Earlier this year I bought a townhouse and needed some new carpet installed. I've always seen the catchy Empire Today jingle on TV, so I had them come out and got a quote on some carpet, surprisingly it was cheaper then the other place I checked, so I decided to go with them and I needed it installed quickly. Fast forward to last month and I was looking to get new window
My wife and I decided to give Empire Today a call because we had used them previously for the carpet and they were offering a buy 1 get 2 free deal for window treatments and I had received a $200 off repeat customer email. I scheduled an appointment online and then it all went down hill.
The salesman (Richard) came out, we talked about how we were interested in the Faux Wood blinds, we needed 8 windows (regular blinds) done and 2 sliding glass doors (vertical binds). He stated they had two types, the economy faux wood and the premium faux wood blinds. The salesman went and measured the windows and then started calculating the price. When he was done he said the price for the premium blinds was $4937 or $3320 for the economy blinds. My jaw just dropped, if I was buying 1 and getting 2 free, what were they charging for installation $400 a window? At this point he stated only the premium blinds were eligible for the promotion, which still didn't justify that price.
The salesman proceeded to do his normal let me call my boss to see if I can lower the price, who knows if he really called anyone but when he got off the phone he said I can take 10% off right now. Still the prices being insane my wife and I were not interested and told him we wanted to shop around more. Finally after a few more "sales pitches" he left.
About 2 hours later I received a call from the salesman telling me his boss was willing to drop the price even more, and if we bought them today the price was now $3600 for the premium faux wood blinds. I told him I would think about it and get back to him.
Later that day we went to Next Day Blinds to get a quote and for the same exact type of blinds with 1 additional one their cost was only $1800. At this point I was so mad and insulted on how Empire had tried to sell me blinds almost 3k over what they cost I posted a message on their Facebook page. A few hours later someone responded that someone would be in contact with me the next day.
The next day I received a call from a Diane Leathers who 'runs the window treatment department." She asked me what the problem was an I explained I was insulted that the price for the blinds was almost 5k and then has continued to drop when I was not interested, and I wanted to know how in the world they could charge that much when I was getting at least 6 of the window blinds for free.
Diane goes on to tell me that only Honeycomb blinds are on valid with the
special (never stated anywhere), so if I wanted those it would cost $4300 for
10 honeycomb blinds. Or she was willing to take 40% off the premium faux
blinds bring the cost to $2600. When I told her Next Day Blinds was a lot
cheaper she went on to say they would match the price. I still can't fathom
how 10 honeycomb blinds would equal $4300 if I was getting 2 free for every 1
I paid for.
At this point I was insulted that they tried to sell me blinds at a 300% markup and then continued to drop the price when pressed. As a returning customer I should have been offered the best deal to begin with.
Their salesman lied or didn't know how to do their job, Diane was less then helpful and when I wrote her an email questioning how their prices are still so high and why they didn't offer them to me to begin with she didn't even bother to reply.
The next day I sent emails to their executive board and received an email from Bridget Moscatello their VP of Customer Care stating she would look into it. The next day I received a call from Empire from a lady stating she was calling on behalf of Bridget. She asked me what the issue was even though she should have already known based off the previous emails. I explained to her that I was mad they kept dropping the prices and I wanted a bottom line price. She explained she would check and get back to me. They next day she called and said it would be $2300 for the Premium Faux Wood or $3900 for the honeycomb.
So now almost a month later, the price for what we wanted originally has dropped $2637. When I told her that was still more expensive then their competitor she stated they would price match. Obviously I don't want to do business anymore with a company that lies to their customers.
Doing a quick search of Empire Today online there are numerous complaints all over the web from bad customer service, to high pressure sales tactics, to price lying etc.. And up until a few days ago their Facebook page was littered with complaints, they have since removed all of them. They state they have an A+ rating with the BBB but when you look up their company the
rating lists unavailable.
If your looking for a good deal on blinds you won't be getting them from Empire, I'm sure if I would have shopped around more when I bought my carpet I would have found that price was over inflated too.