Dmitry Agarkov from Voronezh in Russia has beaten the bank at their own game by changing the small print of his credit card contract to give him a much better deal. Agarkov, received a letter from Tinkoff Credit Systems (TCS) offering him a new credit card if he filled in the enclosed form. Instead of tossing the letter away as most of us would have done, Agarkov scanned the form in to his PC so that he could edit the wording of the terms and conditions.
The amendments Agarkov typed into his version of the contract included unlimited credit, a 0% interest rate and the removal of any charges or fees imposed by the bank onto the customer. He also added a clause whereby the bank would be liable to pay 3 million rubles / £59,000 for each time the bank made any change to the agreement and a 6 million ruble / £118,000 charge payable by TCS if the bank wanted to cancel the contract.
Agarkov printed the “improved” contract, filled in and signed the form and returned it to the bank. TCS actually accepted the contract, activated his account and sent a delighted Agarkov his new credit card.
It was only after two years of active use that the bank closed Agarkov’s account claiming it was due to mounting arrears caused by unpaid interest and failure to settle late payment charges. Agarkov refused to pay up telling the bank that according to the agreement signed by himself and the bank that he didn’t owe them a single penny other than what he had spent on the card.
TCS decided to take Agarkov to court to try and get their 45,000 rubles / £882 to cover accrued interest and late payment charges. Miraculously, the court ruled in favour of Agarkov saying that his amended contract was valid and that the bank should have “read the small print” before signing the agreement. Agarkov was instructed by the judge only to pay the 19,000 rubles / £373 balance on the card.
Agarkov said he’d be suing Tinkoff Credit Systems for 24 million rubles / half a million pounds, which, according to the contract he made with the TCS, covers the penalties the bank owe for changing the agreed terms and for cancelling the account without his permission.
On August 14, 2013 Tinkoff Credit Systems bank and Dmitry Agarkov mutually agreed to settle for an undisclosed sum. The official statement made by Tinkoff Credit System’s president, Oliver Hughes was,
“Conflict is non-constructive, so we decided to finish his gentlemanly, by removing mutual claims,”
“In 2008, it was just a joke when I made my application form and submitted it to the bank instead of the official form. But the joke has gone too far. Of course, I do not recommend that other people do a similar thing. Before receiving the loan you have a lot of time to think and to examine the conditions of the bank, but, if so agreed, you should comply with the terms,”