In December 2006 I met with an Empire Salesperson to review samples of carpeting during their advertised sale. Based upon our conversation, and review of carpet, I purchased new carpet with expected install the following week. On the scheduled day, Empire arrived and installed carpet on both the upper and lower levels of my home. Following the installation of the carpet and padding, I contacted my sales rep in regard to my concern over the quality of the padding installed and overall carpet difference from what was expected. My sales rep informed me to contact the local office and explain my concern as this was the most effective process. I called Empire and spoke with local office sales manager in regard to the padding installed. After doing so checking, he explained that an error was made and offered either a $500.00 credit, or reinstallation of the correct padding. I elected the reinstallation of padding. I scheduled the reinstallation for very early January 2007.
Again, Empire arrived to reinstall the padding and I was informed by the contractor that he had concerns regarding the ability to properly match up the carpet at the seams during the installation of the correct padding. I attempted to contact my sales rep and the local sales manager, but was unable to reach either one. I informed the contractor to continue with the installation and that I would follow up with Empire if there appeared to be a problem. Following the installation of the new padding, I immediately noticed a “plastic/crunching” noise when walking over the carpet. Initially, I believed this to be caused by the carpet and padding being new, and should allow for a settling in period.
In February 2007, after 4 weeks passed and the noise continued to be coming from the carpet, I placed a phone call to the local sales manager at Empire to inform him of my concern with the carpet, and requested that he please call me back to discuss. As a result of not receiving a call back from the local sales manager, I placed a call to my sales rep explaining the situation once more, and the phone call to the local sales manager not being returned. Near the end of March, as a result of both attempts to contact the sales rep and local sales manager being unsuccessful, I sent a letter to the local sales manager’s attention in regard to the problems with the carpet, which now included the upper level carpet showing signs of wear after only 3 months.
In early April, I received a call from Empire in response to my letter. The representative explained that they would be sending an independent carpet inspector, Inspect Solutions, to review the carpet and I would be contacted once Empire received the report back. 3 weeks later, a representative from Inspect Solutions arrived to review the concerns I had with the carpet, and to verify the noise being heard when walking across the carpet. The inspector confirmed the noise coming from the carpet, as well as the visible wear, and explained that this would be noted in the report.
During the first week in May, I received a letter from Empire along with a copy of the inspectors report. Although the report clearly confirms the noise coming from the carpet padding, the letter states that “no defect was found”, and therefore they are unable to provide any further assistance. I immediately contacted the individual from Empire who sent the letter to me and was informed by another representative that the person I was calling was out of the office. The rep did review my account, including the notes based on the report, and explained that “there is no defect with the carpet and that I could request new padding, but there would be a charge”. I explained to the rep that this was unacceptable and she explained that there was nothing more she could do, but that she would speak to the person I was calling (I was told this person was a supervisor) in the morning and leave a note to have her call me. I asked the representative if she was basically stating that “despite that I ordered new carpeting from Empire, and that Empire installed the new carpet and padding, and I was charged for the new carpet and padding, and that the inspector’s report clearly identifies that a noise is being made from the padding and suggested what needs to be done to possibly fix the issue, Empire views this as my issue and not theirs to solve?” Her response was “not in those exact words, but yes. The rep again stated that she would inform the representative I was originally calling when she returned to the office the next day, and hung up the phone without saying a thing.
I then contacted my credit card company to initiate a dispute of the purchase through them since their dispute policy specifically states “quality of goods or services that you purchased with a credit card and you have tried in good faith to correct the problem with the merchant” as valid dispute.
After not receiving the dispute form I was told I would receive, from the credit card company, in three weeks, I contacted the credit card company to inquiry about it. The representative I spoke with this time explained that it appeared a form had not been sent and that he would be sending one that day. A few days later I finally received the dispute form. I completed the form as instructed, provided copies of requested documents, the inspection report, and a summary of events, and sent the information back via certified mail. After 40 days, I finally received a notice from the credit card company that they researched my dispute, found in favor of Empire, and closed the dispute. The research conducted, as they state, was simply them sending a notice to Empire of my dispute, and Empire saying they installed new padding and the inspection report noting no defects. Essentially, all they did was the same steps I had taken myself originally, and did nothing to represent me or my concerns correctly.
Unfortunately for Empire, this does not settle the dispute by me, and I will continue to pursue all avenues until my concerns are satisfied. I have reviewed many other complaints on the internet and have spoken with other individuals who have experienced poor and unacceptable service and products from Empire. As a result of the significant cost I have paid for the carpet, I will not quietly sit back while Empire brushes me off. It is clearly evident that I was provided cheap and defective padding deliberately by Empire as a result of my electing to have them correct their mistake and not taking an insulting credit amount.
If by chance Empire should be scouring these message boards and posting their standard message of concern and desire to resolve the issue for me, my Work Order # is W107909. However, at this point, please understand that I am more upset now than I was 3 or 4 months ago, and would appreciate you not insulting me with any insignificant remedy.
To anyone else who may be reading this – no situation or sale should ever justify anyone having to endure such poor customer service and treatment, so do yourself a favor and patronize another company.
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.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We are disappointed to hear about your installation experience and sincerely apologize for the damage done to your home. We take your concerns seriously and will like to follow up with you regarding this issue. Unfortunately, we are unable to verify your account information. Please contact us at email@example.com for assistance.
-Empire Customer Support