333 NORTHWEST AVE, NORTHLAKE, ILLINOIS -- 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). ** 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.
**, 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 dust mopping will not remove an oily film, so I used water. I put tap water in a spray bottle and mopped 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 wherever 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 **, 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 cannot 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).
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.
Consumer Advocate Team
Empire Today, LLC
BAYSIDE, NEW YORK -- 1st day: One guy came to do estimate and said $9400 for about 600 sq ft floor. Expensive.. but what can I do.. signed for paper. 2nd day: 4 guys came around 9 am. A little later, had problem about removing old hard wood floor 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 4 pm.
3rd day: 4 guys came. They didn't go for break. Couldn't do more work about 4 pm b/c they didn't bring enough moldings. So they did some small work and left about 6 pm. 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 6 pm but I'm pretty sure it was before 6 pm. 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.
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
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 sq ft 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 sq ft of carpeted surface. That comes out to 235 sq ft wasted, over 100% scrap on the stairs. That's the best their installers can do??
The sales representative left without a 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 the 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.
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 email@example.com, and we will follow up with you to learn more about the situation. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager
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 1st 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 policy. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- In May 09, an Empire salesman sold my husband and I a product that was the "best thing" in vinyl. He showed us how durable it was, claiming it was water proof, and that it had a seamless quality. Within a few months, there was bubbling that had to be fixed. A couple months later we noticed a few gouges appear, the main seam continually became more noticeable and more bubbling appeared. In Jan 10, many attempts were made to contact Empire. It took several phone calls before someone came to inspect the floors. The repairman called the day prior to confirm the appt for an earlier time and that day. I corrected him and related the appt was set for 4 pm the next day.
He called late the next morning asking if he could come earlier. I told him no, neither my husband nor I would be there. I reminded him that our appt was for 4 pm. He showed up to the house at two, my roommate let him in and he tried to repair the floors, not conduct an inspection like he was supposed to.
Several weeks later, an actual inspector came to the house to examine the floor. He said he would try to compensate us the 3, 200 we had already spent and quote us tile instead of replacing the vinyl with more vinyl. The salesman called a couple days later, he said he would give us full compensation but, the tile installation would cost roughly 8,000, 4,900 with our compensation included.
We got a second opinion from West Coast Flooring; they quoted us 3,900 for all the same areas plus the fireplace and entry way. I have requested contact once again regarding a possible refund and have not heard back yet.
Our BBB complaint got us nowhere, we decided to go straight to the corporate office to file our complaint. The corporate office made us an offer to replace the vinyl with tile for $500.
However, there were only five options none of which we liked. So, we requested a monetary settlement. They offered us 1/4 of the money we originally spent on the floors and a settlement agreement issuing a gag order and that we had to retract our BBB complaint and could not blog or forewarn anyone against the company.
My family owns a flooring installation business and I am familiar with the proper care and normal wear of a vinyl floor. In my opinion, Empire and their product are not meeting expected standards. We are unhappy with Empire due to the poor quality product sold to us and the terrible customer service. Considering the price difference and better customer service experienced with West Coast Flooring, we are dissatisfied with Empire.
We are currently researching your concerns. We are dedicated to service and satisfaction. A representative from our customer service team will continue to be in contact with you to assist with all your concerns.
STOUGHTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I had to replace the carpet in the hallways/staircase of a three story three family in Boston. I had used Empire before, so gave them a call and got an estimate. The price was $4.53 per sq. ft. installed. To say that the salesperson was incompetent would be generous. He had to measure everything three times, could not do simple calculations. He made so many mistakes on the order crossing things out two and three times that it was unreadable. He told me that I had to put down a third of the total cost because it was a special order and would take 10-14 days to get the carpet. Then in the next breath said that it could be installed the next day.
Came up with an estimate of $3,692 based and 774.26 sq ft. I said that seemed high. He said: no, and that this was a big area. I asked if there was an additional labor charges since this was a staircase. He reiterated: "no, it's a flat fee." I agreed to remove and dispose of the old carpet to save $200. He called the office and the lowered price for $3,001 was agreed upon. When I ripped up the carpet I looked at them and concluded that there was no way that this was close to 800 sq ft. I measured it and came out with 304 sq ft. I am an architect with 30 yrs experience and an expert in this area. I had a third person measure it and he came up with 305 sq ft.
Granted it was a staircase with more waste than normal, but over 150% I called the office and complained. A manager came out and first he said was that in the order was written for 680 sq. ft., not the original 774.26 sq. ft. that the basis for the quote. He also confirmed that the price included installation and that there was not a separate labor charge. When I asked why there was no adjustment and that the price still reflected the original 774.26 sq. ft. he had no answer. He also confirmed that it was in stock. No one has ever explained why I had put up $1,000 deposit instead of the standard $25. A question that remains unanswered to this day.
He measured and came up with 502 sq. ft. Not sure how using the same equation they came up with three different sizes for the same square footage of floor space. He told me that he would give me a $500 credit. I said OK and the installation was scheduled for the next day. I really didn't have much of a choice, as I stood to lose the $1,000 deposit.
The installers arrived with the work order where the price was still $3,001. There also was a note to call after the work was done. When I told them that this is not the right price, they called to the office before they started, but the manager didn't want to talk. I took the phone and reminded that we agreed to lower price by at least $500. He answered that he would discuss the final price after installation. The installers installed and I called to manager again. This time, he said the bill was $2,800. I reminded him again that he had agreed to a $500 credit from the $3001.
He denied that he had ever having agreed to that. Among the scrap was a single piece 12ft x 6ft = 72 sq. ft and I tried to get a credit for it. I tried to pay for 430 sq ft instead the 502 sq. ft. (502-72=430), the amount actually installed plus waste. He said: no. So I said that I would pay for every sq in that was in the truck. I took out my calculator and computed: $4.53 x 502 sq. ft + 5% (taxes)= $2,387.76. He said: no, that $2,601 was the best he could do.
I reminded him that the contract was for $4.53 per sq. ft. for 502 sq. ft. not for 545 sq. ft. (There was a total 502 sq. ft. of carpet in the truck). I still questioned the 58% waste (based on 502 sq, ft., not the 545 sq. ft. that I was charged for), but have decided to drop it. He pretty much demanded the new higher price even though he could offer no explanation as to how he came to that price. He also told me that I had to pay it since it had already been installed even though the new higher price had never been discussed. So, I paid $2,601. Very expensive carpet for the 305 sq. ft. of floor space!
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 elsewhere. 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 quite 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.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- We moved into a new house about a year ago. The house had brand new carpet, but we prefer hard floors. No more than six months ago we had Empire come out and give us a quote as they had done our floors in our old house. We decided on hardwood and had it installed the next day.
A few weeks ago a TV tray left a small scratch that was deep enough to not be the same color as the flooring. I was surprised that the TV tray scratched the floor. Then a week ago, while closing the reclining part of the couch a very large gouge was left on the floor.
We called about it and were told that "Everything scratches...even diamonds scratch" and they were not going to warranty the floor! We paid $8,000 less than six months ago and they are telling us it is not covered? That decision solidifies my efforts to not only never use this company again, but tell everyone and anyone I know to choose a much more reputable company that values their customers and more importantly believes in their product enough to recognize this particular floor is inferior!
The last time we purchased a floor for our old house, they left us with some planks in case we needed them. This time they did not. I have a 3,200 sq ft house. They only did the first floor. I will call someone else for the second floor.
We've read your review, Nicole, and we regret that your product has not been meeting your expectations. We understand that we've been in contact with you about this issue, and we will continue to follow up with you to work towards a resolution. You can also reach us at email@example.com. Thank you. Angelica Snell, Resolution Team Manager
PENNSYLVANIA -- I scheduled an in-home estimate through your website. The guy showed up at the scheduled time. He completed the measurements and grabbed samples out of his car. He had minimal samples to show. We selected a carpet style and a laminate style and then that's when your company began to failed us.... The guy that showed up had no markings on his car, no uniform, no business cards, nothing to tie him to your company. As he was going over the prices, they were double and triple over a competitor.
When I asked about the 2 specials you are running, he stated they only applied to select styles/products and stated he did not have the products with him and refused to show any idea what they looked like. This was a huge let down. Don't market a sale if you cannot actually deliver the product. He stated the quotes and then said he could "Call and get a lower price" but it needed to be a done deal at that moment. Unacceptable. He didn't have any paperwork that stated a real estimate or quote that could be backed by Empire. No other contractor works like that.
He refused to give us a business card because he "can't come back tomorrow." This feels unsafe. Why do you allow your contractors to do this? I will never buy anything from Empire and I will tell everyone I know to do the same. TERRIBLE BUSINESS PRACTICES!
Hi Ashlee, we regret that your sales appointment did not meet your expectations, and we can assure you that this is not the experience we expect for our customers. We understand that we've been in contact with you about this matter and that you have chosen to go with another company. We would still like the opportunity to know more about your concerns, and please don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss this matter further. You can reach us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager