Dmitry Argarkov is an average Russian consumer, who, like his American counterparts, found his mailbox bombarded with unsolicited credit card offers. So in 2008 he accepted a credit card offer from Tinkoff Credit Systems-- after writing his own terms into the margins of the boilerplate contract he received. Argarkov sent the modified contract back and Tinkoff's rep blindly signed it.
Argarkov's changes included:
- No credit limit
Argarkov also crossed out the provided URL, which led to an online copy of the contract, and replaced it with his own, which led to an online copy of his amended contract.
After Tinkoff charged Argarkov with an overage fee in clear violation of their contract, Argarkov sued. According to his lawyer Dmitry Mikhalevich, "[Tinkoff] signed the documents without looking . . . they said what usually their borrowers say in court: 'We have not read it.'"
The court held Tinkoff to the terms. Argarkov is now suing for $727,000 for breach of contract. There is hope for us yet.
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