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Bank That Didn't Read the Fine Print Gets Sued

Credit card
A customer who altered a credit card contract without the provider noticing is now suing the bank - for breaching his own terms and conditions.

Russian Dmitry Argarkov, 42, wasn't happy with the credit card terms being offered by Tinkoff Credit Systems so he scanned the document into his computer and made a few changes.

His more favourable terms included unlimited credit, zero per cent interest and no bank fees or fines. He also added a clause that he could fine the bank three million ruples - around £588 - every time the company failed to comply with the rules and a further six million ruples - £117 - if they tried to terminate the contract. Mr Argarkov, from Voronezh, Russia, then sent the amended contract back to Tinkoff which didn't pick up on the alterations and returned him the signed paperwork along with a credit card.

After two years of using the account, the Russian company terminated Mr Argarkov's credit card in 2010 because he was late on his minimum payments, Russia Today reported.<

The company then took him to court to try and reclaim 45,000 rubles - around £881 - in unpaid fees and charges. But as Mr Argarkov's contract with Tinkoff stated he did not have to pay the bank any fines or account fees, a Russian court ruled this week that he only needed to repay the outstanding balance on the card - just 19,000 (approximately £371).

The judge ruled: 'They signed the documents without looking. They said what usually their borrowers say in court: "We have not read it".' And after his victory in court, Mr Argarkov is suing the bank for 24million rubles - approximately £470,000 - for not honouring the amended contract they signed. His lawyer Dmitry Mikhalevich told Kommersant: 'The Bank confirmed its agreement to the client's terms and sent him a credit card and a copy of the approved application form. The opened credit line was unlimited. He could afford to buy an island somewhere in Malaysia, and the bank would have to pay for it by law.'

Tinkoff has launched a counter claim against Mr Argarkov, accusing him of fraud. Oleg Tinkov, founder of the bank, tweeted: 'Our lawyers think he is going to get not 24m, but really 4 years in prison for fraud. Now it's a matter of principle for @tcsbanktwitter.'

The court will review Mr Argakov's case next month.
This piece was originall published by Daily Mail.

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