We had heard Empire Today had this stellar reputation. A friend of ours had had hardwood floors installed and he couldn't say enough wonderful things about them. So when it came time to get some carpet installed in our 300 square foot basement apartment, stairs leading up from the basement, and stairs leading from the main floor to the second floor of the house, we scheduled an in-home free estimate.
A salesman named, Jim Hillman, arrived early which was okay. He smelled really strong of cigarette smoke. He came in and we showed him the places we wanted carpet installed. He then brought in some samples. He showed us the samples and while we looked at them, he started walking around the areas that were to be carpeted. No measuring tape, just looking and writing things down.
We finally decided on two different carpets. One type for the in-law apartment and stairs leading up from the basement, and another type for the second flight of stairs leading from the main floor to the second floor of the house. He then sat down and started doing some figuring. Then after a bit, he says, "That will be 5900 dollars total".
My husband almost had a heart attack judging by the look on his face. I am rather naive about how much carpet should cost, so I said, "Well....okay". So I signed the papers and we scheduled the installation for 9/28/2012.
After Jim left, I asked my husband, "Is that a little over priced or am I out of touch with what carpet costs nowadays?" My husband said it was absolutely ridiculously overpriced. It would turn out to be close to 20 dollars a square foot!! Not a square yard like most places advertise.
I went online and noticed there had been no mention of the free installation. In addition, we got to thinking Jim never mentioned the cost of each rug sample. He only seemed to bring in the "high-end" samples like he thought we were loaded or something. In all honesty, I wouldn't spend 5900 dollars on carpet even if Queen Elizabeth was coming to visit.
I called Empire and canceled the contract immediately. After a few hours, we both started to realize that Empire is just a rip-off company. They send their sales people out and if they are all like Jim, they don't go over the cost of carpeting per square yard/foot or talk about the specials. Come to find out, the special of "Free Installation" was only for "certain carpeting". And you can bet your boots ours was not part of that "certain carpeting".
Empire and Jim did try to smooth things over by asking us if they could get us a better price. But I basically said, "Hell no!". What I can't understand is why does this company have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau????? There have been so many complaints yet the BBB still keeps their rating high. Makes me wonder how honest the BBB is.
Ultimately, I would never recommend Empire Today for anything. I think they lack integrity and honesty. I think they see what they can get away with so far as how much to charge people for their products. They should be up front and honest about how much brand of carpet costs, go over the specials, etc. I wish we had spoken up right when Salesman Jim was there, but perhaps we were too much in shock at the price he quoted us.
So folks, do your homework before buying carpet, hardwoods, etc. And if I were you, stay clear of Empire Today.