Man beats bank at its own game

A Russian customer decides to rewrite a credit card contract, and now the company is complaining because it didn't read the fine print. Shoe, meet other foot.

By Kim Peterson Aug 9, 2013 1:07PM
Image: Credit card (© Corbis)When most of us get unsolicited credit card offers from Visa (V) or American Express (AXP), we toss them out. But one Russian man got a little creative with his, adding his own conditions to an offer in small print.

Dmitry Agarkov didn't like the terms initially sent to him from Tinkoff Credit Systems in 2008, Russia Today reports. So he wrote in a few changes -- zero interest, zero fees and unlimited credit, mainly.

He then took it a step further. On the contract, he changed the URL of the website showing the bank's terms and conditions. He also stipulated that the bank pay him $91,000 for each change in the contract and $182,000 to cancel the deal altogether.

The bank approved the document without looking at the changes and sent Agarkov a credit card. Perhaps most amazing is that Agarkov then proceeded to use the card for two years before the bank caught on. Last year, the bank sued him for nearly $1,400, which included his balance, fees and late-payment charges, Russia Today reports.

A judge looking at the case sided mostly with Agarkov. A contract is a contract, after all. The judge ruled that Agarkov just needed to pay his balance of $575.

You get the sense that Agarkov is enjoying this. Now he's suing Tinkoff for $727,000 for not honoring the contractual terms that he added. But the bank is furious at this point, and founder Oleg Tinkov is suggesting on Twitter that Agarkov could go to prison for fraud.

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Aug 9, 2013 1:36PM
I guess they didn't like getting a taste of their own medicine, huh? Those companies are run by crooks. Good for Agarkov for beating them at their own crooked game.
Aug 9, 2013 2:03PM
Fraud?  How did he commit fraud?  I think the bank is just mad that they got beat at their own game.
Aug 9, 2013 1:50PM
He needs to lien the bank and seize the assets.

This guy is my HERO!


As we all know, a contract IS a contract and they accepted by sending him the card........




Aug 9, 2013 2:03PM
Simply awesome. Going after him for fraud? All you had to do was read the contract Tinkoff. I wonder how many times they have said that to someone else that violated one of their agreements.
Aug 9, 2013 1:57PM
He better win his lawsuit. I side with him 100%. Especially since the amount they have to pay him is not unrealistic.
Aug 9, 2013 2:20PM
I read an article years ago that someone did something like this to Best Buy. Best Buy asked from the persons address when he made a purchase.He asked why and said he did not want unsolicited junk from Best Buy. He was assured was only for warranty  etc.He would not receive flyers or promotional material. He put on back of his check he wrote that  if Best Buy cashed the check they were agreeing that he would not receiver promotional materials and if he did they would be liable for 1000.00.Needless to say he started getting junk mail and sued Best Buy and won.
Aug 9, 2013 1:57PM
I want this guys autograph. How many times have we had to pay on a contract that said things we did not know/understand because we signed the paper-EVERY EFFIN TIME! You go comrade!
Aug 9, 2013 2:01PM
Yeah, stick it to em, Igor. This is just too funny.
Aug 9, 2013 2:15PM
The little guy smells the roses of victory for once. Thank God he wasn't in America. He would be on his way to prison since the courts are brought off and always go with the big fish.
Aug 9, 2013 2:15PM
the banker needs to go to prison for fraud
Aug 9, 2013 2:24PM
phone,cable and internet compaines change contracts midway through your contract all the time.
Aug 9, 2013 2:29PM
banks are crooks, its time we started f en them over. This guy is great. SUE THE SOB..... hahaha
Aug 9, 2013 2:30PM

This is the best article I’ve reed in years, headline should’ve been; Man beats Bank by their own avidity.  

Aug 9, 2013 2:16PM
I have GOT to try this.  Not that I really want their line of credit but just to see if one of them would actually do it.  I'd be more subtle about the changes made though.  Zero interest rate, no annual fee, and any purchases I make using their card would pay me 10% interest.  They would also be required to pay my balance off if I decided to cancel.  I really hate getting those things and trying to get them to stop is next to impossible.
Aug 9, 2013 2:10PM
Just goes to show how manipulated we really are. Those who are Right always end up paying for those who are wrong.
Aug 9, 2013 2:26PM
You gotta love this story!  Hope he bends them over and gives them just what they deserve.
Aug 9, 2013 2:48PM

LOL!!! Nice! Been there...done that!


Not with a credit card but with a company that I was contracted with. They used to send out "contracts" annually to all the people who did work for them out side of the office. In it was a stipulation that you couldn't have any clients outside of them, a non-compete clause as it were. I lined that out of my contract EVERY YEAR! Especially since when I came to work for them, I BROUGHT two solid income clients with me.

When they caught me working on my own, they got a bit annoyed and threatened to cancel my contract. When I pointed out to them that I was NOT in violation of that contract, they were screwed. And I figured I'd be without a contract the following year.

Not only was a I offered a contract the following year, but that line was omitted...from EVERYONE'S contracts. Word had gotten around the state about what I had done...and won! I was the first apparently to stand up to and beat them at their own game. But then, they also knew that if I left, I was going to take a lot more with me than the two I brought...and that would have hurt big time.


Glad he won...hope he takes them to the cleaners!

Aug 9, 2013 1:56PM

I hope he gets a card from Heritage Family Credit Union.  It would serve them right.

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