Friday, November 03, 2006

Day 3: 1-800-588-2300...Empire Today!

Have you heard that commercial before for Empire Carpet? Totally annoying commercials, yes. But I love Empire Carpet. About three years ago, we had just finished our first go-around of remodeling. The carpet in the family room was the last item on my list. It was berber. I HATE berber. It feels incredibly synthetic on your feet, traps dirt and is less than warm and snuggly to stretch out on in front of the fire.
It had to go. But, going to look at carpet was as appealing as a root canal. I saw an ad for Empire, saw they had like 24-months no payments, no interest. I scheduled the appointment for the next day at my house. The guy came out, he was super and very easy to work with. They really did bring the samples to my house and I could look at them in the very room the carpet was going to go in! It was wonderful.

We bought a mid-level carpet and yes...they really came and installed it the next day. Their contracted installers were polite, clean and quick. It looked beautiful. I couldn't believe it was really THAT easy!

We don't allow shoes in the house (I once read an article about the amount of lead you track in your house each year on the bottom of your shoes...that was it, no more shoes) and the kids cannot eat in front of the television, so the carpet stayed relatively clean, with the exception of the time Phillip threw up on it and the various spots where a naked potty trainer or baby would pee (okay and poo a time or two as well).

But, soon, mystery spots started to appear in places no one had peed, pooped or thrown up. In fact, I got the throw up stain out completely (with Capture carpet cleaner). Every six months or so, Chem-Dry would come and clean the carpets. The stains would disappear for a few weeks, but then they would always start to reappear. The carpet cleaner always had some lame excuse about what the stain was..."It is a sugary stain, must be apple juice." Likely story in a house with three children, but my kids don't even drink juice!

Finally, I switched carpet cleaning companies as I thought maybe I need the "deep clean" of Stanley Steemer. They went on and on about how horrible Chem-Dry is and restored the carpet to its original beauty. Then, they sold me on some "maintenance package" that was an extra $150. Soon, the stains were back.

Finally, the carpet started to look so bad I was embarrassed. I decided to call Empire and complain. I called the 1-800 number nearly three years after I bought the carpet. The operator took my name and number and said she would have the local office call me. I didn't have much faith in that one. Within a few hours, they called. I briefly explained the dilemma and said I knew it sounded strange, but it was true.

Within a few hours of that, they were here to inspect the carpet. He examined, smelled, measured, etc. We discussed how often I had it cleaned, the pattern of the stains, the size and appearance. He agreed that it appeared strange.

He brought in samples for me to look at in the event they were going to replace it. I picked out a new carpet (very similar to what we had) and he said he would be back in touch in a day or two. The next day, he called to say they were replacing the entire carpet and pad for free...Could they come tomorrow to get the job done. No arguing, no speaking to a supervisor, no letter-writing, no questions...just replacing the whole thing!

The installers came and once again, got the job done (these guys did even better work than the first guys). The installer echoed my thoughts on Empire and said they were a great company. He said that carpet can have defects during manufacturing, especially if you have stain protectent put on (as we did). It can clump in areas and actually end up attracting dirt. Or, he said, it could have just been a bad run of carpet. Either way, he said, the stains didn't look right to him either.

Amazing in 2006 to get that kind of service from a large national company, or any company for that matter. So, the next time you need carpet, call 1-800-588-2300, Empire Today!


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19 comments:

Anne said...

That is AMAZING service!!

Anonymous said...

I'm moving to Indy area and need the whole house carpeted. I've been googling Empire and found lots of customer complaints, but none from the Indy area, as far as I can tell. I am glad to hear of a satisfied customer in Indy. How was the pricing compared to big box stores (Lowes, etc.?)

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