Empire Today's reply to:
Empire Today - Feel Very Lied to...
I feel so very lied to and am very dissatisfied with Empire today. If something is not done quickly I am getting an attorney. We bought out house in 2006 and wanted to put hardwood flooring down. The man we bought the house from was a contractor and advised against it due to the moisture of south florida. After seeing hard wood flooring everywhere, we started to second guess his advice a bit. We waited several years, saved up money and did research before we bought. Empire had a really good history and customer service record so we looked into them further. We had several friends who had hard wood flooring nearby our home and hadn't had issues at all. We finally gained enough confidence to set up a free in home estimate. Our sales guy was great, worked with our busy schedule and seemed to really know his product. The very FIRST concern I brought to his attention was the infamous south florida moisture issue. He assured us that it was very rarely a problem and not to worry because the product we were interested in carried a 15 year warranty and Empire always comes through and takes care of their customers. Furthermore, the wood they use is specifically treated for warm moist climates such as south florida, the hard wood manufactured for northern climates is entirely different and I was correct in being weary that a product such as that would not fair well here. I asked MANY questions regarding the warranty. I found that if I scratch it, drop something heavy on it, spill something on it or my dog pee's on it etc, that would not be covered under warranty, which is entirely understandable, but any other moisture issues other than outright flooding, pipes bursting etc WOULD be covered and the bottom line was Empire will always do the right thing. They haven't been in business for over 50 years not treating their customers right. I was assured that if there was ANY product issue within the first 15 years it would be covered at 100% as long as it was not at the fault of myself or any other in home dweller. My moisture scares were finally put to rest I had full confidence I was in the hands of a company that backed up it's product and valued me as a customer paying a very large sum of money.
My mind was finally put at ease and we made a giant investment into the home we love. The install team was friendly, fast, courteous and great at answering any questions both my husband and I asked. Even though my confidence had been significantly built up, I voiced my moisture based concerns to them as well to get a different opinion and perspective. I again was completely assured it was extremely rare for the hard wood product I had chosen to ever have issues with moisture unless complete home flooding was involved and not to worry because I had a 15 year warranty that would cover issues such as the one I referred to.
When they finally were finished after nearly 6 full days of work we fell in love!! Our new floors looked amazing!! We were not prepared for what would come next.
A few days later, I noticed some "bubbling" "blistering" and peeling to the wood. My husband and I were careful not to walk in these areas figuring the floor was just "settling down" The problems persisted and only seemed to get worse.....mostly in areas no where near water, plumbing, windows or anything else that would create moisture.
We called Empire right away and they sent our install tech back out to check on the issue. When he arrived, he tested for moisture beneath our brand new wood. He then began to act nervous and reserved, my husband kept asking questions and the installer dodged them each time. He said he would call us back within two days...no call. We called Empire back, they sent another guy, he did the exact same testing the first tech did, no call back. We ended up having to call again to make up yet another appointment but had to reschedule that appointment giving two days notice of the reschedule, the next appointment the guy never showed up. We called again, the installer then called apologizing saying Empire never told him to come out. He said he was working on getting me a quote for repairs for the damage. I reminded him I was still under warranty, he said moisture issues were not covered no matter what kind of moisture is involved. He said my warranty has been voided.
Now I just get a call saying the fix to the few small areas will be $500??????? The floors have been down for only THREE MONTHS!!!! Are they kidding me????? I am SICKENED LITERALLY and PHYSICALLY over the treatment I have received!! No one wants to help, they just want to charge me for a shoddy product that apparently shouldn't have ever been put down in even the slightest of humidity!!
My biggest question is this....If I had such a moisture issue....why didn't they tell me BEFORE they put the flooring down???? Don't tell me the issue "magically" presented itself within the first few days.
If Empire really wanted to take care of me they would have tested for such potential problems and ADVISED me that hard wood may pose a problem in my particular home down the road....they should have ADVISED me to I don't know put down TILE instead???? They wouldn't have lost me as a customer!!! YES I wanted hard wood...but more than that I wanted a reputable company to make educated recommendations to me. Yes I would have still had the chance to make my own decision, but at least that would have showed they genuinely wanted me to be a happy repeat customer for years to come....I feel completely heartbroken for trusting Empire. I haven't lost complete hope that there is still a chance for them to make this horrible situation right...but BIG things had BETTER happen FAST!!!!
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