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53 Reviews & Complaints
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Wouldn't Waive Fee as They Have in the Past
Posted by Hazydazestudio on 07/20/2013
I've been charged $25 late fee on a $41.32 bill. This is no surprise as any company would do the same. I called two days after the due date, requested the fee be waived and after 45 minutes on the phone, failed. I've been granted this simple courtesy many times before by numerous credit card companies and been successful every time as I have always had immaculate payment history and never left a balance on ANY credit card.

I've been tricked out of over 100,000 AMEX points in the past when an associate CALLED ME and convinced me to switch to AMEX blue, without informing me that I would lose all my points. Those points were the whole reason I signed up to the card and after trying to get those points back for YEARS, I've been receiving NO RESPONSE to my letters!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE how this company has been treating me worse and worse as I become a more senior customer!!!!!!!!

This company does not deserve more business!
     
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Posted by DebtorBasher on 2013-07-20:
If you have requested and have had late fees waived many times my numerous credit card companies...then your payment history is NOT immaculate. Even though they waived your late fees, your credit report will still show the number of times your payments have been late. AMEX is obviously aware of your history of being late and denied your request for the fee waive. These are 'courtesy' fee waives and are usually only given once in a 12 month period. And being a 'courtesy' they are not obligated to approve the request.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-07-20:
AMEX is a very successful company, so isn't like they are messing over their average customer. If that were the case, they would go elsewhere and their profits and stock value would go down.

In regards to late infractions, you may have one instance waived at a company, after which they may not grant any. If you have a pattern of this, I would submit your history may not be "immaculate".

As far as $25 on a balance of.., the amount of the late fee is clearly spelled out in your AGREEMENT with AMEX.

In regards to points that were lost when you went from one card to another, I'd place the responsibility on the card holder to realize that they have a bonus program and they haven't redeemed the points. Do you have proof that they "tricked" you into losing them?
Posted by ok4now on 2013-07-21:
Switch to a Discover card. Their annoying commercial advertises how they waive the late fee. But don't think that they will keep letting you get away with this. You know when it's due, try paying on time and avoid the problem.
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American Express Posted Payment to Wrong Account.
Posted by Josegamez0641 on 07/11/2013
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- I called American Express to make a payment over the phone with my debit ATM card. I gave the customer service representative my account number.

The representative asked me to verify some information about me which is fine I expected that and since I gave him my account number and he verified the identity information I expected the payment to be posted to my account but somehow this representative was able to post the payment to another account and the account numbers are not even close.

I spoke to supervisor, Manager, and they can see the mistake how it was done but they will not corrected unless they speak to the account owner where the payment was posted and get their permission to remove the payment that was posted to their account by mistake.

This is ridiculous! The American Express representative made the mistake not me and not the other account holder. American Express should correct this and suck it up just like Bank Of America does when they make a mistake.

What if the other account owner does not give the OK to remove the money, then what? American Express gets to say "OOOPS" we made a boo boo and I will be out my money plus American Express will get to charge me a late fee for the mistake made by their customer service representative?

Just ridiculous specially when customer reps, supervisor and manager can see the mistake but won't fix it unless the second account owner agrees to have the payment posted in error voluntarily voluntarily removed.
     
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Posted by DebtorBasher on 2013-07-12:
Of course the other person isn't going to tell them to take the charge off...otherwise, they would have called to report the payment made (and if they made payment, it would have shown a double payment) when it showed on their bill. You are right, this IS ridiculous, but your problem is far from over. I don't know how their payment features work, but you better make sure they don't have the option to, 'Use previous payment method' as an option. Because all they have to do is click on that and the next charge will be billed to your credit card, since that was a payment method that was previously applied on their account. Dispute this with your bank!
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-07-12:
Banks and financial institutions have rules like this that may seem odd on the surface.

AMEX should make this right, and not charge a late fee. But you need to give them a chance to complete the inquiry.

Did this just happen today? Did you ask them the question you asked here - what happens if the account owner claims this payment was correct?

My guess is that if the account owner insisted the payment was proper, that AMEX would then have to conduct an investigation and find a way to make the account owner prove it. Assuming this just happened, I would give them a week and see if this is resolved.
Posted by AMEX HATER on 2013-07-12:
AMEX says they will investigate but unless the owner of other account agrees to remove payment AMEX will not do anything. Your bank can not help you because you agreed to process payment it was AMEX who posted the payment to wrong account AMEX should be the one on the hook but they will never agree it was their error they will just keep saying I know why you are unhappy but this is all we can do. AMEX sucks really sucks but they make so much money they feel they are untouchable and we are just little people they can step on with no regards for banking rules becuase they will just get "lawyered up" and bury you in the court.
Bank of America had same problem and they corrected with one phone call
Posted by John Nicholson on 2013-07-12:
Amex is following standard procedure. They are between you and the other guy, even tho you say they made the mistake. Don't assume the other guy will not agree. They may.

A few months ago I received an email from Discover saying they received my payment. Odd, because I hadn't yet received the bill. Long story short: the inept USPS had delivered my Discover bill to a neighbor, who just automatically paid it. I called discover and they confirmed the payment and after a transfer to another department, they looked up the copy of the check that paid it and it was my neighbor. They called the neighbor to verify, etc. as they could not just take one party's word for the mixup, even tho I was the one who would have gained. Bottom line: let them try to fix it and then go from there.
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American Express Overzealous Security Makes Card Useless
Posted by Mhdick on 07/05/2013
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 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.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-07-05:
As an investor in AMEX, I applaud their concern for security as reflected in your complaint. Also, there are regulations imposed on them to treat privacy and security in the manner that they do.

You are upset because you were inconvenienced - that is very evident. But I don't believe AMEX did anything wrong here. Living somewhere other than where the "permanent address" on file is is bound to cause problems.

I am not necessarily pro-everything about companies I invest in - Verizon is an example - they are doing multiple things I don't approve of.
Posted by Old Timer on 2013-07-05:
I am an investor in AMEX, holding their stock. It should be a very simple task to set up a procedure to cover a situation such as this. I question the common sense of AMEX often, but will keep my investment. In five years I have watched my stock purchs go from the high teens to over $70.00 a share. They seem to be doing a lot right. I just wish they would use more common sense when trying to weed out possible loses.

Pissing off good 30 year members does not make for a great business model.
Posted by John Nicholson on 2013-07-05:
You forget--or don't know--that Senator McCarthy has been proven correct. Read about the Venona papers, etc. However, you experience does resemble the activities of the current gangster regime---for example, a secret "no fly" list that is a secret to all but the person whose name is placed on it. Get a Visa charge card.
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Account Mistake and Poor Business Practice Cost $$$$$$$
Posted by Sharonnuzzi on 06/29/2013
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- Dear Sirs, Twice in the last 2 weeks you have caused major damage to my daughter and son-in-law trying to buy a new home. First you had wrong info on "alleged late payments on account". After my son-in-law contacted you, you cleared it up after he asked for a Supervisor. Then just 2 days ago, you blocked the Home Mortgage company again from doing a credit refresh to check the same account, to finalize the "close" on the loan.

DUE TO THAT THE MORTGAGE % WENT UP FROM 3.4% TO 4.1% while waiting for you to grant access to the mortgage lending company. I will never do business with you and will be telling my friends to shun you as well.
     
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Posted by Old Timer on 2013-06-29:
Amex will probably never see this message. You may want to file it direct with Amex.

ccsgsupport@service.americanexpress.com
Posted by AMEX HATER on 2013-07-12:
AmEX is a bully pushing around the little guys who are their customers when they make a mistake they will never corrected and will not admit they did something wrong they will just keep saying I know why you are upset but will not say they will actually correct their mistake. I myself as soon as I pay off the small balance I have will tear their credit card into pieces and mail it back to them in their paymet envelop with a letter explain in very specific details with profane words why i will never use their service again. I am going back to Bank of America at least when they said they would fix it it was fixed and that was the end of it. AMEX is such as disappointment it was amazing to me how horrible their customer service is just shocking.
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Customer Service - Delta Skymiles SCAM Promotional Experience
Posted by Kcvaresio on 04/25/2013
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- Signed up for an American Express - Delta Skymiles Credit Card tied to a promotion - spend $1K within X period and receive 40K bonus Delta Miles. Called American Express the day I made the purchase to ensure my purchase would qualify (I would have absolutely used another card if it hadn't been in the time frame). I was told by the American Express Customer Service Agent..."yes you are on the last day...make the purchase to ensure you get your miles"

I'm now on my 5th call to American Express, a case was opened on February 24th and still nothing. I had the WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE agent ever this evening, Suzanne. She needed to "find" a 2012 calendar to figure out how many days were in October, November, December & January.....politely tried to tell her the ONLY month that changes the number of days is February.

Needless to say this card will be cancelled and I'm posting about the lack of service on any social media outlet possible. Hoping no one else falls for these types of scams.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-04-25:
You can take the time to post this on numerous sites, but it seems like the problem is a miscommunication about whether your purchase on the last day of the promotion qualified. That is cutting it close, and there is the possibility that the transaction posted the following day. I understand you frustration, but personally this wouldn't cause me not to use AMEX.
Posted by anonymouse on 2013-08-17:
February is the only month that has less days? I think you are incorrect with that statement (just to give you a hint, November has 30). Perhaps you should have read your cardmember agreement and made the purchases prior to waiting to the last minute and not having them post in time.
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American Express Punishes Its Customers
Posted by Edison1879 on 02/12/2013
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Simply story:

1.) 36 year customer with excellent credit
2.) $2million in charges over the years
3.) late 3 times for no more than two days in ten years
4.) Recent two day late payment earns me a penalty interest rate of 27.99% (up from 11.99%)
5.) Customer service in India says there's nothing that be done to override the "system"
6.) I threaten to payoff and close my account
7.) They respond sorry to hear that, is there anything else I can help you with?

I am canceling my three accounts and will never have anything to with AMEX or their partner companies (such as Costco).

They used to have the best customer service in the business and I was proud to be a member -- times have changed and having read other horror stories, they are shedding customers like hair on a golden retriever.

Good riddance.
     
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Posted by leet60 on 2013-02-12:
Your experience is not uncommon with the recent changes in the credit card industry. Companies rarely, if ever, provide exceptions for long term, loyal customers - they simply believe that your account is easily replaced with a new customer. As long term, existing customers often have preferred rates; replacing the account that you close due to dissatisfaction with a new customer at a higher rate is more profitable.
Posted by frak on 2013-02-12:
Didn't AE send you a letter explaining how your rate went up because you were late with your last payment, but if you aid on time for the next six months, your rate will be restored?

That's what they typically do with good customers, and that seems pretty fair to me. Kind of like a cop issuing a warning rather than a ticket.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-02-12:
My guess is that a customer who carries a balance AND pays late, in this environment, is seen as a high risk. If you didn't carry balance, they might be more willing to forgive a late. But not repetitively. A lot of banks these days grant you one exception, and they keep a log. You come back a second time, even years later, and it's no-go.

I look at the interest alone in a different light. 11.99% interest is insanely high. 27.99% is also, but the base rate is. Thus, I would not pay either of these rates or anything in between. I use my card heavily, but always pay it off.
Posted by Churro on 2013-02-12:
I've never seen the appeal of an American Express card. I find Visa and MasterCard offerings to be far superior and definitely more widely accepted. I could be missing something but I've never had an itch that American Express could scratch. You did the right thing canceling your account. You'll have no problem finding a replacement.
Posted by janak on 2013-05-31:
I opened my AMX account @ Costco. AMX. sales representative offer me that if you open AMX. account we give you $55 reword. I am calling in customer service from last 4 months. I did not received any satisfactory answers, customer service excused all the time we file your complaint to the sales, we are not responsible for that. AMX. they live with customers and telling horrible stores. Master Card and Visa card customer service is very excellent. If It is like this i am thinking to AMX as well as Costco account.
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American Express' Poor Customer Service
Posted by Susan.shuttleworth on 02/10/2013
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.

     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-02-10:
This problem appears to boil down to the alert that was put on your card later was triggered somehow.

I am inferring, though you didn't state so, that your old card was no longer useable after the alert was placed on it.

A complicating factor here, IMO, is the timing. This alert was put on your account at virtually the same time that a new card was being sent to you due to expiration. This quite possibly is related to what happened, which could have been computer-related and not the result of CSR error. In other words, after a couple of days, this alert in the system somehow made its way to the new card.

Your client should have been understanding of the situation. Cards become blocked for fraud alerts, etc. It happenes. I carry multiple cards in case my card is declined, because I use a credit card for 99% of purchases.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2013-02-11:
American Express, in the last few years, has divided itself into two entirely different opposing factions. One, marketing, is doing its best to attract customers. And two, customer service, is doing all they can to drive customers away. Makes you wonder if corporate even knows either exists. Obviously those two divisions are oblivious to the others existence.
Posted by Nohandle on 2013-02-11:
Everyone I have known personally with the exception of one has cancelled his AmEx card. Each had paid his account in full in a timely manner each month but there always seemed to be some sort of mix up or added fee they had to call about. It grew to not be worth the hassle to them. They found MC and Visa suited their purposes nicely PLUS no annual membership fee.

I had a fradulent charge on my Visa a number of years back. I was called by Visa for 2 nearly penny transactions then one for 900+ which I knew nothing about and promptly told the rep I would call back. I wrote her information down and immediately flipped the card over and called the fraud number (which was a different number.) It was a legit call and the card was immediately shut down/closed by the rep. I received a new card in less than a week's time. Never a moment's problem with it.

AmEx needs to do some serious house cleaning including corporate cleanup. There's no reason for what you went through. I'm still amazed they have any customers. The name is not as prestigious as it once was.
Posted by ticia232 on 2013-02-11:
I agree with trmn8. Did you use the card at a place that you hadn't been before when you took your client to lunch? Did you try to buy more than usual when you were trying to buy the gifts?

I have seen that happen to many people, when I worked as a cashier and also had it happen to me when I moved from Pennsylvania to Texas with my bank card even though I had informed the bank that I would be moving. The computer triggers fraud (in your case because you had reported the card lost) and when it comes to an unusual transaction it will deny it.

The best thing to do is call, inform the company that you are the owner of the card, prove it with the questions and they will unlock the card within minutes. It worked for me and the others I have told when it happened to them.
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Biggest Rip-Off of a Credit Card Out There
Posted by Rue1781 on 01/22/2013
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.
     
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Posted by At Your Service on 2013-01-22:
By any chance, have you had a recent problem with your credit? This doesn't mean your specific American Express account, but any form of credit.

Credit card companies will occasionally check one's credit status and adjust the terms of the credit card services and interest rate accordingly. It's why it's so important to keep a good credit history. Once you've shown negative credit, their risk for continuing your account raises and so will the amount they want to collect in order to still offer you a line of credit.
Posted by Obsfucation on 2013-01-22:
OK, I'm confused. You say that you NEVER pay late, but you also say "They absolutely will not listen to any excuses on a late payment."

So which is it? Unless it was their processing error, there pretty much is no (acceptable) excuse for a late payment. They are a for-profit business, and have just about the same business model as every other credit card.

Not clear about the arbitrary amount that you mention, but when you pay the balance to zero, you still owe the interest on the balance amount for the days between the billing and the payment. It's generally a small amount, but you still owe it.
Posted by Susan on 2013-01-22:
ALL credit cards charge interest that accrues between the time you pay off the current balance and the time the money is received and posted to your account by the credit card company. So what you were charged most likely was interest and not an arbitrary amount of money.
Posted by clutzycook on 2013-01-22:
I agree with Susan. And it sounds like the OP didn't know that this interest was posted to their account, missed the due-by date, and got socked with a late fee. Late is late. That's why I always monitor my credit card accounts for a month or two after I zero out the balance just in case something hits (it's good to do that anyway to make sure there isn't fradulent activity).
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-01-23:
I can't agree with you. AMEX has a great reputation. What you describe sounds pretty standard.

It sounds like you made a late payment and that caused a problem, though you say you never paid late. When you pay a card late, all kinds of funky stuff happens fee-wise. I doubt the fees were arbitrary - at least one reply above explains how these came to be.
Posted by Philippe on 2013-10-20:
Amex ripped me off for £78.48 (more than $100) by charging me Non Sterling Transaction Fees of 2.99% on purchases made outside the UK. I complained and they refused to return the money. I am now considering taking legal action against them for NEVER forewarning me of those charges which appear only in their statement small print AFTER THE CHARGE IS MADE OF COURSE! No reputable bank in the UK handling Visa or Mastercard would do this. I WILL BE CANCELLING MY CARD AS SOON AS THEY HAVE CREDITED MY CASHBACK!
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AMEX Blue Cash Preferred
Posted by Prezesnyc on 12/27/2012
I have applied for AMEX Blue Cash Preferred card in July 2012 through AMEX website. At that time AMEX was offering a promotion, first year annual fee waived($75)and $150 dollar points if you spent more than $1,000 in the first 3 months. This promotion was a strong contributor to my decision to apply for the new card. How surprised I was to find out after few months that apparently I did not check some box during the application process and for that reason I will not receive my bonus and I will be charged annual fee. After multiple phone calls with customer service I was simply told that I not eligible.
I wrote this to make as many people as possible aware how terrible practice AMEX is using to lure new customers, I feel very disappointed right now and I am seriously considering closing all my AMEX cards.
FYI- I have tried to post my comment on AMEX website but surprisingly the review site is under maintenance and will not be available until "early 2013". How convenient....
Please stay away from this company as they do not value their customers at all.
     
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Posted by At Your Service on 2012-12-27:
What was the reason of not being eligible? Some people have less than stellar credit and could be a contributing factor.
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Worst Customer Service EVER!!
Posted by Sphelps on 12/18/2012
These people are the biggest joke I have ever seen. I called customer service and was on hold for 20 minutes to be told they could not help me, and that I needed to call a second number. I called this number for 3 days and was either put on hold for 3 hours or hung up on.

I HATE AMERICAN EXPRESS!!!
     
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Posted by madconsumer on 2012-12-18:
what was the issue you were trying to resolve?
Posted by ok4now on 2012-12-19:
I find their customer service to be most excellent and I never have a problem getting through to them. Possibly you were given the wrong number to call. Check their website or your online account for the correct number.
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