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A Better Better Business Bureau

While online "gripe sites" can help wronged customers blow off steam, the BBB now wants to help companies solve problems before they start

Joan Murphy needed a new computer for the billing service she was operating from her apartment in Queens, N.Y. So when she saw an ad for a Dell (DELL) computer that could be hers after making six weekly payments of $99, she contacted the company, BlueHippo. As a reward for full payment, BlueHippo promised Murphy a free printer. "I remember the ad pretty clearly," Murphy says."It said if you didn't have good credit, paid over time, you could get the computer."

Murphy did get the computer. But after $2,379 in payments, she was still waiting for the free printer. "It was a big mistake to trust them," she says. BlueHippo didn't return calls for comment.