[Resolved] Empire Today / lack of response
My husband and I met with an Empire Today salesman in our home two weeks ago. Tim is who came to our home. I have no other information about him, as apparently the sales representatives do not give out business cards or contact information. By the way, my appointment was rescheduled once due to not having a salesman available in the area, and Tim showed up at our home at almost 10:00 P.M., when we had a 7:00 to 9:00 window appointment. Once he was here, by the way, he took phone call after phone call on not one, but two cell phones. Very professional sales people this company has.
Tim came to our home on a Wednesday to write up a bid for laminate flooring. First of all, he gave a sales speech about what is different about their flooring products that makes them stand out from the rest. He said they own a patent on a tool that allows them to pull out one plank in the middle of the floor for replacement, if need be, rather than having to pull the whole floor up to that spot. Come to find out, that is something that any company can do with or without "a special tool". Tim also told us about the special coating that their flooring is layered with that is only available through them. Come to find out, that coating is standard now among laminate flooring. I could go on and on...
When it came time to talk about pricing, Tim quoted us $12, 000 for 1042 square feet of LAMINATE. Not wood, not gold, but laminate. I had already priced the stuff elsewhere, and had expected about $6, 000 to $7, 000. I asked what the breakdown was for installation vs product, and he said they do not figure things that way, they just bid on the total job.
After I mentioned the figures that I had seen elsewhere, (uh oh, Tim, an educated consumer!), Tim quickly found a way to bring the price down to $9, 500. Tim tried to get us to choose flooring that was on sale at 60% off to get us to the amount we wanted to pay. This flooring that was on sale consisted of an entire three colors, all of which had yellow tones in them. We were not interested in that, so he said he would speak with his manager and see what he could do to get the pricing closer to what we wanted.
We let Tim know that we wanted to make a decision as quickly as possible, as we have a baby on the way and time is of the essence. Tim promised to have final pricing for us by the next day, Thursday. Thursday and Friday passed with no call from Tim. Not having a way to get in touch with him, I called the 800 number and explained my situation. The girl who answered then called Tim and relayed to me that he said his boss had been out of town, that he was now back and had our paperwork, and that he (Tim) would be getting back to us no later than Sunday. Sunday came and went with no call from Empire Today. I called on Tuesday and went through the entire story again with someone on the 800 number. She tried contacting Tim, but he did not answer his phone. She acted like this happens all the time. She gave me the number of the Houston and Dallas district manager.
I left a message on the number I was given for management, and received a call the next morning. I had reached the Dallas manager, but he put me in touch with the Houston manager. I spoke with John, who gave me a song and dance about how busy they have been (blah, blah, blah). He quickly threw out a number $6, 800. I asked how he was able to get from $12, 000 to $6, 800, and he said "because I'm the manager". Okay...
I told John that I was concerned that it had taken me so many phone calls and so much time just to get pricing. Would I run into the same problem if a need for service arose. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I felt like he kind of "blew off" my concern. I have since had a local company come in for an estimate. With better flooring, 12 mm versus Empire's 8 mm, they came in lower than Empire from the get go. Plus, they check out better with the BBB, with no complaints at all in three years.
One of the main reasons I decided to forget about Empire Flooring even after the guy got to the price level I was looking for is that I found this board and saw all of the complaints. I'm so glad that I did my research before making a decision.
Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.
Empire Today Customer Care's Response, Jun 25, 2012
We can assure you that we carry only quality, name-brand products and that we’re committed to working our customers if ever a problem arises. If you would like to speak to us more about your concerns with these issues, please call us at 888-588-2315 x4195 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Rebekah Clerk, National Customer Service Manager
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