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Man creates own credit card, sues bank for not respecting its terms
August 10, 2013 1:13 AM   Subscribe

Banks usually reserve the right to change the rules or rates for credit cards they issue at any time, and the only notice given is buried in a long legal document. Russian Dmitry Argarkov turned this on its head: After he received a junk-mail credit card offer, he modified the document to include terms ridiculously in his favor and sent it back. The bank signed and certified it without looking at it, and sent him a credit card.

Every time the bank failed to follow the terms they signed for (zero interest, no fees, unlimited credit), he would fine the bank 3 million rubles. He won a court case a few days ago where the decision was that the bank really did have to stick to no interest or fees.

But there's two parallel cases:

1. He's suing to get them to pay his fees.
2. They're suing him for fraud.

How's it going to end?
posted by Sleeper (62 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nearly every contract of this type that I've ever seen is non-negotiable unless signed by the president or executive officer of the company - An office drone doesn't have the authority to approve a non-boilerplate contract on the company's behalf. I can't see anyone but the bank winning this.
posted by Diosamblet at 1:19 AM on August 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


This isn't aimed at anybody in particular, but bear in mind that Russian and American laws don't work the same way.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:31 AM on August 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


I like to see get banks get their karma but this just isn't on the same magnitude as what I'd consider bank "scams". If the banker literally swapped out a contract on you the last second after going over some favorable terms with a decoy through sleight of hand that looked similar and portrayed it as the same piece of paper but it really had different, worse terms… I think there would be pitchforks and the courts would call the contract not valid or fraud or something.

I mean come on. This is literally one of the ludicrous fantasies I'd have as a teenager to fool them all. I humored briefly the idea of crossing out sections of agreements I signed for checking accounts regarding overdraft charges and check cancellation fees while I was signing up at the branch when they weren't looking in light pen and hoping nobody would notice with it folded up and my signature at the bottom. Then I thought better of it because it was a shitty, con-artist kind of thing to do and totally implausible I'd see it through to work.
posted by floam at 1:34 AM on August 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Nearly every contract of this type that I've ever seen is non-negotiable

Well, if it's true as the CEO says in the article that "We don't have small print, everything is clear and transparent" then maybe the language of the contract is unusual.
posted by XMLicious at 1:37 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's no need in you reading that cause these are duplicates!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:40 AM on August 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


I have a hard time seeing this as any more con-artist-like than the company assuming in the first place that it can unilaterally dictate the terms of the business relationship with the cardholder in minute detail via consultation with its legal counsel while the cardholder gets no such advice. I mean, the company would never itself accept the sort of "the house always wins" conditions which consumers routinely have to accept if it was on the disadvantaged end of the agreement, would it?
posted by XMLicious at 1:48 AM on August 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Russia, land of freedom: Snowden gets asylum and common citizens get to scr*w over the banks.
posted by WalkingAround at 1:49 AM on August 10, 2013


The RT story isn't all that clear, but he actually printed a new contract that he then sent in via mail. He made no representations at all. The bank signed without reading, which went about as well for them as it would the other way around.
posted by jaduncan at 1:52 AM on August 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


> "Russia, land of freedom"

Unless you're gay.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:38 AM on August 10, 2013 [43 favorites]


XMLicious: At risk of coming off as some kind of bank stooge, I imagine banks sign all kinds of contracts with different kinds of entities and there are different relationships. I'd guess if the electricity goes out and they need to have an electrician come in they will sign whatever his standard thing is if it appears reasonable to get the lights on. I know nothing about Russia but here in the US I've applied for my share of credit cards and really their contracts and terms don't seem like anything near as bad as the iTunes EULA, or most other legalese I get shoved down my throat. They seem to usually be presented in a decidedly non-evil, pro-consumer fashion actually. My guess is there is some regulation responsible.

I've pulled up a PDF of one of my card's terms and conditions, it's actually rather non-ambiguous and helpful to the cardmember. It's just a few pages long, is easy to scan over without missing any buried terrible details I've yet to notice, and would appear to purposefully use simple, plain English as much as it can. It has a table at the top with various APRs and under what conditions they would apply, a thing showing how the variable APR is calculated, the grace periods, right along with the potential pitfalls like annual fees if any, minimum finance charges, late fees, what the default conditions are, etc. The terms following the table are all clear, simple English sentences a poor reader could follow.

And while I've paid finance charges here and there I've still so far made net cash money profit on this card over the years with 1.5-2% rewards checks sent to me and the balance usually paid off quickly. There's also been a few times where I've been so broke I paid my minimum bill by cashing my convenience checks from the credit card company, and not really in a good position to go out and ask for a loan. That sounds crazy stupid but it kept me afloat until I had a better gig and it turned out OK. I guess I like my credit card, as a personal financial instrument. So much more so than my fucking deposit accounts I've had at banks and credit unions, which barely seem to try hard to compete on features or benefits or interest rates. Given my experience borrowing money you'd think the people I give my cash to and let them do what they want with it would give me fucking back rubs.

Of course the only way that is possible any consumer make fucking money with their credit card is I'm being subsidized by folks hard on their luck with less freedom than I do paying default APRs and atrocious late fees. I guess I just feel like borrowing money is a risky thing to do and the terms and implications of doing so are actually pretty clear.
posted by floam at 2:55 AM on August 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Floam: notably, you bothered to read it. This isn't a contract alteration, it's effectively a de novo contract. No sneaky alterations, just a contractual offer that the bank then signed and issued a card for. Absent more evidence, I'm not seeing where the fraud is.
posted by jaduncan at 3:34 AM on August 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


He reportedly scanned the contract and quite literally did a sneaky alteration and printed it back out, mimicking the document he had received in the mail hoping it would get processed as such.
posted by floam at 3:56 AM on August 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


[...] Russian and American laws don't work the same way

True. For instance, in Soviet Russia, you sue bank.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:01 AM on August 10, 2013 [42 favorites]


Ever since I watched my first boss, an attorney, loudly say NOPE and cross out huge paragraphs of a contract, I try to alter every contract I'm forced to sign. Just because you're telling me something is non-negotiable doesn't mean we automatically agree on that point.

It's hilarious to watch people freak out. "Oh no, you can't do that."

We've apparently all elected to live in some uber-capitalist free market libertarian paradise, but so few people actually know what the rules are to this game that we're all losing.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 4:07 AM on August 10, 2013 [73 favorites]


He reportedly scanned the contract and quite literally did a sneaky alteration and printed it back out, mimicking the document he had received in the mail hoping it would get processed as such.

Alternatively put, he provided an offer in the same format as the bank normally finds acceptable that the bank did indeed then accept.
posted by jaduncan at 4:10 AM on August 10, 2013 [23 favorites]


Correct. But I assert that is a sneaky thing to do, sneakier than most consumer contract interactions. I can't imagine any entity actually made a decision to accept 0% APR so much as trust this pixel-for-pixel match of their own outgoing letterhead and contract was indeed what it appeared to be, the same contract they sent out. He scammed the bank and while I'm slightly jealous I've not tried the same I hope that's not the aspiration, everyone being an unscrupulous ass to everyone. I don't think anybody actually agrees to any of that shit shown when they need to hit Accept to launch iTunes or whatever app either. How the hell is that ritual a contract? IANAL of course.
posted by floam at 4:43 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


You're right.

We all know the banks would never accept 0% APR because those would clearly be unrealistic terms, a sign of a completely broken system, and most importantly, probably some kind of scam.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 4:50 AM on August 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


Please stop and consider that you're arguing the banks, who literally employ people not only to protect them from entering into agreements that would hurt their finances, but also employ people with the single job of lobbying congress on a daily basis to give them additional freedom to enter into risky investments with lopsided risk - you're arguing that this agreement that they freely entered into shouldn't be valid because the terms are horribly unfair to them.

This is an identical argument that was used, UNSUCCESSFULLY I MIGHT ADD, to point out why all the homeowners who signed up under entirely misleading terms, were lied to repeatedly, and didn't bother to read the lengthy and misleading contracts or didn't understand them, shouldn't be held accountable for their mortgages, because your average homeowner doesn't employ any lawyers to look out for them, much less fleets of lawyers.

In summary, if your entire business revolves around exploitation of others' fiscal ignorance, and someone pulls a fast one on you because you didn't do the necessary diligence, I can't see how anybody could possibly argue that you didn't have it coming.

Sadly, we all know that whether in Russia, or here in the United States, the banks will somehow avoid responsibility; because if there's any legal constant in the universe, it's that if you throw enough money at a problem it will go away. The other golden rule.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 4:58 AM on August 10, 2013 [35 favorites]


you're arguing that this agreement that they freely entered into shouldn't be valid because the terms are horribly unfair to them.

I haven't seen anyone make that argument. I have seen someone basically restating an axiom of contract law, that a modification of a material contract term isn't effective if one party tries to sneak it under the door, to argue that, at least under US law, such a modification wouldn't be binding on the other party.

that may be what you're thinking of, although its hard to see how a reasonable person could confuse the two.
posted by jpe at 5:10 AM on August 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nothing to do with the terms being fair or unfair. Just that both parties didn't actually knowingly agree to same contract.
posted by floam at 5:10 AM on August 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Absent the regulation you mention above, floam, from the banks' side I think the fundamental behavior is to be an unscrupulous ass to everyone. That's why we have expressions in English like banker's hours and banker's dozen, because traditionally the average person would expect to be taken advantage of in a banking relationship and short-changed at every turn.

And not everything has gone in favor of the consumer - the Supreme Court permitting companies to exempt themselves from class action lawsuits via clauses in contracts, for example. The secret to success is to screw over vast numbers of people for individual amounts of money too small to be contested practically, I think, and arrange for personally contesting the matter to be prohibitively costly.
posted by XMLicious at 5:14 AM on August 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


What flown said. If A sends B a contract and B sends it back with changes that aren't flagged as such (usually using the Mark Changes function in MS Word), and A goes on to sign it, there isn't any respectable court that would enforce the changes on A. Failing even accidentally to mark changes is a grave offense of fair dealing
posted by MattD at 5:17 AM on August 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I cannot for the life of me see some sort of morally fraught dimensions to his actions. He's trying to steal from the reserves some of the most blatant and accomplished thieves in contemporary history. Thieves who, mind you, literally paid to have the law (hell, all laws) written in their favor. I'm not even speaking figuratively; the banks are as complicit in the post-Soviet kleptocracy as any Mercedes-driving New Russian.

Now, whether it is a good idea to steal from the most blatant and accomplished thieves in contemporary history is a completely different discussion.
posted by griphus at 5:34 AM on August 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Failing even accidentally to mark changes is a grave offense of fair dealing

Amazing how banks arranged things so that they could unilaterally and suddenly change the terms of contracts, as the OP points out (or at least at some points in the past would claim to have this ability, to my recollection) if the law so fundamentally abhors that sort of thing as antithetical to fairness. It's almost like the whole system is rigged in their favor.

I'm sure that there are legal points by which the guy in this story would be undone, and I'm not saying it sounds at all as though he was behaving particularly ethically himself; the point I'm disputing is that I don't think his actions are particularly more dastardly than the way the credit card industry overall operates normally.
posted by XMLicious at 5:40 AM on August 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Ethically it's problematic, although there is a certain poetic justice. Legally it's already been found to be a valid contract.
posted by jaduncan at 5:45 AM on August 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Amazing how banks arranged things so that they could unilaterally and suddenly change the terms of contracts,

its not amazing or magical; its a contractual term they insist on. a necessary part of any change, BTW, is notice. just as the Russian man would be required in the US to provide notice of the changes to the contract, the CC company is required to provide notice of changes to the agreement on their end. (i think they usually send junk mail looking notices if they, say, bump up the rate).

note, also, that I'm not saying he was "dastardly"; I'm merely saying that his changes would be unenforceable in the US as a matter of law.
posted by jpe at 5:50 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


IN THE VIEW OF THIS COMMENTER, AN IMPORTANT PROBLEM WITH CONTRACTS SUCH AS THE CONTRACT REFERENCED IN THE LINKED ARTICLE ("THE CONTRACT") IS THAT SUCH CONTRACTS ARE SPECIFICALLY CONCEIVED, DESIGNED, AND WRITTEN IN A WAY SUCH THAT A HYPOTHETICAL CUSTOMER DOES NOT DEIGN TO READ THEM IN A MANNER AS MIGHT ACCORD WITH THEIR BEST INTERESTS. ALTHOUGH THIS COMMENTER HAS NOT RECEIVED FORMAL LEGAL TRAINING AND HAS NOT BEEN CERTIFIED BY ANY LEGAL BODIES, IN HIS OPINION SUCH PRACTICES CONSTITUTE A LEGAL GREY AREA, IN SO FAR AS THESE CONTRACTS ARE GENERALLY ACCEPTED AS LEGAL BUT ALSO IN PRACTICE QUITE UNFAIR TO THE LESS LEGALLY LITERATE PARTY. ANY PRACTICE SUCH AS THE ABOVE REFERENCE SOMEWHAT BRILLIANT IDEA THAT RESULTS IN A MORE EQUALLY DISTRIBUTED COST BURDEN OF SUCH CONTRACTS SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA TO ME.
posted by ropeladder at 5:51 AM on August 10, 2013 [20 favorites]


I'm going to need dash-cam footage to verify this story...
posted by kuanes at 6:01 AM on August 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Amazing how banks arranged things so that they could unilaterally and suddenly change the terms of contracts...

It's not just banks. Check the fine print of any consumer contract you enter into...cable service, cell phone, etc. They all contain clauses that allow the companies to unilaterally change the terms.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:04 AM on August 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I seem to dimly remember something about a contract being thrown out because the boilerplate legalese could not reasonably be understood by a lay person. I may very well have imagined this.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:15 AM on August 10, 2013


a necessary part of any change, BTW, is notice.

Has that always been the case, though? I would swear that when I was young and idealistic and could be bothered to try reading such contracts some of them would claim that the terms were "subject to change without notice." That memory is partly the source of my skepticism that opposition to this sort of practice is so inherent in the law.

The "dastardly" bit wasn't directed at you, jpe, but at the characterizations of his behavior upthread as sleight of hand and con artistry. Which weren't part of MattD's comment I was quoting either - sorry, I should have clearly flagged my changes of subject matter ;^)
posted by XMLicious at 6:15 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


you might be right about notice provision, XMLicious. its been awhile since 1L contract law, and I could be misremembering that.
posted by jpe at 6:33 AM on August 10, 2013


If the banker literally swapped out a contract on you the last second after going over some favorable terms with a decoy through sleight of hand that looked similar and portrayed it as the same piece of paper but it really had different, worse terms… I think there would be pitchforks and the courts would call the contract not valid or fraud or something.

They do this all the time. If you have a card with $3,000 on it, they send you a notice that says, "Here's the new deal. You have until this date to opt out and pay us back. Oh, if you use your card you're agreeing to these terms." Your choice is to quit using the card or get the new terms. These are never going to be in your favor.

I just canceled 10K in open credit (I paid them off and canceled them). You want to get some attitude, try canceling a credit card. Discover made me tell them seven fucking times I no longer wanted their card. She made me do it twice more after I pointed out I'd already told her five times I no longer wanted the card and that if she didn't do what I asked I was going to get made. She then went on to explain available credit/debt ratio and how this would adversely affect my credit, then she talked about how I'd been a customer since 2000 and that that also would affect my credit rating. She just wouldn't stop. I felt like I was in a Scientology cult. Blah blah blah. Her last desperate attempt was t tell me that if I did indeed decide I no longer wanted a credit card that I would have to reapply to get the great Discover customer service I'd come to enjoy. I stopped her, asked her if she'd really thought she'd provided great customer service. Told her I was parting ways angry and would never consider being their customer again. I told her I'd probably be telling this story to a lot of people and I I hoped a manager would review the recording with her and use it as a learning tool.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2013 [31 favorites]


He reportedly scanned the contract and quite literally did a sneaky alteration and printed it back out, mimicking the document he had received in the mail hoping it would get processed as such.

Copyright violation? If the document included the bank's letterhead, logo, and the like, they might be able to get him on trademark issues as well.
posted by Hatashran at 7:42 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The courts have already accepted the contract as valid in a previous decision, so all this speculation about why it might be invalid or fraudulent seems a liitle obtuse.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:47 AM on August 10, 2013


@ Saul: there's a marginally interesting question of how this would be approached under US law.
posted by jpe at 8:09 AM on August 10, 2013


Diosamblet: "Nearly every contract of this type that I've ever seen is non-negotiable unless signed by the president or executive officer of the company - An office drone doesn't have the authority to approve a non-boilerplate contract on the company's behalf. I can't see anyone but the bank winning this."

Well - certainly good enough for robosignings. Anybody actually pay any sort of penalty for robosigning in particular? I mean, you know, besides the whole economic crash?
posted by symbioid at 8:18 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The courts have already accepted the contract as valid in a previous decision, so all this speculation about why it might be invalid or fraudulent seems a liitle obtuse.
posted by saulgoodman
eponysterical!*

jpe and xmlicious: Googling "subject to change without notice" turns up a bunch of contracts that are subject to change without notice. (you have to add "-herring" because apparently there's a song by a guy named Herring). I've seen it in many contracts myself. It's still a very common practice.

I was on the fence about this when I posted the FPP, but after thinking about it some more I think I'd have to come down on the side of Argarkov's actions being unethical and indefensible.

*That is, it's funny to see this comment saying something isn't shyster-ism, coming from a dude who coincidentally shares the name of a shyster in the show Breaking Bad. No offense meant by this.
posted by Sleeper at 8:20 AM on August 10, 2013


Like the "You have won $95,000!" cheque-cashing incident, this is unlikely to ever happen again.
posted by sneebler at 8:25 AM on August 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


hobo gitano de queretaro: "Ever since I watched my first boss, an attorney, loudly say NOPE and cross out huge paragraphs of a contract"

Then he wrote "Chuck Testa".
posted by symbioid at 8:26 AM on August 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


When first reading this a few days ago, the initial thought was that he's going to lose because there's no consideration. Essentially, the contract sets out that the bank charges 0% interest, with no fees, and unlimited credit. What consideration is Mr. Argarkov contributing? I thought he should have set 1% interest, compounded annually, for that would at least have provided some consideration, that would then turn this into a valid contract.

For without consideration, he's would have a hard time proving it's a valid contract, maybe not under Russian law, but certainly under English law.
posted by nickrussell at 9:12 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just canceled 10K in open credit (I paid them off and canceled them). You want to get some attitude, try canceling a credit card. Discover made me tell them seven fucking times I no longer wanted their card.

That's why you cancel by letter, preferably sent Certified. It also leaves a paper trail.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:24 AM on August 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


What consideration is Mr. Argarkov contributing?

The bank makes money on transaction fees when Argarkov uses the card. Wouldn't that be good enough?
posted by gerryblog at 10:10 AM on August 10, 2013


He reportedly scanned the contract and quite literally did a sneaky alteration and printed it back out, mimicking the document he had received in the mail hoping it would get processed as such.

Therein lies the irony. You can bet your sweet ass that the bank, when it needs to, will hold you responsible for reading every word of their contract, but now they want to be absolved of that very same requirement.Yes, poor bank has a lot of work to do and doesn't have time to read every document it signs. Kinda like the rest of us.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:11 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


i think the closest equivalent is coming to a verbal agreement with someone on a deal, but then when they plop down the 20 page contract in front of you some of the terms are different than what you discussed. there will probably be a nice big header saying something like "acceptance of these terms negates all prior verbal agreements". you sign it then later on realize it's not what you agreed to verbally. what happens when you go to court? you're going to lose.

i wouldn't say there is a conspiracy but the banks/credit card co.'s. car dealers etc. are pros, and we're just schlumps using common sense, but our definition of a fair deal is not what is printed and black and white. you can knowingly get hosed, or avoid their services (if at all possible) and have crappier stuff.
posted by camdan at 11:36 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


nickrussell: "When first reading this a few days ago, the initial thought was that he's going to lose because there's no consideration. Essentially, the contract sets out that the bank charges 0% interest, with no fees, and unlimited credit. What consideration is Mr. Argarkov contributing? I thought he should have set 1% interest, compounded annually, for that would at least have provided some consideration, that would then turn this into a valid contract.

For without consideration, he's would have a hard time proving it's a valid contract, maybe not under Russian law, but certainly under English law.
"

They get to count him among their clients, which isn't worth nothing. Every transaction he makes charges percentage with the merchant paid to the bank. That said, this might be the best argument for why you can't find a charge card with no annual fee.
posted by pwnguin at 11:42 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


But this happened in RUSSIA, not AMERICA.

There isn't a sworn judge in the United States who will not take the bank's side 100% in a case like this. He only has to pay back an interest-free, fee-free loan. In America, he would have been arrested and convicted for Criminal Fraud almost immediately for just filing his claim. So this has ZERO relevance to any bank "customers" in the USofA.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:48 AM on August 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ever since I watched my first boss, an attorney, loudly say NOPE and cross out huge paragraphs of a contract, I try to alter every contract I'm forced to sign. Just because you're telling me something is non-negotiable doesn't mean we automatically agree on that point.

It's hilarious to watch people freak out. "Oh no, you can't do that."


This a thousand times.
posted by jnnla at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


There isn't a sworn judge in the United States who will not take the bank's side 100% in a case like this. He only has to pay back an interest-free, fee-free loan. In America, he would have been arrested and convicted for Criminal Fraud almost immediately for just filing his claim. So this has ZERO relevance to any bank "customers" in the USofA.

What? None of that is true. If US courts have any bias that's relevant here, it's a bias toward enforcing contracts.
posted by eugenen at 2:55 PM on August 10, 2013


eugenen> ... it's a bias toward enforcing contracts.

That's just a coincidence of the contracts in question usually being originated by banks.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 3:43 PM on August 10, 2013


Nope.
posted by eugenen at 3:55 PM on August 10, 2013


I've never had a charge card with an annual fee (US - Chase, CitiGroup, and a local bank) -- it's been awhile since I've applied for one, but in my experience having a 700+ credit rating = no annual fee.
posted by lordaych at 4:01 PM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


And I remember offers in the past for 0% no annual fee cards for a year followed by say 4% for 6 months before going up, you could get out within a year if you managed to use the card responsibly, but it was designed to get people with that 700+ credit score to join their friends in the lower ranks :)
posted by lordaych at 4:03 PM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice prank, but I doubt any court will rule for him in his 24 million ruble counter suit.
posted by reenum at 4:37 PM on August 10, 2013


lordaych: "I've never had a charge card with an annual fee (US - Chase, CitiGroup, and a local bank) -- it's been awhile since I've applied for one, but in my experience having a 700+ credit rating = no annual fee."

A charge card, or a debit card, or a credit card? They're different things.
posted by pwnguin at 5:15 PM on August 10, 2013


Ever since I watched my first boss, an attorney, loudly say NOPE and cross out huge paragraphs of a contract, I try to alter every contract I'm forced to sign. Just because you're telling me something is non-negotiable doesn't mean we automatically agree on that point.

We do this all the time where I work. Mostly on credit agreements with vendors. We make it obvious that we've altered the terms (crossing out the wording in ink and initialing it) and sometimes entities deny us credit but more often than not it's approved without a word.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:18 PM on August 10, 2013


More power to him.
posted by homunculus at 10:59 PM on August 10, 2013


cjorgensen: "You want to get some attitude, try canceling a credit card. Discover made me tell them seven fucking times I no longer wanted their card. She made me do it twice more after I pointed out I'd already told her five times I no longer wanted the card and that if she didn't do what I asked I was going to get made. She then went on to explain available credit/debt ratio and how this would adversely affect my credit, then she talked about how I'd been a customer since 2000 and that that also would affect my credit rating. She just wouldn't stop."

She was kinda sorta doing you a favor, aside from the making you ask over and over and over again. Had you declined the change in terms you either would have been allowed to keep the account open under the old terms or had the line closed to new charges but kept with the same terms. The second class appears precisely the same on your credit report as the first, and leaves you no worse off.

Personally, when Citi went all apeshit in 2009 or 2010 and tried to triple my "fixed" rate in advance of the new rules on not being able to raise rates on existing balances it took no more than 5 minutes on the phone to opt out of the change and close the account without paying it off. On my credit report it looks like it's still open with the credit limit it had at the time.
posted by wierdo at 1:00 AM on August 11, 2013


Ever since I watched my first boss, an attorney, loudly say NOPE and cross out huge paragraphs of a contract, I try to alter every contract I'm forced to sign. Just because you're telling me something is non-negotiable doesn't mean we automatically agree on that point.

How does this go in eg cellphone contracts, where you're dealing with the lowest-level drone possible in a mall somewhere, presenting a contract drawn up 3000 miles away?
posted by bonaldi at 6:32 AM on August 11, 2013


There are plenty of credit cards without annual fees, I have five? six?

I only have two cards with fees, one which I make a (modest) profit on in rewards and another which I'm just trying out.
posted by Skorgu at 12:18 PM on August 11, 2013


I did not say credit card, I said charge card. Unlike credit cards, they bear no interest rates, because you pay in full at the due date. In the modest research I've done, I've seen no charge card without an annual fee.
posted by pwnguin at 11:31 PM on August 11, 2013


Here's a question... some may argue that he committed a type of fraud and that the bank shouldn't be forced to abide by his terms, AND YET, he clearly didn't agree to *their* terms, and still they sent him a card. If they didn't (knowingly) agree to his terms, and he knowingly didn't agree to their terms, and yet they still sent him a card and allowed him to borrow money... what law would control the terms of that loan? Is it even possible he doesn't have to repay them? I guess it seems the default is that he at least owes them exactly how much he borrowed, but if there's no specific time frame in which he has to pay it back, is it not effectively the same thing?
posted by PigAlien at 11:17 AM on August 12, 2013


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