Sales person came out as scheduled. Joe Bataglia. Measured and came up with price of $7900! After I told him we were VERY far on price, he mentioned his sale of 1/2 off on material. Not he was down aroung $6k. Then I still said no thanks. He offered some coupons and a special. I said no again. Before I knew it he was down @ $4k. 1/2 the original price. MAKE SURE YOU HAGGLE on pricing! I could have been ripped off. Get multipe quotes from multiple companies! PLEASE! Since this was close to other quotes I received I went with it, especially since they had 0% same as cash for 1 year.
Install scheduled for 6/22/05 for the laminate floor and 6/23/05 for the carpet. 2 days missed from work. Wanted it all done in 1 day, but I was still ok with all this.
The laminte installers, Jenkins, were AWESOME. They were professional, courteous, on time, called when on the way, were clean, helpful, and went above and beyond, even cutting down some doors that would not open or close once the new floor was in. We were REALLY happy with the laminate and were excited to have the carpet put in.
Now 6/23/05 the carpet day. This is where it all went down hill. Bill and helper show up bright and early. I had a bad feeling for some reason as soon as he showed. I should have followed my instinct. Anyone who has this guy come over, beware. He looks like Santa Clause, seriously. Very nice older guy. He went to work moving furniture (we moved almost everything except the bed, dresers, and the TV) to the basement. 2 bedrooms went down great and look wonderful. The living room carpet went down and looked good. Bill decides to move the TV stand by himself and slides it across the NEW laminate floor. SLIDE IT? Are you crazy? I would have helped him carry it or carried it myself! Immediate scratches across the BRAND NEW FLOOR!
My room was about 13 1/2 feet wide. Did they bring 15 foot wide carpet? NO! They bring 12 foot carpet and had to run a seem down the 20+ foot room. OK I figure. No big deal. They run the seam in the high traffic area! Seam is extremely noticeable! And by the next day after vacuuming and walking on it starts to come up!
Additioanlly they placed all their trash on the side of my house on my motorcycle trailer! I figure no biggie. I will put the tradh in my truck and take it away.
I call in to 800-588-2300 and politely explain my concerns about the scratches and carpet seem. I talked to Kim who was polite and explained the process that she would take my info and someone would contact me within 3 days.
True to her word, I was contacted by Diane in the Philadelphia area call center. She set up the appointents for Thursday 6-30-05. She explained they needed to send 2 different crews. One for carpet repair. One for laminate repair.
On Wednesday I get a call from Bill (the original carpet installer!) saying he was on his way to correct my problems. Now I get a little upset. He couldn't correct the problems when he was here doing the install (I needed to call 800-588-2300). So they now send him to complete the repair?! I am confused. Oh, and this was on Wednesday. My appointment was set-up for THURSDAY!
So I call the call center to talk to Diane. Ended up talking to Chuck Edwards, Customer Service Supervisor. Check was real nice on the phone. I was worried about the confusion and wanted to ensure I was set-up for Thursdday for both appointments, especially since I was taking the day off from work. Chuck assured me I was all set.
Thursday 6-30-05 comes and I am up early with the kids waiting for the repair teams. By 2pm I have not heard form anyone. Concerned I call in to check the status. I am told by the call center rep that I am confirmed for Thursday and both teams will arrive before 6pm. OK I FIGURE.
5:30 comes and I am a little more concerned. I call in again. The rep tries to call the installer / repairer for an ETA. Alas, Valencia (spelling?) does not have their phone #? They don't have their sub-contractors phone #? Are you kidding me? Then she explains the new contractors data needs to be loaded into the system. OK I figure. WAIT. They are sending the NEW guys to fix my issues?
Ended up talking to Avalyn, supervisor, and Tiffany, rep who Avalyn put me with. Tiffany could not contact either repair person or give me any info on ETAs or who was coming. She could not find any phone #s.
Alas, Luke, 856-979-3930, one of the sub-contractors calls me. He tells me he needs to reschedule and cannot come out today. He was cursing and was pretty unprofessional. I explained my situation that I was waiting for them all day and took off of work. He explained it was not his problem and he was finishing a SH-T job Empire gave him and then was going home. I explain all this to Tiffany and she calls him and gets his V-Mail (so she says). I ended up talking to a supervisor . . .
I end up talking to Tim Sherwin about 6:30pm. Tim was really nice. But he could not do anything except escalate my issues to a RESOLUTION TEAM who left @ 5pm. I also tried to call Chuck Edwards in the middle of all this. But the Phili call center closed @ 5pm. NICE! Tim cannot check the status of either team. NO ONE CAN TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND MAKE A FRIGGIN DECISION TO SATISFY THEIR CUSTOMERS! I talked to so many people at this point! I agree that I will wait until noon on Friday 7-1-05 to hear from the RESOLUTION TEAM. I go and eat dinner.
Now what!? I get a call from Luke. He is coming to fix my carpet. GREAT I think. Must have changed his mind. He arrives at 8pm! Wow it is late. My kids are in bed and are awakened by the phone calls, knocks on the door, etc. But hey, my carpet is getting fixed! Now what again?! He doesn't have the seam tape to fix the seam (the one that should not be there if they used 15 foot wide carpet!). He pulls up the carpet, plays with it, and kicks it back in. Looks better than it did, but still not good. He leaves.
Now during this I get another call from the guy who is going to fix the laminate. He is on his way from Philadelphia (an hour away). I figure what the hell, lets get things fixed. He shows @ 9:20PM! LATE LATE LATE. Now it is MY bed-time! But is he there to fix the floor? NO. He is there to inspect it. He looks at the floor for 2 minutes and leaves. Telling me someone will be in touch.
CARPET AND LAMINATE STILL NOT REPAIRED!
NOW I AM ON FIRE! I took 2 days off of work for installation. I took off 6-29-05 for the repairs that are STILL NOT COMPLETE! Now I am waiting for the resolution team. You know what will resolve this? Taking the floor out and giving me my $ back. I will then spend the same money at a local business and get treated as a real customer. Is this how treates its customers? Remember, this was a +$4000 purchase! This wasn't a $20 purchase here!
I would stay far away from this company. Get recommendations from friends who have had similar work done. Call those people and get quotes. But do not call Empire. At least not if you ask me.
By the way, I understand incidents happen. But the way I got the run-around is the real problem here. If somone would have stepped up and taken ownership of this issue and made an attempt to satisfy me as a customer I would have been much happier, even if I was still frustrated. It is aparent that Empire does not empower its employes to make decisions to satisfy their customers. Rather their customers get the run-around!
I am additionally reporting this to the Better Business Bureau and telling EVERYONE I KNOW. Not to mention this post on RipOffReport.com
I will wait for the resolution team to contact me. Lets see how this works out. If not, I did get a contact number for Tim Sherwin. I will wait until noon and see what happens.
What would satisfy you as a customer?
My instinct is to ask for removal and refund.
If someone would offer the following I would be satisfied. Maybe I am too nice?!
-Assign someone to my issue who can make a decision and not give the run-around. Give me their contact info. (Most of hte people I talked to would not give out their extentions or contact #!)
-Make a repair appointment and keep it.
-Send the installation Manager / Supervisor to supervise the repair team while repairs are being completed. (not in 2 appointments, but in 1).
-Replace the laminte that is scratched.
-Replace the living room carpet with 15 foot wide carpet with no seems (12 and 15 foot are industry standards it seems). It also seems Empire only carries 12 foot carpet. Most carpet stores I talked to carry 15 foot. Go figure.
-Offer some partial refund to cover my missed day from work and the additional day (or 2?) I will need to miss getting this corrected. Not even thinking about my aggrivation and time on the phone!
-Explain why the laminate scratched to begin with. I was told it is scratch-proof by the salesman and installer. Guess i should have gotten that in writing. (Maybe it is? I better check the contract and paperwork).
This was a long one. But I hope it helps someone out there.
Mays Landing, New Jersey