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Poor Email Customer Service When Redeeming Rewards Points
Posted by on
In the last 8 days, I have redeemed rewards points for ecerts from American Express. When you redeem for an ecert, you are supposed to have access to the certificated within 3 hours. The 2 most recently purchased took 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours to get. When I contacted Customer Service through email, I was contiually told to go to the web site. The only problem is, I told them I had already gone to the web site. Over and over again, I got the same responses, as if there was a bot responding, rather than a real person. It was really frustrating to not have the issue resolved. Finally I called them and requested someone in the United States (which it seems that the American in American Express means we have few people in America), and was transferred to Canada. At least the Canadian understood the problem and understood English. She told me the issue had to be addressed in the US. I finally got to the right person in the US, and my issue was responded to and resolved, but I wanted everyone to see the series of email responses from the email customer support people at AMEX. So how many times do you have to tell the AMEX representative that you have already gone to the web site before they stop telling you to go to the web site?

Response (Michael Anthony) 04/07/2011 05:11 PM
Dear Charles XXXXX:

Thank you for your reply.

Please note that I am responding for Dot Childs who is currently out of the office and I apologized that you are unable to use the Home Depot eGift Card.

Mr. XXXXX, if you would like for us to invalidate the $50.00 Home Depot eGift Card and return the 5,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points to your account, please respond to this e-mail.

As a gesture of good-will, I have issued 2,500 MR points which will reflect on an upcoming statement. Your points available are now 24,332.

I do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

We appreciate hearing from you and look forward to serving you again in the future.

Sincerely, Michael Anthony Email Servicing Team American Express Interactive Services

Customer ( 04/07/2011 04:18 PM
It is there now, but I was unable to use it today, when I wanted to use it. I requested it at 6am, and emailed yo that it was not there at 12:30. That is clearly more than 3 hours to process it. It is not really a reward if I cannot use it when I want to.
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Response (Dot Childs) 04/07/2011 03:09 PM

Hello Charles,

I apologize for the oversight on my part. Our records indicate that the redemption was processed today; therefore the e-certificate will be delivered to your email address within three hours of redemption.

If it has not been delivered within that timeframe, please forward another email to my attention and I will invalidate the certificate and reissue it on your behalf.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Dot Childs
Email Servicing Team
American Express Interactive Services

Customer ( 04/07/2011 01:33 PM

I tried going there and it is not there. I always check there first. I need it in the next 15 minutes or will not be able to use it today.
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Response (Dot Childs) 04/07/2011 11:27 AM
Hello Charles,

Please note that once you process a redemption for an e-Certificate, am email is sent to you with the code and the certificate has to printed within 90 days of redemption. I apologize if the email was not sent.

Please log in to www.ecerts. with your User ID and password and then proceed to open/print certificate.

We value your membership at it was my pleasure to assist you.


Dot Childs
Email Servicing Team
American Express Interactive Services

Customer ( 04/07/2011 10:48 AM

I redeemed points for a $50 Home depot ecert and it is not available yet. When will it be available?


Response (Jitendra Punjabi) 04/15/2011 10:46 AM
Dear Charles XXXXX,

I am a manager with the Email Servicing Team. I am sorry for the inconvenience that you experienced.

I understand that you wanted to know when our technical team would contact you to resolve the issue. At this time, we do not have a timeframe by when this issue would be resolved. You can either have us return your points and process the redemption once again, or we can have paper certificates sent to you. Please let me know which option is convenient, and the details of the certificate that you would like us to redeem, and I will be happy to process your request.

Sincerely, Jitendra Punjabi Manager, Email Servicing Team American Express Interactive Services

Customer ( 04/15/2011 09:55 AM
Once again, it is clear that you are not reading my messages. I am considering cancelling my AMEX, because the rewards points are becoming too much of a hassle, and no one will actually respond to my issue. If you do not escalate this to a supervisor today, I will start redeeming my points and putting all autopayments I have on a different card.

Download Print

Response (Ritika Malhotra) 04/15/2011 09:23 AM
Dear Charles XXXXX,

I am sorry that you did not receive your Home Depot eGift Cards.

You will be happy to know that I have gone ahead and provided you with the information to redeem the certificates directly. The information is as follows:



Now, you may go ahead and use this information for redeeming the Gift Cards directly.

I hope you find this information useful.

Sincerely, Ritika Malhotra Email Servicing Team American Express Interactive Services

Customer ( 04/15/2011 08:10 AM
So when will they contact me?
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Response (S. Bandopadhyay) 04/14/2011 12:37 AM
Dear Charles,

I've checked your account and I see your e-certificate for $50 Home Depot.

You should have received the e-certificates within 3 hours.

I would request you to please try once to access the certificate through www.ecerts.

You can take print out by clicking "View Certificate" on the following page.

But if this does not work then please contact us. I will return the points and reorder the certificates for you.

I also noticed that the email address provided by you in the order has the second part after "@" in capital letters whereas your email address with us has this in small letters. It is possible that the delay is due to the incorrect email address.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience and hope to resolve this issue to your satisfaction.

We look forward to your reply.

Sincerely, Sumita Bandopadhyay Email Servicing Team American Express Interactive Services

Response (Puja Bishnoi) 04/14/2011 10:43 AM
Dear Charles XXXXX,

I understand that you are not receiving your eGift Cards within the stipulated three hours.

We have forwarded this matter to the concerned department for review.

If the problem still persists, please call American Express Online Services at 1-800-266-7077 (Monday - Friday 9 am-12 am, and Sunday 10 am-6:30 pm EST) for immediate assistance.

If there is any further clarification you want, do write into us. We are always happy to help.

Sincerely, Puja Bishnoi Email Servicing Team American Express Interactive Services

Customer ( 04/14/2011 08:48 AM
You clearly are not reading what I am typing, or you do not have a great command of the English language. I never wait on the email. I ALWAYS go to the ecerts web site. Last week it took 8 hours for the ecert to be available on the web site, this week around 6 hours. This has nothing to do with the email notification. This has everything to do with when the ecert is available on the ecert web site.
Since no one seems to understand what I am saying, I am requesting that this issue be escalated to a higher level. I am tired of the canned responses, and would like to discuss it with someone who will actually read the emails and understands the actual issue.
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Response (S. Bandopadhyay) 04/14/2011 12:37 AM

Dear Charles,

I've checked your account and I see your e-certificate for $50 Home Depot.

You should have received the e-certificates within 3 hours.

I would request you to please try once to access the certificate through www.ecerts.

You can take print out by clicking "View Certificate" on the following page.

But if this does not work then please contact us. I will return the points and reorder the certificates for you.

I also noticed that the email address provided by you in the order has the second part after "@" in capital letters whereas your email address with us has this in small letters. It is possible that the delay is due to the incorrect email address.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience and hope to resolve this issue to your satisfaction.

We look forward to your reply.


Sumita Bandopadhyay
Email Servicing Team
American Express Interactive Services

Customer ( 04/13/2011 06:55 PM

The emails do not go to spam and I do go to the web site to check. The problem is that when you redeem points, it tells you that you will have the ecert within 3 hours, and it is taking much longer to get them than that. I am really starting to get disgusted with the rewards program. You did not even address my issue, you gave me a canned response. I actually expected more from AMEX, but I guess I should not have.
Response (Amit Dhupar) 04/13/2011 06:23 PM
Dear Charles XXXXX,

We are sorry that you were not informed about system problems in delivering e-Gift Cards. To ensure delivery of the e-Gift Card confirmation email, please take a moment to add Americanexpress@ecerts. to your Address Book or Safe List.

Also, you can always access your e-Gift Cards information at www.ecerts. When you redeem points for e-Gift Cards, the information is automatically updated at above mentioned link.

I hope the information is useful.

Sincerely, Amit Dhupar Email Servicing Team American Express Interactive Services

Customer ( 04/13/2011 03:40 PM
Same problem today. What is going on with the ecerts? I am about to go to Home Depot and the one I redeemed points for over 3 hours ago is still not available! They are supposed to be available in 3 hours.
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American Express or American Depress?
Posted by on
To whom it may concern at American Express,

I am writing to express my disappointment and frustration with the American Express company and its poor business practices for small businesses that work diligently to follow the rules and pay on time only to be disregarded as insignificant to American Express. Below is my story which I am sure will not matter even to the reader of this letter yet I believe change never takes place until people make their voices heard.

Our small business opened an account with American Express in September 2007. We also opened a merchant account for accepting American Express in January of 2008. Excited to be able to take Advantage of no limit, no interest and additional rewards for our small business purchases from our vendors we began using the card. The card was a no limit card (Gold and balance must be paid in full each month) or so we were told but quickly found out that there is in fact a type of limit. Understanding that in a struggling economy it is important for lenders to be cautious we worked within the limits of American Express and policies. We had spent over $10,000 in a single month and paid each bill in full and on time to establish our creditworthiness with American Express like we do with every lender. Our name is important to our business and we work diligently to keep a good name.

April 2009 we tried to use our card with a vendor with whom we do a lot of business and had always used American Express to pay this vendor (which of course costs our vendor more due to the higher merchant fees charged by American Express). The amount was about $9,000 and we had no reason to believe this would be issue since we had spent as much as $10,000 in a single month less than a year ago and had always paid our balance in full and on time. The card was declined. We contacted American Express to find out why it was declined. Long story short and a few phone calls later we were told that due to the last six months spending pattern they would not approve the charge. We explained that our business was at its peak in the summer and is when the larger charges would be made but were told too bad. We were told to increase our spending in order to increase our spending pattern. The following day our vendor ran the card again (we had not contacted them to tell them to wait for a different credit card from us) and oddly the charge was approved. This restored our confidence in American Express and its willingness to work with small businesses. This of course was temporary due to the rest of the story that follows.

June 2009 another invoice from the same vendor was due in the amount of approximately $8,400. Since we had paid our balances again on time we had no reason to believe this would be issue. Once again and with much embarrassment the card was declined. Primary card member (name with held for privacy) then got online and made a $4,000 early payment in good faith to American Express and then placed a call to have the charge approved from our vendor. We were told that American Express had placed a limit on the account that day for $3,400 though the balance on the card at the time was $8,000 of which a $4,000 early payment had been made. The representative explained that due to other account balances and negative statements which appeared on our Experian credit report they determined to place a limit on the card that day. We check our credit reports daily and there were no negative comments or delinquencies. HOWEVER $20,000 of debt had been paid off in the past 30-40 days (because we value our good name and credit) due to the increase in our business not to mention no delinquencies reported in many years on any credit report. American Express did not care to review or work with our small business in a timely fashion. They claimed that there was nothing that could be done.

We removed American Express as a payment option for our customers the minute your company made it clear that our business did not matter. Not only will you lose the high merchant fees paid to you by our vendors when we used your card you will no longer receive merchant fees from our sales as we are no longer willing to accept your card.

These are the reasons I am writing to express my deep disappointment and extreme frustration with a credit card company that claims to be on the side of small business yet I find the practices of American Express to speak quite the contrary.

We accepted American Express as merchants from our customers though you charge the highest merchant fees and take the longest to pay the merchants. Visa, MasterCard and Discover all pay the following business day. American Express as long a week may pass before the money is released into the small business person’s account. For small business this creates real frustration and is truly a hindrance financially to accept this card. This is not beneficial to small business in any way. Higher merchant fees and slow pay to the business does not give small business many reasons to accept your card from customers.

Now add to that the lousy treatment of the small business cardholder that is told no limit but this is in fact a lie even for those small businesses that pay balances in full and on time every time. Punished on both sides by American Express has left a bad taste in the mouth of this small business. Realizing of course that as a small business we are not even a blip on your radar or bait in this large ocean of business we have made the decision to no longer do business with American Express.

Apparently spending over $100,000 in a little over a year and half though always paid on time and accepting your outrageous merchant fees and slow pay practices and being charged $170 to even have a card counts for nothing. This makes the taste of doing business with American Express bitter and it will no longer be tolerated by our small business. Punishing the people and businesses that do the right thing and pay on time is not smart business practice in this fragile economy.

We are a very small business aware of how little our business matters to American Express however I wonder how much of American Express’ business is made up of small business and how much will be lost due to these pathetic practices. I always wondered why so many small business owners did not want to accept American Express but the picture is becoming quite clear to me.

The company does not care about the Little Joes that make up a sizable amount of the economy and rather than work with small business or loyal members they prefer to disregard them. A terrible mistake because as our small business grows and it is growing, American Express will not be benefiting from our growth. If you don’t treat us well while we are small then you won’t have our business when we are big.

Trust me that these events are likely to keep us from ever accepting your card as a merchant or using your card as a cardholder. I hope other small businesses do the same once I share my story with them since I am sure you will never share this story on any of your expensive commercials that we as merchants and cardholders pay to view.

After my experiences I did a bit of research online (check for American Express reviews and found that my story is very similar to the stories of multiple disgruntled card members and merchants. It is pathetic the way American Express has treated loyal customers with histories much longer than our own history with your company.

If American Express is planning to ask for bailout money as so many other irresponsible companies are doing then I assure you the voices of current and former digruntled customers and merchants will be heard screaming "DO NOT BAIL OUT AMERICAN EXPRESS"! Why would taxpayers want to bail out a company that treats customers that pay on time as poorly as you have treated us and many other people?

You may wish to consider changing the name of your company from American Express to American Depress which is what you are doing to every small business owner and loyal card member out thereby charging higher merchant fees; delaying payment, changing credit limits without notification and restricting cardholders which pay on time. America is a country of freedom and choice and you have chosen to mistreat and disregard our business and other small business owners and loyal members and the same courtesy will be extended to you.

Another disappointed cardholder & merchant,
(Names have been removed for privacy)
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User Replies:
azi on 06/29/2009:
I undestand your frustration!! I would also becareful about listening to what the customer service tells you. My personal experience has been that the agent will tell me something and not input it on their system. I rely on their word, and it turns out to be a blatant lie and an attempt to accrue more charges. Your word is against theirs and the supervisors will stand by their agents.
I'm truly disgusted by their deceitful tactics!

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Privacy Issue w/Customer Data at Amex
Posted by on
EL PASO, TEXAS -- Have been an Amex customer for many years. Use the card daily. Just went to purchase airline tickets online and the airline I always fly with, and alwaus purchase tickets with, always with my Amex declined the transaction. Reason was that the address on file with my card company didn't match what was on file with the airline. I re-keyed and validated it 5 times. Finally went out to Amex website to see what address on file was listed as (I have a street address with the word "West" in it; but some address verification services just use "W").

I was SHOCKED to see my address listed at the house I lived in 4 years ago. And, worse, it is my ex-husband's address. I have had 2 residences since that address on file, all updated timely with Amex. Three representatives at Amex could not give me an answer to why this occurred. They called it a "computer glitch". One representative said it was "above my pay grade". They surmised that my ex-husband recently made a change to his account profile and somehow because I was AT ONE TIME linked to him, it changed my address on my PRIMARY account. The representative said they had been researching this - had a "few calls" - for over a month. I asked when I could expect an answer - told them (on the recorded line) that I considered this a MAJOR privacy issue. And, the last representative just told me she would have her supervisor call me - within 48 hours. So, I am waiting.

In the meantime, I cannot believe some Amex cardholder that this has happened to has not contacted the media. I work in the financial services industry - actually in technology, so the explanation of a "computer glitch" was particularly irritating to me - and we are obsessive about client data and related privacy. I would have expected Amex was REQUIRED BY LAW to disclose this "glitch", which represents nothing less than a customer data breach on the part of Amex. This situation is unbelievable to me. I have been a long time Amex cardholder - as noted, I use the card every day, and about 3 times a week even online (so the address would have had to be accurate). I'm not sure what to do from here. In my case, my ex-husband was investigated by the police for an email breach that occurred during my divorce proceedings. I didn't know what to expect when I called Amex - was thinkng the worst, that my ex had been able to authenticate as me with Amex. I had no inkling that Amex would tell me client data records had been somehow changed without customer consent or initiation. But that's basically what they said. And, worst of all - I am set up to receive alerts from Amex if my address, email, statement preferences, etc. change. Well, my address DID change. To my ex husband's address. And NOTHING from Amex. Nothing proactively, like the alerts. And, nothing but an exchange with 3 reps when I called that made me scared to continue to be an Amex customer...
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User Replies:
azRider on 06/01/2011:
they most likely send the notice of the change to your ex husband. there are two things going here really. one is you do have a relationship its an association to your ex. since your a techie, you know that most DB's use relationships in query's and in this case the relationship may never have been updated to separated and thus the query still shows a either a foreign key relationship to that record or a join to it that is still active. thus your issue. second is AMEX policy that is not being followed. but if your in the IT world you know how much that is messed up. so here is what I think you should do. I'd cancel the card. it sounds like you have been divorced for about 4 years, so by now you should have your 'new/old' name well established. after you cancel the card open a new account with them making sure that all data is current. in fact you may want to move from the standard AMEX to something like the the clear card or other amex card. this way the records are truly different in the system. I think if you do that you should create a new entry that will not be linked to the old life. or you could dump the cards and use cash. this is what I do. I find it hard to impersonate me when I use cash.
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Still waiting for an apology
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- I'm not really waiting for an apology but just reminiscing about my experience 30 years ago this April.

My friend and I decided to spend some time driving the coast of California. We visited a lot of great places and we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco around midnight in late April of 1981.

The next day we toured the town a bit in my 77 trans am and even stopped to chat with a nice S. F. police officer and we asked him for directions to a hotel or restaurant. I can't really recall where we were heading but little did I know we'd be seeing him again real soon.

We checked into a hotel and settled down around the swimming pool. One of the workers at the hotel even let us put our beer in the ice cooler. Couldn't have been more relaxing. That was until a about half of the S. F. police department and swat team showed up.

They hopped the pool fence and pretty well had us surrounded by what had to be one of the most impressive collection of weapons owned by any police department in the United States.

I still remember the various pistols, shot guns and rifles all pointing mostly towards our heads. Some were inches away and a few stood out such as the Dirty Harry Swiss and Weston. I could see that some of the swat team were also taking aim at us from a balcony overlooking the pool. I later found out that there was a news crew there to document what was supposed to be a major crime bust.

We were told to put our hands on our heads, then someone ordered us to put our hands behind our backs, then our heads, then our backs until we were basically doing jumping jacks without the jumping. I finally asked them "what do you want us to do with our hands" which put an end to our hand waving and we were then placed in handcuffs.

So I guess there was a ten million dollar travellers check bank robbery in Montreal and our checks were close to the serial numbers that were taken in the heist. Close but not the same apparently and we ended up getting a free night in the hotel because the clerk phoned it in.

I don't think anyone was too happy that they had the wrong guys except for my friend and myself. We joked with the officer about asking him for directions earlier and we were just relieved that we weren't going off to jail.

That's the short version of the events of that afternoon, but my issue with American Express is that none of the major banks would cash in my checks and exchange them for new ones. We finally convinced an angry bank manager in Santa Barbara to exchange them for cash or Thomas Jeffersons but that cost me a few bucks for the transaction. This was after a few calls to American Express and following their instructions.

I talked to my bank when I got back home but I never heard back from American Express and being very young, I guess I just let it go. A refund still would have been nice for the few bucks that I lost. At least it would have shown that someone at head office cared a bit when one of their customers ends up staring down the barrel of over a dozen weapons because we were using A. E's checks.

It doesn't really matter anymore but in any event I thought that this was an interesting story to share.

I still have credit cards but I'm still hesitating on getting one from American Express. I guess I just don't want to ever again suffer standing in my shorts in the hot sun and watching my beer go flat because I'm wearing some nice, tight steel handcuffs.

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User Replies:
getoverit on 02/25/2011:
That is a great story and it sounds like you were able tokeep a sense of humor about it, even back then.

Though nowhere near as colorful, I've had a few mishaps with traveller's checks myself. Mostly because no one seems to want to take them, especially in the U.S. I never use them anymore. I don't travel internationaly that much but in recent years, I just take my plastic. A MC or Visa works for just about anything and when I need local currency, I just use my regular ATM card.

Does anyone still use traveller's checks?
tnchuck100 on 02/25/2011:
Great story. I loved the part about the "Swiss and Weston".
jktshff1 on 02/25/2011:
Good Story
clutzycook on 02/25/2011:
that was a great story. I'm sure you were scared half to death back then, but time has obviously allowed you to see the humor in it. It's also funny that you paid for your hotel room in TC's, but like you said, this was 30 years ago and plastic wasn't as prevalant is it is now. I have used traveller's checks in the not too distant past (4 years ago), but I'm failing to see the logic in it anymore because I'm like getoverit and wondering if anyone actually takes them now.
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American Express the Evil
Posted by on
December 31st, 2010 at 16:22

Boycot American Express

I was a 13 year member / customer of American Express. With A credit score off 800 and decided to open a Import furniture company. American Express did a great job offering me 5 accounts with credit of 150k with low aprs and continued to market me and offer more account. I pay all my debts on time and importing counted on American Express for my container purchases.

This is what American Express can do for you

They will offer you loads of great deals, but watch out here is what they did to me.

2 years agog they told me my Gold account ad earned 40k + earned spendatures, then when economy took a turn they quickly lowered it to 22k and said your FICO score changed, it hadn't changed until they did this to all 5 account I had with them maxing out my cards making it appear as I was debtited out.

November 2010 they called me before my cut off date asking for a payment, I stated my cut off date was next week and that no payment was due. They contiinued to beg to set up a payment, I said why are you calling I always paid my debts on time, I paid 65k off in debts this year, she replied oh yes and 25 k off on your account s with us, you are a excellent customer fo 13 years, then said can we set up your next payment. I said no, I will pay it as I always do, the day before my statement date they emailed me a letter saying,

So there are no surprises when using your account we lowered your limit on your gold card t0 1500.00 stay in your limit oor you will be embarrasssed at checkout.

I called a supervisor aginwas told my FICO score changed, (I ran a credit report and no changes EXCELLENT CREDIT). Then said if you give us 3 years business taxes maybe we will give you a little bit back, I closed all account told her she was damageing my acsh flow for my company and importing and it was all or none, meaning work this out or it would cause me into default, she replied your FICO score created this …I have my credit report printed and its excellent.

I had a container departure leaving indonesia and needed it, I had to use the money I would have paid them to get my goods to save my business, I in turn incorporated my business, homesteaded my home to protect me from them. I sent them the Sease & desist letter as I was advised to do so. I sent them a letter to do debt consolidation and immediately they sent me to collections. I now had to do the same thing to their collections whol are very rude. All this at the holidays, I have survived with my company through all the hurdes of the economy and they have made it to almost close my company due to my cash flow.

In addition, they sent me to collections for this, They sent me to an attorney who is pathetic and has no better customer service skills or solutions.

I am starting my New Year off with the theory “support small Business” never bank or einvest in large companies, minimize doing any sort of business with corporations if there is a company local you can do business with do so.

If anyone has any ideas or success stores, please email me on my next step with American Express.

By the way the points they give you, they truly don't give you, MERCHANTS PAY POINTS WHEN YOU USE YOUR CARD AT THEIR BUSINESS. Lets all pay cash and let these companies know what it feels like, and how it hurts!

It is time to take stands American and stop letting companies like AMERICAN EXPRESS whom NEEDS TO BE CLOSED effect us !

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User Replies:
trmn8r on 01/13/2011:
I had a little trouble understanding this complaint in key spots. I am wondering if you were carrying a balance, and what kind of utilization you had. When you stated you had "paid off" debt, it sounded like you were carrying a substantial balance somewhere. This is very risky with credit cards, because as you found out they can abruptly reduce your credit line. You may have had an equivalent experience with any of the large credit card issuers.
bcd on 01/13/2011:
If someone with excellent credit is displeased with a credit card issuer, it would seem to me that that person would simply request a new credit line with another credit card issuer instead of going into default.
AmexCCP on 03/08/2011:
Seeing as I'm employed by AMEX, I can see very large discrepancies in your "story". First off, Gold cards (as you claim) do not have preset spending limits. Secondly, AMEX can't send collections after you to get a payment until you are past due. If you're trying to say you were not due until your cycle, you have a charge card (Gold) and therefore you have something completely mixed up, or have left out key details of your complaint. I'm here to help, not down you. If you're frustrated, it happens to everyone, and you can feel free to contact me.
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If you think they treat customers bad...
Posted by on
If you think they treat customers bad, you should know how they treat their employees. I currently work in customer service for American Express and wanted to let you all know how unfair they are to their own employees.

There's a million things I could share, but the one that stands out most is how they grade our performance. There are only two pieces of information they use when determining if you do your job well. These pieces of information decide whether you stay or go, whether you get a bonus or not and whether you will ever be promoted to something above phone representative

When a customer calls in, they will receive an email survey on how the experience was and if they would recommend American Express to their friends. The survey's results are broken down into two parts: customer service and "refer to a friend". Under customer service, the customer grades the call on a scale from Poor to Excellent with things like Very Good and Fair in-between. If we do not get an excellent, our stats drop. Period. It matters not what is said in the comments. Only an excellent increases our stats and anything less, hurts our stats.

Next, the customer decides if they would refer a friend to American Express on a scale from 1-10, 10 meaning they would absolutely refer AMEX to a friend. If we do not get a 10, our stats drop. Period. It matters not what is said in the comments. Only 10's increase our stats and anything less, hurts our stats. Now, you should know that THIS is the part of the survey that affects our stats more because it's weighted more. Refer to a friend score is like 60% and customer service is 40%.

Now, here's where it gets interesting. The customer gets to write in comments all over the survey, anything they want about their experience or AMEX in general. Often times, I will get a survey come back that will be a "Very Good, 8" for example. Now, mind you this result actually brings my stats down. Then I will read the comments and they will say, "Customer service representative was very polite and helpful. My problem is not with her. AMEX voice response system is too confusing and it takes forever to get to a live person. Also, I don't go around recommending credit card companies to my friends." Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much for saying kind things about me, but giving me an 8 on refer to friend instead of 10. You have no idea Mr. Customer, that because of you, I will not be receiving a bonus and I may not get that position I've been eyeing in project management. Customer's also use this survey to complain about things that have happened to them in the past or on a previous call. They will even specifically say in the comments something like, "This is not about THIS call, but last month I tried to pay my bill online and your website gave me an error message...etc. I'm sick of your website giving me problems" Management doesn't look at those comments, they only care about the NUMBER we were given. In fact, EVERY SINGLE one of my surveys I have ever received that were less than Excellent/10, specifically stated in the comments that I was wonderful. I was pleasant, knowledgeable, helpful, polite..etc. However, the comments will go on to complain about an AMEX POLICY or the way our statements are printed. Or our voice response system. Or our website. Or that AMEX won't waive a late fee (which, by the way we reps don't decide. We don't make the decision to waive or not. We run your request though a web "tool" and either get approved or denied. Period. We don't get to determine on our own if we feel a waiver is justified regardless of your circumstance)....ANYWAY bottom line is these are things that are out of our control as reps. Yet, we still get punished for them. Now, I realize customers don't know this. They have no idea that what they score is a direct reflection on THAT representative and that representative alone. I feel bad for customers because if most of them knew this, they would grade reps (well at lease ME), perfect and then use the comments to rant because the comments don't affect my scores. That way, they could get their message across, but not hurt the representative they just spoke to who was wonderful and did her best. What ends up happening is a lot of reps will say or do ANYTHING to get a good score. Meaning, they will say things the customer wants to hear knowing full well it can't be done because all we care about is what number you will put on that survey you get tomorrow. If you call back later because you were told something that wasn't true, what does the representative care?, he got his Excellent/10 out of you already. See, AMEX has put us reps between a rock and a hard place. We are forced to look out for ourselves and not the customer. It's a shame because I am damn good at my job. I've been in customer service for many years and treat people kindly and always sympathize with them. I am well spoken and polite. Customers love me. They do not love AMEX though and AMEX has found a way to make this MY fault and MY problem. For those of you who truly had a nasty rep, I am sorry. Those people deserve the Poor/1's you give them. I do not however. I have personally known reps that have been let go because their scores were too low. Each of these reps have had wonderful phone skills, always spoke gently and politely and truly cared. Unfortunately, the luck of the draw was too many customers chose to take out their frustrations about AMEX policies on those rep's surveys. It not the customer's fault. Like I said many reps can be nasty and deserve those scores. MY customers who liked ME, but not something about AMEX and their policies had no idea when they chose to give the call an 8 or 9 or 1 or 2 or whatever... that it would hurt only me. Me personally. Me and only me.

They have set us reps up to fail by their stupid policies and money hungry ways. They know full well that the surveys should be an honest place for customer's to express their disappointments with THEM as a company, but they chose to put it on ONE rep's shoulders, even if it is clear the venting is not about how that one representative treated that customer or handled the call. They've done this so they have an excuse not to pay us well or promote us. Sad. I'm looking for a job more suited to reward me for treating people with kindness and respect, which is what I am good at and passionate about.

I really am sorry for all of you who have had terrible experience with customer service. You deserve better. And so do I.
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Ytropious on 09/04/2010:
Yuck, that sucks. If a customer is dinging the company and not you, YOU still get blamed. What a terrible company to work for. I can understand any company wanting nothing but the best, but even when you are 100% on top of your game, it seems like it's just luck based. Maybe you can pad your scores by telling your customers that if they take the survey, please only do 10s or 1s. I mean it sounds like that's the only scores anyway since anything between counts as terrible. Ask them to reserve their comments about how the company sucks for the write in section since you aren't dinged on that?
Magenta on 09/04/2010:
Thank you for your suggestion. We have asked this question and were told we can not "educate" the caller on how surveys work. We can't explain it to them or ask them to grade a 1 or 10. And since we are recorded, we could get in trouble if we are caught discussing this with a customer. This isn't fair, I know. However, it seems like an issue of common sense more than fairness. AMEX knows it doesn't make sense to handle scores like this, but it saves them money to do it this way I suppose. Thank you for commenting though, it's nice to know that others on the outside see it sucks too. And that it's not just me complaining from a one-sided viewpoint. I'm trying to remember to feel lucky to have a job at all right now :)
leet60 on 09/04/2010:
To the OP. You have just described, practically, every call center customer service job in the nation. The customer satisfaction survey is the driving factor in this industry and anything less than perfect is considered a failure - despite the fact that almost every customer responding to the survey is influenced by experiences with previous representatives and/or frustration over automated services. I have been in this industry for over 15 years with various companies, it is not only AMEX that operates in this manner.
olie on 09/04/2010:
I'm curious. What happens if a customer does NOT answer the survey? does that count against you?

For example, I often check my home e-mail only once a week. Most of my messages are offers from retailers, and I don't go to the mall every day or even every week. I rarely go online to answer surveys that appear on a receipt(like from Kohl's, or, today, GAP). I know that Kohl's, at least, gets graded on the surveys. But when I do go online, I prefer to spend my time at "fun" sites like this one.

I did try the GAP survey tonight, because I can get a 20% discount for completing the survey. Apparently, my access is "forbidden".

In addition, I have learned that I should never, ever click on a link from a financial website. It may be a spoofing site or an identity-theft attempt.

One idea that I like: When a phone rep asks me if I would like to complete a short, 5-question survey upon completion of the call. (Or a 2-minute survey, or whatever. As long as it seems "short" to me.) I always say yes to this. I'm already on the phone, and the rep will transfer me to the survey. These surveys allow me to punch in my answers, and there's always an option to record other comments. Perhaps Amex will consider this.

And I'm sorry, but I just plain don't recommend any financial entities to my friends. Or enemies. It's not my place.
Magenta on 09/05/2010:
Thanks for your comment and question. Surveys that aren't completed do not count against you. It's an excellent question though because with as unfair as it all is, you'd think they would. This, I suppose, is the only fair thing about these surveys.

It brings up another point I'd like to make though. When a customer doesn't have an email on file, we are required to ask for it before the caller hangs up. However, we can't say that it's because they will be receiving a survey. We are supposed to convey that like a phone number and address, it's just basic profile info that we like to have on file. Now, here's my question...Even if the call is going well and the customer is complimenting me on my excellent service, why on earth would I "proactively" ask them for their email? So that tomorrow I can come in and read their Excellent/2, stating that the rep was wonderful, but the 2 is because I don't go around recommending credit card companies? (That 2 hurts me more than the Excellent helps me, remember refer to a friend is weighted more) This seems to be a conflict of interest for us reps. It is not to our benefit to ask for an email. In fact, there's a great chance it will be harmful to us to ask for it. Yet, I am required to ask for it on every call that is missing an email.

By the way, I've been told that years ago, AMEX did do phone surveys. They changed to email so that customers could take it on their own time, take their time with it, and have a place to write in comments. This is hilarious because they do not read your comments or care about what you say in them.

And I don't blame you at all for naught recommending credit card companies to your friends (or enemies :)!). I don't either. It's a stupid question for a credit card company to ask. People usually don't sit around chatting about credit cards the way they do movies and restaurants. Absurd.
Magenta on 09/05/2010:
Leet60- Thank you for commenting. I too, have worked in many call centers and this way of scoring is in fact, not standard. Most call centers have surveys, but they have many variables and more flexibility. Things are "taken into consideration". Calls are listened to and reviewed by management and credit is given where credit is due. It's really not difficult to put together a fair survey about customer service without throwing in all the credit card referring stuff. There's a place for surveys and for surveys to be done right, I've seen it done. It's done all over, just not at AMEX. Thanks though...
Amexican on 09/07/2010:
That would drive me nuts. Get yourself in a position where you can be rewarded for your performance as soon as possible. Get away from that soul-killing job.

Lizard1 on 11/23/2011:
Mangenta is right. Its called G ratings. I have been at mr for just under a year. The working environment is terrible as well. Currently looking for a new job. All that matters is the refer to friends. I love helping card holders most are great.
Blues on 07/30/2012:
My wife is in training at this time with AMEX. She has been working in Customer service for years and is a professional. She is dealing with the crazy survey ratings and about to lose her job over it.
Her CHT is perfect and she has a total of about 25 surveys over the last 2 months. All rate her as excellent but a couple have come in with low numbers on the refer to a friend. Those 2 surveys are stopping the green lights from matching up which means they won't graduate her. It's luck of the draw on these surveys. Agents who aren't doing so well slide through because their numbers match up and good agent are being let go because theirs do not. And in the long run it's not only the agent but the customer who suffers.
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American Express Leave home without them
Posted by on

August 9, 2009

To: Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault, American Express
Executive Offices 
American Express Company 

200 Vesey Street

New York, New York 10285


From: American Express member since 2002
Gold Business Account
Platinum Account

RE: This is a letter seeking redress of our $40,000 credit limit reduced to $6,000. Please read our letter and we await your timely response.

Time to leave home without American Express!

As long time customers of American Express let us share our frustration and disappointment in the way this company has been treating us and indeed many card members during this past year. Our cascading grief is over American Express reduction of our credit limits, and raising credit card interest rates. American Express is reacting to the financial crisis out of fear. The financial damage to American Express will be long lasting and far-reaching.

Let us give you a little history as to what type of customers we have been. Our payments are always on time to all our creditors. Our story is like so many other card members. We have two open accounts with American Express. We have been members for seven years, perfect credit with long established payment history, FICO scores over 800 but only Amex has tampered with our credit limits. Only Amex has seen this pressing need to reduce our credit limits. We called Costco and took off the auto renewal for Amex, we no longer want American Express to continue any further unilateral credit damage to our pristine credit portfolio. American Express can no longer be trusted with our credit. We have stayed the course but American Express has run into the economic ditch!

We have called several times, talked to numerous staff, those who survived, faxed our request with supporting documentation and now we are writing to you for redress. In the past it was a punishment to raise interest rates for those who could not pay their debt on time. Is this our reward for being loyal card members with established credit histories, to raise our interest rates for paying our debt on time? We suggest, just as American Express looks ever so closely at our credit worthiness, we look to the executive board and CEO for leadership worthiness!

These actions take us back to a time where perhaps Pony Express might be a better company name. American Express is in total freefall. American Express is failing to provide customer service with a total disregard for ethics and indifference to the many card members. It seems we are going back in time with Pony American Express. 

We just recently read of American Express filing a lawsuit against the infamous Courtney Love. Legal papers showed the rocker owes $352,059.67 in unpaid charges and fees on her Amex Gold Card – which has since been suspended by the company.

So let us understand, American Express trusted a well-known drug addict, notorious for her litigation in not paying bills and American Express extended credit on a gold card for $350,000 but Amex cannot restore our previous credit limit of $40,000? We pay all our bills on time, never been late on any of our payments and we are not drug addicts, in fact we do not even use drugs, not even the good kind!

American Express will never need to file litigation against us but we know so many who want to file a class action lawsuit against American Express.

We jumped through the languishing morass of the many hoops of fire and sent in our full credit report, tax returns and listed assets along with an overall financial statement.
We are writing to inform you that, after reviewing your letter of August 2009 denying us our credit increase, with obfuscated contrived reasons we will not accept this treatment from American Express.
We are financially solid and have not changed, we are not sure the same can be said of the financial hemorrhaging of American Express that will hold another round of layoffs, after cutting 7,000 jobs in October 2008, decimating its work force along with frozen salaries and good luck with that Courtney Love lawsuit. It was sadly, no surprise, when we read your computer-generated letter of indifference. The famous words of Thomas Jefferson rang so true “Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.”
In July of 2009, American Express itself stated second-quarter net income came in at $337 million, down 48% from 2008 when the company made $653 million. This net income attributable to common shareholders was only 9 cents a share, down from 56 cents a share in the year-ago quarter, according to the company.
At the same time net write-offs for the company were 10% of total loans in American Express's U.S. card-services business in the second quarter. Loans that were at least 30 days delinquent represented 4.4% of total loans in the latest period, up from 3.3% a year earlier. We do read the Wall Street Journal.
Yet with all this bad news, there was one bright spot as stated by the financial leader of American Express, Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault:
“The number of card members who are falling behind in their payments, the volume of bankruptcy filings and the level of loan write-offs were better than we had expected.”
“If these trends continue, we expect U.S. lending write-off rates on a managed basis to be below 10% for the second half of the year, which is lower than the outlook we offered earlier this year,” Mr. Chenault added.
Yet American Express continues to punish us, the good card members, why? Is it out of fear that we might increase the financial bloodletting? I do not think you need our help for that! May I suggest a bold new direction, take care of the customer first and the bottom line will follow!
American Express appears, as a company, to be in poor financial shape, and undercapitalized. Since we take our financial life seriously, we cannot be associated with a financial company that manages to loose so many employees, assets and runs its own affairs so poorly.
We are not proud of our American Express relationship, are you proud of your leadership? In addition, American Express has too many bad reviews within the consumer community, and your overall rating on every consumer site, is a very poor rating.
I looked, in vain, for a POSITIVE review of your company from any person or news source, and could not find even one except for the mysterious award from JD Powers. Even JD Powers would not return my calls when I asked them to define further what criteria they used to base American Express only award of “good customer service.”
This recession will not last forever. When it is over, and people choose the few credit cards they are willing to use, there will be fewer companies and cards to choose from. The ones who will survive are the ones who realize that the only thing that keeps a credit card company afloat are customers who accept a card, use it, and pay their bills. The companies who will be in business then are the ones who take care of that good group of people today. You are clearly NOT taking care of your good customers today, so I don’t expect you to be in business then.

American Express has raised our interest rates on not only new purchases but on all existing balances. In fact when Congress passed the Credit Card Reform Act, this is exactly what they wanted to prevent Credit Card Companies from doing.

We also found this very interesting from Financial News USA. WASHINGTON (AP) -- American Express Co. spent $710,000 lobbying the federal government in the second quarter on legislation touching on an array of financial issues, a recent disclosure report shows. The article continues with American Express lobbied lawmakers on legislation related to credit card fees and practices, data security and consumer privacy.

American Express also lobbied in the April-June period on consumer bankruptcy, advertising and taxes.
 Beside Congress, the company lobbied the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Office of Thrift Supervision, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Internal Revenue Service and Executive Office of the President, according to the report filed July 20 with the House clerk's office.
The $710,000 spent by American Express in the second quarter compares with $830,000 in the first quarter, and nearly $1.1 million in the year-ago period. We were amazed to find American Express on the fast track to being granted banking status in just a 30 day period. This usually takes much longer. Of course with this banking status, the company gained over 3 billion in TARP funds.
It was not so nice for American Express to get credit but deny the card members credit.
Our final question, was the $710,000 well spent for the persuasion of influence in Washington DC? While your company is losing funding, market share, customers, bad debt write offs, against a backdrop of massive company layoffs and your increasing salary of over 42 million with a base salary, cash bonus, stock and other options was it all worth it? Just curious!
So Mr. Kenneth Chenault can you redress this issue with our credit limit or do we need to hold American Express accountable in the court of public opinion? The choice is yours.

Waiting your reply,


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tnchuck100 on 09/11/2009:
Well written. It is highly unlikely Mr. Kenneth Chenault will ever see your letter. Persons in their position are insulated from the customer. He won't realize the real problem until American Express collapses. Corporations of that size cannot react quickly enough to be effective in avoiding disaster. As you can see their biggest, fastest reaction to impending problems (as they see it) is raising interest rates as high and as fast as they can before they are unable to do so.

I think a good lawyer (Does that species even exist?) should be able to build a class action lawsuit on the lowering of credit limits alone. Since it lowers one's credit score it can be a financial detriment to purchasing a home or car. Something on the basis of "But for the unjustified, without cause actions of American Express I was forced to pay an additional $X dollars for my car."
Anonymous on 09/11/2009:
Good review. Very informative.
JR in Orlando on 09/11/2009:
Well written but based on a false assumption: you have a right to credit. Remember this is a contract between two people. It is not only the credit worthiness of the buyer, but the willingness to lend that sets credit limits. A credit limit means the lender is willing to lend you that amount, whether you use it or not. The fact you may have paid in the past, does guarantee future performance. AMEX has decided to limit its willingness to lend and therefore its liability. It is nothing personal.

Why if you are in such great financial shape do you need a $40,000.00 limit? Is this ego, or a real need? If a real need, this would make AMEX concerned. You have $6,000.00 which seems like enough for most people.
tnchuck100 on 09/11/2009:
JR, you are missing the point. It's not that $40,000 of credit is needed, it's that the reduction damages your credit score. Further, though legal at this time, it is an unfair contract. A fair contract does not allow one party to change the terms unilaterally at will.

The issue is not what AmEx can and cannot do it is the negative impact they are having on their customers that is totally beyond the control of the customer.

If the credit reporting agencies would factor this in it would not be so bad. Hence, they are also part of the problem.
JR in Orlando on 09/11/2009:
Doesn't the card holder unilaterally change the agreement ever time he uses it? You mean the borrower can change how much he owes and how much he pays every month and that's fair, but it is unfair for the lender to say that he does not want to lend as much? Both actions are legal under the contract and both are fair.

What the rating agencies do is outside the control of AmMex also. Its a collateral consequence. Would you say that a company could not lay off a person, if doing so would keep them from paying their rent. That is equivalent.

One solution would be not to get such high limits to start with, so there would be no reduction.
tnchuck100 on 09/11/2009:
JR, you are now authorized to join the bank hugger clique that exists here. You just don't get it. Based on your last response I can see there is no getting you to understand the underlying issue.
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Screw American Express Every Way You Can
Posted by on
I am 49 years old. I have had American Express accounts and accepted them in my businesses since I was 20 years old. I have been an entrepreneur my whole life. Often I also held a six figure job as well. Two years ago, many banks panicked and started slashing credit lines. This really hurt my business a lot. I wound up with a lot of debt and customers that had no way to pay me because their credit cards were cut off, and their clients credit was cut off.

The government pretends like the Banks didn't screw businesses over, but in fact they did. The banks screwed small business to the hilt, and they screwed the consumers to the maximum as well. This left American Express one of the few accounts open that I could use. Charging on average about $2,000 per month in all business expenses, and paying in full each month. In early June 2010. I got a call from American Express demanding I pay my bill immediately. The statement had not even gone out from them yet and was not due for 20 days but they demanded I pay right there on the spot. I refused as that defeats the whole purpose of using the card.

So, American Express turned my charging privileges off. Why would they do that, when I had never been late, and the payment was not even due?? This in turn cause me to have to pay things in cash which caused problems for my business. I then had to put other people off or try to collect debts early from my clients. Some of them got angry and canceled their contracts with me! After paying my statement balance American Express removed the hold and some automatic transactions when through. They then called me demanding payment again before the statement went out again. I explained that I would make a payment by the due date as I always did. I made a payment and 2 days later was hit by a car which made my life a painful hell. At the same time, American Express illegally processed an ACH bank draft to my personal checking account which I did not authorize, resulting in a credit balance to my account. This in turn over drafted my personal checking account, because it only had a few hundred dollars in it. That ruined a 15 year pristine history with my bank. It also resulted in hundreds of dollars in bank fees and cost me about 150 hour of hell writing letters, sitting on the phone, in bank offices, etc... all the while in terrible pain from my injuries.

When I called American Express they said they would fix this problem and pay my bank fees. They didn't... after my second call a week later they left me a voice message saying they were just going to keep the money! So I had to file complaints with the Federal Reserve to get my bank to reverse the illegal ACH draft from American Express. It took 31 days for them to do that. So American Express had the use of someone's money for over 31 days... more than a full billing cycle - and they did not pay anyone for the use of that money. On the other hand, I had to pay very very very severely for American Express to use that money.

Finally when the illegal transaction gets reversed, American Express does still not honor it's word. It does not reimburse me for the fees or the hell I went through. Just as a statement arrives showing the 31 days with a credit balance, American Express goons start calling me and threatening me that my account is past due. How could it possibly be past due when they had the use of someone's money for 31 days and my statement showed a credit balance? But they didn't stop there... Even though I immediately sent them 1/3 of a payment BEFORE the next statement came, they had already turned me over to a collection agency!!! When the statement did arrive it did not show my credit from the previous month applied to the balance, it did not show the payment that I had made, instead it showed a jacked up balance with highly inflated fees attached.

Now, I already had a dispute running about American Express with the Attorney General's office. They wrote a letter filled with Lies to the Attorney General and made it seem like they were the good guys. At the very same time they wrote this pile of dung to the Attorney General - they then turn my account over to a collection agency! They did this while the current statement was still in the mail!! It had not even arrived to me yet, and they had already turned it over to collections.

American Express is an evil company headed by the very swine of this world. The kind of people that need a noose around their neck. As Humans we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. American Express are the demons from hell that want to squeeze the life out of you, crush your liberties and destroy your happiness. Wicked slime that should be spit roasted in an open flame.
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leet60 on 09/14/2010:
I'm not much of a credit card person, as I believe cash is a much more viable option. I do think AMEX, if the story holds, did you a disservice. On the obverse, running a business with the use of credit as operating funds is a bad idea.
JanLuc on 09/15/2010:
I had a horrible experience with their personal card. They asked for my TAX INFO!!!!!!!!?????????? I refused to sent them my personal info and they canceled all my accounts and screwed my credit score. Why they asked me for a tax info? I hve no idea, I spent only 50% within the limits and enjoyed 758 score which dropped to 673 after 2 months with AMEX CROOKS
AmexCCP on 03/08/2011:
I'm appalled at this accusation. I deal with similar situations everyday, and that's not how AMEX does business. Someone, including those commenting, must be leaving out key details. I'm not the bad guy here, I only wish to help. However to respond in reference to the Tax info situation with JanLuc, there are multiple reasons tax info is requested. However if you didn't request a credit increase, or new card, then tax info probably was needed due to Anti-money laundering legislation that is..... wait a minute..... the GOVERNMENT's requirement. You want a fix, contact me.
Credit unions give 5.75% interest, try them on 06/15/2011:
Dear AmexCCP, if it is a GOVERNMENT requirement, then why don't your people state that? The people reporting that they had to report their tax info never said your company stated this was the reason why. My CREDIT UNION, which has a 5.75% interest rate, NEVER asked me for tax info. Citibank pulled this kind of bs on me, raising my interest to double digits when I was an excellent customer for years. I paid off my balance and DROPPED THEM, and went to my credit union which is SO MUCH BETTER!

People, support your LOCAL credit unions instead of these giant banks out to shaft us!
Almost Homeless thanks to AmEx on 03/09/2013:
American Express just levied my account from a debt from my marriage 3 years ago. I'm self employed and live alone and they took every cent I have. When I called and asked if I could have the money to cover my rent check and something to live on, because I don't know when my next client will come, they said, "you should have thought of that before you stopped paying your bills." When I racked up the debt I was making over $100k/year then the recession hit and I lost my job. I now make less than $20,000 a year. I pulled all my 401k out to live on and that's what they took - $10,000 - all the money I had in the world. I have $4 in my wallet and half a tank of gas and they told me, "too bad, you should pay your bills." American Express cares more about profits and rich shareholders than real people. I will NEVER ever give them another cent.
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GOOD RIDDANCE to American Express!
Posted by on
Just like a lot of the bad reviews American Express has been getting. We experienced the same thing today. We've been excellent customers for about 10 years now that is why we have the Platinum card. Never late on payments and paid off all charges every time we use this card.

In June 2009, they sent us a letter telling us that "Given the difficult economic environment ... we have had to make the difficult decision to lover your credit limit . . . to $3,300 (from a credit limit of $20,800). I still used this card for groceries and gas at Costco because this is the only credit card Costco accepts. We continued to be good customers and paid it off the entire amount due each month long before the due dates.

Lo and behold today while trying to pay for my Costco purchase, my AMEX card purchase was denied! Fortunately, I had cash on hand to pay for it. I called AMEX right away when I got home and they told me they decided to close our account today and they can only talk to my husband about it since he's the primary holder in our account. My husband couldn't believe it. He said he just used it this morning to buy gas at Costco.

He called AMEX and all they can say is that we have too many revolving credit in our account. It doesn't even matter to them that we have a good track record with them and no late payments with all our other credit cards. They said they have the right to close our account at anytime.

What awful business practice! They don't care about their customers at all. I'm only glad that I found out about it because we have several bills we do automatic payments each month through AMEX. Thankfuly none of them were due today!

The only thing that worried me is that this card is linked to our DELTA miles account and at this time we have over 357,000 miles to use for travel. I called DELTA to ask about our miles and thankfully they said it is safe and AMEX can't touch it! Thank you DELTA!

Is this practice even legal? I wish there would be an aggressive lawyer out there who would put together a class action lawsuit against AMEX! Count me in!

Now I understand why AMEX is not accepted in a lot of countries. We have travelled to EUROPE and ASIA and tried to use it, but even the well established places we went to didn't accept AMEX. No wonder VISA is the most widely used card in the world. They treat their customers well and they have good customer service people who are actually in the USA (not INDIA) who knows what we're talking about!


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WScott on 10/09/2009:
I may be wrong but I think a company extending credit to you, including banks, look at your TOTAL AVAILABLE credit, not just what you have used. They worry that tomorrow you could use everything and get into a position where you cannot make all payments. Unpleasant it is to the consumer, it does make a certain kind of sense.
WScott on 10/09/2009:
One other thought: I think the reason many merchants refuse the AmEx card is it's very high commission rates, as opposed to the bank cards. Merchants, like all of us, hate to spend money they don't need to!!!
MaggieMcT on 10/09/2009:
I don't think you'll get too far with a lawsuit, since their terms and conditions are always written to allow them to change anything anytime.
americanexpresskarma on 10/10/2009:
I understand they look at the TOTAL AVAILABLE credit. It is always a risk to any bank that everybody they extend credit to can actually use up their entire credit. But we've been customers for 10 years and that has NEVER happened. We have VISA credit cards too, but we've NEVER gotten the BAD treatment AMEX has showed us. If any of you ever read the other consumer reviews, AMEX just toss up their customers whenever they want no matter if you have done good business with them for 25 years with no problem at all. Somebody just sits there and pick people at random which customer they want to toss. If they can change anything at anytime, this thought is not far off.
AmericanExIsCheater on 10/28/2009:
I wish if there is something we can do. Almost same happened to me and they are not giving me my cash back reward as they cancelled the card. They are the biggest cheaters in the whole Credit card business. I have visa for over 12 years and no issues never with them.
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Cancellation Of Account With No Reason
Posted by on
CHARLOTTE, VERMONT -- It is no small wonder American Express Company is looking for bail-out $$... they treat their loyal and good-paying customers like criminals!

My husband went to pay something with our Amex card, and it was declined...strange the bill had just been paid in full! When we got home I called to make sure there wasn't some kind of fraudulent activity or whatever, and to my shock and dismay was told our account had been cancelled on January 10th....the day after they processed the full balance of our statement's payment! They said there were problems with my credit report from Experian, and that my OTHER credit card balances were too high...

I called back this morning and was told there were "negative impacts" on my credit report, high balances, delinquent accounts, and "too many credit inquiries"--3 in the last 30 days.

I called Experian. They were incredulous! Turns out 2 out of the 3 "inquiries" were THEIRS, and this is very routine for credit card companies. There are NO negatives in my report, ALL of my accounts are in "Good Standing" (no great surprise since I have never been late on a payment, and always pay more than the minimum balance). They could not fathom what bone American Express would have to pick with it.

So where does that leave someone other than in an embarrassing situation of having a card declined for NO GOOD REASON, and be unable to get a straight answer out of the customer service people... who told me I could "reapply after I fixed the (nonexistent) problems!! Yea right. To boot they now will not pay me the $250 cash back reward to use at Costco because my account is cancelled! Sounds a might fishy to me.....

Needless to say I will certainly NEVER use one of their cards again.
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Anonymous on 01/12/2009:
Amex is proactively reeling in credit. I remember the days when 'fiscallly perfect' was required just to get an Amex card and the card was a bit of a status symbol if you had one. Those days are returning. About time.
Newcomer on 01/19/2009:
AMEX just reduced me line of credit to the point where it's not even worth keeping the card...and without ANY reason either.
In your case I assume that you paid an annual fee to AMEX. If so, I would get Costco involved to get the credit from them for your purchases (I.e. 3% gas, 2% restaurants, etc). This is something AMEX passes on to Costco and the annual refund (due soon) comes from Costco. Second, I'd get back with AMEX and insist that they give you a refund for the "unused" portion of the annual fee you paid to them.
If you don't get any satisfaction from AMEX, threaten them with getting your state's agency involved that deals with consumer credit complaint issues.
Good luck!
goodfella on 01/20/2009:
Same exact thing happened to me today. Will be contacting Attorney General, FTC, and will be attempting a class action lawsuit. According to Costco rep, there have been many complaints just like this today alone.

Was expectin a $500 rebate come February.
Anonymous on 01/20/2009:
From other complaints on this site, a good amount of the cancellations by Amex were opened at Costco prior to the Christmas holiday. Could there be a bit of collusion between Costco and Amex to boost Costco's sales late in the 3rd quarter?
irate in VT on 01/29/2009:
Update: I have sent tersely worded letters to Costco and the CEO of AMEX... seems I have gotten some response, but no apology: They put my rebate as a credit to the closed card. What remains to be seen is how this will play out since I can't use it with my card closed! It is not their normal way of handling the rebate, which is normally a check payable to Costco. So my assumption is it is an attempt to mollify me. However, if my credit report is dinged, mollification will not be a possibility. Legal action will insue. They have been informed as such. So far they have not even reported the account as closed to the agencies.
Ghost of Doc J, that may be a valid point; but my card was open for 3 years, and not from 3rd quarter, so maybe not.

goodfella: if they ding my credit report and cause me more damage, count me in on a class action lawsuit!!

I'll keep you all posted with any further progression in this ridiculous situation!

EmpressU on 02/14/2009:
Just another ripped off Costco/AMEX customer - Costco says they will not honor the rebate since the card was canceled by AMEX. Massive consumer fraud, I think.
kevinblack on 03/15/2009:
I have the exact same story. If anybody is getting some traction putting something together here please let me know.

Amex customer since 2000, last year I decided to get the Costco AMEX and was due 400$+ come February. Card canceled in January with no reason and no notice. These people are scumbags and I will never work with them again.
recordstudio on 03/22/2009:
Same story on my end as well. I actually called and a customer service rep said may check should arrive within 10 days. After 10 days I gave them another called and talked to Ms. Grant (who said she was the highest supervisor working at the time) and said I had to wait until June to receive a credit on my CANCELED account, then call back a request a check to be sent if my account stays in good standing (keeping in mind the account is paid off in full and I have never missed a payment) So after spending a half hour on the phone with Ms. Grant she gave me the phone number of her boss 1-866-391-1460 and said her name was Ms. Bozo. Ms. Bozo boss is Ms. Hartman (would not give me a phone number) and her boss is Doria Camaraza
recordstudio on 03/22/2009:
Here are some address I received today.

Doria Camaraza
777 American Express Way
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33337

And to file a judgment against AMEX
43 Butterfield Circle
El Paso, Tx. 79906-5202

Toni I. on 03/23/2009:
Same story here:

I am an American Express Costco TrueEarnings Card member and I am upset that I have not yet received my Costco rebate coupon, which was supposed to be mailed to me during the first week in February, which is now over six weeks ago!

I have made three separate calls to the American Express Customer Service Department asking them to send me the rebate coupon, but I have been getting the runaround.

The first time I called (which was on February 23rd), I was told that I had to wait at least a month from the date that the coupon was issued before I could request a replacement. The second time I called (which was on March 6th), I was told that a replacement coupon would immediately be sent out and I would receive it within a week. The third time I called (which was on March 20th), I was told that I would have to wait another two weeks (no earlier than April 6th) before I could request a replacement of the replacement coupon!

I have verified that American Express has my current mailing address and telephone numbers on file.

This is outrageous! If it weren't for the fact that I would lose the $69.00 coupon if I were to cancel my account right now, I would tell American Express to take their card and shove it!

I want American Express to IMMEDIATELY issue me my Costco rebate coupon. I do not wish to wait another two weeks before they will issue me a second replacement of the coupon which I should have received over six weeks ago!
SDwantstosueAmex on 03/23/2009:
I had a similar experience. Paid my balance in full in January. Feb 1st Amex billed me for my next year's membership and then canceled my account ( stated I maintained high balances on my other credit cards even when my balance with AMEX was $0 ). I got them to reverse the charge on the $100 membership fee but they refuse to give me my $111.07 Cash Rebate earned from the previous year's purchases. My anniversary date for membership was Feb 1st. They were able to process another year's membership fee but couldn't issue a Cash Rebate?
I contacted AMEX 4 times regarding this matter. Today I received a letter stating my dispute with AMEX would not be resolved and they send apologies for the inconvenience + they appreciate my understanding in the matter ( sent from H. Figueroa Customer Service Supervisor )
Anyone filing a class action lawsuit?
I'm ready to file in San Diego court as an individual claim but would love to be included in a class action suit or start one here.
Please contact me if you are already developing a case against them.
milesxl on 05/15/2014:
They did the same thing to me. I had never been late on a payment and had no problems on my credit report. It did look as though I was overextended, but that is only because they were not considering my husbands income and the fact that we were remodeling our whole house. But the fact that I was able to pay off a huge balance after only two months should have told them I was a good customer, but instead they cancelled my account. Very strange.
Carol Agee on 10/17/2014:
To rent a car: one of the companies A. Ex. deals with and get a price. However....they can't hold the car or the price without the certificate number. A.Ex. only to find....they won't give you the number over the must be mailed out to me....
Third....When I get it in the mail and call Rental people back....the price has jumped way up and the car they quoted isn't available....
This is red tape madness and very frustrating...there must be a better way.
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