ISSAQUAH, WASHINGTON -- I am 53 years old and run three successful businesses, should my customer service be that of AMEX I would be out of business. The value of the card is just not there. It is the most expensive card to own that I have. They are supposed to credit me for incidentals when I fly United, I have not seen one credit! And I already know how long I will be put on hold to resolve this (it's not worth my time).
All companies are put to the test, not when things are going good but rather when things are going bad and how well they handle the problems presented to them, AMEX has failed terribly. I was overseas on business trip and had to make an additional flight to another country and had to change my return flight back to the US, booked through AMEX. Three dropped calls, two hours later it seemed the return flight to the US was handled... They never got it booked! Cost me over $1000 and hours of my time, they said sorry and gave me a $100 dollar in house credit. BUYERS BEWARE!!!
On Nov 1st, 2013, my wife and I called American Express to instruct us on how to cash in rewards points with an airline that AMEX does not have a relationship. They instructed us to use our AMEX card to buy the tickets and after a period of time to call back and they would credit our card at a ratio of one dollar for 100 points. When we did call back, AMEX told me that on Nov 4th, 2013, they changed their policy and the ratio was now one dollar for 166 points. This represents a loss of $500 even though we bought the tickets in good faith before the change date.
On Nov 1st, the AMEX representative did not warn me of this impending change. The AMEX supervisor in North Carolina told us: “we reserve the right to change our policies at any time.” Being a valued member since 1987 means nothing. So be forewarned, when dealing with American Express, they reserve the right to change policies at any time.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- I have been getting many offers for credit over the last year plus. I have been ignoring them until now. I was advised that if I would accept credit from one of these companies and used the card and paid it consistently that my credit score would be positively impacted. So I took what looked like the best company and accepted the offer.
After one long phone call with Eric but before completing the process the agent told me his system was shutting down and that he had to transfer my call. But before he could the call was dropped. So I called in again and was helped by Jeniffer. We went through the entire process again. And in the end she told me I was denied credit!
Why waste my and their time and further harm my credit with such antics? As I understand it if I was approved things are all fine but since I was denied my credit will be worse for the effort. The entire thing just seems like a scam.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- On a recent trip to Italy, my return flight from Bologna to Paris was cancelled and I did not receive notification. Fortunately, the friend I was traveling with had booked through Orbitz and purchased insurance from Allianz and was able to get us both booked on a flight from Florence to Paris so we could catch our connecting flight to San Francisco.
The customer service phone number on my American Express confirmation "when traveling outside the US" was invalid. My phone calls to customer service when I got back to the US have been unsatisfying. I told them what happened and requested a refund of the 77.00 I paid for the insurance and got nothing. The response both times is, "I'll try, but I can't guarantee anything." I will never book travel through American Express Travel again!
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK -- My credit reporting agency sent me an alert that American Express had made a hard inquiry in my name. I've had an AmEx credit card for over 30 years, pay on time, am not adding anyone or any cards to my account. I called American Express customer service. They told me to call their credit reporting department and gave me that phone number. When I called that number, they wanted to transfer me to customer service. I explained that's where I started.
I was transferred to a couple of different people, all who said they didn't have any way to check on what I was asking ("why did American Express make this hard inquiry into my credit?"). During an additional transfer I was disconnected. I called back to the credit reporting department, got a different person but the same runaround and was told Customer Service would have better access to my account details.
I called customer service again and was again told I needed to talk to the credit reporting department. I explained that I kept getting transferred back and forth, but no one seemed to be able to help me. I did not yell, but explained that I was getting very frustrated with the lack of information and being told they could not help me, to call other departments and being being transferred and disconnected. Since I am a customer, how can they not look up my account and show that they made an inquiry?! And how can "Customer Service" have the attitude of "I don't know the answer and I can't help you"?
In the last 8 days, I have redeemed rewards points for ecerts from American Express. When you redeem for an ecert, you are supposed to have access to the certificated within 3 hours. The 2 most recently purchased took 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours to get. When I contacted Customer Service through email, I was continually told to go to the website. The only problem is, I told them I had already gone to the website. Over and over again, I got the same responses, as if there was a bot responding, rather than a real person. It was really frustrating to not have the issue resolved.
Finally I called them and requested someone in the United States (which it seems that the American in American Express means we have few people in America), and was transferred to Canada. At least the Canadian understood the problem and understood English. She told me the issue had to be addressed in the US. I finally got to the right person in the US, and my issue was responded to and resolved. So how many times do you have to tell the AMEX representative that you have already gone to the website before they stop telling you to go to the website?
I am 49 years old. I have had American Express accounts and accepted them in my businesses since I was 20 years old. I have been an entrepreneur my whole life. Often I also held a six figure job as well. Two years ago, many banks panicked and started slashing credit lines. This really hurt my business a lot. I wound up with a lot of debt and customers that had no way to pay me because their credit cards were cut off, and their clients credit was cut off.
The government pretends like the Banks didn't screw businesses over, but in fact they did. The banks screwed small business to the hilt, and they screwed the consumers to the maximum as well. This left American Express one of the few accounts open that I could use. Charging on average about $2,000 per month in all business expenses, and paying in full each month. In early June 2010 I got a call from American Express demanding I pay my bill immediately. The statement had not even gone out from them yet and was not due for 20 days but they demanded I pay right there on the spot. I refused as that defeats the whole purpose of using the card.
So, American Express turned my charging privileges off. Why would they do that, when I had never been late, and the payment was not even due?? This in turn cause me to have to pay things in cash which caused problems for my business. I then had to put other people off or try to collect debts early from my clients. Some of them got angry and canceled their contracts with me! After paying my statement balance American Express removed the hold and some automatic transactions when through. They then called me demanding payment again before the statement went out again.
I explained that I would make a payment by the due date as I always did. I made a payment and 2 days later was hit by a car which made my life a painful hell. At the same time, American Express illegally processed an ACH bank draft to my personal checking account which I did not authorize, resulting in a credit balance to my account.
This in turn over drafted my personal checking account, because it only had a few hundred dollars in it. That ruined a 15 year pristine history with my bank. It also resulted in hundreds of dollars in bank fees and cost me about 150 hour of hell writing letters, sitting on the phone, in bank offices, etc... all the while in terrible pain from my injuries.
When I called American Express they said they would fix this problem and pay my bank fees. They didn't... after my second call a week later they left me a voice message saying they were just going to keep the money! So I had to file complaints with the Federal Reserve to get my bank to reverse the illegal ACH draft from American Express. It took 31 days for them to do that. So American Express had the use of someone's money for over 31 days... more than a full billing cycle - and they did not pay anyone for the use of that money. On the other hand, I had to pay very, very, very severely for American Express to use that money.
Finally when the illegal transaction gets reversed, American Express does still not honor its word. It does not reimburse me for the fees or the hell I went through. Just as a statement arrives showing the 31 days with a credit balance, American Express goons start calling me and threatening me that my account is past due. How could it possibly be past due when they had the use of someone's money for 31 days and my statement showed a credit balance? But they didn't stop there...
Even though I immediately sent them 1/3 of a payment BEFORE the next statement came, they had already turned me over to a collection agency!!! When the statement did arrive it did not show my credit from the previous month applied to the balance, it did not show the payment that I had made, instead it showed a jacked up balance with highly inflated fees attached.
Now, I already had a dispute running about American Express with the Attorney General's office. They wrote a letter filled with Lies to the Attorney General and made it seem like they were the good guys. At the very same time they wrote this pile of dung to the Attorney General - they then turn my account over to a collection agency! They did this while the current statement was still in the mail!! It had not even arrived to me yet, and they had already turned it over to collections.
American Express is an evil company headed by the very swine of this world. The kind of people that need a noose around their neck. As Humans we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. American Express are the demons from hell that want to squeeze the life out of you, crush your liberties and destroy your happiness. Wicked slime that should be spit roasted in an open flame.
If you think they treat customers bad, you should know how they treat their employees. I currently work in customer service for American Express and wanted to let you all know how unfair they are to their own employees. There's a million things I could share, but the one that stands out most is how they grade our performance. There are only two pieces of information they use when determining if you do your job well. These pieces of information decide whether you stay or go, whether you get a bonus or not and whether you will ever be promoted to something above phone representative.
When a customer calls in, they will receive an email survey on how the experience was and if they would recommend American Express to their friends. The survey's results are broken down into two parts: customer service and "refer to a friend." Under customer service, the customer grades the call on a scale from Poor to Excellent with things like Very Good and Fair in-between. If we do not get an excellent, our stats drop. Period. It matters not what is said in the comments. Only an excellent increases our stats and anything less, hurts our stats.
Next, the customer decides if they would refer a friend to American Express on a scale from 1-10, 10 meaning they would absolutely refer AMEX to a friend. If we do not get a 10, our stats drop. Period. It matters not what is said in the comments. Only 10's increase our stats and anything less, hurts our stats. Now, you should know that THIS is the part of the survey that affects our stats more because it's weighted more. Refer to a friend score is like 60% and customer service is 40%.
Now, here's where it gets interesting. The customer gets to write in comments all over the survey, anything they want about their experience or AMEX in general. Often times, I will get a survey come back that will be a "Very Good, 8" for example. Now, mind you this result actually brings my stats down. Then I will read the comments and they will say, "Customer service representative was very polite and helpful. My problem is not with her. AMEX voice response system is too confusing and it takes forever to get to a live person. Also, I don't go around recommending credit card companies to my friends."
Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much for saying kind things about me, but giving me an 8 on refer to friend instead of 10. You have no idea Mr. Customer, that because of you, I will not be receiving a bonus and I may not get that position I've been eyeing in project management. Customers also use this survey to complain about things that have happened to them in the past or on a previous call. They will even specifically say in the comments something like, "This is not about THIS call, but last month I tried to pay my bill online and your website gave me an error message... etc. I'm sick of your website giving me problems."
Management doesn't look at those comments, they only care about the NUMBER we were given. In fact, EVERY SINGLE one of my surveys I have ever received that were less than Excellent/10, specifically stated in the comments that I was wonderful. I was pleasant, knowledgeable, helpful, polite.. etc.
However, the comments will go on to complain about an AMEX POLICY or the way our statements are printed. Or our voice response system. Or our website. Or that AMEX won't waive a late fee (which, by the way we reps don't decide. We don't make the decision to waive or not. We run your request though a web "tool" and either get approved or denied. Period. We don't get to determine on our own if we feel a waiver is justified regardless of your circumstance).
ANYWAY bottom line is these are things that are out of our control as reps. Yet, we still get punished for them. Now, I realize customers don't know this. They have no idea that what they score is a direct reflection on THAT representative and that representative alone. I feel bad for customers because if most of them knew this, they would grade reps (well at lease ME), perfect and then use the comments to rant because the comments don't affect my scores. That way, they could get their message across, but not hurt the representative they just spoke to who was wonderful and did her best.
What ends up happening is a lot of reps will say or do ANYTHING to get a good score. Meaning, they will say things the customer wants to hear knowing full well it can't be done because all we care about is what number you will put on that survey you get tomorrow. If you call back later because you were told something that wasn't true, what does the representative care? He got his Excellent/10 out of you already. See, AMEX has put us reps between a rock and a hard place. We are forced to look out for ourselves and not the customer.
It's a shame because I am damn good at my job. I've been in customer service for many years and treat people kindly and always sympathize with them. I am well spoken and polite. Customers love me. They do not love AMEX though and AMEX has found a way to make this MY fault and MY problem. For those of you who truly had a nasty rep, I am sorry. Those people deserve the Poor/1's you give them. I do not however. I have personally known reps that have been let go because their scores were too low. Each of these reps have had wonderful phone skills, always spoke gently and politely and truly cared.
Unfortunately, the luck of the draw was too many customers chose to take out their frustrations about AMEX policies on those rep's surveys. It's not the customer's fault. Like I said many reps can be nasty and deserve those scores. MY customers who liked ME, but not something about AMEX and their policies had no idea when they chose to give the call an 8 or 9 or 1 or 2 or whatever... that it would hurt only me. Me personally. Me and only me. They have set us reps up to fail by their stupid policies and money hungry ways.
They know full well that the surveys should be an honest place for customers to express their disappointments with THEM as a company, but they chose to put it on ONE rep's shoulders, even if it is clear the venting is not about how that one representative treated that customer or handled the call. They've done this so they have an excuse not to pay us well or promote us. Sad. I'm looking for a job more suited to reward me for treating people with kindness and respect, which is what I am good at and passionate about. I really am sorry for all of you who have had terrible experience with customer service. You deserve better. And so do I.
Just like a lot of the bad reviews American Express has been getting. We experienced the same thing today. We've been excellent customers for about 10 years now that is why we have the Platinum card. Never late on payments and paid off all charges every time we use this card.
In June 2009, they sent us a letter telling us that "Given the difficult economic environment... we have had to make the difficult decision to lover your credit limit to $3,300," (from a credit limit of $20,800). I still used this card for groceries and gas at Costco because this is the only credit card Costco accepts. We continued to be good customers and paid it off the entire amount due each month long before the due dates.
Lo and behold today while trying to pay for my Costco purchase, my AMEX card purchase was denied! Fortunately, I had cash on hand to pay for it. I called AMEX right away when I got home and they told me they decided to close our account today and they can only talk to my husband about it since he's the primary holder in our account. My husband couldn't believe it. He said he just used it this morning to buy gas at Costco.
He called AMEX and all they can say is that we have too many revolving credit in our account. It doesn't even matter to them that we have a good track record with them and no late payments with all our other credit cards. They said they have the right to close our account at anytime. What awful business practice! They don't care about their customers at all. I'm only glad that I found out about it because we have several bills we do automatic payments each month through AMEX. Thankfuly none of them were due today!
The only thing that worried me is that this card is linked to our DELTA miles account and at this time we have over 357,000 miles to use for travel. I called DELTA to ask about our miles and thankfully they said it is safe and AMEX can't touch it! Thank you DELTA! Is this practice even legal? I wish there would be an aggressive lawyer out there who would put together a class action lawsuit against AMEX! Count me in!
Now I understand why AMEX is not accepted in a lot of countries. We have traveled to EUROPE and ASIA and tried to use it, but even the well established places we went to didn't accept AMEX. No wonder VISA is the most widely used card in the world. They treat their customers well and they have good customer service people who are actually in the USA (not INDIA) who knows what we're talking about! TO AMERICAN EXPRESS I SAY GOOD RIDDANCE!!! YOU'RE DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO BE MISSED!!! We wish you all the bad karma in the universe because of the way you treat your loyal customers!
I am writing to express my disappointment and frustration with the American Express company and its poor business practices for small businesses that work diligently to follow the rules and pay on time only to be disregarded as insignificant to American Express. Below is my story which I am sure will not matter even to the reader of this letter yet I believe change never takes place until people make their voices heard.
Our small business opened an account with American Express in September 2007. We also opened a merchant account for accepting American Express in January of 2008. Excited to be able to take Advantage of no limit, no interest and additional rewards for our small business purchases from our vendors we began using the card. The card was a no limit card (Gold and balance must be paid in full each month) or so we were told but quickly found out that there is in fact a type of limit.
Understanding that in a struggling economy it is important for lenders to be cautious we worked within the limits of American Express and policies. We had spent over $10,000 in a single month and paid each bill in full and on time to establish our creditworthiness with American Express like we do with every lender. Our name is important to our business and we work diligently to keep a good name.
April 2009 we tried to use our card with a vendor with whom we do a lot of business and had always used American Express to pay this vendor (which of course costs our vendor more due to the higher merchant fees charged by American Express). The amount was about $9,000 and we had no reason to believe this would be issue since we had spent as much as $10,000 in a single month less than a year ago and had always paid our balance in full and on time. The card was declined. We contacted American Express to find out why it was declined.
Long story short and a few phone calls later we were told that due to the last six months spending pattern they would not approve the charge. We explained that our business was at its peak in the summer and is when the larger charges would be made but were told too bad. We were told to increase our spending in order to increase our spending pattern.
The following day our vendor ran the card again (we had not contacted them to tell them to wait for a different credit card from us) and oddly the charge was approved. This restored our confidence in American Express and its willingness to work with small businesses. This of course was temporary due to the rest of the story that follows.
June 2009 another invoice from the same vendor was due in the amount of approximately $8,400. Since we had paid our balances again on time we had no reason to believe this would be issue. Once again and with much embarrassment the card was declined. Primary card member (name withheld for privacy) then got online and made a $4,000 early payment in good faith to American Express and then placed a call to have the charge approved from our vendor. We were told that American Express had placed a limit on the account that day for $3,400 though the balance on the card at the time was $8,000 of which a $4,000 early payment had been made.
The representative explained that due to other account balances and negative statements which appeared on our Experian credit report they determined to place a limit on the card that day. We check our credit reports daily and there were no negative comments or delinquencies. HOWEVER $20,000 of debt had been paid off in the past 30-40 days (because we value our good name and credit) due to the increase in our business not to mention no delinquencies reported in many years on any credit report. American Express did not care to review or work with our small business in a timely fashion. They claimed that there was nothing that could be done.
We removed American Express as a payment option for our customers the minute your company made it clear that our business did not matter. Not only will you lose the high merchant fees paid to you by our vendors when we used your card - you will no longer receive merchant fees from our sales as we are no longer willing to accept your card. These are the reasons I am writing to express my deep disappointment and extreme frustration with a credit card company that claims to be on the side of small business yet I find the practices of American Express to speak quite the contrary.
We accepted American Express as merchants from our customers though you charge the highest merchant fees and take the longest to pay the merchants. Visa, MasterCard and Discover all pay the following business day. American Express as long a week may pass before the money is released into the small business person's account. For small business this creates real frustration and is truly a hindrance financially to accept this card. This is not beneficial to small business in any way. Higher merchant fees and slow pay to the business does not give small business many reasons to accept your card from customers.
Now add to that the lousy treatment of the small business cardholder that is told no limit but this is in fact a lie even for those small businesses that pay balances in full and on time every time. Punished on both sides by American Express has left a bad taste in the mouth of this small business. Realizing of course that as a small business we are not even a blip on your radar or bait in this large ocean of business, we have made the decision to no longer do business with American Express.
Apparently spending over $100,000 in a little over a year and half though always paid on time and accepting your outrageous merchant fees and slow pay practices and being charged $170 to even have a card counts for nothing. This makes the taste of doing business with American Express bitter and it will no longer be tolerated by our small business. Punishing the people and businesses that do the right thing and pay on time is not smart business practice in this fragile economy.
We are a very small business aware of how little our business matters to American Express however I wonder how much of American Express' business is made up of small business and how much will be lost due to these pathetic practices. I always wondered why so many small business owners did not want to accept American Express but the picture is becoming quite clear to me.
The company does not care about the Little Joes that make up a sizable amount of the economy and rather than work with small business or loyal members they prefer to disregard them. A terrible mistake because as our small business grows and it is growing, American Express will not be benefiting from our growth. If you don't treat us well while we are small then you won't have our business when we are big.
Trust me that these events are likely to keep us from ever accepting your card as a merchant or using your card as a cardholder. I hope other small businesses do the same once I share my story with them since I am sure you will never share this story on any of your expensive commercials that we as merchants and cardholders pay to view.
After my experiences I did a bit of research online (check www.my3cents.com) for American Express reviews and found that my story is very similar to the stories of multiple disgruntled card members and merchants. It is pathetic the way American Express has treated loyal customers with histories much longer than our own history with your company.
If American Express is planning to ask for bailout money as so many other irresponsible companies are doing then I assure you the voices of current and former disgruntled customers and merchants will be heard screaming "DO NOT BAIL OUT AMERICAN EXPRESS!" Why would taxpayers want to bail out a company that treats customers that pay on time as poorly as you have treated us and many other people?
You may wish to consider changing the name of your company from American Express to American Depress which is what you are doing to every small business owner and loyal card member out thereby charging higher merchant fees; delaying payment, changing credit limits without notification and restricting cardholders which pay on time.
America is a country of freedom and choice and you have chosen to mistreat and disregard our business and other small business owners and loyal members and the same courtesy will be extended to you. Another disappointed cardholder & merchant.