[Resolved] Empire Today Carpet — complete dissatisfaction and unprofessional service
December 9, 2005 I purchased laminate flooring and carpeting for my 2900 square foot home. I paid $3500.00 cash for the laminate, in advance because Empire Today would not install the flooring without pre-payment and charged the carpeting on an account that they set up for me with your company. I also had to sign for the complete bill for the carpeting of $4618.00 three days before installation was scheduled. The laminate was installed 12/10/05 but the installer was short of material and left the job incomplete, he stated that he would not be back to finish the job, that Empire could send somebody else to do it because it did not pay him enough to come back out. On Tuesday 12/13/05 at 9:15am the carpet installers arrived to install the carpet, the laminate was not complete. As instructed, I had cleaned out all closets and removed all small items; I also moved every piece of furniture I could lift, out of the way. The carpet crew spoke only Spanish until the directed a question to me, we then discovered that the carpet that was sent with them was incorrect. Carlos, the crew leader became angry, he re-measured the areas to be carpeted and called the office to advise them of the mistake. He told me that they would send new carpet; I live 30 miles from the warehouse. He also became angry with me because the laminate was completed first; I explained to him that the salesman had set it up that way, not me. They began to install the upstairs and while they were coming down the steps another crew arrived to finish the laminate, they spoke no English at all. Carlos yelled at them that they were in his way, I called Empire and spoke to Olispia and she began to document what was going on. Carlos had a woman with him working in my house who offered to perform cleaning services, when I asked her if she had a business in Tampa; she stated that she was an illegal. I really did not feel comfortable with these people in my house. By 3:15pm I called Mike Smith at the Tampa warehouse to check on the status of the carpet, he asked me to put Carlos on the phone, Carlos and the woman were gone and the other man did not speak any English. I spoke to Mike until 3:35pm and Carlos re-entered my house, he was angry and yelling at me that I was complaining about him. I tried to explain that I was checking on the carpet he would not listen to me. I called Mike Smith back and asked him to call Carlos and explain what was going on, Carlos would not take his calls. The woman was using all of my cleaning products and supplies without asking. I heard a loud noise and found her using my vacuum sweeper to pick up tacking nails. This crew was at my home from 9am to 7pm, they left old carpet pads and carpeting all over my yard, my contract stated that they were to remove old carpeting, my daughter and I had to clean it all up and drag it to the street. When the new carpet had arrived, Carlos laid it out in the street and cut it there, I have had an ant problem ever since. They were to move furniture as per my contract; they moved a file cabinet to my front porch and left it there. Since they left I have found sharp carpet razor blades all over my house, in my window sills, stuck in the trunks of my trees, etc. Carlos demanded that I sign a statement to the effect that I was satisfied with the job, I asked if that meant that I was happy with the installation, he demanded that I sign whether I was happy or not, by this time I just wanted these people out of my house, I still had to put back all of the furniture, they left without doing so. The carpet installation is horrendous; I called and spoke with John Spinella, operations manager, in Tampa, FL. He came out to the house to examine the job. He agreed with me that the majority of the job needed to be redone, he assured me that he would send his best man out, and I was to call after the Christmas holidays to schedule a time. After the 1st of the year, all of my calls to Mr. Spinella went unanswered; he never returned any of my calls. I spoke with many people from the call center, they added more to the computer documentation of my troubles. Mr. Spinella had also agreed to a discount and money to replace my broken vacuum. Several months later I finally was able to talk to somebody who represented themselves as a supervisor, she stated that she would take $300.00 off and return to redo the carpeting, I said that $300.00 barely covers my vacuum cleaner, I suggested a 20% discount, she stated that she had to speak to somebody else, I said why don’t you just issue me an entire credit in the amount of $4618.00, she stated that she could do that but they would have to come and rip out the carpet. She said that after speaking with her supervisor she would get back to me, she never did. I became sick for several months; I finally began to pursue this again. I spoke with Andrea in Tampa; she assured me that she would correct the problem and make this right. I suggested to her that she issue, in writing, 50% credit and I would pay the bill of $2309.00 and that they would not have to fix the carpet, I would get somebody else to do the job. I could not bear the thought of this company sending anyone else into my home. This was on July 14, 2006; she returned several phone calls to me and stated, that was not an unreasonable request. She promised to call me on Monday 7/17/06 to confirm our arraignments, she never called. I started calling and when I pushed in her extension I received a message that this extension is no longer accepting calls. I went on the internet and found many disturbing customer comments about how customers were treated. They mentioned by name Helen Brown and that she did nothing to help them. I called the number from the internet and spoke to another Mike (he stated that he could not give me his last name), He said that Helen was not handling this, she has left me several messages, and that Andrea is handling the problem and assured me that she would contact me no later than 10am on July 24th. I have not received any calls from her or her office. I am disputing this bill because the entire carpet needs to be redone, big bubbles, falling off the step up, large frays sticking out (burber carpet) and I am afraid to vacuum. The steps were not installed with tack strips on the top and bottom of each stair, even the laminate is coming up but they already collected the cash for that. I cannot get any form of satisfaction from the company, so as a last resort I am disputing this bill; maybe then somebody will call me back and finalize this. Otherwise I do not feel responsible for the substandard job that was performed in my home, not to mention the way I was treated. I trusted that this company would only send professionals and this was not the case.
Rita E. Wages
This is a copy of a letter i finally had sent to ge money bank to dispute the charges. the only rep from empire who called me was Helen Brown, I was told not to deal with her by Mike (no last name) from Empire headquarters. Because i did not speak to Helen Brown, GE money bank dropped my dispute. this has been going on for a year, I am so tired of dealing with it, but my carpet is still a mess and i still owe empire an inflated amount of money. I have never dealt with a company that just avoided your calls as soon as you spoke with someone to resolve your issues.
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.
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