• Report: #1022330

Complaint Review: Empire Today

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  • Submitted: Fri, March 01, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, March 11, 2013

  • Reported By: Robert — Clayton North Carolina United States of America
Empire Today
1403 S. Third St. Mebane N.C. Mebane, North Carolina United States of America

Empire Today Bad Experience with Empire Today Mebane, North Carolina

*Consumer Suggestion: A Man With Integrity...Applause

*UPDATE Employee: Company Response

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I am a skilled flooring installation technician of 15 years with an outstanding customer reference log. And photos. I live in Clayton N.C. I don't often use Craigslist as a source for job hunting, however with the economy being what it is, I have resorted to at least looking here and there throughout the last 6 months or so. I responded to an ad looking for a technician to install carpet, vinyl, and lvt. The owner of the ad responded with a phone call, witch led to me emailing him my references, photos, and a little background history. Which I'm assuming he liked cause he called back with in an hour and hired me to start the next day with expectations to stay busy for a while ( Being tax season).
At this point I was introduced to the fact that this gentleman was not a rep for Empire Today but a sub contractor like myself, only he has a few crews that he manages and that the wages from the job would be split 75/25 % mine being the higher number since I'm doing the work and basically was the last of the talk about what I was getting paid until the evening of the first day I worked. And that the work was just coming from Empire Today. He continued to say that i needed a helper and that I must have one for moving furniture and to help the jobs move faster.
Understandable. I typically don't use helpers unless i just need one, but for the situation at hand and the guarantee of continuous work it would be worth it, plus I would be able to help employ another guy trying to make a living like myself. And I found a great helper, he didn't know a lot about the trade but he came in and did the best he could and was a big help on the 2 jobs i did for this company. But I will talk more about that later... So I got everything lined up with in 2 hours and was ready to take off to my new job first thing in the morning. Yaaay!! Right??

Wednesday 7:30 I get my first text from the gentleman who hired me which contained the address of the first job for the day, Raleigh Address. He soon later called and gave me the time of arrival to be 10:00am. 8:15am I leave to pick my helper up in Cary and head to the job in Raleigh which would have put me at the address at 10:00 on the dot.
At 9:30am just as I am arriving to my helpers house I get a call from this gentleman in which he said don't go to the first job, it canceled and that he would text me the address of the second job. However we cant go there until 11:00am. ?? Now I have my helper sitting in the van and nothing to do or anywhere to go for an hour and 15 minutes. Well it gave me time to introduce him to the van and explain how my tool set up is and how I expected it to remain that way through out the work week. 10:45am I pull into the address of what was supposed to be the second job of the day. Now cut down to one. And this is where it begins.

When i walk to the door I am greeted by a nice gentleman who owns the place, we talk for a second, I introduce myself and what I am there to do, he smiles and says great come on in. Awesome, lets get this bit a work done for the day, shouldn't be to bad, after all there were 2 jobs originally set up in the first place. I walk in and find the kitchen and dinning room floor area that is to be installed. LVT Luxury Vinyl Tile.

After looking at the layout I said to myself how on earth could I do 2 of these in a day without having at least 2 crews. I wouldn't even be able to hack them in with just me and 1 guy in a day. So whatever its already almost lunch and we have a lot to do. We start by moving the kitchen table, stove, then the refrigerator. Once that was done, we tore up the existing laminate floor that was there. At this point the gentleman that hired me showed up to the job with the materials I needed
to install. 5, 4x8 sheets of underlayment flooring, 8 boxes of LVT, Grout, Glue, and shoe molding. Lets get it. I install the underlayment, patch the seems, draw my line and assess my layout and spread the glue so it can set up. Took about 45 minutes before I could set my first tile. Once it went down we started rolling on that end. We set 185 sf of tile in a cut up kitchen with both cabinets and angles in about 2 hours. However its now 5:00 and we still have to grout the tile, install
shoe molding, move appliances back, clean up and do a final walk through with customer. By the time we completed it was 8:30 at night. By this point I'm thinking, "man this better be worth it". So, its 8:30 at night I have to drop my helper off in Cary, meet the gentleman who hired me to give him the completion sheet that the customers signed. And get my instructions for the following day. At this point I am still concerned about how much money I am making and decide to bring that
issue back up and try to get a solid answer. So I did. He wrote some prices on a piece of paper and explained that those were just tentative figures. Which looked good to me, a little low but with steady work they would suffice. I then find that my next job is in Lexington N.C. which is 2 and a half hours away from my house... I then find that the job consist of 114 square yards of carpet, and 110 feet of vinyl... I then find that they want that done in one day. The work order said no furniture to move. But still to install vinyl in 3 different areas and the rest of the house in carpet, on top of a 2 and a half hour drive
there and the same back home, just doesn't make since. So I say, I don't think i can do that in a day, he says do the best you can.

At 7:20am on Thursday I arrive at Empire Today's Mebane N.C. location to dump the trash and load up the new material for the job in Lexinton. At this point I know in my heart it wont be done in a day with just 2 of us, but I am driven to try to please my customers. I dump the trash and I back up to the loading dock. (first come fist served) . While I waited for 10 minutes for someone to address me, when they finally did, they said pull your van out we are not ready for you??? So I did. It took till 8:30 before they loaded me. As they were loading I noticed the material was a lot bulkier than it should be and actually wasn't even able to fit all of it in there. Which was 3 rolls of carpet a roll of vinyl, 5 sheets of underlayment, 5 rolls of padding, shoe molding, glue . At this point i just know it wont happen in one day so I tell my boss that it wont. 2 days. This starts a frenzy. It took another 15 minutes before a decision was made to not have me install the carpet but still install the vinyl and another crew would come do the carpet. WHAT??  That's where all the money is in this job. Now I have to drive a 300 mile round trip for what I assume to be about a 200 dollar job. And if I decline? No more work. Then I ask, do I have to deliver the material as well? Yes. Ok this hurts. But as it stands I have now driven to Mebane and loaded this material up with the help of my helper. I need to at least try to do the vinyl install and make the labor and gas back with hopes of more work to counter balance what has happened. I set off for Lexington from Mebane at 9:15am. We arrive around 10:30ish. And things are not good when we do. Homeowner is mad, about delay in installation timing, carpet that was missing from my van, and the overall dealing with Empire. I'm then told by the gentleman that hired me that the homeowner is thinking about canceling the order.WHHHHAAAATTTT?! I just drove a total of 150 miles while carrying a load of carpet half of the
way. 50 bucks in gas gone. And i haven't even made a dollar yet. After about 45 minutes the homeowner and my boss straiten things out and I am told I can work. So I start. By 1:00 the carpet crew shows up, the gentleman walks around, looks at the situation at hand and directly talks to the home owner, "I cant finish this today, there's just no way" . After some time of talking and getting things figured out, it comes down to the fact that it wont be finished in one day, it cant, its
impossible. So the homeowner finally accepts the inevitable and makes arrangements for them to do what they can today and come back tomorrow to finish. NOW I'M PISSED! I got my throat cut financially and now the job is still taking 2 days. I could have done the entire job in 2 days like I said in the first place. As bad as I wanted to walk right then and there, I didn't. I stayed to finish my part. And I did. Another customer happy.

My helper. At this point he has seen all that has been going on and is detoured by this company. Could you blame him? He came in ready to work in what could have been a great job. But nothing went right from the start. How can one have confidence in their employer if their employer doesn't have confidence in the people getting them work. Sadly
to say he quit. I don't blame him. Knowing that I was being scheduled again for another job, I contacted my boss immediately to inform him that my guy quit, I need to find another. He called me at 6:30 this morning and told me to not worry about working?? Why?? I could have found another person. Later around 10:30am i received a text asking me
to drop the customer walk through sheet at an address in Cary, and leave it with some other crew of his. Now I'm just suspicious of everything.
So I reply with questions about why I didn't work, was I going to get paid, etc. I figured if I'm going to get screwed this paper may be the only leverage I have on collecting a check. What I was told next blew my mind. "I cant pay you. I have to hold $200 for retention", (in case my work falters) . Ok at this point i have spent $150 in gas over a 2 day period, and also my helper has earned $166.50 in earnings. On just my cost I have paid $316.50 before I even make a profit. If I accept the
$200 retention fee ( which was never once mentioned up front or at any point until today) Shouldn't there be some money left over to, at bare minimum pay my gas and help back? I feel like a fool because I got scammed. I read so many bad complaints on this company since this has happened and it just saddens me.

Everything you have read here is accurate, I have paper work, eyewitness accounts, and bank statements showing the money spent. Can I point the finger directly at Empire Today? Probably not, But with what I read online and my personal views I will finish by saying I am yet another victim of this organization, and the people they deal with.

P.s. My helper did get paid. By me.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/01/2013 08:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Empire-Today/Mebane-North-Carolina-27302/Empire-Today-Bad-Experience-with-Empire-Today-Mebane-North-Carolina-1022330. 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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#1 Consumer Suggestion

A Man With Integrity...Applause

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

Wow. I am impressed. You actually care about your work and workers. Unfortunately, you were robbed royally. Thankfully, posting this story will allow many other quality craftsmen to avoid this trap. I'm curious... did Empire ever ask you or your helper to submit for a background investigation and drug screen? 

I'd strongly recommend that any contractor get everything in WRITING beforehand, especially when dealing with Empire. If they hem and haw just walk. You'll be glad you did.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Company Response

AUTHOR: Business Response - (USA)

Its disappointing that you were not satisfied with your experience while working with an independent contractor conducting business with Empire Today. We always strive to create a positive work environment, and if there is something we can do to help resolve the situation between you and your employer, we would be happy to speak with you about the concerns youve expressed here. Please contact our human resources department at 888-588-2315 ext 3007.
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