Hey Amex!! We won't be your pawns!
The rash of recent actions by Amex is pretty predictable if you consider recent legislation imposed on the credit card companies. The banks and banking lobbyists are really unhappy about this recent legislation, and are likely taking the steps of reducing credit on good customers (and good customers FIRST, because they'll be the most vocal) with the intent of spinning the blame back onto the legislation, in hopes of getting it repealed or significantly reformed...ASAP. They are completely willing to leave good customers like us to twist in the wind, as they feel this will only help them better make their case. If successful in getting this new legislation changed to better suit them, you can be sure they'll try to woo us back right away. They are counting on us having very short memories, and will once again pander to our egos once they feel the time is right. Suddenly, the computer gods and their same contrived algorithms will deem us worthy once again.
Class action suits would likely be fruitless, as firms like Amex have armies of staff attorneys that strategize the extent to which thay can push the limits and still be able to defend their actions in court. And besides, only the attorneys win in class action cases. They get millions, we each get 87 cents!
Where I think they (Amex) has really screwed up is in underestimating the new power of social networks and blogs...many more people than ever before will realize they are not alone and they're not being singled out for anything that they did wrong, but rather that they are being used (and abused) for the sole reason that Amex doesn't like the "handcuffs" placed on them by this legislation. They always want absolute control, and will do anything to keep it, or in this case, to try to get it back. These egomaniacs want it both ways; to have the government hand them cash when times get tough, but then they get pissy when when that same government in any way limits their ability to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want. They're all about free market capitalism, but only when it suits their need. And their need is to dress up their quarterly earnings, so as to justify handing themselves obscene bonuses. The problem they face now is that so much of that "bonus fuel" was generated by the punitive fees and usury default rates that the legislation will now limit.
I've read most of the reviews on this site, and the theme is very consistent: customers with great credit and perfect payment histories getting whacked right and left. Can't think of a good reason why this is happening? It's because there isn't a good reason. There is only the underhanded, immoral reason that they aren't happy about having something taken away from them, and they're just abusing us in an attempt to somehow blame the legislation and make it look bad.
The way to hurt them back is to spread the word (like we are here), and not forget, when times are good again, what they were willing to do to us today to try to get their way. NEVER FORGET! Don't forget the ruined vacations, the missed weddings and funerals, the evaporation of the liquidity desperately needed to sustain a small business.
Consider buying a share of AMEX stock. The symbol is AXP, and today a share costs about $38. Even one share gets you all the info you need to make a run at changing things. Communicate to the board, as a concerned shareholder, that the current path of the firm is misguided. Don't let them get away with describing their current actions as "prudent". Alienate a core segment of your best customers? That's not prudent, that's nonsensical, especially in this economic environment, unless there's an underlying reason that they're not being forthcoming about. Ask those board members if their parents would be proud of what they're doing to the honest, reliable, creditworthy customers they lured into depending on the credit they promised to provide. And for what? A bigger bonus? Job security? Bragging rights at the good ol' boys club?
The board of directors and top management are charged with setting policy. Current policy is abusive towards customers, and reflective of a nihilistic corporate culture that simply should not tolerated.
They only have control if we give it to them. Vote with your dollars and do business elsewhere. Let's use our power as consumers to hurt their bottom line and force the ouster of the board and top management that allows this abuse to happen. Membership has lost it's privilege, and the current corporate governance should lose their privileges as well. Perhaps a new board will have a more enlighted view of who takes care of them. It's not the comp committee, it's the customers!
The "strategists" behind all this truly are dirtbags. I suggest we work together in a concerted way to take out the trash!
Good luck to all!