Empire Today's Carpet / Laminate Contractors / poor service!
Excuses-Excuses by Empire Today staff, management and contractors!
On Friday, August 10th, 2007 I had an appointment with a sales rep for Empire Today. The girl come out and sold me what I thought was going to be a relatively simple laminate/carpet installation package "guaranteed to be installed and entirely completed the next day by Empire's "crew". Really? Oh yes! We can do it she says!HA! Don't believe them!
The following morning the contractor shows up and stupidly looked around at the job he was supposed to do. He had small talk and began bragging about his girlfriend just buying a $90,000 BMW, all the Botox she performs and money she makes, etc... he then starts in saying that he really didn't feel like working that day, starts to light up a cigarette, I tell him no, he must go outside to smoke and I brought him a sand-filled ashtray to use. He never did use it... not once in three days!
He continued going on and on about what a nice day it was and that he should leave, blah, blah, blah... He is Russian therefore I had a hard time understanding his English. I thought he was joking and I asked him where his "crew" was and he said "why? you already asked me that" and said his helper was on his way, but that he was a hour and a half away. He said he should probably call his helper and tell him not to come out because he could do it alone in no time, as he decided he did not need help.
My husband and I watched as he sliced up and tore out our carpet, taking several cigarette breaks in between as he talked on the phone numerous times speaking Russian which we do not understand. I asked him what was going on and he said he was talking to his girlfriend to ask her to go next door to find out if the helper was there and just not answering his phone. How convenient, he just so happened to live right next door to them. After awhile I commented on the lack of the Empire work "crew" again and I mentioned he really should have more workers to complete the job and he said "I already told you that he was on his way".
Well by that time it was obvious that this guy was lying about someone coming out to help, claiming that this helper went to church twice a day since he was also of Russian decent and he'd need to do it all by himself after all. This guy was not making any sense and he was getting mad that I was questioning him about it. I just wanted a simple answer to what was going on. The guy had such a mess!
Shortly after he laid a few pieces of laminate, he mentioned again that was leaving and returning Sunday. I looked at him and said, 'You've got to be kidding?', he laughed and said "you're a tough gal to bargain with, you want me to stay?".
I looked at him and and said I was promised this job was to be completed that day, so why on earth was he planning on leaving so soon, and YES, I wanted him to stay. He laughed and said, okay, he'd do a little more. He wasn't happy about it either, and I did not want an unhappy contractor in our home. By then I was wondering what the hell I got myself in to, and regretted ever hiring these people. (Empire Today).
He'd smoke and talk on his phone more than he worked, and at one point I finally said 'Just why are you here if you don't want to do any work?' I was getting really mad because we were finding his cigarette butts thrown around our yard and he was very careless with our belongings and our home.
By this point, he knew I was mad, and called the General Manager Mike, and handed the phone to me. This guy tells me that the salesgirl Amy had made an error and she knew better on promising complete installation on the flooring and that it may take longer as that was only an "estimated timeline" and not "guaranteed" so she was wrong in telling us this.
We have a large oak, roll-top desk and it needed to be moved. (Empire takes care of ALL heavy furniture). He said he couldn't continue working until we helped him move it. Again we both looked at each other and my husband went out to our shop and got some roller things for this Paul to put the desk on to move it. He says I'll need both of you to help me with this, my helper isn't making it. We tell him that we cannot lift that desk and he said he would do most of the lifting, which he didn't, and my husband hurt his back trying to help. The contractor did a little bit more and then left for the day.
We were on the phone with Empire trying to cancel our order and could not seem to get anyone to listen. We called, were put on "hold", and by then my husband was upset by the BS and lack of anyone getting us help.
Sunday the contractor shows up with a non-English speaking Russian helper. He did more work than this Paul who didn't do much of anything. Paul started slicing the bottom of our doorways to get the laminate underneath it, but was causing more damage than good. My mother-in-law who owns the home came in to look and he told me to get her out of there because he was working. I walked in the kitchen and he told me that there wasn't room for 5 people in there and I had to leave! (there were only 3 and I was getting my medication). He was mad that we were not pleased with his work ethics, and continued being very rude to us. They yelled Russian back and forth and I said, ' can't you speak English while you're here?'... "no, he responded, my worker doesn't speak English".
Paul put up the vinyl border I purchased and saying it wouldn't stick, used masking tape to hold it against the wall.
I went to Home Depot and purchased some wood trim to take place of this vinyl, and when I returned, I see garbage, chicken bones and an apple core shrew about our driveway near Paul's truck along with his cigarette butts. I was livid seeing this happening and immediately took pictures as proof of him neglecting our home. I was going to say something and my husband said, 'just let it be, we'll see if he picks it up'. He never did and as we walked around looking at the damage he was causing, we took more and more pictures.
Most of the day we were taking turns on the phone with customer service trying to get this job canceled to NO avail. On hold, then conveniently cut off, only to have to call them back. We told customer service that we were not allowing this contractor back into our home after seeing the shabby work he was doing. He had swung thru our living room with his stuff and carelessly broke a nice glass candle holder. The following day, Monday, this Paul comes with another worker, so it's just him and this one other worker to complete the job that should have been finished on Saturday, two days before!
We had his materials and all his tools sitting on our front porch (nice and neat) for him to take.
My husband greeted him and said he needed to take his stuff and leave. He was not coming into our home, letting him know that we canceled the jobs.
He wanted to know why, and come in our home to "look" for his stuff and my husband told him that all of his stuff was right there, and to call if anything was missing. He left throwing gravel all over the place.
Finally after no other options and lack of concern from Empire, we had to call and cancel... right away we had two regional managers come out to look at the damage. Rebecca (so much perfume it gags you) and Rod came out and we tried negotiating but spent more time arguing with them and there still hasn't been any satisfactory resolution whatsoever as of today, Wednesday, 4 days after the fact. Our home is in shambles and nobody cares!
DO NOT hire Empire Today! If it sounds too good to be true... it is. They do not live up to their advertisements and or promises. It's been a complete nightmare. WATCH OUT-.
We were promised compensation for all negligence caused by Empire Today, but not nearly what it's worth with the nightmare we've had to put up with.
And their claim of a FREE GIFT? A stupid Bobblehead that we never received.
Now the manager (Rebecca) claims that they will bring the sheriff and take the flooring up that has been installed, although it's not even finished!
We will only pay a reasonable amount for what has been done, minus the damage they have caused to our home, my husband's back and the negligence caused by their contractor in throwing his garbage around our yard.
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