Chicago, IL-November, 24, 2009 - BlueHippo.com, is a company that claims to help purchase a new computer and various electronics by financing products for customers regardless of their credit history. The company requires their customers to make upfront payments in order to have the products purchased shipped directly to the customer’s home. Bluehippo.com, however, has failed to deliver computers and electronics ordered.
The BBB of Maryland which handles BlueHippo complaints for the country has received 4,154 complaints in the last three years. Of those, 1,731 were received in the last 12 months - the same period in which the FTC claims that BlueHippo made over $15 million from consumers.
“BlueHippo has an extensive track record of leaving unhappy customers behind,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “In these tough economic times cash-strapped consumers need to take the extra step and research a company before they make a purchase or enter a contract. At www.bbb.org consumers can check BBB Reliability Reports for free.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission, fewer than 1 percent of customers received a product. The FTC says BlueHippo would ask for down payments of $99 to $124 that would be followed by one year of weekly or bi-weekly payments of $36 to $88. After 13 payments, the customer was supposed to receive the product, however most did not.
Anjail Newell Hunt, a victim from Dolton, IL said, “They said that if you had a job and a checking account you could get a computer. I made payments that added up to $986.00 over six or seven months. I never got the computer. I called and told them that I was tired of waiting and wanted to cancel. They said that I could not cancel. I told them I wanted the computer. I made around ten calls to them to try to get my computer…That actually happened in around 2002. Now last year I started getting collection notices from them and it actually went on my credit report. I did not have my money and I did not get a computer! At that point, I complained to the Better Business Bureau. I challenged the information on my credit report and since Blue Hippo did not respond - it was removed. I never got my money or a computer though.”
In April 2008, the FTC reached a settlement with Baltimore-based company under which BlueHippo agreed to pay $3.5 million to compensate customers and barred the company from further deceiving customers. However, between April 2008 and December 2008, BlueHippo signed up more than 35,000 customers. Of the 2,477 customers who met all the company's conditions, none received a computer. The FTC has now asked a federal court to issue a contempt order against BlueHippo, in violation of this 2008 court order.
BlueHippo has recently filed for bankruptcy. Consumers are advised to obtain and file a proof of claim form with the Bankruptcy Court by going to www.mdb.uscourts.gov , calling 410-962-2688 or writing to:
Edward A. Garmatz Federal Building
United States Courthouse Ste 8530
101 W. Lombard St
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2605
Bernas added, “Now more than ever it is vital for consumers to make the time to read the fine print and save all receipts.”
For more information about BlueHippo and how to be a savvy shopper go to www.bbb.org