So I’m sitting around reading and listening to the TV. It’s sometime around three or four AM and this infocommercial comes on for Blue Hippo (I won’t link to them, they’re that scammy!) offering to get you a Brand Name Computer (Dell) without a credit check and without needing a credit card. All you need is an active checking account. Now, believe me, I know ALL rent-to-own places are complete and utter rip offs. You can save the money to get the same or better product in half or less of the time you’d be paying for it through some company. But needing something to bitch about here and having nothing else to do I popped online to see what there was to see.
First, the computer. This is the desktop rig they’re offering:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor
80GB Hard Drive
CD-ROM & Burner
17″ Flat Panel LCD Monitor
Free: Digital Camera
Free: Color Printer
Ok, the CPU’s not dual core, it’s only got 512 megs of ram and a fairly small (for today) hard drive. Bets are that the ‘free’ camera printer are bottom of the line garbage worth next to nothing. Then there’s their catch:
First they need you to “build a credit history with us by paying a $99.00 initial fee.” Then they hit you with the terms “…followed by 52 weeks of consecutive layaway payments of $39.99. After 6 weeks we can then offer to finance the balance of your purchase price, order your computer, and have it shipped directly to your home via UPS or FedEx.”
Read that again, folks. You have to pay them a $100, then pay them $39.99 for SIX weeks and THEN if you can get approved for their financing they’ll send you the computer! You have to pay them $339.94 BEFORE you can even apply for financing. That’s probably close to the actual value of the computer before you even SEE the computer and the gods only know what kind of horrible interest rate they’re going to slam you with IF you can get approved.
If you just go with their 52 week plan you’ll end up spending $2179.48 for an out of date computer that might be worth $500. Looking around the ‘net it seems there’s several class action suits out against Blue Hippo and several investigative reports claiming they often delay shipment for weeks or months and in some cases don’t send the computer at all!
Hawk (Can you smell the scam boys and girls?)