This story involves a man, a Chinese airport, and a first-class plane ticket. You may or may not know that first-class tickets are quite exorbitant. And with first-class costs come first-class services. Some of these services include access to VIP lounges, free entertainment, and free food/drinks. Additionally, many first-class tickets can be entirely refunded or rebooked at no cost and within minutes of boarding. Using this knowledge, a crafty Chinese man named Won Hung Lo was able to get a free five-star meal nearly every day for almost a year. He bought a first-class ticket and just rebooked it every day. This might seem like a fantastic idea prima facie, but you must also consider that most airports are out of town, they charge for parking, and they aren’t exactly ideal places to take a date. Still though, you can’t beat free food.
When a man named David Phillips was doing some light reading (on the back of a microwaveable dinner), he discovered an intriguing cross promotion. The company (Healthy Choice) was offering 1,000 miles for every ten bar codes submitted. The catch lies in the fact that Healthy Choice put bar codes on all their products (including individual servings of pudding). So what did David do? He went around and bought up shit-loads of pudding of course. He spent nearly $2,000 buying out countless supermarkets. In all, he purchased over twelve-hundred pudding packs, and as a result, acquired 1.25 million miles. But did David stop there? Fuck no. He got most of his light work taken care of by the salvation army, who collected the bar codes for him after he charitably donated the pudding packs (getting an $800 tax deduction). Needless to say that David and his family have been flying on Healthy Choice’s dime for years. He is now a lifetime member of American Airlines, enjoying a suite of perks and benefits.
Paperwork with fine print is a fundamental aspect of every bureaucracy. No one wants to read that shit, including the people who write it. As was the case with a credit card company called Tinkoff Credit Systems. Like every credit card company, Tinkoff mails out card applications with relentless verve. One day, a man named Dmitry Argarkov received such an application, and instead of banishing it to the bowels of the local landfill, he decided to retort with a counter offer. After scanning the contract onto his computer and making a few alterations (such as no ATM fees, free taco bell, and a $100,000 termination fee), Argarkov signed the document and sent it back for review. To his surprise, Tinkoff accepted the agreement, and because the document was legally binding, Tinkoff had to uphold its end of the bargain (despite attempts to go back on the deal). Eventually, the two parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Moral of the story, you too can use fine print just like those corporate cocksuckers.