7 Businesses To Watch Out For

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Consumer Installment Financing

Enticing consumers with poor credit, Baltimore-based BlueHippo advertises computers and electronics that can be purchased through installment financing plans. The company asks consumers to pay one upfront fee, followed by 52 weeks of layaway payments. The product will be shipped within two or three months, the company says. But miss a payment early on, and you might not get your purchase – or a refund, according to customer complaints. Consumers “find themselves strapped for cash and want to stop the charges, but the company makes it very challenging,” says Angie Barnett, president of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland. According to Barnett, many unhappy customers who have not paid in full are still waiting for their computers. More than 3,000 BlueHippo customers have issued complaints with the Greater Maryland BBB, and more than 1,000 reported that they have not heard any response from the company. The company did not respond to phone or e-mail messages from Inc. requesting comment.