Empire Today Memphis — installer warning
My $98, 000 frustration
Previous installer 7101
My name is Ramon and my company began installing for Empire Today Memphis almost 3 years ago. For the first 2 years it was a GREAT PLACE to subcontract so I decided to dedicate two of my crews to their office. My problems didn't start until the new office manager Steve Coudriet started. At first he seemed like a great fit and fun person to work with. I mean we would joke sometimes and yet still get things done. Now my problem didn't start until about a year ago when Steve Coudriet pulled me in his office and asked me for a favour because he was getting overwhelmed with jobs. He asked me to allow an installer he knew to work under my installer number for a month until the installer get enough money to get his insurance together. I immediately said no and I didn't feel comfortable doing that since I didn't know this person nor did I know his skill set and I take pride in my work. Steve said he knew the guy from I think Baltimore (a place I never been) and also another manager in the Nevada market Venus knew him and spoke very highly of him. He begged me to do this for him and if I could just help him get out of this hole he'd be cool. He then told me that if I did this for him I âwill not be held responsible for anything this guy did if he messed up a jobâ and the guy would give me 10% of his check just for using my number. So with that being said I gave in and told him Rockny can keep the 10% so he can hurry up and get his paper work together and I would need a w-9 so I can 1099 him at the end of the year. Steve agreed to take care of that since he knew the guy. So the installer moved to Memphis and started installing. Then Steve Coudriet and the install manager Scott Dabbs pull me in the office again and asked me to do it again because the marketing advertisements where doing so well he was getting over loaded and was having to turn down work. So Scott and Steve found some other installers to work under my number and they would be responsible for these guys until they get their paperwork together. So the crazy thing is these guys come in the door taking out big jobs and It was cool at first because they told me these jobs would help them get their paperwork together faster. Now after a few months these guys wasn't trying to get their stuff together and I asked Steve and Scott to talk with them because this is not our agreement. They completely ignored me and kept sending these guys out under my number and then started giving my guys 3 boxes of lvt or small tile jobs which was not cool but we also install for some of the other retailer and GCs in the mid-south so I wasn't complaining. My problems started when Scott and
Steve asked me to go and fix one of the wood jobs those guys did and upon arriving at the job it was clear that this guy didn't know what the hell he was doing and the job really messed up. I fix the job anyhow and told Steve and Scott that their guy was leaving people on the jobsites that didn't know what they were doing and messing up floors. Then came complaints for from all the other installers and just like the previous one most were installed completely wrong. There were four installers under my number that were getting call backs on. The installer Jimmy and Charmane did know how to do basic installs but their problem seemed to be no good help and Steve and Scott was giving them jobs that were too big and pilling jobs on top of jobs all the while my crew is given the smallest job they have. These guys started messing up so bad that I would be doing 3-4 complaint a week for them and wasn't even getting paid to do it. So after months of begging them to stop using these guys Scott was terminated because it was found out that he was taking kick backs from those installer in exchange for those big jobs they were being given. And after a few more weeks Steve was forced to terminate Rockny because he was messing up waaay to bad but he kept working the other guys. So after another month or so he finally let the other guys go also. Now this is where things kinda went bad. Steve pulled me in his office again and told me he talked to the âcorporate officeâ and they would not allow him to be responsible for the work theses installers did and I might be backcharged. I asked him to let me talk with them because this was out of my control and also not what he agreed. He told me his boss was always busy and wouldn't even give me his number or name. Steve then told me he would atleast make sure I don't get back charged for the materials need to make repairs. He lied again and I was backcharged $15, 934 and was still being backcharged and doing repairs until January. So here I am being forced to repair jobs that I could have done at first and most of them were and still are messed up because he wouldn't replace none them completely. Also one of them had already been paid and it wasn't even completed and it was installed 100% wrong but I did the best I could to make the homeowner somewhat happy. Now this whole time I'm fixing Steve and Scotts mess ups because according to Steve Corporate is holding me responsible for his bad choice which didn't make any sense. So after a few months of doing these repairs I start to feel the sting of the labor I was paying out of my company reserves for the labor for the repairs to the tune of $17, 000 dollars because it took over a week on some of these complaints. I talked with Steve and told him how this ways hurting my company. He told me he was going on vacation and the he had a national meeting coming up and he'd see what he can do when he gets back. So upon getting back a few week later and asked him what he come up with. STEVE COUDRIET then looked me right in my face and told me he âhad know ####ing idea what I was talking about and I should've been taking 10% out of those guys checkâ and he knew nothing about any w-9 forms (which he agreed to get for me since they knew these guys) I felt so betrayed and stuck because I gave some much to Empire Today and him to help him out. Steve then started talking bad about my crew and their workmanship and calling them âlazy, stupid, nogood, d grade installers, etc. No that is where I drew the line because he has already hurt me and now he was started on my guys. When that very week we replaced 800 sqft of lvp demo and install for another guy he hired and fired and we did this in three days and the homeowner was extremely happy. So this brings us to the last installer meeting we had. One of my guys questioned Steve about all these repairs we're being forced to do when he know it wasn't our mess up. Steve got a little agitated so I then tried to take up for install and Steve gets mad at me! After all I've done for him! He then goes in his office and invites me in to âtalkâ about it. I refused at first but he cursed at me and he and I had a heated exchange. He then calms down so it can appear im the aggressor ( yea he played me like a fiddle) and I was terminated. So here I am with taxes owed on money was payed out to guys I never knew and I was terminated unfairly. I gave my best to Empire today Memphis but in the end I got screwed by the ones I tried to help. And I was one of the few installers that never bad mouthed empire or took a job away from them. I gave my loyalty and they played me. I have cancelled checks and check stubs just incase they say I'm lying. Also at that last meeting there was a âinstallation quality managerâ present and I believe she was trying to get to the bottom of things a maybe help me in some way, but the corporate office had taken Steve Coudriet side completely without even trying to here from me. Sad. Feel free to contact me.