Empire Today trick their customer with one product, then sell them the other. You should learn this fact before consider making that call.
Here is my story. I had my house re-floor by Empire Today Tampa in April.
The sales person came with some tiles, and it only took me less than 30 minutes to choose one I really like. It was 18" pocelain tiles with flat smooth surface. The name of the tile- Santo Ivory We negotiate price, then signed the order.
On the installation day, two men show up, (I was expected a 4 men clew). The guy showed me a tile, asked me to confirm this was what I ordered. The color was yellower, and surface was rough. I replied, "I don't think this is the one, it does look like it" The guy said " it is santo ivory 18", the box says so, this is the one listed in the order".
I was confused, and the tiles and what I remembered did look very alike.
Upon now you should've realized, yes, the sales person NEVER left me a sample tile. Later I learnt this is the trick they play.
So I gave ok for the installers to continue the job. 2 days later I was onsite checking out how installation process. I happened to notice one opened box of tiles which was left at the corner. What caught my eyes was the light reflection of it differ from what have been installed in my house. I touched the tiles and it was smooth, and the color/pattern was more settle.
I immediately realized :THIS is the one I purchased! I told installers, and I explained that tile was the right one. The installer responsed " we only got three boxes of them." I asked them to leave me the right tiles for me to talk to their office. He claimed he need to return all left over back but he can leave me one. (I was holding it tightly so I guess he cannot refuse.)
The difference of two tiles are--
1. surface roughness: the right one is slikly smooth, the wrong one is roughly smooth. You can feel in by touching. And you will notice less noise when walk on right one.
2. Backing pattern-- The right one has " design in France" writting and was waving pattern. the right one has "made in china" writting and was grids pattern.
3. Color- both are ivory color, but we all know just as we buy paint, there are many shade of ivory. The right one has more green, makes it more settle. The wrong one is yellower.
I called sales person immediately. He said he will stopped by. And of course, he did not. I called my credit card to hold the payment. Then I contact Empire Today customer service. Finally after a week he called and made an appointment with me. He came to my house, claimed and insisted both tiles are the same. He took it back to have his manager take a look.
Days later I received calls from their office. The manager claimed she have all the employees tested touching, walking barefootly, and looking at two tiles, everyone says they are the same. (And of course if she was my boss who signed my paychecks, I will claim whatever she wants.) She further explained many employees have Santo Ivory installed in their home, they don't see the different. Wow!!!! The color and backing difference was normal, not every tiles are identical and sometimes manufactor changes backings. I understand that but how do they explaned they have three boxes of what I was sold and ordered but not installed?
"They are the same." That was the answer I got.
After several calls going bak and forth, the manager INSIST two are the same and I feel the difference, which they cannot do anything with MY FEELING.
To be fair, installation was fast and smooth, 1100 sq. ft was completed by 2 and half days. Only a couple tiles was slightly uneven but overall not too bad.
But the feeling of being a scam victim is still there. What if I've never noticed that box of tiles blings under sunlight? Once again they successfully scamed one customer. I hope you are not next one.
Tsai in Largo, FL.
Review about: Empire Today Installation.
Monetary Loss: $5.