DALLAS, TEXAS -- AMEX customer service is sloppy, inefficient, and has gone significantly down over the past few years. As a 30-year AMEX customer with an excellent credit rating, my AMEX was my go-to card and I "sang its praises to everyone" that would listen. Previously, my AMEX experience had been extremely customer-centric but now they are unforgivably ridiculous when it comes to customer service.
To recap my experience, at 4:34pm on Friday, February 1, 2013, I called AMEX to alert them that I could not find my credit card. I knew I just used it a Chamberlain's restaurant for a client lunch and had gone straight home. So I asked the AMEX representative what I needed to do. The AMEX representative told me, "No worries, an alert would go on the card effective immediately and she didn't see any additional purchases on the card."
I found my card in my pocket about two hours later and I called AMEX back on the same day (Friday, February 1) at 6:16pm to let AMEX know that "I found my card and it had never been out of my possession - and what do I need to do next."
The AMEX representative told me that since my old card was expiring in February 2013, the new card would be sent to me and that nothing else needs to be done."
And I did repeat what the AMEX representative said to confirm that I understood the representative correctly, "That I could begin using the new card once it arrived." And the AMEX representative confirmed, "Yes, you will have to activate the card but you can begin using it immediately."
I received the new AMEX card on Monday, February 4 and I called on the same day to validate the new card at 1:09pm which I did by voice command. Since I'm in the middle of a major house repair and need use of my AMEX card, I also immediately called AMEX customer services on the same day (Monday, Feb 4) at 2pm to confirm that the new card was valid and that I was good to go and could begin using the new card immediately. I explained the lost card situation to the AMEX representative and he assured me the card was valid and there was no problem. And then he spend the next few minutes trying to up sell services to that new card.
I used the card several times throughout the week of February 4 to buy buy gas, food, etc. And I used it for a client lunch meeting on Saturday, Feb 9, 2013 and the charge went through with no problems. However, when I took the client and his family to purchase some gifts, the card was denied. And I ended up losing that $50K client - as accountability is one of the main qualities a client looks in me.
So thanks to AMEX, I looked foolish in front of this customer and lost this $50K customer.
When I called AMEX on Sunday, Feb 10 at 1:32pm to determine why my card purchase was denied, I was told that, "The card is invalid because it was reported lost."
Are you kidding me?
AMEX had four opportunities to tell me the card they were sending me would be invalid. Four times I called AMEX: 1. When I called to alert AMEX of a "lost card"; 2. To alert AMEX that I found my lost card and that it was never out of my possession; 3. When I called to validate the new card; and 4. When I called AMEX to confirm the card was valid but your representative did find time to try to up sell me more capabilities to.....a useless card."
Not to mention that you have my phone an email address and could have effortlessly sent or called me about this invalid card.
I'm just sick about this card and the extremely declining AMEX customer service.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Today I tried to charge a ticket on a major internet airline reservations site, using my AmEx card. The site refused my card on the 1st try, though I have used my AmEx card on the same site for at least 10 years, and neither my situation nor any of my information related to AmEx has changed recently on that site. I am also a 30 year customer of AmEx. My situation is unusual in that I live outside the U. S., but maintain a permanent residence and phone number in the U. S. This is where my AmEx card is registered.
After the site rejected my AmEx card, I received an email message to phone AmEx security, which I did. They informed me that a "security concern" had arisen, and that they'd have to verify I really was who I said I was by calling my permanent residence in the U. S. Of course, I will not be there, because I don't live there. However, this is my mother's residence, and she can take a message. This won't help me get the time-sensitive ticket I was trying to get today, but eventually I will receive AmEx's message and get back to them in some way specified in the message, and eventually this will free my card for the purchase ... which I don't need any longer.
I asked AmEx what the "security concern" was, and the representative replied that they could not tell me that until they verified who I was. A parallel example: it very much harks back to the McCarthy Era, when you asked the FBI "Why am I being accused of being a communist?" and the FBI replied, "We can't tell you that until you prove you are not a communist."
To verify who I was in my phone call to AmEx security today, they asked me my mother's maiden name, which I answered. So, this was enough for them to verify who I was in a direct call, and they asked for my account number over the line (how do I know THEY weren't at a bogus telephone number?), but it wasn't enough to verify who I was for a purchase, or to straighten out my "security concern".
I then asked why they had to call my permanent residence (where I am currently not), when they could simply ask the security questions they got answers to when I set up the AmEx account. The representative replied that "anyone could find out the answers to those questions". OK, anyone could maybe find out my mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of my SS number. But what about my first dog's name, my first girlfriend's name, or my favorite color? Why doesn't AmEx register meaningful security questions and answers to avoid all the BS about calling my residence?
The bottom line is that this is the third time I've had a similar problem in purchasing tickets over the internet with my AmEx card. Previous times, the problem was resolved with my calling AmEx, answering security questions, and verifying that it was in fact me trying to use the card. This appears to be no longer the way problems are resolved.
AmEx is supposed to be a "travel company", and I have kept this card because I travel a lot and live abroad. More and more, however, the AmEx card is becoming nothing but a problem. I can understand their concern about security, and I appreciate that they're trying to protect themselves and me from fraud. However, the tail (securiy department) seems to be wagging the dog (customer service) at AmEx, and they can't seem to find a means of ensuring security without making their card essentially useless. I mean, if you can't count on being able to use it, why have it?
Curiously, AmEx is putting on a good show about security, but some of their policies are full of holes. For example, when I set up my internet account with them, they specified that my password should contain the first 5 digits of my SS number. I don't know whether they still specify this, but how dumb is that? Nor have they ever insisted that I change my password on a regular basis, which is something my bank insists upon for online banking.
I am totally disgusted with AmEx, and probably will cancel my card after 30 years. It is ironic that they spend so much money advertising for new customers, and then manage to so royally piss off the ones they have. In dealing with them, I feel like a criminal rather than a customer.
My advice to anyone thinking of getting an AmEx card: forget it. You can do much better elsewhere. Or at least, I hope you can.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- This is more a review for the customer service of American Express in general. I've been an American Express blue cash card customer for about 4 years now since college – Recently I decided to upgrade to the Gold premier card for a few reasons:
1) $0 introductory annual fee
2) Increased spending habits (particularly in travel)
3) Need to purchase airline tickets for flights planned later this year; including one I need to purchase immediately for a flight next week (3x points would have been nice for this)
I had some special circumstances when I applied - I needed to expedite the delivery process in order to purchase the ticket for the upcoming flight becausse the normal 7-10 business day deliver would have been too late. I KNEW this was possible since a friend of mine just applied and received his in 2 business days. However, after speaking to at least 4 different people in the “Apply by Phone” department, everyone denied it was possible and instead gave me a canned lie that “the system will not be updated even if we do a rush delivery.” One representative, upon a request to be transferred to a supervisor, chose to hang up on me instead!
After finally getting in touch with the supervisor there, she suggested I apply online as my friend has done. I ended up doing this, and upon speaking to Omar through the online process, he assured me immediately that it was possible to expedite the delivery of the card. Why one department within Amex CANNOT expedite delivery and another can completely baffles me and seems to paint a picture of Amex as a ridiculous bureaucracy. The only reasoning really I can grasp behind this is that Amex cares more about acquiring a new customer (my friend), rather than retaining good loyal customers who have excellent credit.
I thought the problem was solved, but when I called back the next day to confirm that the card should be expedited (as Omar instructed) it turns out I was processed for the wrong card! (Amex Gold, not Gold premier) I’m not sure how exactly this could have happened, whether there was some bug with the website (which is poorly implemented to begin with as words flicker in and out) or some kind of miscommunication with whoever I talked to afterward, but before I applied online I carefully reviewed the card application, confirmed that I was applying for the one with $0 introductory annual fee and then $175 thereafter, while my friend who also applied for the same card sat right next to me as an eyewitness and guided me through exactly what he did!
Frustratingly, I then had to sit through 3 more hours of waiting and re-explaining my issue to about 5 more representatives, including a conversation with Steve, an unhelpful and very bored supervisor from customer service, who for some reason chose to adamantly argue an irrelevant point that Amex has no authority to control what will happen to my credit score if I have to cancel a card, even if I did not order it. Steve cut me off while I was asking him a question and transferred me over to Adi on New Accounts, who was even more confused than I was about what is Gold premier vs. Gold preferred vs Gold – he then put me on hold for another 20 minutes, while I assumed he went to check his facts, maybe look back at his training manual if Amex even gives him one…I have no idea. It came to the point that after talking to Basheer in New accounts, The only solution they could come up with was to cancel the Gold Card (that I didn’t order in the first place) which would lower my credit score and reapply for the Gold Premier. I’m definitely going to cancel the Gold card, along with my blue cash that I’ve been using, and instead get the Chase Sapphire Preferred, because after dealing with Chase for several years on my banking side I know they are one to still care about customer service.
I understand many of the reps were genuinely trying to be helpful (only a few of them were very rude), but it’s clear that Amex has some serious issues with inconsistent and inaccurate information permeating across different departments, poor training (the reps don’t even know their own products they are selling!!), and moreover structural problems with management. Everyone told me something different (yes, I would be able to order my plane ticket the next day through the Amex travel department if I apply today. no I cannot get my credit card expedited.) I’m sure people still love Amex for the membership benefits for which I was initially attracted to, but one thing that they should NOT be commended for is customer service. I’m appalled - they might have had a great reputation historically, but if they continue to treat customers this way it’s almost sure to erode. It takes some real effort to drive customers away even before they even receive the product.
Have two cards and been a member since 1989 (20 years) Was in Mexico and had my backpack was lost. My ID, cash, and cards were in my backpack. Ended up staying in Mexico 3 extra days because on an injury, and the doctor recommended I not fly immediately.
So I am laid up with a back injury and my backpack, with all of my cash, ID, and cards is gone. I call my Platinum card people and speak to Heather for 90+ minutes (roaming fees for the cell phone will be more than $200usd).
Healther gets my information and is very assuring. I give her the police report number I got from the Puerto Vallarta Police department. (Who responded within 10 minutes of being notified.
Heather is assuring that I will get a replacement card the next day, and that they will send me cash. She had to pass my case on to the next shift to follow-up first thing in the morning. I told them I only needed about $300 to complete the trip and get home.
The next day I call saying they cannot get to anyone at the police department because the lines are always busy and the only number they could get did not know how to help them. So, I was told they would not help, since they could not verify the emergency.
Thank God that I was able to call friends to wire my some cash.
American Express talks about how they will do anything to help you if you are in trouble while traveling. After 20 years with them, I found out the words they were saying are in fact, NOT TRUE.
They left me with no cash or credit cards in a foreign country. I could not buy food or taxis, as I had no money. My back injury kept me laying in bed, but thankfully, I was able to get cash sent to me and a friend in Mexico got it picked up.
American Express just left me there, stranded. I called today, since I am back home. I cancelled the card. When I told them why (they did ask) I told them. The representative told me she would be happy to close my account, read the required legal notice, and closed my account. Obviously they do not care about me as a member either. But simple compassion tells us that if we are told we will get help in a time of crisis, have known the person for 20 years, and a crisis comes up - the promise we made should be kept at even a minimal level. What happened to that immediate replacement card promise? What about that travelers assist?
Today I was told by the American Express Representative that she was happy to close the account at my direction. How cold.
Be warned, I think that American Express has joined to companies with little to no integrity. They were glad to take my cash, but when the service they promised was required, they no only failed to provide it, they did not care that they left someone stranded in a foreign country without means to eat, move around, or return home.
Thank God for my friends. But everyone else, I think that there are many VISA companies that might be more helpful than American Express was, at a time of crisis. I am glad my injury was not life threatening, and happened when I still had cash. American Express would have left me on hte street, like they did last week when I was traveling.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I tried Amex starwood before and canceled it later on. But family felt the last hotel we stayed at was not so bad (even though they did place us in a room next to the elevator) so I applied for it again in 2013. Due to lack of experience, we did not click on the offer terms (who would?). I got approved quickly, the company did not tell us upfront that we would not qualify for the 30K points as had been advertised. In the next few months, we called at least 3 times to learn why we hadn't received the points. We were told to be patient each time, that you had not spent 5K yet, that it needs a few weeks to process.. Until the last time there were no more excuse they told us we did not qualify as we had had the product in the past 12 months. We debate a few points: the dates they used to calculate the 12 months (even the way they did it it was only 4 days short of 12 months). 2nd why wouldn't' tell us the truth earlier. Amex just replied it was representative mistake and they had given the feedbacks to the reps. But who cares about that? After many attempts we realized it's a hard to Win battle. It's amazing how little they care about customer complaint. Just a few weeks back we were shopping at a furniture store and at the time we tried to pay they found out the price of the furniture was much lower than marked. You know what the manager did? They just gave us the lower price as it was the company mistake! I was thrilled by their customer service. Compared to them Amex is a much larger and financially stronger company and it's a shame how they deal with customers. Maybe that's exactly how they get there.
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND -- My company decided to give Amex gift cards to employees as a year-end thank you. I tried to use my card at a major retailer's website. The card was denied. I called the retailer and told her I was having issues and she said that she also could not verify the card. She asked if this was a gift card or actual credit card and I told her a gift card. She tried to process payment both ways - both failed. I called Amex's 800 on the back of the card and after entering the gift card number a recording told me I had $200 available. The next day I tried the online sale again and it failed again. I called Amex again and after hitting a bunch of numbers on the phone I was finally transferred to a human. The guy said I had to register the card first before using it for online retailers. Neither the Amex website or information that comes with the card says this. He also told me that a sale was pending on the card (the failed sale). I told the representative that the sale never was processed by the retailer. He told me to call the retailer and tell them the card was working and that Amex has approved the amount. I explained that I didn't have an order number to reference because there was no sale. He said in 8-10 business days the amount that has been reserved for the failed sale would be re-credited back to the card. I asked for a supervisor because I felt this was ludicrous since there was no sale and the supervisor said "I apologize for any inconvenience but there's nothing we can do; you'll have to wait for the 8-10 business days even though there was no sale because we have reserved the funds for that sale...so I repeated, you're holding funds for a sale that never took place? And he "Joy" his name was Joy, said yes that's our policy...epic fail on American Express' part. They are a horrid company with laughable customer service.
American Express has to be the worst credit card out there! First of all AFTER you pay off your final bill, you think your interest charges are gone, but, NO, they get you again with another fee because you've paid off your whole bill. They absolutely will not listen to any excuses on a late payment.
I've had their card for over 5 years and NEVER make a late payment and they still added a penalty APR to my future statements. I also paid off my entire balance listed under the penalty APR and they continued to add interest at some absurdly high rate of 25% to what I'm sure was an arbitrary amount of my money.
There are so many more reputable credit cards and companies out there. Please look into Amex before you get one of their cards, so you don't become a victim, also.
EVERYWHERE, ALABAMA -- I am requesting your assistance with a matter that has apparently developed from new credit regulations resulting from the 2008/2009 credit crisis.
American Express has unnecessarily and inappropriately lowered my line of credit (LOC). This has caused a lowering of my debt to credit ratio and decreased my credit score as a result. If this is not illegal, it should be. Unless a person has exhibited a problem with their ability to pay the bill. ie, not paying bill or habitually paying bill late then they should NOT be able to lower your LOC based on some "hunch" that you are no longer able to maintain this LOC. American Express hides behind so called changes in laws and regulations as a result of the 2008/2009 credit meltdown and refuses to reinstate former LOC. I’m sure it was not the intention of these laws to damage a persons credit, especially someone like myself who has a credit file since the mid 70’s with no late payments to American express and only two late payments ever and those were due to the bank dropping the ball with electronic payments and not making the payment, not because I couldn’t or didn’t make the payment. As soon as I discovered this issue, I immediately corrected it. I have also tried to get that removed from my credit file without success. What can you do to get laws passed that make this practice illegal AND penalize the company and pay the consumer punitive damages? I want to see some fast action on this! If this has happened to you, won't you join with me and other consumers with this problem and complain long and loud to the legislatures in your area and get these laws repelled and replaced with strong consumer advocacy laws and regulations.
EVERYWHERE, ALABAMA -- I am requesting your assistance with a matter that has apparently developed from new credit regulations resulting from the 2008/2009 credit crisis.
American Express has unnecessarily and inappropriately lowered my line of credit (LOC). This has caused a lowering of my debt to credit ratio and decreased my credit score as a result. If this is not illegal, it should be. Unless a person has exhibited a problem with their ability to pay the bill. ie, not paying bill or habitually paying bill late then they should NOT be able to lower your LOC based on some "hunch" that you are no longer able to maintain this LOC.
American Express hides behind so called changes in laws and regulations as a result of the 2008/2009 credit meltdown and refuses to reinstate former LOC. I’m sure it was not the intention of these laws to damage a persons credit, especially someone like myself who has a credit file since the mid 70’s with no late payments to American express and only two late payments ever and those were due to the bank dropping the ball with electronic payments and not making the payment, not because I couldn’t or didn’t make the payment. As soon as I discovered this issue, I immediately corrected it. I have also tried to get that removed from my credit file without success.
What can you do to get laws passed that make this practice illegal AND penalize the company and pay the consumer punitive damages? I want to see some fast action on this! If this has happened to you, won't you join with me and other consumers with this problem and complain long and loud to the legislatures in your area and get these laws repelled and replaced with strong consumer advocacy laws and regulations.
TEXAS -- I have been an American Express cardholder since 2009. Tonight, I went to pay my bill and I checked my statement. Late charges and finance charges were included for paying one day late for a total of over $40.00.
I always pay my balance in full. I called customer service and said, I am calling to see if the charges can be reversed as a courtesy due to being a long standing customers, my payments are rarely late, and I pay in full.
I get put on hold. The customer service representative comes back on and tells me, sorry, you had a late payment in June 2011. It's February 2012, folks.
I cancelled the card. I guess they don't need my business. Hope it was worth the $40.00 to them to lose my business. And, also have me share my experience with them on the internet for all to see.
Note to All Credit Card Companies: if a customer takes the time to call you to reverse late charges, they pay in full, they haven't had a late payment in over EIGHT months, if you want to keep their business and not have them think ill of you for the rest of their natural born days, I recommend you give them the benefit of the doubt and reverse their charges.
Especially in these times, when companies aren't giving raises, Americans haven't seen an increase in disposable income in five years, and the cost of living is skyrocketing. Are you kidding me?!
Don't go with American Express. There are other credit card companies out there who want your business and will treat you as a valued customer.
There is a note on this page saying American Express might try to contact me to resolve my issue. Don't bother. I am not interested.