Window installer faces consumer complaints, criminal investigation

A window installer based in Menomonee Falls is facing mounting complaints from customers and a criminal investigation.

Over the last year, Contact 6 has received 31 complaints about Window Select. The business is less than three years old. Most of the complaints are about installation delays.

Upon retirement and selling his business, Michael Sugden in New Berlin spent nearly $11,000 on new doors from Window Select. He paid for the entire project upfront.

Michael Sugden

Window Select scheduled Sugden’s installation for August 2021. Eight months later, his project has not yet started.

"I just want my doors," said Sugden. "If [Window Select] can’t do my doors, at least be honest with me and tell me that."

Linda and Jeff Schenk in Jackson paid about $17,000 to Window Select to replace windows throughout their house. The company has delayed their installation date multiple times.

Linda Schenk

"October, November, December, January, and then in January [the owner] pushed it off until February," said Linda Schenk.

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Window Select gave the Schenks a refund check and a signed document stating they could cash it, "if job is not installed by 3/19." In late March, the Schenks cashed the check.

Window Select stopped the payment.

Then, Linda Schenk said she got an offer she had to refuse.

"I’ll write you a check for the entire amount again and you can cash it," Schenk recalled the owner saying. "But, I need you to sign a statement saying you won’t post any bad reviews about us."

Complaints about Window Select

The Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection has 43 complaints about Window Select. The state told Contact 6 it’s reviewing the company’s business practices.

"If we see a pattern for the same business, or same type of activity within an industry, we’ll take a closer look," said Michael Domke, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

As of April 18, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) had more than 180 complaints about Window Select.

"Back in October, we revoked Window Select from the Better Business Bureau and currently they have an ‘F’ rating with us," said Jim Temmer, BBB of Wisconsin President and CEO.

The BBB has issued three alerts to consumers about Window Select. The BBB has heard from many customers who says they paid for the installation of windows and doors that were not completed or installed properly.

Jim Temmer

Window Select’s president, Justin Kiswardy, has been responsive to Contact 6 over the last year. At least 18 customers who wrote to FOX6’s consumer segment had their windows installed, many at discounted prices. A handful of customers who wrote to Contact 6 got full refunds. Other customers say they’re still waiting for their windows to be installed.

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In correspondence with Contact 6, one Window Select customer wrote, "it’s been a ridiculously frustrating process." Another wrote, "they are failing their customers."

In a statement, Kiswardy thanked customers "for their ongoing patience." He said his company has faced "unexpected challenges including supply chain issues causing backlogs." Kiswardy admitted "mistakes were also made".

Kiswardy said Window Select is installing 10 to 15 jobs per day and working to accelerate their inventory.

Last week, the Milwaukee chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) told Contact 6 that "Window Select is no longer a member," while also stating that NARI stands for "good value… and high ethical standards."

Sergeant Marc Shield of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office confirms there is an active criminal investigation underway into Window Select. The investigation is being done in partnership with law enforcement across the state, including in Southeast Wisconsin.

Sergeant Shield says it’s early in their investigation, but right now they are gathering records, speaking with customers and former employees.

One former employee is Brandon Epley, who says he was a sales representative. Epley says he left the company after hearing complaints from customers, and speaking with suppliers about Window Select’s unpaid bills.

"I value my ethics way too much to just take money from people," said Epley. "I still have customers that text me still to this day asking if there’s an update on their windows yet."

Epley says he found it strange that Window Select kept changing its window manufacturers.

"Four times within the matter of a year, they switched window manufacturers," said Epley.

Epley says several sales representatives have left Window Select in recent months. He says he knows this because "we all talk. We’re friends."

Climate Solutions Windows and Doors in Franklin Park, Illinois, says it’s a current supplier for Window Select. Its manager confirms that back in July, he learned that Window Select told customers manufacturing issues were to blame for its delays. Climate Solutions’ manager says that was not true.

He says the real reason for the delays was Window Select’s unpaid invoices. Climate Solutions completed Window Select’s orders but could not release them. Hundreds of orders were paused. Today, the manager says Window Select is back in good standing with Climate Solutions.

Sugden filed a complaint form with Contact 6 about his doors in February. Soon after, he says the company called him and said completing his work was a high priority.

"Right after I filed a complaint with Contact 6, I had three days in a row where somebody from Window Select called me," said Sugden.

When Sugden met with reporter Jenna Sachs in April, he was skeptical his work would be completed.

"I feel I am being used, to be very honest," said Sugden. "I would never recommend them to anybody."

Last week, Contact 6 was forwarded an email written by Window Select’s general manager announcing his departure from the company. As "of today I am leaving the company effective immediately," he wrote.

Full statement from Window Select

Full statement from Milwaukee NARI

"NARI Milwaukee stands for good value and relationships between consumers and contractors, and maintaining high ethical standards. Window Select is no longer a member of NARI Milwaukee."

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