Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Everyone should read fine print

While consumers are often lectured about the importance of reading contract's standard terms and conditions, it seems that the same lesson should be given to some service providers. Various agencies reported this month about a curious case of a Russian citizen, Mr Argarkov, who upon receiving an unsolicited offer to open a credit line, not only took his time to read the contract's fine print, but went a step further. (Read the small print: Credit card user sets his own limit - then sues bank for closing account) He scanned the contract, changed its terms and sent a 'corrected' version to the loan provider - Tinkoff Credit Systems. Pursuant to the new terms he received an unlimited credit line, did not have to pay any fees and gave himself a 0 per cent interest rate etc. Obviously, he did not accept the provider's offer and countered with his own. Surprisingly, the credit card provider sent him a credit card and a signed copy of the approved application form. Of course, the provider's employees failed to read the offer and signed it blindly and now they are claiming that they have been a fraud's victim and that they cannot be held to contractual terms they did not know about. The argumentation line sounds very familiar and it's fascinating to, for once, not see a consumer as a victim of such practices.

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