Our order of laminate flooring and stairs was installed on 9/26/08. Immediately we saw a problem that the stair nose was about 1/2" higher than the stair itself - quite dangerous for a busy stairway. After approximately 6 more appointments where we took the day off work only to have installers not show up, show up with the wrong product, show up to repair our "carpet", or show up and shrug, we were able to FINALLY speak with an Installation Manager, "Bill", who agreed to replace the stairs with a wood/oak product as they did not have a laminate product for the stairs.
After scheduling several more futile appointments where nothing was done, an installer came with wood products. The stair color/model we ordered looks wonderful and matches the floor. The nose of each stair, is a different model, different color and does not fit.
After scheduling several more futile appointments of people showing up with exactly the same wrong product that they installed on our stairs, "Bill" the installation manager was supposed to PERSONALLY come out and resolve the problem (he didn't show), he told us he would personally instruct the installer and make sure this was finally resolved. Of course, on yet another Saturday after spending an entire day waiting for the installer - he again showed up with the wrong product. Bill is no where to be found, of course. Christy Caputo, the helpful, perky customer service representative genuinely tries to cover for Bill - but he's hopeless. She promised that Bill would AGAIN call us first thing Monday morning. Still waiting.
The last installed advised us that the manufacturer of the stair color/model we ordered does not make stair noses!!!! They've been wasting our time, messing with us for nearly TWO MONTHS - did they think we wouldn't notice!!!!
We've received weekly "customer satisfaction survey" phone calls from Empire, who appear to be concerned with customer service - in reality, there is no manager that will speak with you or resolve your problem or issue. You will deal with nice people at Christy-level who are polite but can do nothing but again take down your information.
Calling the Corporate headquarters and leaving messages for the VP of Customer Relations doesn't appear to do any good.
If you want to take alot of time off work, be extremely frustrated, throw away money, and spend several months doing it - then Empire is THE place for you!