PSI: One problem leads to another

By Jamie Boll - bio l email

Produced by Jeff Keene - email 

Charlotte, NC (WBTV) - Cathy Thomson figured the math added up.  Spending $24,000 once to paint her home and horse barn made more sense than spending $6,000 every three years.

"The warranty is there you don't have the replacement costs," said Thomson. " You got so many other things to worry about on a horse farm it was supposed to be one less thing."

Unfortunately, she has something to worry about.  She paid The Window Pros to use a product being sold as Liquid Ceramic Siding.  It was paint, but it came with a lifetime warranty and promises it would cut heating bills by 30 percent.

"It was the greatest thing since sliced bread," said Thompson recalling the sales pitch.  "You know its the thing that covers the shields, the tiles on the space shuttle to protect it on re-entry."

Her heating bills weren't cut 30 percent, the paint began to fade after a couple years and underneath it some of the boards are showing signs of bubbling and cracking.

Now, Thomson can't get The Window Pros to live up to its lifetime warranty.

The company's address is listed as 9600 Monroe Road in Charlotte.  The Window Pros signs are still up, but the office is locked and empty.

The owner of the property says he would like to find The Window Pros as well.  He says he's owed tens of thousands of dollars in rent.

The Window Pros owner is Mike Mason.  After leaving a phone message he did return our call.

He says he sold $3 million worth of Liquid Ceramic Siding, but stopped after about a year-and-a-half.  He said it became clear the product wasn't holding up as he thought.  He thinks it was an installation problem.

Mason tells us he spent a half million dollars trying to live up to all the warranties and its helped financially drain his company.  He says he'll help the Thomsons when his cash flow improves.  He says he always does right by his customers.

The Better Business Bureau disagrees.  It gives The Window Pros its lowest rating, an F.  Some of the company's customers might disagree as well if they saw what was behind his now empty sales office.

Out in the open sitting in six metal bins were customer files.  In those files were names, addresses, phone numbers, credit reports and social security numbers.

"I haven't seen anything like this," said Robert Korkos.

Korkos works for Automated Shredding Inc.   A company that properly disposes of sensitive records.

"This is just somebody who didn't want to spend a little money to get rid of things properly," said Korkos.

When asked about the records Mason said he was told a company had been hired to remove them.  He says he didn't know it hadn't been done.  He promised they would be removed.

A few days later, they were still there.  So WBTV asked Automated Shredding to help dispose of them properly.

The Thomsons see it as an example of another promise not kept.

"They should have never charged that much for it (ceramic paint) and they should have never offered a lifetime guarantee," said Thomson.  "But the fact of the matter is they did and they did and we bought it."

And they want it fixed.

Click on the red camera icon to watch this Problem Solver Investigation.  Also check our web extra which includes information on how to properly get dispose of sensitive records.