BlueHippo is a Cute, Cuddly Ripoff recently completed an investigation into BlueHippo, a credit provider that takes advantage of wide-eyed consumers looking to purchase “one of those computer things.” We haven’t seen the commercials ourselves, but a blue hippo romping around with upside-down signage sure does sound appealing. As a credit lender? Maybe not, but I assume I am not the target audience.

Here’s the deal: for the low down payment of $99, plus 13 more weekly payments of $39.99, or $619, total, a consumer “earns” the right to have a “brand new, brand name desktop computer” shipped to them. The catch? This computer is already so outdated that ConsumerAffairs could find no retailer selling such a dinosaur. And if you succeed in sending in all the initial payments, you could already have bought an entry-level Dell desktop. Yikes. But after you receive the computer, you still have to make 49 more weekly payments of $39.99 in order to keep it. That’s $2,178 to own the computer!

Holy cow hippo! That’s a couple hundred more than I spent on a fully-loaded-and-then-some IBM ThinkPad T43 two years ago!

That about sums up the first page of ConsumerAffairs’s investigation. You can guess the rest. Impossible to get a refund, fake charitable foundation, financially sketchy founder, etc.