We needed to replace carpet on 1 staircase before moving, not wanting to spend a lot of money since we wouldn't be living with it, so I called Empire to see what they offered. I asked the woman on the phone what the average price was for carpeting 1 staircase and she said "We don't quote over the phone. A rep will come to your house and show you your options."
Having a 6 month old, I was hoping that this would save me time & be fairly reasonably priced. WRONG! The rep, a small man in his 50's, came to our house and surprisingly only brought 1 sample in. He measured the stairs & then showed me the color sample to match up with pre-existing carpeting upstairs, all the while being friendly and chatty. Then we sat down to "calculate" the cost.
I don't know where he was pulling this from because he took out a legal pad and a calculator and wrote down $1600 at the top. I was shocked....it probably showed on my face....and he told me not to worry because he had coupons....and took off $100. Then he said there was some other discount that could take the price down to $960. I said that it seemed high and we didn't want to spend a lot just to move. He offered to take it down to $860, which I knew was still too high, so I told him I'd have to consult with my husband. He got VERY upset with me and told me that I needed to call my husband now to make the decision. I knew my husband would say it was too much, but called anyway. My husband said no & the rep tried to sell us on the idea of "not paying until 2010" and "only $25 deposit" but I said it seemed to high & we would call them back if we couldn't find for less.
He became defensive and told me that Home Depot would be just as expensive and "good luck getting them to install in less than 3 weeks!" and then pretty much stormed out of my house while I was thanking him for his time.
In the end, we went through a local contractor (XO Flooring, Philly suburbs) and had the entire staircase done for $400, in 45 minutes, 3 days later. Love them! Stay away from Empire!!