I had an empire salesperson over for an estimate recently. Empire was doing a Buy one room get 2 Free for flooring. We were going to install Wood Laminate flooring in our family room by ourselves. We figured we had two bedrooms that needed carpeting we might as well take advantage of the deal and have them do the family room install. Wood Laminate is relatively cheap but very durable and perfect for our family room and how often it gets used. The most any DIY center sells it for is $4/sq ft, and typically not more than $3 for the nicer product. We figured it wouldn't cost much more for installation. We were wrong.
The salesman seemed nice. He showed us a few samples and we picked a color of the only HW Laminate they offer (didn't give us a price per sq ft). He said it is made by Armstrong specifically for Empire. Armstrong is an OK brand and at most goes for $3.50 a square foot so I figured this will be relatively inexpensive. He measured the 2 bedrooms, we picked out cheap carpeting. He sat down for 5 minutes with his calculator. Keep in mind our Family room is 350 Sq Feet. He came up with a cost of $4200 for just the Family Room! That is $12 per Sq Ft for just the wood laminate! There is no possible way that the flooring was more than $4/sq ft, and two installers aren't getting paid $3000 for a 6 hour job.
I simply asked him to leave our house. He then asked me to give him my budget (Which was $3,000 for al three rooms) He then said "If I can do all three rooms for $3,000, can I get the sale today?" I said maybe. He then magically did some calculations and said he can do the Family Room for $3045. He gave me a Full $1155 off because I asked? Right there is the sign of a shady salesman. $3045 for 3 rooms wasn't bad. But of course the catch is the special sale didn't include the padding, molding, or the installation for the "free rooms". So the Three rooms (buy one get two) came to $4500. We had him leave, and told him there was no way we could do it for that price. He said he can try to get it cheaper but I'd have to promise to make the sale today. We didn't and just had him leave.
If anyone from Empire Today reads this I would like you to respond and tell me that this was a rogue salesman, and that not every salesman you send into a home is a thief. I understand that your prices are "all inclusive" But $4200 for a Simple 350 Sq Ft room removing carpet and installing simple wood laminate is ridiculous. And anyone who ever installed wood laminate can verify how easy it is to install, and how inexpensive even the best product is.
Thank you for reading this, and I hope to hear back from an Empire Today representative soon.
Product or Service Mentioned: Empire Today Flooring.