SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- Contact Empire and they had a sales representative out the next day (Saturday). He arrived on time, was polite, took measurements, selected the laminate floor, and received a price quote within two hours. Received a call the following Monday from Empire asking if I wanted to go ahead and have a financing representative drop by to finalize and schedule installation.
When he came, I began to get that uneasy feeling when he said he needed to take measurements, and then I could pick out the flooring. Wait! I just spent two hours on Saturday doing this part. When I voiced concern, he told me there would not be any more hiccups, and even discounted the final price a bit. Feeling a bit better. He advised that installation would begin on Thursday and last through Saturday. I let him know I had a medical appointment Friday afternoon that could not be rescheduled, and the installation crew would need to accommodate. He let me know it was not an issue, and to tell the lead on the installation crew when they arrived.
Thursday came, the crew was on-time, and things seemed to be going very well. I let the lead know that Friday I had an appointment and they would need to break off two hours early. His response to me was that he comes in from Austin, does not work on Saturday, and would like to stay and work while I was at my appointment. What? First, I was told work was Thursday through Saturday. Second, stay and work in the home without me there? Don't think so. I let him know I would do what I could, but the appointment could not be rescheduled.
Friday came, and progress on the floor was good. Until I reminded him of the appointment. Once I did, he said he needed to get the job finished that day, and needed to stay in the home whilst I was away. I then made it clear that I was not going to allow that, and that they needed to finish on Saturday. To which he responded again that he comes in from Austin, and needed to finish today. If not, he would have to come back Monday. So, I told him, Monday it is.
During the weekend I had time to evaluate the work being done, and was beginning to find small things I was not happy about. But, I held off until the work was done on Monday came and the work was supposedly completed. During my walkthrough I found many issues. First, they had to cut the front portion of each step to make the square. They were originally rounded off, which created an issue with laying the laminate flat. Understandable… However while cutting, the workers tore into my banister with their saw, chewing up the wood. When I brought it to the leads attention, his response was, “I did my best.” What???
Next, the reduction of the stair size left a hole in the wall between the stair and the molding. The lead told me he was not responsible for fixing or repairing that because it is part of the original stairs. What the…? You cut my stairs to accommodate the laminate, leaving a gaping hole!!! The final straw was finding a two-and-a-half foot scratch deep into the laminate in the master bedroom. The lead said he had no more materials, and would fix after he ordered more at a later date.
Needless to say, I did not sign the final paperwork. I then called the main office and the lady who answered said she would contact the installation manager. I asked if she could have him call me because I had pictures and wanted to explain. To which she replied, “No. He will call the crew.” Really??? I'm the one who is having a not-so-good experience here. Not the crew. Needless to say, I have not received a call back from anyone. The lead seemed to want to appease me, but I'm not happy at all. Posting images to show that lousy work.
I have to say, the turn-around time once I posted this issue was outstanding. My hat is off to Rex and Billy for stepping in and ensuring my issues were being attended to. The crew arrived shortly after Billy showed up, and an offer was made to make recompense for the damaged banister. I will revisit and post an update once this has been finalized.
Hi Gerard, thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. We understand that we've been in contact with you about this issue and that the repairs have been completed. Please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com with any additional questions or concerns. Thank you. Bill Allivato, National Customer Service Manager
NASHVILLE,TN -- My wife and I are currently dealing with Empire. It is slowly turning into a nightmare. We did our due diligence and had three estimates done for flooring. My wife at the time of the estimates was eight months pregnant. The sales representative from Empire came out. He was a pretty nice guy. Did his song and dance and we told him our problems. We needed carpet in two bedrooms and laminate in our kitchen and living room. The problem is our living room is not level and is off as much as an inch in some areas, we told our representative that and he was completely aware of the problem. He sold us what I will assume is good carpet and a nice laminate.
Fast forward two weeks to install. The carpet was to be installed Tuesday and the laminate on Thursday. Empire called to confirm our appointment on Tuesday only to cancel it the day of install and they want to come Wednesday. Great, we had set up all of our dr. appointments for Wednesday so now we are scrambling to figure out what to do.
I called customer service and stayed on hold well over an hour and only made headway when I mentioned they had breached their own contract by not installing when they said they would. They ended up giving us a discount that covered my day's wages as that is what I would lose if I had to stay home for them. The install crew was awesome! Very courteous and quick. The carpet looks great. You have to remember they are contractors not really part of the company.
Now for the laminate. Install was supposed to be there between 8-10. They didn't show up until 4:30, as if they were going to get anything done. Then the install leader tells my wife he can't install the type of laminate we selected that it will crack because of the uneven floors.
Wait a minute??? That's what we told the rep? Then our installer tells us of a cheaper material that could be used LPV. He calls the install manager who has someone bring out a book of choices for us and they say "if you pick one today we may be able to install on Saturday." My wife picked one out and that was the last we heard from anyone for two days. No one would answer their phones. I called customer service and they couldn't reach anyone as well. Now I'm getting mad. They have a $900 deposit for a floor that salesman sold me that won't work. Now I feel like I've been had.
Yesterday sales representative calls and says he will be out tomorrow to see what we can do. My wife is now almost due and we were ensured this would be done within two weeks let alone a month. Today my wife got three call attempting to confirm Monday as an install day. To install what??? We haven't picked anything new out? I'm wondering if they are just going to send out another install team that doesn't care to attempt to install. I guess I will find out if the sales representative shows up tomorrow.
At this point Empire has violated their own contract and it's getting old. Their customer service is the absolute worst I have ever dealt with. I should have known something was up when there was only one number you can call. And they will never transfer you to a supervisor. Bad business if you ask me. I have never treated a customer the way they have treated me and my wife. I will keep this thread updated as things go along.
BONAIRE, GEORGIA -- First I would like to say I had never purchased carpet before and there were subtle signs that really let me know I should go elsewhere, but I ignored them. A relative of a friend had a good experience and I based my decision on that and the $99 room sale. I wish I had come across these comments and reviews before setting up a FREE CONSULTATION. But I was truly just ready to get the simple, small, project over and done with. Please... FOLLOW YOUR GUT INSTINCTS AT ALL TIMES and continue READING THIS REVIEW!!!
My first appointment was scheduled for January 2, 2015 which was great because I was off. About an hour before the time frame that someone was supposed to show up, the salesperson, **, calls, explains he's out of town on vacation and Empire must've made a mistake scheduling me on that day. He asked if it was possible that he could come Monday. I agreed because I happened to be off that day as well. He said he would call around noon Monday January 5, 2015. I received no call at all.
I called Empire and explained the entire situation and the cust svc representative just scheduled me for another appointment on January 12, 2015. No apology for the current inconvenience. Ok fine. I need to get an estimate to see what I am working with so I agree to the January 12th appointment. Now I had a whole week to mull this over and check online, but life got in the way and next thing I knew January 12th was here.
On January 12, 2015, ** (yes same salesperson!) shows up on time. Makes no mention of standing me up previously. How do I know it was the same salesperson? I kept the number he called from to cancel the first appoint and it was the same number he called from on the 12th and it was on his business card. But I am just ready to find out how much it's going to cost me. Now keep in mind I've never purchased carpet before so I am admitting I was clueless. But this $99 room sale sounds amazing and even with the added cost of the product it can't be that bad.
PROJECT: Replacing only the carpet in 1 small bedroom with dimensions of 10x11 with a carpet as similar as possible. The salesman gave his whole spiel, history of the company, etc. I know he must do this, but I also know I am only getting this one room done so it's no big deal. I look at the samples, pick the carpet. He measured the room and never told me what he came up with. So now I'm saying to myself ok that's a little weird. He starts telling me about all these discounts I am eligible for, etc.
Now he's talking my language. He breaks out a calculator and starts computing figures behind his briefcase so that I cannot see what he is doing. But I can hear him banging on the calculator like crazy. If you've ever seen the scene of Tyler Perry's Diary of a mad Black Woman where Madea is in the kitchen adding on a calculator, that is the same exact thing ** was doing, but he wasn't talking, just calculating. Right then I was thinking this is going to be really good or really bad.
It was really bad. I was told padding is included in the price and that's just how Empire does it so I couldn't get carpet only. The least expensive carpet quote was $614.27. And the rest went up from there increasing in $100-$150 increments. And they were all just flat numbers. Not a breakdown of what exactly I would be paying for and what discounts I was getting.
Should've said NO THANKS right then and there, but I really wanted this job done. He told me he could have one of his 20 crews back over here tomorrow and have the job done in an hour or so. I said ok, at least I wouldn't have to wait any longer. He pulled up the contract on his tablet and said I would get a copy overnight, I just had to sign some areas. Then he said he would need my credit card info or check to secure the appointment. He stressed that no one would get paid until the work was done and that I signed a certificate of satisfactory completion and gave it to the installer. That is how they get paid.
So I said ok, it made sense to me. I made sure I saw that in the contract as well as my right to cancel and signed the contract. All this took place over the course of 40 minutes. After ** left I spent 2 hours trying to comprehend how $99 plus cost of carpet turned into $614.27. I got online and came across this site and spent over an hour reading all of the horrible reviews. My heart sank. I had made a huge mistake. I had to cancel.
I called Empire Today the same night, about 4 hours after my free consultation and explained that I needed to cancel immediately. Please do not send any installers. The CSR told me the department that cancels installs is closed, but my cancellation is processed and they will just review it to make sure I get refunded. Refunded? I haven't had anything done to get refunded!! The CSR says my account shows a payment via credit card for $614.27 paid in full.
Now I am furious, but I am thinking it must be an error. ** said they don't get paid until the job is complete and I sign that certificate. When I got off the phone, I checked with my bank and sure enough, there was a pending transaction against my checking account for that $614.27.
The very next morning on January 13th I call Empire back to confirm my cancellation and make sure my money is being refunded. I spoke with a CSR who asked why I was canceling and I told her I found someone to do it for less (I had not, but I didn't want to go through a whole song and dance). She asked for how much and I told her it was only 1 room and I found someone to do it for half the price they were charging me. This CSR tells me my business is appreciated and she sees some rebates that I am eligible for which would knock my price down considerably. It wouldn't be as low as half, but they really want to do business with me. WHAT?!! Are you kidding me?!!
I told her I would have to decline because even with the rebates, it doesn't take away the fact that money was charged immediately for services that were not completed and I am not happy with that. She reviews my account and told me she saw where there was a deposit charged. I told her that nothing was mentioned about a deposit and I would not have agreed to a deposit that was the full cost of the project. She said she wasn't there so she cannot say what was agreed to, but don't worry I would receive my complete refund in 3-5 business days.
Yes you read correctly. The same money they took immediately as a "deposit" now cannot be refunded for 3-5 business days. I am livid! I am mad at myself, Empire, **, the whole situation!!! She told me that because I used a credit card I would receive a refund much faster than if I had wrote a check which could take up to 15 days. Her final question was if there was anything else she could do to help me. My response was "Unless you can immediately refund my money the same way you took it, then no there really isn't any other way you can help me."
Is this situation over? No. I am so paranoid and skeptical because of what I read I call Empire back on January 14th, the day after I confirmed my cancellation, to make sure it was truly canceled and the refund was processed. That CSR is showing the cancellation, the cancellation number and tells me it will be refunded in 7-10 business days. Excuse me!!! What happened to the 3-5 business days from yesterday? This CSR is sticking to her script and tells me it will be 7-10 business days and this is the credit institutions policy. The refund will be deposited as soon as they can do it. Ok is it 3-5 business days, 7-10 business days or as soon as you can do it?!!
I hang up feeling dumb and defeated. I should've known better. Empire immediately sent emails confirming my free estimate consultation and my installation. But when I canceled, I received a cancellation number and no email to verify it. If it sounds too good to be true, many times it is. This story does end well though. I ended up asking another friend for a carpet install referral. I explained the Empire catastrophe and he introduced me to a local guy who came and assessed the situation. I bought some carpet from Lowe's for $150 (I had to get a 10x15 piece for the style I wanted).
This local guy picked up the carpet and installed it. My all inclusive (carpet, install and tip) price was $260. I felt relieved and it took the edge off of having to wait to get my money back from Empire for work that was never done. Imagine looking at a room with jacked up carpet after $614.27 has been taken from your checking account. Not a good feeling.
Empire returned my money to my checking account on January 21, 2015. Technically that was 4 business days after I canceled (the 19th was a holiday). But it felt like an eternity since it was 9 days from the date of my FREE consultation. Please beware of the $99/room sale. Especially if you are doing your whole house!!
Attached are before and after pics of the bedroom that needed the carpet replaced. I just want you to see that paying a total of $260 for new carpet and installation does not mean the work is shoddy at all. I am extremely pleased now that Empire is out of the picture!!! NO THANKS to Empire Today.
Hi LaToria, we appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with us, and we regret that you did not enjoy your experience. We understand that we've been in contact with you and that you have already purchased elsewhere. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
VISTA, CALIFORNIA -- Their salesmen are slick, promise high quality, etc. etc. etc., for discount prices. We agreed to a contract with Empire Carpet in Vista, CA to install wood veneer flooring and carpeting in several rooms. All in all, the installers were on time and generally professional. They did the wood flooring first. It was a challenging job with adjacent stone tile steps/flooring (sunken living room) which doesn't exactly lend itself to the wood veneer trim straight lines. There were some floor cables in one room that required some extra work to hide and they did this. That's the good.
The bad: Nearly all the veneer to stone transition pieces, mostly quarter round, were conspicuously uneven against the stone tiles. There was a brick fireplace in the living room, surrounded by flat transition pieces, with conspicuous gaps between the brick and veneer transitions. This was done with a premium on speed rather than quality.
Fortunately, we had them leave enough surplus planks and trim so that I could go back and redo most all the transitions properly. I used an angle grinder with a sandpaper disk to "level" the stone at the transition joints. I had to COMPLETELY redo the fireplace transition as it was inadequate. There is one area in the living room with 3 adjacent, identical veneer planks - a no no when installing veneer.
Now to the carpet. They installed carpeting in 3 rooms, promising it to be stain free, durable, easy clean, pet proof, et al. It has been none of that. In the 5 months since installation, the carpet in the most used room (library area) has serious stains (which don't clean up), obvious carpet tracks, and an area where the carpet underlay has apparently failed causing a flattening of the carpet in this area.
My wife has been on the phone with Empire Carpet over a dozen times regarding the carpet deficiencies. They have sent two representatives to "inspect/take pictures" and now have apparently contacted the carpeting manufacturer to arrange for a "3rd party inspection". Her interaction with Empire representatives varies from "everyone is gone for the day, we'll have someone call you (not)" to reasonable customer service reps. We're now awaiting the 3rd party rep.
We regret to hear about your experience. We assure you that concerns are important to us, and we want to help. Unfortunately, we are unable to locate your account with the information provided. Please email your concerns along with your contact and account information to email@example.com so that we can further assist, and mention my3cents in the subject line.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE -- I was comparing prices for my project and the only reason I hired Empire Today is because the sales representative assured me that if anything goes wrong Empire will make sure that they FIX it. Even if it is a wood color that I didn't like. I had my floor installed a couple of months back. I was told that they only work weekdays and the project will take 6-7 hours.
The installers didn't show up until 10:30 am. They didn't finish the work and started packing up without even telling me that they are leaving at 4 pm. When I asked they said they will come back tomorrow, like I DO NOT HAVE A JOB??? They were supposed to show up at 8 am the next day and I got a call at 6:45 am that "HE" is standing outside my door. I told him that his appointment was at 8 am and he didn't respond. Two other installers showed up later and they were just rushing to "FINISH" the job. When I did the inspection I told them that the installation is not right and the quarter rounds have nails visible. They said "this is the best they can do".
I called the sales representative and he assured me that it will be taken care of. Another day, another appointment and the installer comes in to inspect the floor and realized it is not glued properly, it creaks when you walk on it. He said he will need to order more wood and needs to schedule another day for installation. He scheduled a Sunday on a long weekend since he can not work on Saturdays. We didn't make any plans for the weekend since we had this appointment and sent a text to my sales guy to confirm the appointment on Friday evening. I was told that my appointment is on Saturday - SURPRISE!!!
I got a call from Empire today on Saturday morning at 8 am that the installer had a family emergency and they will need to reschedule. I told her that my original appointment was on Sunday and she said that she will call the installer and call me right back to confirm. Have not heard back from her yet -- been a week already.
I wish I would have read reviews online before trusting them. This 6-7 hours job has tuned into few months and I am still waiting for a resolution. Take my advice do not hire them. Just go to Lowe's or Home Depot. At least they stand behind their work. I have hired them for other projects in past and never had an issue.
UPDATE - June 17, 2016
I had someone contact me from customer service after I wrote my review. They scheduled an appointment to fix the installation issue on June 17, 2016 (two weeks from the day we got a call from customer service). I asked them for a Sunday appointment and they insisted that I make an appointment on Saturday so they can track if someone doesn't show up. I agreed to the appointment and was hoping to have this resolved. I got a text from my sales person on June 15, 2016 begging me to change my appointment to Sunday so the installer who was scheduled last time can come to fix the issue. I told him that Empire customer service specifically told me not to schedule Sunday so they can track the progress. He kept on insisting to move my appointment to Sunday and I stopped responding. On June 16th around 11 am I got a call from the local empire office just telling me that my appointment for June 17th has been cancelled and an installer will be at our house on Sunday. I called the local office back and told them that they can't keep on cancelling my appointments like this and the guy who was talking to me said "this is the only day the installer who is qualified to fix your floor can work". I told him that they have done this to me on numerous occasions and I am tired of wasting my time like this. Besides I made plans for Sunday since my appointment was on Saturday, and your customer service specifically told me not to schedule Sunday. He said that customer service and the people talking to me have no idea what is going on and I should listen to him.
At this point I am sick and tired of dealing with Empire and I just want a refund. The wood was never installed right to begin with and now I have to hire someone to take it out and reinstall.
CHICAGO -- A customer can sign an order on the sales rep's tablet but try to cancel and one is forced to use USPS (never by fax number or email) and such written notice MUST be received within 3 business days of the rep's visit! One look at Empire's cancellation policy, one can clearly see why it's best NOT to do business with Empire Carpet. If you ignore this warning, DO NOT sign nor pay a deposit, unless you're 100% certain of your order.
As of 2016-JUNE: "Late Cancellation: I understand that I have 3 business days to cancel this agreement, as described on the Notice of Right to Cancel. I understand that if I want to cancel this agreement after those 3 days, Empire does not have to allow that. If Empire does allow that, however, I agree I will pay to Empire a late cancellation fee of 15% or as otherwise allowed by applicable law, of the agreement's purchase price. However, if I have placed a special order with Empire, Empire will have incurred extra costs in preparing and beginning processing of such special order.
Therefore, I understand that if I want to cancel a special order after those three days, and Empire does let me cancel the special order, I will have to pay to Empire a special order late cancellation fee of 15% or as otherwise allowed by applicable law, of the agreement's purchase price for special order carpet/flooring and 33% or as otherwise allowed by applicable law, for special order window treatments. I also agree that if I do not pay Empire any of the money owed when it is due, I can be charged a late fee of 1.5% or as otherwise allowed by applicable law, on the amount owed for each month the money is owed and not paid.
I also agree that if my payment is returned unpaid by my financial institution, I authorize the electronic debit or use of a bank draft from my account in the amount of the payment plus a service charge of $25, or the maximum allowed by law. I also agree that if I default on my promises under this agreement, and Empire hires an attorney to enforce this agreement, that I will pay Empire its reasonable legal fees and related costs or expenses, as long as it is legal for me to do that."
ROWLETT, TEXAS -- I cannot recommend Empire Today Flooring to anyone. We had a number of problems with this company. The salesperson told us all we had to do was to pack up everything on our shelves etc. and the installers would move those along with the furniture. When the installers came they said "oh, we don't do that."
I gave them my husband's phone number since he would be home not me but they called me over and over despite repeatedly telling them to call him. One customer service person actually said "oh, we have that number, I guess no one is reading." Customer service people who don't read, nice.
We had both flooring and carpet installed. The flooring people were supposed to come at 10am but did not show up until 2pm and did not call. They were there till after 11pm. I worked all day and then came home to ½ finished flooring and nowhere to put everything from other rooms that were to be carpeted. The next day, we ended up having to put everything on the porches and rain was coming. We had to buy tarps to cover everything.
The flooring people brought white quarter round trim to put on brown flooring against wood walls. The salesman said nothing about choosing quarter round. The next day the carpet installers come and don't have enough carpet to do the job.
I call customer service and after a big hassle get a supervisor who tells me they have had problems with that particular salesman in the past. Nice. I tell her my complaints and she says "ok we'll get that carpet in on Monday." I say "NO my stuff is on the porch and it's going to rain." She says "ok we can do it SAT, the next day." "No I'm sorry. What can we do to make this right." I end up having to ask for a discount.
She agrees to 10% which of course did not show up on my first bill. Just 10% of the carpeting not the whole job. I am still trying to get the rest of that discount. They won't give me a number to connect with the supervisor directly. When the carpets came there were only of them and a supervisor who was there intermittently. It took forever. They ended up coming back on Sunday to finish up. It took 3 days for what was supposed to be a one day job. The floors and carpet looks nice and the installers did a good job and worked hard but there were not enough of them.
CAMERON, NORTH CAROLINA -- Empire Today is trying to have me pay for their mistakes. I had no idea my carpet was installed wrong until I paid for Empire to send out some guys to fix a few things. Now I find out that bad install has void the warranty on the carpet and padding. They keep telling me it's my fault because I did not call within the year. I did not like how these guys had installed the carpet. When I told them that and they told me that's how it has to be. I am not the kind of person who will tell a tradesman he doesn't know what he's doing. I believed Empire had hired competent workers. This company has continually blamed me for the issues with my carpet and padding.
They continue to try to make me pay for their bad install. I have been talked in circles, by the customer service team who assures me that I just need to pay for it and start over. Also I was told that the warranty was prorated that's how they came up with the 1,000$ price. My carpet is four years old. We paid 2,100$ for three rooms four years ago and that's prorated? There is a twenty-year warranty on these products. I am not to blame for the install or the defective padding. They are using my circumstances against me. I didn't call Empire until recently because my husband, a US soldier, was sick and needed my full attention, and in that time I have had to put him to rest.
Yes life got in the way and Empire is heartless enough to try and pin their employee's fault on me. I am being taken advantage of. I am a retired veteran's widow living on a small military pension. I do not have my husband to support me with the stress or the responsibility this company has put upon me. I feel they are taking advantage of me and my situation.
Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. We understand that we've been in contact with you and agreed upon a resolution. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any additional questions or concerns. Thank you. Bill Allivato, National Customer Service Manager
SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK -- We had almost our entire house replaced with new carpet and laminate flooring in December 2015. Only one month after installation, the entire upstairs carpet started falling apart and the laminate floor in the dining room broke apart. It took several months for Empire to respond to our situation. After 8 months of poor communication, Empire would not honor a half refund for flooring that has a 10 year warranty.
To this day Empire insists on replacing the defective carpet. With the very poor communication and lack of understanding by Empire Today, the last thing we want is another round of carpet and flooring with them. It is very sad that a 10 year warranty carpet can fall apart after only one month and Empire Today refuses to consider half a refund.
Thank you for making us aware of this situation. We never want our customers to be disappointed in the quality of our products, and will follow up with you shortly to discuss your concerns.
BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE -- Had an Empire sales representative come out to house to quote carpet installation. Ended up signing a contract to have installed in 3 weeks. Customer service called the week before to confirm our appointment. We moved everything out of our kids' rooms along with the office.
Morning of installation we receive a call that says they are short installers and cannot make it out for another 3 weeks. Told them how unacceptable and unprofessional this was and they needed to have someone out within 3 days because our house is going on the market the following week, not to mention we rearranged our schedules to be off work and board our dog. They said they couldn't and we would have to take the appointment that was in 3 weeks or they couldn't come until November. This is a terrible company to do business with and would never recommend them to anyone.
We regret to hear that you were inconvenienced by a delay in your installation. We assure you that concerns are important to us, and we want to help. Unfortunately, we are unable to locate your account with the information provided. Please email your concerns along with your contact and account information to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can further assist, and mention my3cents in the subject line.