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American Express's Crappy Customer Service Hides Behind an Obsolete Reputation
StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 2/51

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: $0 introductory annual fee. Increased spending habits (particularly in travel). 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 because 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 ** 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 ** 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 **, 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.

** cut me off while I was asking him a question and transferred me over to ** 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 ** 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.

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AMEX Knows How To Cover Their **
By -

SALT LAKE CITY, VIRGINIA -- In March of 2001 the Wyoming Highway Patrol seized about $10,000 worth of AMEX traveller's checks from me. Subsequently they turned the checks over to the US Secret Service. The US Secret Service held the checks for three years until 2004. I was never charged with any criminal offence regarding these checks.

Rather than returning the checks to me in 2004 the US Secret Service returned the checks to American Express. I have documentation (if you had a place to attach files I could display this) to support this allegation along with a letter from the Secret Service stating the checks sent to American Express belonged to me. In 2006 I hired a Wyoming attorney named ** of Cheyenne, Wyoming. He wrote letters to the legal department at AMEX demanding a refund for these checks being AMEX got my money and the checks back.

I also have documents to support this. He even demanded AMEX show a factual or legal basis for denying me my refund. Never did an attorney respond. He only received emails from someone called ** (legal analyst). I checked with the Utah Bar and there was never an attorney practicing in that state by the name of **. She said she was denying the claim unless I can produce a receipt or proof of purchase. Unfortunately being it was five years since I purchased the checks I did not have the receipts.

However requiring me to produce a proof of purchase before I could get a refund is such a farce. Number one AMEX has records. They know damn well who purchased those checks. For two the checks were held for three years with the US Secret Service. If those checks were not purchased by me clearly I would have had criminal charges filed against me. Three, I have documentation (if you only could allow me to paste documents here) where the US Secret Service clearly and unequivocally state that the checks in question belonged to me. I purchased them on either February 20 or February 21 at the AAA Office on Arkansas Avenue in Denver, Colorado.

In 2007 my attorney filed a complaint against AMEX with the Office of the Attorney General of Utah. The Utah Attorney Generals Office dismissed the complaint because I am not a Utah resident. I then upon my own filed a complaint in 2007 with the New York State Attorney General (where I am a resident). The complaint again was dismissed. In speaking with an attorney for the New York State Attorney Generals Office she said we can only resolve disputes if both parties are willing to do so voluntarily which is a joke. If the two parties can resolve the issue voluntarily why would one have to go to the attorney generals office.

Then in late 2008 I tried to file a complaint against AMEX with the Federal Trade Commission (The FTC).The FTC would not take the complaint because they say they only deal with class action suits. They referred me to the Office of Thrift Supervision. In 2008 I filed a complaint against AMEX with the OTS (Office of Thrift Supervision) and they said that AMEX is a bank and that I should go to the FDIC. I went to the FDIC and they said AMEX is not a bank and that I should go to the FTC.

In 2009 I tried to contact an attorney for AMEX to discuss the refund and I get stonewalled. I first tried phoning the 1-800-221-7282 and I got someone from the Philippines named ** and he refused to connect me to an attorney for AMEX. I also phoned a ** at AMEX in Salt Lake (1-801-945-5146) and he too refused to put me in contact with an in house attorney for AMEX.

It is rather obvious what AMEX is doing. They know how to cover their asses. They know the only way I would get justice from them is by suing them. And for me to hire an attorney it would cost me more than the $10,000 I am out. I am trying to get the money back. Does anyone here know of any way that I can bring AMEX to justice, have them refund me my $10,000? Without it costing me $10,000 to do so. Further there is now telling how many other times AMEX has done this.

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They Didn't Raise My Rates but Reduced My Credit Limit With a Score of 719!!!
By -

They didn't raise my rates but reduced my credit limit with a score of 719!!! Get ready folks. It's already happening. Stand up, do something. I cannot believe American Express reduced my credit limit! They invoked the "Universal Default" clause and look for other things in my credit history that don't even apply to this account to make their judgments. This tactic will continue to choke the lifeblood cash flow out of this country. They don't even see what they are doing.

I found out about what they did last night when I tried to buy airline tickets to take my family on vacation. They made the change before they notified me of it the morning before I tried to buy the tickets. Can you believe it? Imagine my surprise. Shame on you people. Your tactics are despicable!

I have been a member since 1981 and always paid my bills. I find it sneaky and underhanded that they took this tactic. The process is to review your credit, look at one or two other elements on my credit that don't fit the "New Rules", and deduce that they should reduce my ability to buy and be offered credit. Way to go, what a great stimulate the economy tactic. Not only does it reduce my ability to buy, it actually hurts my credit rating more because they put my limit $400 above my current balance which makes it look like I am way to close to my limit. The account was $3,000 away from the limit.

I just made a payment on this account of $1,000 last week. I was even going to make another payment of $1500 on it last night. I opened this account when they sold me their bill of goods that I could use it as business account. I started a small business and it was going along great, Realizing Revenues. It was looking good. FAT CHANCE now.

After all the money they received from the federal government to bail them out, they probably paid the execs their big bonuses and turn around and stick it to the people like you and me. We, the consumers, are really the people who are responsible for bailing these banking institutions out. Where do they think the money comes from? Way to instill confidence with generous practices of credit.

I think it totally unreasonable and an invasion of my privacy that they can invoke a "Universal Default" clause and make judgments based on something else they think they found in my credit that has absolutely no bearing on what was happening with the payment history of this account.

My credit score is 719 with one of the all - powerful credit agencies and the other two have me listed with ratings just below that. THAT FALLS IN THE RATING OF EXCELLENT I BELIEVE. WHAT IDIOTS! Well, they have done it now. I WILL BE CLOSING MY ACCOUNTS AS SOON AS I CAN.

We need to stand up, this practice needs to made illegal. I am writing my congressman, and I am going to try to get through to the new president. In fact, I hope he reads this. This is exactly why he needs put constraints on these institutions and make them abide by clauses to open up credit so we can get things rolling again!

Congratulations AMX on driving a way a good customer long term customer. I hope you get what you deserve. I am sure it won't be long and the mighty American Express will go the way of Bear Sterns. Very, very disappointed. I am mad as Hell, and I am not going to take it any more.

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Letter to CEO
By -

Let me start off by stating how displeased I am with American Express. I have been a loyal card member for several years now. I have always paid my bill on time and usually pay more than what is due. I went online today to pay my bill and noticed that both of my accounts have had a credit limit reduction. I called and spoke with Andre **; he explained that due to abnormally high credit card usage, American Express has decided to lower my credit limit. Mr. ** stated that beginning in April of this year my credit card use has doubled.

I explained to him that my father passed away and I used my Amex card for an emergency situation to pay for a flight to Thailand, my father's hospital expenses, and then pay for funeral services, and also had to use other cards to fly my father's remains back to the United States. This all occurred over a 2-month period because that it is not easy to ship human remains back into the country and having to wait for availability at Arlington National Cemetery.
I explained to Mr. ** that I had to use all cards to pay for this and hotel rooms in Arlington and that I intentionally spread the fees over several cards so no one card would be maxed out.

He then stated that he was "sorry" for my loss but the decision would not be reversed. Mr. ** stated that American Express could not afford in this economy to take a risk on someone defaulting, especially with someone who chooses not to use their credit wisely. I explained to him that I have been a member for years and have never once defaulted; I in fact usually pay more than the minimum due. I am never late on any payments for any card. He said the decision was actually based on my credit report. I told him he needs to look at my report beyond the number because it will fluctuate due to usage but my payments are never late!

I in fact have a blue card with Amex that has a zero balance and IF I "chose not to use my credit wisely" this card would be maxed out. Mr. ** stated that he had the authority to reverse the decision but even with the facts presented, he stated he would not because Amex could not risk default. I attempted to explain again that my credit usage was not abnormally high before my father's death and not high after his funeral in June. I in fact used it on Saturday for a high purchase ($950) to purchase a laptop for work but other than that hardly at all. I actually pay a fee for this card and can easily transfer this balance to another card(s).

American Express is not the most user friendly card to have. Many merchants will not accept it; trust me I know firsthand because I had to call 5 funeral homes before I found one that would take the card. Given the fact that I do pay a fee for this card and I do pay all my bills on time every month, I am asking that the decision to reduce my line of credit be reversed on both my Amex cards.

Mr. ** stated that Amex could not risk me losing my job due to the economy. I stated that that has nothing to do with my history with Amex and that I am in the medical field as a Nurse Practitioner, and am at no risk of ever losing my job! He then stated that I could get sick and not be able to work. I then explained that that is why I have insurance. To me, it seems that Mr. ** is grasping for a reason. It has been hard enough dealing with the government, the Veterans Administration, and the various agencies concerning the passing of my father. I never thought American Express would turn their back on me.

I always thought that American Express would always be there for me in emergency situations and was a company that had compassion and understanding for individual card members. This is obviously not the case. I am not asking for more than I had, just to be reinstated to my original credit limits. All I am asking is that Amex be as loyal to me as I am to them.

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Credit Card Dispute
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CALIFORNIA -- Didn't get what I paid for and because vendor refuses to refund, they tell me that it can't be refunded. After dealing with this for 3 months, I've talked with the supervisors and they are far more incompetent than the customer service. CANCEL AMEX! Why does this company still exist if the cost of business is more and yet less service. Bye, taking my business to better companies.

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Great Everything
StarStarStarStarStarBy -
Rating: 5/51

I have never had a bad experience with Amex. When I challenged Ticketron, they were there for me. I love the rewards. I sound like I work for Amex, but I don't. I'm a teacher. I'm just bummed because I heard that Costco is dumping them. They get slammed left and right, but I'm a believer!

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Wanted to Give Points to NonProfits of My Choice as I Have Done in the Past, Now You Can Only Give to Five Charities.
StarStarStarStarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 4/51

WELLESLEY, MASSACHUSETTS -- It says on the site you can give to non-profits of your choice. As I see it you have five choices which is far from the multiple nonprofits of the past. When I chatted with Amex she suggested I give gift cards. Of course they are Amex cards which are 2x the amt. What has happened? Are only the big nonprofits the ones to gain in rewards charity giving? Very disappointing!

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Improper lowering of line of credit
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

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Improper lowering of line of credit
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

Replies
American Express SUCKS!
StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 2/51

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.

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American Express Rating:
Star Half star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.4 out of 5, based on 30 ratings and
58 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
American Express
World Financial Center, 200 Vesey St.
New York, NY 10285
212-640-2000 (ph)
www.americanexpress.com
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