'Numerous disputes' about window installer, debt collector says

A Menomonee Falls window installer is trying to right its ship amid mounting complaints and legal troubles. Unhappy customers continue writing to Contact 6, including one customer who got a collection notice from a debt collector.

It took more than a year for Window Select to install Tim Marcado’s living room window in Genoa City. But, there’s a problem: it’s not the window Marcado ordered.

"It’s frustrating," Marcado told Contact 6. "I just want the right window."

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Marcado believes he’s more fortunate than other customers of Window Select. The company replaced the rest of the windows in Marcado’s house in May 2021 without major issue. During that installation, the Window Select crew realized his living room window wasn’t what he ordered.

The company finally came back in April 2022 to install the final window. Marcado approves of the installation job, but the window still wasn’t what he ordered.

Window Select complaints

To date, Contact 6 has gotten 67 complaints about Window Select. Many of those complaints came from customers who made down payments for work that hadn’t started. The Better Business Bureau has 297 complaints about Window Select. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATPC) has 277 complaints.

DATCP is investigating Window Select’s business practices, as is law enforcement. The company is also facing small claims cases, a class action lawsuit and an eviction from its warehouse facility.

After several months of speaking with Window Select about his window project, what’s Tim’s opinion?

"Complete chaos. Disorganization," said Marcado.

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Marcado says he was promised that the correct window would be ordered. Then, he got an email from Martini, Hughes and Grossman, a debt collector, seeking final payment for his project.

"I have no problem paying for what I owe," said Marcado. "My problem is, it’s due upon completion and the job is not complete."

Contact 6 emailed Martini, Hughes and Grossman on Marcado’s behalf. It’s president, JP Hughes, responded and said that after getting "numerous disputes" they "no longer represent Window Select." His email reads:

"We were hired on contingency in April 2022 by Window Select LLC/Justin Kiswardy, and we mailed out the standard Initial demands.

Window Select

Over the last few weeks we have received numerous disputes and brought them ALL to the attention of Mr. Kiswardy and Window Select LLC. They stated they were researching each disputed case and that they would directly reach out to the consumer with updates on job completion repairs and incoming inventory.

We however advised Window Select LLC that we could no longer represent them unless the consumer signs off on the certificate of completion, and we no longer represent Window Select LLC."

So, what does this mean for customers who got collection notices from Martini, Hughes and Grossman? Hughes writes, "[The notices] need to be ignored as we no longer represent Window Select LLC/Justin Kiswardy."

Contact 6 asked Hughes whether their notices could impact customer credit report ratings. Hughes said by law, they must wait 30 days to report information to a credit bureau, in order to "give the consumer the opportunity to dispute the file. Since these were disputes, and they were within 30 days, not one file was ever reported to any credit bureau".

Window Select

Contact 6 met with Marcado and told him he does not have to pay the debt collector.

"I like that update," Marcado responded.

Window Select does have signed certificates of completion for the installation of Marcado’s windows. Marcado says he thought the signed certificates were for the day’s work and not the entire project. He plans to continue withholding payment until the window he ordered is installed.

"If I do pay them now, what incentive do they have to come and install the correct window?" asked Marcado.

Window Select installation

Window Select is working with the business advisory firm, Cogent Analytics. Cogent’s president, Robert Braiman, told Contact 6 in an email:

"I will investigate the particular customer you are referring to.  We are starting to get our arms around outstanding clients, balances, and project schedules along with the manufacturers to ensure we answer any and all questions from customers.  As you can imagine this is a substantive task, but we believe we should have an immediate impact on communication to those whom we’ve already been able to identify and moreover those whom might have gone unnoticed."

Neither Cogent Analytics, nor Window Select’s owner, responded to Contact 6’s questions about whether the company plans to resume debt collection and how it intends to handle disputes.

In a previous statement, Cogent Analytics told FOX6:

"Cogent Analytics is working diligently with Windows [sic] Select to address a variety of operational and financial issues that have arisen in their near-term history.  Although we have direct participation in guiding every decision within Windows [sic] Select’s operations, we cannot represent "full operational and Management control"... Additionally, we are of the firm belief that Windows [sic] Select is absolutely working every day to "right the ship" and want to do right by their customers and the broader community."