I opened my American Express card account in 1993. I loved this card. It was useful in emergency or when I was low on cash. I had a large sign and travel balance, which I paid along with my regular charges on time until May 2009. I was victim of identity theft. The negative accounts on my credit reports caused my credit card limits to be reduced on most of credit cards as well as my minimum payments doubled on these cards. I informed the credit companies and they refused to reduce my APR or monthly payments.
It took nine months to get all the negative fraudulent information off of my credit report BUT, none of the credit companies would reverse the APRs or minimum payments. So, I was using the AMEX card to meet my expenses. I realized that now my AMEX card monthly payment was too high for me to pay. I contacted AMEX and advised I was starting to have problems meeting my payment. They advised me to look into their debt management program. In the meantime, I enrolled into the Consumer Credit debt management program (June 2009) - this was the only way I could reduce the payments and APRs on my credit accounts.
The downside was that I had to close all my accounts. I called AMEX and asked if they participated in this program and was told yes, but I had to make 3 payments to them before they would accept me on this program. I was accepted in July 2009 or August 2009. I continued to get bills that said I was past due on my payments; even though my payment history showed that I was paying every month on time. I would call the customer service number and be told to ignore my statements, because my account was in good standing AND, the statements would be corrected eventually. BUT, AMEX started to report my account as past due.
This lowered my credit score AND put the 1st negative strike on my credit history which I began over 20 years ago. After 3 days of calling every number I was told to call, I find out that I should have been told in May 2009, that I needed to pay all the outstanding payment "DUE" and if I did not pay it, I would be sent to collections.
AND, I found out that the AMEX "debt management Division" doesn't have access to the AMEX "customer service" division information AND although my debt management account is current, I still must pay them $1000 and pay off amount due AND the AMEX Credit reporting division is an entity on to themselves and I must resolve all issues with them (RUDE PEOPLE? NO HELP AT ALL). In December, 2009, they did stop charging me late fees, and they did change my credit report to "collection" instead of "In collection."
BUT, today I get a credit alert that AMEX has now stated that my account has been sent for collections and I paid the $983.00 earlier this month. NOW, I am going to have to spend days calling and writing to AMEX again AND I need to move, but this is going to have my rental applications rejecting. WORST COMPANY EVER!!!
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 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 its privilege, and the current corporate governance should lose their privileges as well.
Perhaps a new board will have a more enlightened 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!
This company treats its customers with disrespect and as if they are subhuman. I was a long-term customer. I never missed a payment. Due to my wedding I was using my American Express to make most of the payments. Just before the wedding I paid off several large amounts one up to $3000 just a few days before the wedding. We wanted to use that card for our honeymoon. Without notification they lowered my credit available to below my balance. I could no longer use the card. We struggled to come up with the cash to have our honeymoon. Thanks to some good friends and family we did.
When I spoke to American express they said we were in good standing but they felt my credit was too high. It is not the company policy to inform its customers until after the available credit has been lowered. After speaking with a representative I cancelled my credit card with American Express and was told I could still see my account online and get statements. I was also told I would stop getting statements once I no longer owed money. I made regular payments every two weeks for 2 months ranging from $250-$1000, all well above my min balance.
These jerks then called me today stating I missed my payment in June. The due date for my account was 5 June. I made payment on May 25 $250 and 10 June $500 and 15 June $1000. Since the 10 June and 15 June were after my due date, this should have been put onto my July statement. However, I got a call today stating I missed my July payment and that it was due today. It turns out American express has a period of 10 days after the due date where any payments made during this time would be on the previous bill. So I am now late due to some crazy policy this company has.
Because my account was closed they denied me access to the online account and because I had an online account I no longer get paper bills. So I no longer get any access to how much money I owe. This company makes no sense. I have seen mentally handicapped children handle a lemonade stand business better. I will not use any of their products again. In fact I avoid places that only accept American express as a result. They treated me like a criminal and lowered my credit score because of some nuts company policy. I hate them and everything they have done to us as a result.
I did have perfect credit until these jerk faces came up with insane ideas on how to keep customers. I would use harsher language but don't want to offend anyone. But take it from me - If a company ever deserved economic hardship it is these Jerk Faces (man I want to say something worse there.)
These Jerks just about ruined my wedding, my honeymoon and now are just calling me non-stop about a payment I haven't really missed except in some fantasy world they have created they call customer service. If you have a card with American Express, get rid of it fast. If you are thinking about a card, don't. If you think after this you are going to keep your card, just shoot yourself now and save ** the trouble.
My complaint is about the American Express company and not the people within American Express who have tried to help me. The company has obviously made some major policy changes that are forcing the hands of the support people. Although I did find some compassion from their EMAIL support person who brought some sanity to the discussion. I have been a member since 1981 and have always valued the American Express card for personal and business use. I always felt secure that I would never be embarrassed presenting the card... but now.. something has changed.
I had made an overnight payment several days before the statement closing date to ensure it was received on time. The payment was for greater than the minimum. One day after closing, I received a call that they had not received the payment and that they were suspending the account (they even commented that there had not been a late payment in years but had to suspend it.) I explained that I have an EXPRESS MAIL receipt, signed by one of their employees for the payment made that was 3 days prior to the close date. They did not want the receipt and basically made it my problem to prove via a cleared check that they had received the payment.
They even suggested I just do another payment electronically to clear the problem. (and if the other check cleared then I would just be more ahead!) This transaction forced me to write a complaint via EMAIL to AMEX. Here I received some sanity... this lady opened an inquiry to find out where my $4000.00 payment got lost and relieved the suspension. Finally, someone interested in customer service! Two weeks have passed and still no resolution, no cleared check, and no posting to the account. BUT what do I receive in the mail? A notice reducing my other AMEX Optima account having its credit line reduced from $8000 to $1000!
There was no balance on the Optima account, it is very rarely used, and is usually paid in full. This was the final straw for me... I have closed the OPTIMA account and will eliminate all balances on the AMEX shortly and probably close it upon next renewal. I hate to lose the comfort I remembered having as an AMEX Card holder but, maybe the company that nurtured that kind of relationship and trust is now extinct!
A while back I got a few days behind on my AMEX Gold Card, which I had had for 20+ years. One of their rude representatives, from some unknown foreign land said my account was being closed for NON-PAYMENT! I was NOT given the opportunity to go online and pay immediately. I thought Oh Well! AMEX has lost my business, no big deal. Much to my surprise they went a step further and cancelled my Platinum Card as well, which was NOT in arrears! THEN they sold the 'collection' to several collection agencies, and of course my great credit score plummeted. BUT I will get the last laugh!
Every other person in our company stopped using their AMEX accounts for anything and as the renewal comes up, the accounts are being closed! I am the Managing Partner, so guess who signs off on credit card payments? PLUS our business happens to be in an industry that sells American Express products! NOT ONE has been sold since the scenario started. PLUS our business has stopped accepting AMEX cards for payment, unless the client has no other alternative. Our acceptance has dropped 95%. AMEX may have 'won the battle' but we have 'won the war.' My credit score will rebuild, not too worried about that. We just focus on Visa and MasterCards now.
Really do not want to hear from them, but feel better writing this note! I learned that American Express does not value their long-term card holders. I have heard this same story at Rotary and Chamber meetings from lots of other business owners! American Express has now offered us to pay as low as 25% of the original amounts. BUT the damage has been done at the credit bureaus and they cannot reverse that! The slime also took away many years of 'points' we had built up on both cards! American Express sucks!
I've used Amex for YEARS for purchases. I spent approximately $500,000 per year as I used my card for business purchases and have been doing so since 2003. My purchasing follows a very specific pattern. I spend large amounts in February -> June and it tapers down after that, until the next February -> June. For years everything was fine and their customer service was top notch. In 2008 something changed radically. Different departments could no longer communicate and it seemed as if Amex had divided into dozens of separate companies, none of which had any control over your account.
Ultimately, in 2009 I followed my normal spending pattern, only to have the card stop working one day. I called and was told, "You need to pay $10,000 on this card immediately or we can't allow you spend more." Nothing was due at the time. I asked the rep, "if I make this payment, I can spend $10,000, right?" and was ASSURED that was the case. So I made the payment. I spent about $3,000 more and the card was cut off again. I was then told there was nothing they could do and unless I paid another $10,000 immediately (still nothing was DUE) they wouldn't allow me to use the card.
They told me the other representative must have made a mistake when they told me I would have $10,000 to spend. I promptly told them where to stick it. I spent the next several weeks burning through nearly 1 million rewards points. Paid the card in full and told them to close all my accounts with Amex, as I wish never to do business with their company again.
Today I receive a phone call about an account that should have been closed. They were "reducing my credit line". LOL. So I closed that account, that should have been closed last year and I am glad they reminded that I still needed to write this review to warn people not to do business with American Express.
I have been a loyal American Express member since 1984. I have used the card for years for business purposes and have never missed a payment. Last week, I was checking into a hotel and was informed that my card was cancelled. As I had never been late with a payment and knew the card was current, I was sure that it had to be some fixable error. I called AMEX to get it straightened out. The exact opposite happened; the non-English speaking representative confirmed that indeed my card had been cancelled because of a negative credit report.
Since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina wiped out my business and finances, my credit score has suffered. I have always made sure that I was current on my American Express bill, as I would need that card to help rebuild my future after the devastation of the hurricane. My score right now is the best that it has been in 4 years. The big question is what my loyalty has cost me. I hope there is a class action lawsuit soon that sues for damages caused by their neglect of loyal customers.
I have been a member in good standing with Amex since 1981. My credit rating is good and I pay my bills on time. In the last few months, I have received a phone call well in advance of the due date for payment asking me to pay my bill immediately. They even offer to arrange the payment over the phone. Today (1/11/09) I received a call saying they suspended my card until I make my payment. I asked why and they said that the credit report they have from Experian showed late payments and too much debt. I went to the Experian site to check my report. I can't find any record of late payments and my credit score is in the 700's.
I then tried to get the card member services agreement from the Amex website (it was not available) to see if they had the right to do this to me. My husband considers this harassment and wants to sue them. I am curious if anyone else has had similar experience.
HAWAII -- On 12-31-08 I put in an order to the same vendor I have used for some time asking them to put it on my American Express Gold Card on file. I was called back saying it was declined. So I call Amex thinking they had made a mistake or didn't receive my last payment for some reason. I was informed my limit had been lowered to $1600, (which coincidentally was what was owed on the next month's billing). Got the same run around I have been reading on this review site etc. My business with Amex will be ending, as I've seen many are doing on this site.
However, I would like to make a suggestion as to what I plan to do. Don't cancel your card, use it once a month for 20-100 dollars. They will still have to send you statements (request mailing not online) do the paper work, for literally no return (2% from the merchant) which brings me to my next plan. I have a small business ($400,000 annual revenues) that as of today no longer accepts American Express. They aren't getting revenue through my store. This is my first review but I will be posting all I can to as many places as I can; please help me pass the word.
I am a 12-year customer of the gold card. I have a perfect payment history and have never had a problem….until this year. AMEX has started a new policy of averaging your usage for the last 3 months, evaluating your credit score on a monthly basis (a score by the way you cannot obtain without a fee), and then setting limits on your spending. This is whether you have a perfect payment history or not. By doing this, they limit their exposure to risk in the declining economy (in their opinion), however they also alienate perfectly good customers that have been only sporadically using the card and may have recently incurred more debt (like a new car or new house).
This is a ridiculous policy and the idiot that came up with it should be fired. Not to mention, I hope someone in the Govt realizes the unfair practice of using a score to decline credit, a score which the consumer has to pay to see. I have seen my “no limits” spending feature dropped from “unlimited” to $21K, to $8K. This is because when they pissed me off the first time by changing from “no-limit” to a $21K limit, I stopped using the card for business travel. Then, as I did use it sporadically, they lowered the limit again because my “average” usage was low. How stupid is that?
My recommendation, pass the word along and have everyone you speak to complain. Call them and complain, write them and complain, email them and complain…and stop using the card! If their usage drops and their complaints rise….someone in AMEX Corporate will get wind of it and hopefully fire the idiot that started the new policy.