We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused you. Our customer service team is currently reviewing your concerns, and will continue to be in contact with you
     
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Three Installations Later
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- January 2011, a knowledgeable Empire representative measured my home for carpet. Within one week the newly installed carpet looked older and worn than my previous carpet. I called and my sales rep made a second visit. He agreed that the carpet had to be replaced. I did not have much choice. I am a wheelchair user and truthfully there were two maybe three choices of ugly carpet.

Regretting that I ever purchased Empire carpet I selected the second ugly carpet. The installation job was horrible. My wood was cut – there were so many piece work and the seams were done terribly. Again I called and Empire arranged for my sales rep to be out. Again, he agreed that the job was terrible and damage had been done.

Between the second and third installation I had become gravely ill. I started having strong reservations about a third time and told Empire’s Customer Service Manager Lisa, that I was not sure. By the time I recovered, I thought it best that I try a third time.

One of the reasons that I had initially called Empire is that Empire offered Interest Free for 12 months. Why did I pay $98.00 per month when interest was to be free?
Most important, until an Empire Customer is totally satisfied they are also not to be charged interest. Interest was tacked on to my bill after February 2012. When I spoke to Lisa she explained that the bank is responsible and after the third installation was complete, Empire will notify the bank and the interest calculated will be removed and my interest free for a year would begin.

Guess what? The carpet was installed a third time. I was so excited that it was done with only 2 seams I called immediately to tell Lisa “I am happy.” Unfortunately that was only short-lived. I have three issues with Empire now, which are:
1. The interest was not removed and charges continue to mount. Each time I called Lisa she has never returned my calls. Thus, I am still being charged interest and not given interest free!
2. Although 2 seams are better than a dozen or so during the second installation, there is a big seam a few feet from entering the living room. On the sides close to the wall, the seam looks great but directly in the middle it looks as if I have torn carpet.
3. The carpet does not feel or wear like the previous carpet. Although the third carpet was installed April 3, 2012 it shows all kinds of dirt spots despite it is low pile commercial grade tweed. It seems that the previous carpet installed October 27, 2011 may have been different.

At this point I would love for Empire to take up their carpet, refund my money and we call it a day. I can never replace the plants the second installers placed out on the deck and the sun (in October) burned the plants, as well as the cut wood; the three times it cost me for Personal Assistant overtime; and all the aggravation and work.

Knowing that I don’t stand a chance against a big company I need Empire to explain why:
1. I had to pay $98.* per month during the Interest Free
2. Interest compounded was not removed after the third installation as explained by Customer Service Manager.
3. Interest Free for one year when Customer is totally satisfied with carpet installation

Rather than writing my Empire experience as a complaint, I thought it best to inform. Empire did come back and replace the ugly carpet twice. Most important now, perhaps someone will advise what I can do. I am going to send this information to the Better Business Bureau. I may have also been overcharged on two accounts too (I am paying for an original carpet that had to be removed and the quality of Empire’s pad is poor ---( there was never a price adjustment).
Company Response 6/21/2012:
Marlene, we truly regret the issues that you have experienced post-installation. We understand your frustration and your concerns with your product and financing, and we’re disappointed, as this is not the level of service that we expect for our customers. We will be reaching out to you soon to discuss the current status of your situation. Please contact us with any questions at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email us at customersupport@empiretoday.com. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager

     
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face it on 2012-06-24:
Reporting to the BBB will unfortunately do very little, if anything, in regards to getting you money back. Also contacting the Federal Trade Commission will result in your submitted complaint going into there data base of complaints to be used against a said company if an investigation ever takes place. You might try to contact the Attorney General of your state, all tho I would not consider that alone a fail safe alternative to punitive damages. I might suggest to contact your local news media, as most of them have some sort of trouble shooting department. Which may also bring the actions of empire to the attention of all the viewers in your area.

I am actually surprised that you where able to get Empire out to your home on 3 different occasions. And to have the carpet removed and replaced 3 separate times. To me it sounds as if there should be some sort of law that would work in your favor to that regard. Outside of contacting the various places listed above, it sounds as if your best chance lies with retaining private council(attorney). It sickens me to see Empire (as you stated "you do not stand a chance against a big company")and with the explanation given in your review I would also look at the possibilities that the current carpet you have now will also have similar problems. You might try to find an attorney that does cases based on they only get paid when you win your case, they are hard to find but they are out there. Possible contact a paralegal, a lot of times they are able to help you without the high cost of an attorney.

My best wishes go to you in the hopes that you can recover all lost with your experience with Empire Today.
Alain on 2012-06-24:
Sites: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/index.shtml http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumers.aspx
trmn8r on 2012-06-24:
There are multiple issues going on here that need to be unraveled. The $98 may be the simplest - usually "no interest" promotions come with a monthly payment towards the principal.

The rest of this requires a good customer service rep to straighten out - being charged for possibly two different installations, and the seam that has opened in carpet installed only a few months ago. I doubt you will get a refund or new carpet at this point, but hopefully they can repair it and get your billing corrected, including modifying the date to start charging interest to 10 months from now.
todd69 on 2012-07-22:
I was more shocked that the TV ad shows an A+ BBB rating. What a joke, I do not see how a company with this shoddy of a reputation have an A+ rating. An even better joke is that the company takes enough time to respond to everyone who post a comment.
face it on 2012-07-22:
Todd69,
The BBB has what they call an accredited membership to the BBB. Which simply puts means that any company can pay to have there score higher than they deserve to have. It is also misleading to the public. One would tend to think "They have an A+ rating with the BBB, They must be OK" Win in deed I can assure you they are not "OK". In basic form a company pays for accreditation with the BBB and as long as said company stays within certain "guidelines" (which hardly ever relate to the actual issue) then the BBB will list them as an A or A+ company.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
DON'T DO EMPIRE- THEY ARE AWFUL
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MICHIGAN -- The only thing I can say is, DO NOT USE EMPIRE. We called and had a sales guy sent to the house and needed just a basic Stainmaster carpet for the entire upstairs and the stairs themselves. Even though the estimate seemed a bit high, he was assuring us that this was good carpet. So, we went ahead and purchased the carpet. I asked him why it was so high, he said the order an extra 10% carpet....

So, the carpet gets installed. First off, it took FOREVER! But that was fine as long as it looked good. I left for work and my husband stayed home for the rest of the install. I get home and we were both wondering what the deal was with all the seams all over the hallway, leading into all the bedrooms. The hallway is not that big that it would require so many pieces of carpet. When I called, I asked them to send different installers....
A week goes by.....
The same installers show up. They cut the top of the carpet, try to blend the seems, then ask if I had a little piece of carpet. Confused, I said "no". He argued that they left me a tiny square? Then he says to forget it. So I hear him pulling up the carpet and doing something to it. They leave after telling me that the seems are still there, but should "settle" I just need to vacuum them a lot in all different directions.
My husbands calls a few hours lateer, I explain what happened, he says that they took a huge roll of our carpet with them. It now clicks that they took our carpet and we have all these seems because they are piecing scraps together.
I call empire 4 days ago, no call back.
Today while vaccuming the steps, all the carpet is comoing up, right down to the tack strips. There are chunks of carpet coming out everywhere also.
I call back, again put on hold, and told someone will call me back. At this point I am just hoping they come and take there awful carpet back, and give me my hard earned money back. I am truly hoping that you listen to this post and save yourself your time and money. I am sick to my stomach over this. We saved and waited for 2 years to get carpet.
WHAT A WASTE.
Company Response 5/7/2012:
Bethany, we regret the issues that you’ve been experiencing post-installation, as we always want our customers to enjoy their finished product. We are committed to working with our customers to help resolve whatever problems may arise, so we’re disappointed that you’ve had trouble getting your concerns addressed. Your experience is not what we want to provide to our customers, and we will be reaching out to you soon to work towards a resolution. If you have any questions, please call us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email us at customersupport@empiretoday.com. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
     
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Skye on 2012-05-04:
There have been numerous complaints against Empire Carpets.

Thanks for sharing your experience, and hopefully saving someone else from a major headache.
KevinTX on 2012-05-04:
Yikes, do they have a Facebook page? I would suggest writing your BBB, this sounds like he's taking advantage of customers... and you're right, he's trying to get the most profit out of the job by splicing together scraps they have. did HE SUGGEST the carpet, or was it something YOU chose? Was it high-end? Maybe he only had scraps left due to it being so expensive.
face it on 2012-05-04:
I am sorry you did not see all the negative reviews about Empire before you spent your hard earned money with them. I can tell you form experience that contacting the BBB in regards to an accredited company will do absolutely nothing. The Federal Trade Commission will only take a record of your experience, but actually do nothing to remedy the situation. As far as getting your money returned to you, did you use a credit card? if so CALL IMMEDIATELY to dispute the charges. Or a check Stop payment asap. I am afraid the only other real option is to take them to court. Empire has structured there business, through years of "issues" like you are having, to protect there interest (your money) and they have themselves protected legally. They did not just fall off the turnip truck yesterday, they have been mistreating valid customers in this fashion for years! And somehow they stay in business?
KevinTX on 2012-05-07:
faceit, contacting the BBB will do absolutely nothing? I beg to differ.. that is what they are there for! How do you think the RATINGS change?
Anonymous on 2012-05-07:
I have to disagree. I have had good outcomes before using the BBB.

face it on 2012-05-07:
An accredited business listing with the BBB simply means an a or higher rating. I challenge you to find any company that is accredited with the BBB with lower than an A rating. These companies simply pay there way to higher ratings. On the other hand if a company is NOT accredited you can find some useful information in regards to there customer satisfaction because that these companies have not paid into the BBB. For instance, Look at Lumber Liquidators (every bit as "rotten" as Empire but surprisingly no trace of an unsettled complaint!)
Choose to believe however you wish, I have seen this happen countless times.
trmn8r on 2012-05-07:
It is an important distinction, as face it says, whether a business is accredited or not. Accredited is a fancy way of saying the business caved to being badgered by the BBB to pay a yearly fee (I heard from a businessman that they are ruthless), and they bought a high rating in the process, regardless of complaints. VERY sad, but true.

It sounds like the installers screwed up. A computer program figures out how to do the cuts, and my guess would have been there would not be several seams in one hallway.

When the OP says they took their carpeting away, that should be the remainder of the roll, which I think is standard. They only leave less than full width scraps behind, and the customer doesn't pay for the stuff on the roll hauled away.
jktshff1 on 2012-05-07:
The bad business bureaucracy does nothing more than rip businesses for $$$$ and consers trust. Kind of like the American assoc for ripping off people (AARP)
KevinTX on 2012-05-08:
Well, I have to change my vote then, I found this, which I was NOT AWARE of.. :) so kudos.

The most controversial part of the system is that the only way a business can earn the highest A+ grade is by being a dues-paying member of the BBB, which the organization calls “accreditation.”

Membership, which costs from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, earns a company four points on the 90-point scale, Cox said. “We feel it is important … to recognize BBB accreditation. Companies have agreed to abide by our set of standards.”
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Lies and Defective Flooring from Empire Today LLC
Posted by on
333 NORTHWEST AVE, NORTHLAKE, ILLINOIS -- [snip - no names please] the salesman for Empire Today LLC, made several claims regarding the performance of their laminate flooring. We told him we had dogs; in fact, the dogs were under food. We shared with him our concern about 2 dog-related issues: 1) scratches from the dogs nails, and 2) moisture (if you catch my drift). [snip] said that the laminate flooring was very resistant to scratches and dents. He said the floor would not dent even if we dropped a pot on it. He also said that the boards were tested under water and did not de-laminate. We asked him what we should used to clean the floor and he said that we should go on to Empire’s website.

[snip], also told us the boards were random length and that each board was unique (a different pattern from all the others).

The floor was laid the next day. As the floor was being laid we noticed an oily film on the floor. We asked the installers about this and they said that the film should come up after cleaning. I asked them what we should used to clean the floor and they said just water. The boards were not random length. There were only 5 different boards. The installers laid them so that identical boards were laid next to each other with 8 inch offsets. This gave the floor a bizarre diagonal pattern.

The day after the floor was laid I set out to clean the oil film off the floor, because it looked terrible and left footprints everywhere you walked. I went on Empire’s website to look for cleaning instructions. On the webpage titled “Laminate Flooring – Subhead Maintenance” it advises me to vacuum frequently or to use a dust mop. On the webpage titled “Cleaning” there are no recommendations. Well, I know that vacuuming or dustmoping will not remove an oily film, so I used water. I put tap water in a spray bottle and moped with a microfiber dust mop putting only a minimal amount of water on the floor. It didn’t do any good. The floor still looked terrible and where ever you stepped you left a footprint in the oily film.

In the next few days I tried various things to clean. I thought that may be the fact that our tap water has both chlorine and fluoride in it might have something to do with it, So I cleaned the floor again with filtered water (no chlorine, no fluoride). It still didn’t look any better. So I went online and Googled ways to clean laminate flooring. Several people recommended 1 cup of vinegar in a gallon of water, so I tried that. That didn’t work. Other people recommended equal parts of water, alcohol and vinegar, so I tried that. That didn’t work. To this day I have found nothing that will clean the only film off the floor.

Exactly 5 days and 1 hour after the floor was installed we notice that several boards were starting to bubble up on the edges. The lamination was coming apart. By this time we were quite frustrated with this floor and decided we just didn’t want it.

I called Empire. After a lot of trouble (customer service offers no customer service), I was finally able to speak with [snip], the National Customer Service Manager. I told her my complaints and she said she would send out an independent flooring inspector.

Between that telephone call and the inspection we noticed more boards becoming de-laminated in addition to several dents (we have not dropped anything on the floor). In fact, every week that goes by we find more boards coming delaminated.

The inspector came and did his thing. I asked him how to clean the floor and he said to use a half cup of ammonia to 2 gallons of water. So after he left I tried that solution, but that was the worst of all!

Empire has offered to replace the damaged boards but has offered no assistance or advice on how to clean the oily film off the floor. More boards are becoming delaminated every week. We can not live with a floor that is constantly needing to have boards replaced or a floor that looks terrible because it can’t be cleaned. We believe the floor is doubly defective.

We have filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General and have file a civil lawsuit (small claims) against Empire for the cost of the floor ($5900).

People who were NOT helpful:

[snip - no names please]
Company Response 03/24/2010:
Thank you for bringing your flooring 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.

Sincerely,
Consumer Advocate Team
Empire Today, LLC
     
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dan gordon on 2010-01-29:
have no idea what the oily film is. I was a laminate rep and there is no 'liquid' on any laminate product. I'd worry that installing one day later allowed no time for the boards to acclimate to your house which is a mfctrs requirement. All statements you relayed is bs. Dogs scratch, pee and dent laminate all the time. Your first attempt at cleaning was the correct one. If you get advice off the internet its normally wrong.
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Bad Empire Floor!!
Posted by on
BAYSIDE, NEW YORK -- 1st day:
one guy came to do estimate and said $9400 for about 600 sqt floor. Expensive..but what can I do..signed for paper.

2nd day:
4 guys came around 9am.
A little later, had problem about removing old hard woodfloor b/c I didn't get permission but solved it in 1 hr. Plan: Not remove old one and put new floor above it. now it's $8900...still expensive.. 4 guys went to lunch about 2 hr 30mins. removed some of moldings and old fake laminate. went home about 4pm.

3rd day:
4 guys came. they didn't go for break. Couldn't do more work about 4pm b/c they didn't bring enough moldings. so they did some small work and left about 6pm. OK..I can wait.. Until that time, I was very happy to have new floor with empire.

4th day:
3 guys came and also didn't go for lunch. When I asked something, guy A said they still have lots of details to do. 'OK..then..OK'. I even bought PIZZA for them. They almost finished but they didn't do 'Details'. Some of my walls are broken when they removed moldings and one small molding wasn't nailed which means they didn't do 'DETAILS'. I also see some holes on my walls. They tried to leave those like that but I told guy A to cover the hole. He just did 2 which I pointed at but I found more when they left.

When they removed old moldings, they took out one of outlet line. And guy B tried to tell me 'Be careful with that outlet'. He tried to leave that outlet lying on the floor. It was INSIDE of the wall NOT LYING on the FLOOR. Of course I told him to put it on the wall but lines still stays OUT OF THE WALL.
It looks so ugly. I need to call someone to fix it. And guy C came to us and asked 'what's going on with it?' and the guy B said "Don't speak in English". and they kept talking in Spanish.

They were in a hurry to leave. I also asked to guy A 'Is this how empire working?' but didn't get proper answer for that. He just covered 2 hole that I pointed.

They left. They even avoided eye contact with me last few hours. I found more holes and broken wall and details are very very ugly.

If anybody wants to do the New floor, Don't call empire. If you don't have any choice except empire, and if you are woman and not American, call someone who is American and if possible call MALE person. They wouldn't do work like they did to me. I'm very sorry I couldn't show the pictures I took after they left.

Oh, I almost forgot. I needed to make emergency call to sales person who came the 1st day to estimate. It was about 6pm but I'm pretty sure it was before 6pm.
He picked it up and said 'hello hello' and hang up. I called again of course and he turned his cell phone off. I called few times more but it didn't go through.
He set up his cell phone that wouldn't let me leave a message. No wonder, he didn't call me back next day.

Is this how empire working with people? I will never work with them again and
I wouldn't let people who I know work with them either.
     
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Connoisseur on 2010-04-19:
I also had my flooring done by Empire. BIG MISTAKE. They are more expensive than most. Yes, they wanted to remove all of my flooring for an extra $1,200. I said NO!.
Here's where WE ALL MAKE A MISTAKE if we hire Empire. THEY HAVE NOTHING BUT ILLEGALS COMING TO YOUR HOUSE TO DO THE WORK. NONE OF THEM SPEAK ENGLISH SO YOU CANNOT CONSULT WITH THEM AS TO HOW YOU WANT THINGS DONE.

NEVER HIRE ANYONE THAT DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH.

All those guys that came to my house were Mexicans. When I took out the camera to take pictures of the "Before" picture............they all ran out of the house!!!! Did any of these illegals go to trade school? are any of them insured?

Empire is a "Laborer Exploiter." They pick these illegals up on the street and send them to your house. You have no way of knowing if these people were just let out of jail. YOU DO KNOW that NONE of them went to trade school!!!
In my case they took the doors off to the closets and did not put them back right. They ripped up and threw out a perfectly good 5x3 throw rug out. To make matters worse Empire charged me $250 for furniture removal, when in fact there was no furniture to remove.
Empire was a two year nightmare of hassle with GE Money Credit card(that is how I paid for it)consumer complaint.

STAY CLEAR OF EMPIRE CARPETS....IT IS A CLIP JOINT!!!!
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Didn't Offer Service As Advertised
Posted by on
MIDDLETOWN, PENNSYLVANIA -- I was doing research on have a few floors in my home redone with laminate flooring. After deciding not to take on the project myself I got a few quotes on having the work done for me. I did got a few from local companies and decided to check out Empire since they advertised the lowest price around and next day installation.

First of all it is a very high pressure salesman who comes to your door. They will spend the first half hour making small talk and trying to charm you. Then after lots of wasted time they will try to give you a quote. Our initial price was $5900.00 but they were running a %30 off sale so he recalculated and said the price was now $4700.00. As I said I had done some homework and new that he was more than double prices else where. They try to tell you it is so much more because the competitors will all hit you with hidden fees, and their product is superior. After asking him to leave he gave me the "I really like you sales pitch" he said he needed to call his manager to see if he could give me his employee discount.

Anyway after all his games we negotiated a price of just over $2100.00. This was still a little high but my wife was very excited about having it done the next day so we figured we were paying for that service.

The next day arrives and so do the installers. They are both very nice but say that the salesman didn't give them the proper SF so they don't have enough product to do the job. So now I have a kitchen and dining room and main floor hallway that are a complete mess. Oh yes and to get the 2100.00 I had to remove the carpet and pad myself before they arrived. So now they can't do the job and will need to return tomorrow. I complained to him and he said it happens quit often with this salesman.

I also looked at the product and noticed it was not the same as the sample shown to me. I talked to "Steve" some kind of manager and he assured me it was. It is not, the installer told me that just about everyone complains that the thickness in the product being installed is not what they were shown. Trust me it is not so do not listen to the speech of a thicker superior product. It is not and they will not do anything for you. The installer also asked what warranty I was offered. Most of the installed product because they are thinner do not have the same warranty as the thicker stuff they show you.

Bottom line, stick with the locals who pride themselves in the business and their reputations. Empire is only a high pressure sales type company who only want to close the sale. They will not give you what they offer in their attempts to make the sale. And they will not back up their products.
     
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dan gordon on 2008-11-18:
I can tell you from someone who spent 23 yrs as a flooring mfctrs rep, you need to acclimate wood or laminate to the jobsite. It needs to sit in your home for a day or two to equalize the moisture content to the job site. Pulling product in that may have sat in a warehouse and immediately install is asking for a claim. I see Empire ads all the time and don't see why people fall for it. Its a good thing you had done some quotes ahead of time.
woodsk1 on 2008-11-18:
My dog cries every time that commercial comes on- The high pitch tones gets to him.. The product need to acclimate to the room before installation, so have only begun your dealings with them........
cherpep on 2008-11-18:
Good information. Thanks!
Anonymous on 2010-03-31:
I don't believe that they told you, you had to remove your old carpet before they could lay down the new. We had Empire Today install flooring and carpet and we didn't have to remove anything. They even removed the furniture.
melodique on 2010-07-28:
I've used Empire a couple of times. Yes, they will remove your old flooring and move the furniture - for a fee, which is included in the quoted price. However, they will knock money off the price if you remove the flooring.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
The Sales Pitch
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Saw the catchy TV ad. Called to schedule free appointment. Appointment was set, then they inquired if all the decision makers could be at the appointment because they will be unable to leave any samples. Told them my wife would be there. At the appointment, they quoted three choices ( that must have been all they had).

They measured the rooms and stairways and quoted enough sqft to allow for over 20% scrap. I know because I measured precisely. They included 400 square feet for two carpeted stairways. By my measurement, the finished product on the stairs would have been 165 sqft of carpeted surface. That comes out to 235 sqft wasted, over 100% scrap on the stairs. That's the best their installers can do??

The sales representative left without an signed agreement. I called the Cust Svc number. I requested a copy of the contract that they prepared at the estimate. I requested the manufacturer name for the selected carpet style. I requested What is the carpet made of? I requested the Face Weight. I requested a copy of the manufacturer warranty and installation warranty. Guess what! That information cannot be presented in writing prior to completion of the installation and the Sales Rep should have discussed all of that at the estimate. I cannot see the contract unless I sign it first and wait for installation before I can have a copy. Customer Svc can only provide the name of the Manufacturer (Mohawk). Any further information would have to come from he Sales Rep who does not return my calls. Well, this was the first company we approached for an estimate. We have seen enough to smell a rat. All I can say is Do they Really think they can sell me a "pig in a poke"? Ok the pig phrase is not a joke, Just go ask your oldest acquaintance what it means.
Company Response :
Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. We never want our customers to be disappointed in our service, and we’d be happy to answer your questions about our products and warranties. Unfortunately, we cannot locate your account with the information in your post. Please call us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email your contact information to customersupport@empiretoday.com, and we will follow up with you to learn more about the situation. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
     
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Worst Experience
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIFORNIA -- Regretfully the reviews I had seen before hiring Empire Carpet were ones posted by their own company.
The sales person that came out was nice and made the sale quickly- After that it became the worst experience ever. We had scheduled carpet to be laid for our office on a Friday first thing. We were told they would be there between 8-9. about 10 a crew showed up, unprepared w/o dolly and not enough crew to do the job, they said. After we had put everything up and moved furniture, they said they would have their contractor send someone on Saturday, as we were open for business on Monday. The contractor called us and assured us someone would be there lst thing in the morning. At 12:00 noon Saturday a new crew came with the wrong stuff and no dolly, and were very defensive and angry. We would have cancelled the whole thing at that point, but we had just spent all of Friday getting it ready - so long story short- they did not get done until Sunday late. We ended up having to put everything back in place to be ready for business on Monday. We asked them to leave a couple of the large scraps. They ended up taking them saying they will bind them for us- but never did. We had paid in full on Saturday, and needed a receipt and release to give to the landlord- Called the contractor- who responded angrily that I had his phone number. Still have not received the release. Called sales person. Called main office. Asked about carpet piece- they said they do not leave scrap pieces, because according to their policy and purchase we do not buy the scraps. Asked about the release, they said it has to go to the main office in Chicago or somewhere. We have never had such a bad experience.
Everyone is rude. Even though I was very nice on the phone, everyone is defensive and say that someone else has to take care of it. That they cannot help company pollicy. I would hope to spare someone else from this experience. They are too big to care and do not communicate.
On the other hand, we had painting done the next weekend and it was a wonderful experience. We are people that are easily satisfied, but I did not do my homework and should have checked reviews with my3cents.
Company Response 6/13/2012:
Joanne, we’ve read your review and we’re disappointed about the experience that you’ve had thus far. We regret any inconvenience that resulted from the delay in installation, as we know that your time is valuable. We make customer concerns a top priority, and the lack of follow up that you’ve received is not in line with the level of service that we expect for our customers. A member of our customer service team will be reaching out to you soon to discuss your concerns and work towards a resolution. If you have any questions, please call us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email us at customersupport@empiretoday.com. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager

     
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face it on 2012-06-15:
Due to Empires lowest in the market pay scale they struggle to find contractors. They literally change contractors daily. They charge as much and often times more than a reputable local store, but they pay their contractors the lowest I've ever heard of. Simply said they can not offer quality installation due to there corrupt nature. The person/contractor doing the installation for a company is a representation of the company you are dealing with. Private market stores offer a more attractive pay scale for installers (usually) and there for you have a better class of installer. When you are only paid pennies for you time and efforts the "want" to do the best job, just isn't there. Regardless of what some sales person and/or commercial leads you to believe.
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