I recently purchased an Oreck XL vacuum cleaner direct from Oreck, Inc. - on the phone. I took Oreck's offer of a 12-month, no-finance-charge plan using the "Oreck Power Card". Turns out the card is provided by HRS.
I will make 12 monthly payments, being sure to pay off the balance before the no-finance-charge period ends in September, 2002. I'll be watching closely to see if HRS attempts any of the shenanigans you describe.