I had to replace the carpet in the hallways/staircase of a three story three family in Boston. I had used
Empire before, so gave them a call and got an estimate. The price was $4.53 per sq. ft. installed. To
say that the salesperson was incompetent would be generous. He had to measure everything three
times, could not do simple calculations. He made so many mistakes on the order crossing things out
two and three times that it was unreadable. He told me that I had to put down a third of the total cost
because it was a special order and would take 10-14 days to get the carpet. Then in the next breath
said that it could be installed the next day.
Came up with an estimate of $3,692 based and 774.26 sq ft. I said that seemed high. He said: no,
and that this was a big area. I asked if there was an additional labor charges since this was a
staircase. He re-iterated: no, it's a flat fee. I agreed to remove and dispose of the old carpet to save
$200. He called the office and the lowered price for $3,001 was agreed upon. When I ripped up the
carpet I looked at them and concluded that there was no way that this was close to 800 sq ft. I
measured it and came out with 304 sq ft. I am an architect with 30 yrs experience and an expert in
this area. I had a third person measure it and he came up with 305 sq ft.
Granted it was a staircase with more waste than normal, but over150%. I called the office and
complained. A manager came out and first he said was that in the order was written for 680 sq. ft.,
not the original 774.26 sq. ft. that the basis for the quote. He also confirmed that the price included
installation and that there was not a separate labor charge. When I asked why there was no
adjustment and that the price still reflected the original 774.26 sq. ft. he had no answer. He also
confirmed that it was in stock. No one has ever explained why I had put up $1,000 deposit instead of
the standard $25. A question that remains unanswered to this day.
He measured and came up with 502 sq. ft. Not sure how using the same equation they came up with
three different sizes for the same square footage of floor space. He told me that he would give me a
$500 credit. I said OK and the installation was scheduled for the next day. I really didn't have much
of a choice, as I stood to lose the $1,000 deposit.
The installers arrived with the work order where the price was still $3,001. There also was a note to
call after the work was done. When I told them that this is not the right price, they called to the
office before they started, but the manager didn't want to talk. I took the phone and reminded that we
agreed to lower price by at least $500. He answered that he would discuss the final price after
installation. The installers installed and I called to manager again. This time, he said the bill was
$2,800. I reminded him again that he had agreed to a $500 credit from the $3001. He denied that he
had ever having agreed to that. Among the scrap was a single piece 12ft x 6ft =72 sq.ft and I tried to
get a credit for it. I tried to pay for 430 sq ft instead the 502 sq. ft. (502-72=430), the amount actually
installed plus waste. He said: no. So I said that I would pay for every sq in that was in the truck. I
took out my calculator and computed: $4.53 x 502 sq.ft + 5% (taxes)= $2,387.76. He said: no, that
$2,601 was the best he could do. I reminded him that the contract was for $4.53 per sq. ft. for 502
sq.ft. not for 545 sq.ft. (There was a total 502 sq. ft. of carpet in the truck). I still questioned the 58%
waste (based on 502 sq, ft., not the 545 sq. ft. that I was charged for), but have decided to drop it
He pretty much demanded the new higher price even though he could offer no explanation as to how
he came to that price. He also told me that I had to pay it since it had already been installed even
hough the new higher price had never been discussed. So, I paid $2, 601. Very expensive carpet for
the 305 sq. ft. of floor space!
Product or Service Mentioned: Empire Today Estimate.
Monetary Loss: $500.