• Report: #204171

Complaint Review: Empire Today, Empire Flooring

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  • Submitted: Wed, August 02, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, September 27, 2006

  • Reported By:Gibsonton Florida
Empire Today, Empire Flooring
333 Northwest Ave. Northlake, Illinois U.S.A.

Empire Today, Empire Flooring, Ripoff You decide Northlake Illinois

*Consumer Suggestion: You don't want to what? GET IT?

*UPDATE Employee: Customers expecting a lot , again....

*UPDATE Employee: There is more to it than this...

*Author of original report: High Fives to Rick!

*Consumer Comment: You did the right thing!

*Author of original report: Gotta love Dr. Phil & Response to Helen B

*Consumer Suggestion: As Dr. Phil says:

*UPDATE Employee: Response

*Author of original report: On second thought.....

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On 6/24/06 I scheduled a free, in-home estimate for laminate flooring. The salesman came, measured, chit-chatted and gave me an estimate - which was WAY out of the ballpark since I had gotten other estimates prior. I thanked him for his time and was basically excusing him. Mr. Davis asked me if there was something wrong and I proceeded to explain that his quote was very out of range for what I was expecting to pay. He asked me what I was expecting to pay and I told him. He then recanted and said to let him try to refigure out the numbers. Within 30 seconds, he provided me with another estimate - $200 over what I told him my expectations were for the size of the room and product, etc. He dropped nearly $950.00 in price right there on the spot --- that tells me I was going to get ripped off by that amount intially. We changed nothing in terms of square footage or product! Mr. Davis couldn't tell me what the price per sq. footage was for the product and stated simply they didn't work it that way -- odd, everywhere else DOES. I also asked him how long the estimate was good for. He couldn't say. He also couldn't tell me how long the sale was on for. (Does this guy know ANYTHING about what he's selling here?) So I told him I wanted to think on it and reflect and had others coming to provide more estimates and I'd get back in touch. I asked him to give me out a WRITTEN estimate so if and when I did call back in a few days, I would get the product and installation at the price I was quoted. His idea of giving me an estimate was to write $2,200 on the back of his business card!! CAN YOU IMAGINE? What a joke! (No itemized list, no breakdown, NADA). I decided - even after this bad sales experience - that I was most interested in the floor I picked out with Empire (which I can only get through them) and called the salesman back to get him to write me up a formal estimate that I could sign off on and get the ball rolling to deliver and install my floor. I was just about begging now to BUY A FLOOR!! He was supposed to call me back. That was several weeks ago and many, many phone calls ago. I have called the home office in IL (I live in FL) many times and have also left messages through thier website asking for someone in management with some authority to get back in touch with me to help rectify this situation. I was given another number to call (which was the sales MANAGER in Florida that oversees Mr. Davis who came to my home) and even HE didn't have the courtesy to call me back. I guess he leads by example for his sales force. I find it appauling and frankly irresponsible that a consumer can't give a company their money to come and install a floor who is in the business of selling floors!! At this juncture, I am having another salesperson come to my home again tonight (8/2) and reqeusted they NOT send Mr. Davis as he obviously participates in deceptive sales practices (over-inflated quotes that aren't given in writing because he can't possibly own up to the deal he made with me in person) and at this juncture I wouldn't give him a red cent in commission. If this new salesperson fails to give me the same or similar quote for the same product at the same square footage - I will forever kiss off Empire Today and will still be ahead of the game I suspect. After reading more comments about this company here, I guess I will have saved myself a huge headache in the end.

Where ARE the honest, hardworking sales people who want to do a good job, actually provide the services they offer and earn their commissions? Guess I might be asking for too much seeking this from Empire Today eh?

Unreal.

Maria L.
Gibsonton, Florida
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/02/2006 11:28 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Empire-Today-Empire-Flooring/Northlake-Illinois-60164/Empire-Today-Empire-Flooring-Ripoff-You-decide-Northlake-Illinois-204171. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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0Author 9Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

You don't want to what? GET IT?

AUTHOR: M - (U.S.A.)

Idontwant wrote:
"I'm sorry , but I fail to see where you were getting ripped off. First , if you expect a salesperson to come into your house and give you the cheapest price possible , forget it - its never gonna happen , regardless of where you go. These companies are out there to make a profit , not give this stuff away at cost."

That's just it, I was luckier than some others and DIDN'T allow myself to get ripped off ultimately. I certainly didn't expect to receive a floor for FREE nor did I want to low-ball and put in cheap garbage into my home either. I was well versed and did my homework for 3 months prior to obtaining this estimate and had a REALISTIC expectation of a fair and reasonable price. If a salesman can drop his "quote" that much in 30 seconds, he was more concerned with upping his commission than providing a fair, sound estimate in the first place, which - ultimately in this case LOST him the job completely.

Idontwant wrote:
"Consumers are known for wanting to get as much as possible for as little as possible - The companies know this , the sales reps know this , and they are prepared for it. Before you buy anything , any consumer already has an idea of the amount that they are willing to pay for the item. "Bartering" and "price-dropping" is simply a way for the salesperson and the customer to come to an agreed-upon price that the customer is willing to pay and that the saleperson is willing to sell the product for. That is not a rip-off , its business."

I appreciate your opinion but we differ in mindset on this one. I feel most often (though, not always) you get what you pay for. I would rather purchase QUALITY and pay the cost for it so long as I am getting the QUALITY and along with that comes SERVICE and everything else you expect from a company that implores sound business practices. Unfortunately, too many businesses today have lost that. We have the power to go elsewhere or choose to get ripped off. Buyer beware --- educate yourself, do your homework and have a realistic expectation. I think that's fair to expect these things from a consumer.

Idontwant wrote:
"Your estimate was free , correct? This guy came to your house , measured the rooms , showed you samples , and gave you a price. All for free - costed you nothing , so its pretty safe to assume he isn't getting paid for that either , right? Right. After he did all this , and by saying "I want to think about it" , you just told him that the price was too high , and confirmed it by telling him you were going to have more estimates. Furthermore , you want him to give you a breakdown of everything , just so you can use the dimensions and measurements he gave you to shop around at other stores? Basically , you are asking him to do someone else's job , for free.
An "Estimate" is exactly that , an estimate - Giving you a business card with a price on it is a perfectly acceptable way for a sales rep to give you a price. You are not obligated to buy anything at any time. Remember , up to this point , you have not paid a dime and he has not made a cent...all you have had is a conversation . There was nothing dishonest in what he did."

You've missed the point - the second price quote he gave me was very much in-line with what I was expecting to pay - based on homework, legwork and another estimate so I didn't walk away from this because of the price. It was due to his underlying motives that became apparent through this whole exercise. And, are you saying that if I would have signed this "business card" and committed myself to their fine print, terms and conditions (not included of course on this business card), at the quoted price, I would be legally holding myself out for what exactly? That I bought a business card for the quoted price? What does that quote provide for? Installation? Padding? Finishing materials? Length of time to complete the job? They could have dropped off the boxes of planks and called it a day -- legally that would give me no standing now would it? And I was expecting him to do HIS job, not someone elses ..and part of his job - which is what they advertise is FREE HOME ESTIMATES. So, therefore, it would leave one to believe he didn't go above and beyond for me. I did get others to do their job, and one of them actually got the job and made the sale. Done deal.

Idontwant wrote:
"Lastly , at the end of your post , you asked "Where ARE the honest, hardworking sales people who want to do a good job?" You claim that the sales rep not giving you a lower price from the beginning was a sign that you were going to get ripped off , right?"

WRONG! It wasn't so much the fact that he didn't give a "lower price" at all, again you seem to be missing the point here. By dropping the price as much as he did when nothing else (dimensions, product, etc.) had not changed -- it doesn't take brain science to figure this one out.

Idontwant wrote:
"Well , is that any more dishonest than waiting until AFTER he gave you the price to inform him that you already had others coming to give you estimates? If you had told him from the beginning that you had no intention of making a decision and you had others coming out , he would have measured the rooms , given you the lowest price possible and been on his way , and probably would have saved you both a lot of time."

If this comment wasn't so pathetic, it would be laughable. As a consumer I have no obligation to tell them where I am at in the process of determining who will end up with the job at the end of the day - that is totally irrelevant!! I've heard it said that an "educated consumer is the best customer". Think on that a bit. As far as his "time", I could care less - that is a by-prodcut of his JOB function and the line of business he is in.

I wonder, do you work for Empire? Or maybe you are in the habit of undertaking some of these deceptive sales practices yourself? Hmmmmm.....

Still happy, happy, happy that this salesman and Empire as a company (who, let me remind you, failed horribly on every level of management) to even contact me in order to resolve or have a sale come to fruition at all!)did not and will never get my business.

Hey, do you want his number, I'm sure he'd be happy to come give you an overinflated quote and then you can sign his business card, enter into a transaction with him and you can let me know how it all pans out in the end. Oh, and don't do any homework and have an idea of what you'd be willing to spend because you don't seem to mind getting ripped off. Actually it's folks of this mindset that keep companies like Empire in business preying on the uneducated consumer.

Original poster - Maria
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Customers expecting a lot , again....

AUTHOR: Idontwant - (U.S.A.)

You did the right thing in finding another contractor or firm to do the work. It seems the clown they sent to your home was not trained very well, especially in not being able to provide square foot pricing. That does take some math skills. He may have been trained to quote the prices depending on how desperate the customer is. That is how the price dropped $950.00 without any changes in materials or installation procedures.

Some customers want the cheapest way out, but there are those contractors that will not do the work using the cheapest way out, for they are concerned about their workmanship.

The fact you could not get the estimate in writing is a red flag. These are the kind of jobs the schemers love in that they can add on unexpected expenses. The manager is busy putting out fires created by the inexperienced sales-force, and the customer service department is all lip service.

Your first impression of the firm was correct, which brings me back to my point of the clown who showed up at your doorstep: BEING POORLY TRAINED!

Rick - Flint,, Texas
U.S.A.


Again , i disagree with this line of thinking.

Why should the sales rep provide you with square footage pricing? Did he give you a price? Yes. You say that providing square-footage pricing takes some math skills? Sure...if your a 5 year old. Anyone with basic math can figure out that in order to figure out how much you are paying a square foor , you just take the price you were given and divide it by the square footage. So if a guy give you a price of $3500 for 500 sf of carpet , then the price is $7 a foot - its not rocket science.

And saying that not giving a written price is a way for schemers to add unexpected expenses is just ridiculous. He gave you an estimate , thats all. If you had bought it , then he would be required by law to give you a purchase order - if the purchase order was different from the quote , THATS a red flag and you should not sign the order. Like i have said , and estimate is just that - an estimate. Its not a commitment by either party and should not be construed as such.

Lastly , managers are not busy putting out fires - you honestly think that these reps who arrive at your house are doing ANYTHING that the sales managers are not already aware of?
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#3 UPDATE Employee

There is more to it than this...

AUTHOR: Idontwant - (U.S.A.)

Maria wrote :

"Within 30 seconds, he provided me with another estimate - $200 over what I told him my expectations were for the size of the room and product, etc. He dropped nearly $950.00 in price right there on the spot --- that tells me I was going to get ripped off by that amount intially."

I'm sorry , but I fail to see where you were getting ripped off. First , if you expect a salesperson to come into your house and give you the cheapest price possible , forget it - its never gonna happen , regardless of where you go. These companies are out there to make a profit , not give this stuff away at cost.

Consumers are known for wanting to get as much as possible for as little as possible - The companies know this , the sales reps know this , and they are prepared for it. Before you buy anything , any consumer already has an idea of the amount that they are willing to pay for the item. "Bartering" and "price-dropping" is simply a way for the salesperson and the customer to come to an agreed-upon price that the customer is willing to pay and that the saleperson is willing to sell the product for. That is not a rip-off , its business.

Maria also wrote:
"So I told him I wanted to think on it and reflect and had others coming to provide more estimates and I'd get back in touch. I asked him to give me out a WRITTEN estimate so if and when I did call back in a few days, I would get the product and installation at the price I was quoted. His idea of giving me an estimate was to write $2,200 on the back of his business card!! CAN YOU IMAGINE?"

Your estimate was free , correct? This guy came to your house , measured the rooms , showed you samples , and gave you a price. All for free - costed you nothing , so its pretty safe to assume he isn't getting paid for that either , right? Right. After he did all this , and by saying "I want to think about it" , you just told him that the price was too high , and confirmed it by telling him you were going to have more estimates. Furthermore , you want him to give you a breakdown of everything , just so you can use the dimensions and measurements he gave you to shop around at other stores? Basically , you are asking him to do someone else's job , for free.
An "Estimate" is exactly that , an estimate - Giving you a business card with a price on it is a perfectly acceptable way for a sales rep to give you a price. You are not obligated to buy anything at any time. Remember , up to this point , you have not paid a dime and he has not made a cent...all you have had is a conversation . There was nothing dishonest in what he did.

Lastly , at the end of your post , you asked "Where ARE the honest, hardworking sales people who want to do a good job?" You claim that the sales rep not giving you a lower price from the beginning was a sign that you were going to get ripped off , right? Well , is that any more dishonest than waiting until AFTER he gave you the price to inform him that you already had others coming to give you estimates? If you had told him from the beginning that you had no intention of making a decision and you had others coming out , he would have measured the rooms , given you the lowest price possible and been on his way , and probably would have saved you both a lot of time.
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#4 Author of original report

High Fives to Rick!

AUTHOR: M - (U.S.A.)

Thanks for your input and vote of confidence, Rick! I do agree with you completely, but I also believe it is even more far reaching than just poorly trained sales people. It seems the company-wide deficencies ride up AND down the internal company ladder. Particularly when you read the claims of others in this, and other forums. Complaints are noted from their "Resolution Specialist" who doesn't really seem to do much more than respond in this forum by way of ineffective, impersonal form letter that gives you the main number that puts you back in touch with the inept sales force, to the incompetent sales force themselves, down to the installers!

As I said, I made MANY phone calls, including the corporate office and even the local sales manager who oversees Mr. Davis. Even he neglected to have the courtesy to return the very nice voicemail left for him. Frankly, you have to believe that, especially in sales, a good manager leads by example - do they not have hard numbers to fulfill internally and set goals to meet for productivity, sales, etc.? Was is gaining new business not an appropriate fire to tend to?

Even if a potential new customer was not the most important topic of the moment, it isn't unreasonable that one would expect the courtesy of a return call at some point! Funny - the salesman, Chris Davis, explained to me that "66% of Empire's business was due to word of mouth advertising". Maybe that really was 66% of Empire's POTENTIAL business, or the amount of yearly business they will eventually lose! :)
Maria
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#5 Consumer Comment

You did the right thing!

AUTHOR: Rick - (U.S.A.)

You did the right thing in finding another contractor or firm to do the work. It seems the clown they sent to your home was not trained very well, especially in not being able to provide square foot pricing. That does take some math skills. He may have been trained to quote the prices depending on how desperate the customer is. That is how the price dropped $950.00 without any changes in materials or installation procedures.

Some customers want the cheapest way out, but there are those contractors that will not do the work using the cheapest way out, for they are concerned about their workmanship.

The fact you could not get the estimate in writing is a red flag. These are the kind of jobs the schemers love in that they can add on unexpected expenses. The manager is busy putting out fires created by the inexperienced sales-force, and the customer service department is all lip service.

Your first impression of the firm was correct, which brings me back to my point of the clown who showed up at your doorstep: BEING POORLY TRAINED!
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#6 Author of original report

Gotta love Dr. Phil & Response to Helen B

AUTHOR: M - (U.S.A.)

Dear Ms. B - thanks but no thanks. "Complete Customer Satisfaction" would have been simply to go under contract, take my money and install a floor - period - job done! But, thanks to this site and the comments of others, I could smell a horror story coming so I solved my own problem by negating the inevitable problem completely and went with another installer!!

And really, you need to change that awful form letter - it's old and ineffective.

Dr. Phil ROCKS! :)

Even HAPPIER in FLORIDA la la la ! :)
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

As Dr. Phil says:

AUTHOR: C.a. - (U.S.A.)

"The best way to determine future behavior is past behavior."
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Response

AUTHOR: Sinatra - (U.S.A.)

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your postings on Ripoffreport.com. As the advocate of Empire's Customer Issue Resolution Center, it is my job to make sure that we achieve complete customer satisfaction. I was truly disappointed to see that you have been dissatisfied with your recent dealings with our company.

Please understand that I was unable to look into this important matter further or contact you because your posting doesn't have enough information. I am sure that we can resolve your concerns, as we are committed to providing quality customer service. We maintain a customer service telephone number specifically to work with our customers to address their concerns in a prompt and professional manner. Please call us toll-free at or 800-588-2300.

Sincerely,
Helen B.
Resolutions Specialist
Empire Today, LLC
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#9 Author of original report

On second thought.....

AUTHOR: M - (U.S.A.)

Actually, I am going to call Empire Today RIGHT NOW to cancel tonight's re-run. After reading absolutely ALL of the comments left by other victims, er - posters, I would be a complete IDIOT to go through with even considering using Empire Today for my flooring needs. Especially noteworthy were comments from another writer about tile in a portion of a room in her home that they went completely over instead of removing. Well, Mr. Chris Davis was going to do the same thing to me - and have the installers go over tile in my foyer while the remaining portion of the floor has no tile.

Some other company will be very happy to take my business --- without GIVING ME THE BUSINESS!!

Thank you everyone for taking the time to make your comments known in a forum like this and thank you to the owner of this site for making it possible!

Do yourself a favor - don't use Empire Today. All the claims made here by people about the POOR follow through and POOR lack of customer service isn't a lie. I'm just glad I got out before they got in --- Empire's deceptive sales practices and horrific customer service will not be an issue for me going further - nor do I have to worry about deposit monies not being returned, or returned timely, poor workmanship, yadda - yadda - yadda. It all likely would have happened if one is to base future dealings on past dealings :)

Happier now in Florida ....
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