Looks like I waited too long EMPIRE do my countertops. The 2 other reviews on this site, both 10/10 are 4 and 5 years old. My recent experience with Empire was anything but 10/10. Read on.
I phoned Empire about new countertops and they arrived very promptly to take the measurements for the “L” shaped, i.e. 2 piece countertop. I told ‘measuring guy’ we were expecting a new stove in a day or so. He told me that they would only need to make ‘this small adjustment’ to his actual measurements and all would be fine. ‘This small adjustment’ was 6 inches, the difference between the old 30 inch stove and the new 24 inch stove. The countertop material needed to be ordered and we should expect a call in about 2 weeks to arrange the installation
When the new stove arrived, I and my trusty measuring tape soon realized that ‘this small adjustment’ did not accurately reflect the size of countertop needed. Repeated phone calls over the subsequent 2 weeks were ignored, except for the last one, when I was informed that the materials had arrived, the countertop was built and ready to be installed and there would be no remeasuring.
Come installation day and ‘the installers’ arrived promptly and went about their business. I had to leave for a while, and when I arrived back home the work was complete and ‘the installer/measuring guy’ had left. The countertop itself looked great, colour wise. But the 24 inch stove looked very lost in the 26.5 inch gap left for it, [thanks for the remeasure?]. And to add insult to injury, the top drawers would not open properly because they were obstructed by the new countertop.
A phone call got me a return visit by ‘the installer/measuring guy’ who quickly dealt with the obstruction issue. And when I objected to the small stove/large gap issue, I was assured, in a vested interest/I measured it, I installed it, it is perfect tone of voice, that it should be that way, all was just fine, no problem here, blah, blah, blah.
A phone call to the office to voice my concern about the short leg got me [surprise!] no response. Same lack of interest/response when I sent an email with a photo of the mismeasured countertop
Fast forward a few months and I noticed that the seam between the 2 pieces of the countertop was now a crack. A phone call to Empire got me a “we will get back to you later today’ response. That was 10+ days ago, and I have heard nothing [surprise?]. I am not holding my breath either.
To summarize - can’t measure [too large a gap for the stove], can’t install [counter colliding with drawers], can’t construct [countertop fell apart after 2 months], can’t communicate [way too many ignored calls for a remeasure, call to reschedule a new installation date ignored, no reply after a week+ about the falling apart issue.
10/10, I THINK NOT.
**** Countertops Update ****
Approximately 3 weeks and 3 days after the phone call to complain about the countertop cracking apart at the seam, "head guy" arrived to view the installation. Quick look at the countertop [too short] and the cracked seam [poor construction/installation] and he proceeded to tell the Empires version of the story. When I told he he was very mistaken, he announced ‘You are ly**g, I am out of here, I can't do business with you if you are not going to tell the truth’, and he left. Total length of the visit about 5 minutes.
Empires version - I phoned them after the initial measurements were taken and requested 6 inches be added to the countertop because of the new, smaller stove. This would make the short countertop my fault. My version aka the truth. I told measuring guy when he was right there in the kitchen that a new smaller stove was on the way and he adjusted his measurements on the spot instead of doing an actual measure. Repeated calls during the next 2 weeks to request a remeasure were ignored. This would make the short countertop Empires fault. The crack is obviously the fault of Empire.
- Company Response
It's deeply disappointing when we are unable to satisfy a customer. As challenging as it is, our aim is complete satisfaction. In your case, we supplied the counter you requested in the dimensions you requested. I would like to recommend that you consider whether in future, you might take a more honest approach and a more constructive attitude with suppliers. You chose dishonesty, even before receiving your counter, yet we did our best to satisfy you, however, when you were completely untruthful in my presence in your home, you disqualified yourself from any further service. In other cases where customers are not completely satisfied, even when it is as a result of their own choices or decisions, we do our best to see how we can satisfy them, sometimes even at our own expense, depending on the circumstances.
It pains me to leave this matter unresolved but you have made it impossible.
Now you have chosen to write a bad review which is completely in keeping with the character you have demonstrated to date, however, I note for the reader that we advertise almost nowhere in recent years depending completely on repeat business and referrals. That is our lifeblood. We have made literally tens of thousands of countertops with good results, regrettably, this is not one of them.
Additional note. This customer, using a fictitious name, got a full refund from Mastercard, however, he was unable to substantiate his claim and the payment was returned to us.