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They cancel the card and eating up my rewards for no reason
Posted by AmericanExIsCheater on 10/28/2009
I opened Amex Costco Credit Card when I became a member of Costco. My credit score was 740+ and they readily approve the card with a $3000+ credit limit. My average balances were around 400-450 and paid in full all on time for each billing statement for 6 months. One day I swiped my card at a restaurant and card was declined. I paid with another card and called American Express on reaching home and they told your card was cancelled 5 days back. On asking the reason they stated, change in your credit score since you applied for a card and too many credit enquiries in last 2 years as per the report by Experian. Next day I subscribed for Experian Credit report and my score was 730+, there was no missed payment on any cards and there were usual 3 enquiries, one by Amex when they opened my credit card and two other by rental screening companies as we moved to another state and changed our apartment after 6 months lease was over in one of the apartment. I called Amex that though I don't need you credit as my total credit line is above 8k on 3 different cards but still want to know what is the specific reason and I use this Card at many occasions including purchase at Costco. They told we can not do anything and you can send a fax of your credit report. Done, did that, no response from them. I received my final statement after 2 weeks and they gave me travel rewards for one hotel booking and there were three flight tickets booked for $1850 for my family and no rewards for those, when I called them, they told as your card is cancelled we are not giving those rewards, wt* my card was in good standing at the time of booking and I paid all the balances on time, this is your own decision to cancel and then you want to eat my cash reward also. I could have used my other cards and received 2% reward. When I searched on internet about this practice by Amex, I came to know it's common for them to eat the rewards. I really feel they are the biggest cheater in the Credit Card Industry and I am open if any one wants to initiate a formal complaint about them. I don't know what to do, it's not a question of $ 50 or so cash back, it's a question if honesty and malpractice cheating with the customers. Now if I don’t pay my balance they can charge my interest or can report to credit bureau, I wish if customer also have something like to do a complaint to a credit bureau and to any other court for companies like these. I am never going to go for this company and wish they vanish from the business soon.

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-28:
If they want to cancel your credit line they can. They are not obligated to give credit to anyone.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-28:
I agree with JTF, but I would add that in cases like this, I think they should be required to automatically send you gift cards in the amount of the points you had when they closed the account.
Posted by AmericanExIsCheater on 2009-10-29:
I have no complaints on their decision to cancel the credit card but the timing of cancellation when I was due for travel rewards, way it was handled without notification call or email or letter, the reason they gave, but fine let’s ignore that and that is also acceptable. But why to deny the rewards, I have $22xx in my last statement, that I will pay and I am expected to pay, but why can't they pay the rewards earned. Only the big amount reward they are not paying, while 3 % on $110.xx for gas rewards they are paying, so that goes against the assumption that for a cancelled card, they won't honor the rewards. It’s up to them whatever they want to do?
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American Express Sucks
Posted by Sensy on 01/17/2009
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- In November I was offered an American express credit card from costco. by a customer service representative.

I got approved and I made all my payments on time. Then suddenly on Jan 18th, 2009 when I wanted to purchase something at costco my card was declined. I called up the customer care and they said they had cancelled my account. I was really mad at tham and when I asked they said that my credit score had gone down from 680 to 650 and so they cancelled my account even with out informing me. The reason for cancellation was I had too high balances on my other credit cards. The only balance I had was my car loan and nothing else. All my credit cards are always paid off and I never even have a one dollar balance remaining. They just didn't want to talk anymore. Now the problem is when my card gets cancelled its a negative report on my credit score and this is definitely gonna reduce my score.

So friends what I suggest is never ever apply for a america express credit card even though they appear so promsiing. they are the worst service card providers and after them is Discover Card. Keep away from these two rip off companies..
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
What is going on with American Express? I've just read about ten complaints similar to this one. Credit scores can fluctuate on a fairly regular basis and your score goes down when any company does a credit check, so they're contributing to this decline in your score. Your credit score will go up, despite this cancelled account, and you are definitely better off without AMEX. Count your blessings, I suppose.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
I've commented many times on American Express' recent cancellation of accounts or reductions of lines of credit. One thing I've noticed recurring, many of the complaints are related to Amex accounts opened at Costco. As a regular Costco shopper, I can attest to the pressure Costco exerts on new members to open Amex accounts. It may be likely that Amex predicts problems with many of these accounts and is being proactive in eliminating them.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
Scores do NOT go down when a company does a credit check, it is informational only. When there are multiple credit checks on an individual who is APPLYING for new credit, it can negatively impact the score. Your credit card companies are looking at your score pretty regularly, probably even monthly these days. If that kind of score hurt your credit score, it would already be at zero.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
You bring up a good point, Ghost. Is Amex one of the credit card companies that do profiling based on where their customers shop? I shop at Costco, have used my card at Costco but I did not open my Amex acct through them. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I've got my credit union card. It's best to only have one. You cant overspend that way.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
I also believe Amex is returning to its roots as an 'exclusive' credit card. In long ago days, when Amex did not offer revolving accounts (the balance always had to be paid off at the next statement), getting one required a very stable credit history and verifiable income. Some of my friends, whom I wouldn't feel comfortable lending lunch money to, now carry Platinum Amex cards. It is possible that Amex is weeding out such accounts.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-01-17:
Our business still uses one of the typical Amex gold cards like that. What you charge, you pay back at the end of the month. It is in fact a charge card, not a credit card by definition (I think).
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
Exactly right, Slim. Unless you have one of Amex's 'Open' accounts. The 'Open' variety is a revolving account (credit card). The regular Green or Gold accounts are 'charge cards'. You bring up a very good point.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
I thought on another post I read that they are actually capping the amount you can spend per month (basically giving you a credit limit) on some the gold card accounts. Maybe I read it wrong? Anyway, thats where my card first started...as a gold card. I didn't want to pay the fee because I really didn't see any benefit from the card. Rather than lose a "loyal" customer (or so they said) they converted me to the clear card which has no fee. And the rest is history. LOL I don't have either card anymore. I'm at peace with it.
Posted by Nohandle on 2009-01-17:
I too remember when having an AmEx card was not just offered to anyone. No reflection on the OP. One had to provide proof of his income and credit references. Also, the balance was to be paid in full when the statement was rendered. If not, his credit card was put on hold. No questions period. On hold and no future charges allowed. Perhaps they are attempting to go back to their roots Doc J, but I feel they brought this upon themselves and the OP is experiencing the realization of what they created even though he was a good customer who signed up for what was offered.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-01-17:
Right Doc and they say they have no limit, but of course, there is a trip wire somewhere up there.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
Slim - Absolutely! One trip wire I have heard about, but not verified, that Amex will now yank a card if the holder utilizes a cash advance on their charge card version. Using a cash advance implies cash flow problems.
Nohandle - You are right. Despite the dark clouds on America's financial horizon several months ago, Amex (and others) whistled as they walked past the graveyard. They kept issuing cards and lines of credit, hoping life would go on as before. The party is over and folks, like this OP, are paying the price.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-01-17:
That does make sense as to how they would interpret that. Besides, the green and gold were not in spirit for cash loans. I'm surprised they even allowed advances on them.
Posted by old fart on 2009-01-17:
Many many years ago when I was a lad, you were expected to pay the balance due EVERY month...
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17:
My first CC was a 'Standard Oil' (Amoco, now BP) card with a $125 line of credit (about 300 gallons of gas). My next, was a JL Hudson's (remember them OF?) with $300 line of credit (two men's suits). I thought I had 'made it' when I was 'invited' to apply for an Amex account. My butt was sore for days after their investigation of my financial status and credit history.
Posted by old fart on 2009-01-17:
I think mine was a shell card and gas cost 30 cents a gallon then.. I had a Hudson's card too....
Posted by sensy on 2009-01-18:
Thanks guys for all the reviews and comments.....I would really aappreciate if we all work together and totally stop the store managements from running behind us to open the store credit cards...the only high balance i had was of my car loan which was 9500 dollars due and my citi card of 4000 dollars due...but i was never late on any payments and i always did my payments on time.... dont ever evr apply for an AMEX...
Posted by Yu on 2009-01-19:
American Express keeps sending us the promotion of their credit card as if they are inviting us to have one. They keep sending us the balance letter as if we still are their cardmember. But it is ridiculous that they have already cancelled our credit card without reason for 3 months. What is the problem with them?
Posted by chuck on 2011-06-05:
I had the card for 21 years and never missed a payment or was late. My credit score went down and they cancelled my card.
Posted by paul on 2011-06-21:
American Express sucks , they are a wicked corrupt and unjust company, we were perfect customers,with a perfect track record. the day my daughter was born we were notified that our balance was reduced by 10,000 dollars to our current balance. We were counting on this to get by on until I was able to return to work. Thanks American express-not! We met with costco management to complain(I guess we were not the only ones. (Curse this wicked company and those responsible for this corruption to hell!) Why should we pay them another cent! I don't really care if I have credit anymore anyway, what good has being responsible done for us ! The people have the power- lets spank them !!
Posted by george on 2011-12-18:
Hmm.. Same thing happen to me as mentioned in paul posting...With the current occupied movements, why hasn't they targeted AMEX because they are quite corrupt!!!
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The Cancellation Of Credit By American Express
Posted by HHR on 11/19/2008
Oh boy, like a lot of others, after 15 years of loyalty to American Express and paying the annual platinum fee (with a perfect payment history) and a very high credit score, they cancelled my ability to carry over charges on a card that is paid off completely. They did this by nasty form letter talking about how I had credit problems. I literally have perfect credit and my credit report looks beautiful. Very low debt to income ratios. I have no other credit cards so now I am actually applying for a new card so I can cancel this one. I used my Amex for everything, every single bill, every grocery, all travel was on the card. They left me on hold for over an hour and then Jennifer in their credit group rudely told me I had credit problems and that I did not understand how to read my own credit report!

They are obviously falling apart and now they will have lost me for life. I am not the one with the credit problem, they are.
     
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Posted by Principissa on 2008-11-19:
My step-dad has been an AMEX card holder for almost 20 years and he's in the same boat you are. They dropped his limit for no reason at all. Paid his bills on full, on time, and this is what he gets in return. He's staying with them until he finds a card with a better rate.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-11-19:
Ya might as well stick with what ya got. The credit crunch is just going to get worse for consumers.
From what I've seen (I know someone will correct me if I am wrong)the majority of credit card companies are weeding out the people that don't carry a balance, people that are high credit risks ie..lowering credit limits to just above current balance, and those never have additional fees imposed on them.
It's going to be a long fight for survival.
Your best bet is to go ahead and cancel the card under your current terms before it gets worse and pay off the balances.
Gonna get a lot worse before it gets better.
Posted by yoke on 2008-11-19:
Sounds like this is becoming the norm for AmEx.
Posted by Principissa on 2008-11-19:
I think it was because my step-dad was actually a good customer. He was the one who would rack up the high balances every month and then pay the whole thing off in full. Really sad, but it's survival of the fittest and they want those interest rates to survive. It hurts the good customers in the process, but as long as they get their fees from the interest what do they care.
Posted by tom z on 2008-12-04:
exact same thing happened to me.

I am having them cancel my Platinum card after 18 years and a 756 fico.

If i pay off everything monthly for 18 years whats better than that. I am a physician?

Id rather just carry cash. And donate the 450 to someone
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A Let Down!
Posted by Hvac3 on 08/04/2008
Saturday morning I decided to check my online statement. When the page loaded, my mouth dropped. The only company that I had credit cards from had let me down. They decreased my lines of credit and put a hold on one of the accounts. I called an inquired and was told I had used my 2 accounts too much. I know I have, no big deal. I have never been late nor have I defaulted on any accounts.

This at first pissed me off but now I'm over it. I'll keep my gold card the only one I don't use often for now. I thought AMEX was a bit better than the others companies I've dealt with. But they are not. When I pay off these cards I will be done with them.

I would not be so angry if they had sent me a letter explaining what they were doing. But they didn't. So, don't believe the commercials. They are not what they seem.

     
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Posted by bigboxworker on 2008-08-04:
There's some missing information here. Credit card companies do not freeze your account or lower your credit limit unless you are deemed to be a credit risk. If you use your account excessively, but if your able to pay for it, than a credit company would not lower your limit or freeze your account. Something is missing here.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-04:
bigbox...it doesn't take a 'reason' beyond the CC issuer wishing to lower their exposure on unsecured debt to lower a credit limit. Almost all of them are doing it now. Many of the reduced lines are on accounts which are current or are wll below the previous limit. It is a wise business practice and truly a favor to to the consumer.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-08-05:
Ghost, I agree with most of what you say. Except "...truly a favor to to the consumer." I have not seen a credit card company do anything to "favor" a customer in years. They will do anything they wish, at will, with no regard to customer impact. They are ready to spring one of their fine print agreement traps as soon as the customer hits one their "trip wires". American Express seems to be the company of the hour for hanging good customers out to dry.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-05:
Absolutely Chuck! I kept it brief. Carrying less debt is always good. And Amex, seeing what happened to mortgage lenders who extended credit that could not possibly be retired by the consumer, is working to cut their losses in the coming months when the economy fully tanks. Of course, they don't notify consumers...how else could they trigger 33% interest and $39 over-limit fees!! CCs are like vipers...handle with care.
Posted by ClairAZ on 2008-08-23:
American Express is doing this to a good percentage of their customers across the board. Their newest risk assessment program is kicking out an upwards of 80% of their customers. A rep will tell you you need to pay "X" amount to your revolving account to "unfreeze" your card(s). Except they will do it again next month and the month after. When you think you are staying within the limits they outlined, they will hit you again.

They will freeze your card(s) without contacting you first. The rationale is if they let you know a head of time, then you may run out and rack your card up before they freeze it. There is no consideration for any automatic payments (or a history of) and those type of payments that you may have (water bill, newspaper, cable, etc.) will bounce.

People and small businesses that have had excellent credit history with AMEX are getting hit by this. Many businesses are no longer taking/accepting AMEX due to AMEX's recent changes to their accounts.

I heard that some mucky-muck came up with this plan comparing the risk factors in place and the card membership scrutiny of the 1970s and 1980s. With the economy as it is today, putting the squeeze on their customers that their new risk assessment program flagged is how they plan to lessen their risk. All in all, the squeeze will create downsizing, AMEX employees will be let go, and this mucky-muck with this grand idea in the works, which really alienates a majority of their customers, will probably walk away with a huge bonus amounting to 50% of the salaries of the people they let go.

They are screwing with their good customers ... and losing them on purpose. They forget what loyalty these customers have ... don't realize what the flip side is going to be to losing them.
Posted by onebigmes on 2008-08-26:
Just my own 3 cents, don't be too surprised by Amex continually reducing your limits. After the initial reduction you'll find that they'll keep reducing you to your balance every couple of months. I've been a cardholder for 23 years, always paid on time. 1st it was a preset limit on my green card, then cancelling the sign and travel on my gold card. I paid off my blue card and they reduced my limit from 14,000 to 1,200. Then they reduced the limit on my optima to the existing balance and they keep lowering it as my balance is paid. Mind you, all the while I've been getting preapproved platinum card offers.

If you look at amex's financials, their stock price has dropped 40% in the last 10 months, from about $65 to $35.

They are definately a company in trouble, but unfortunately for them, by alienating who should be their good customers.

I'm done with them.
Posted by furious_consumer on 2008-10-05:
I too have recently become one of AMEX's disgruntled card holders, as they have just reduced my line of credit down to my current balance. I took a 30% decrease that was not warranted other than the fact we are in an economic downturn. It doesn't matter that you pay every month on time and more than the minimum due. We as good paying consumers, are suffering the consequences of the people that can not or do not pay their bills on time.
Posted by njgal on 2008-11-14:
Ghost of Doc J I guess Amex is doing their customers whose accounts are in good standing a favor when they destroy their FICO score by slashing a line oif credit close to the balance. I have been with them for 6 years with two accounts- Gold and Blue. They sent me a snotty letter and thought I was never late on a payment (nor asked for them to increase my credit line, they did it on their own), they slashed my line of credit by 44%, and cash advance bu 96%. Their curstomer service is a joke. I decided to cancel my Gold card as a result, and the representative seemed surprised and pretty speechless. I plan to pay off the Blue and never do business with them again. I think its a shame the government is bailing them out, its their own fault.
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Consumers Nightmare - Never Use Them
Posted by Ebonyroz on 12/10/2007
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- I have been a member of American Express for a long time now. It's the holiday I'm ready to start shopping only to find out my card has been cancel with no warning. I don't have any past due balances the account is paid current no late. I contacted them while in line to pay because I could not believe I could not use my card they took over 1 hour to answer the phone. The person on the other end tell me upon review of my account I have collections and for this reason they cancel my card. Okay cancel the card but at lease inform me of this before I try to use it. The collection is Medical not my faulty insurance company has not paid yet. My credit otherwise is good.

Do not use this company or you will be sorry. Word to the wise. Trust me no reason to lie.

Best of luck.
     
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Posted by MRM on 2007-12-10:
Why didnt you pay your medical bill? Why didnt the insurance pay your medical bill? You should have gotten a statement from the hospital stating how much the insurance will cover and how much you owe.
Posted by Principissa on 2007-12-10:
If your insurance did not pay the bill, then like MRM said they should have sent you something stating what you owe and how much if anything your insurance paid. I wouldn't be complaining to American Express, I would be on the phone to my insurance company and the hospital trying to figure out what is going on.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2007-12-10:
American Express should not have canceled his account unless he was not paying them. I'm not arguing whether it's legal or not. But this is not ethically right.

I can tell you if I had a sizable balance with them and pulled this crap on me they would be out whatever the balance was at that time.

I guess I should state that I really do not need a good credit score anymore. Which is 800+ at this time.
Posted by MRM on 2007-12-10:
Way to go Chuck for an outstanding credit score!
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-12-10:
Ebony, I'm a bit confused here. You state you had no past due balance and your account was paid current. Then you mention when you were finally connected with an AE rep you were told you had a medical bill in collections. I'm sorry you're having financial problems, but none of this makes sense. If your bill was current, how could it be in collections? Am I missing something here?
Posted by *Brenda* on 2007-12-10:
What I get from this is the OP has a separate medical account (not AMEX) in collections. I am assuming AMEX periodically does inquiries on account holder's credit. They saw the collection and closed his account.
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-12-10:
If that be the case Brenda, it makes more sense. AE should have, of course, notified the OP the account was being placed on hold/closed due to a uncollected bill on an unrelated account. I didn't read that initially. Thanks.
Posted by ableD on 2007-12-13:
I am familiar with the policies of American Express with regard to changing their credit evaluations without notice to the card holder. Anyone who carries an American Express card should be aware that AMEX is subject to review your account (and your credit report) at anytime. They then make assessments about the further extension of credit.
They may accelerate the date you need to make your payment in order to keep your cards active, even though you are not late. They may change your spending limit, without telling you what it is or how its calculated. They may deny charges for odd reasons, without telling you, again, even if you are not currently late on your payments.
Anything that occurs on your credit report on any other account may affect the status of your AMEX accounts. That's fine.
The problem is, you may not receive any notice that your status has been reevaluated until you go to use your card and you are denied.
Even if you have email alerts on your account,their system is not apparently set up to notify you if any charges have been denied or if your account is over their real, newly calculated or previously undisclosed limit.
I think this lack of notice and consideration is the crux of the original poster's complaint. I agree that if a company changes their assessment of your standing with them, for any reason, they should be required to notify you. AMEX does not bother to do so.
Therefore, if you carry an AMEX card, you probably wouldn't want to rely on it exclusively and certainly not count on it for travel or business as they advertise, as you may find yourself out of luck at the last minute with no prior notice and no explanation.
They may have the legal right to do business this way, but as the word gets out, many people may likely begin to explore other options. Something to think about...
Posted by Cole_IV on 2007-12-26:
The point that's being missed is that bad, really bad customer service is never acceptable. Canceling or suspending a card for use is never acceptable without the consumer being informed of it. After 10 years, I got rid of my AMEX after really horrific service from some nasty cretins who spoke to me as if I were trash. 11/7/07 I called AMEX as a courtesy to let them know I'd be using the card to travel 400 miles to a funeral. The cretins informed me that my card had been suspended becaues of a late payment back in May; they had sent the statement to the wrong address & the charge was an AMEX membership fee of $40. Lucky for me that I called. In December, I called AMEX to close the account and was told that it was going to be canceled in 5 days anyway. Why? The late payment and review of my credit. I informed them to close it immediately, forget the 5 days. After transferring me all over the place and keeping me on hold for 15 minutes, another cretin tells me that the account has already been canceled. There, that will teach me.
Posted by DieselBoi on 2008-01-26:
I am aware that AmEx has some strange practices regarding suspending transactions (thankfully I have never had any trouble with my card with them), but I find it hard to believe that they didn't at least inform you first. Is it possible that you just missed the call or letter in the mail? To protect themselves, they probably suspended it after calling or sending the letter as opposed to just waiting for you to reply.
Posted by DoctorB on 2008-11-29:
This just happened to me.
I have had an account with Amex for many years, I have never had a balance I pay it off every month. I recently had a negative added to my credit report due the a house forclosure. I had cosigned for a house for my son and he defaulted on the loan, he lost the house. I guess Amex does periodic checks of your credit report. I don't have a problem with that, if they feel you are having financial trouble they should cancel the account, but I am not having financial trouble. Also I asked them if this will put another negative on my credit report and they said it would be sent to the credit bureau, I do have a problem with that.
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American Express India indulged in fraudism
Posted by 123 on 03/12/2005
INDIA -- Fraud in Car Loan and refusal to give N.O.C even after repaying full amount.

Around 3 years ago I have decided to buy a luxury car and came across car loan advertisement in local newspaper by American express(quoting 10.5% interest) or its agent. I immediately called them and got the documented quote for 24 installments(2year car loan) with 10.5% interest rate per annum. I okayed the application and the very same agent made me sign all papers within few minutes, as he was in hurry without giving much time to me to read. It was around 100 pages agreement and I signed at around 40 places (all blank pages). Also he bought a cheque book saying that here is your new account which comes to me free from American express bank.(all preplanned without giving much time to customer) I signed cheques (filled the amount this time) for 24 installments without realising that I was being cheated in whole process of me being charged 14% interest rate(hidden) and the dealer discount given to buyer directly from car dealer was not passed on to me. I found all these abnormalities , me being charged excess to the tune of nearly Rs 45000/- including excess interest from what being quoted and dealer discount..

Few weeks later upon realising all that, I tried calling American express bank and made few visit to bank but no use. They did not give any responsible reply, stating that American express agent is responsible and he is being kicked out. Whereas every single rupee I spent was officially named to bank all by way of cheques.

Later I complained to Banking Ombudsman whose officer assured me proper action against American express bank realising all the written quotes and well documented proof of cheating. But somehow as everyone know Indian bureacrats can easily be hired for little money, and same was made tool by American Express bank staff to bribe those officers of Banking Ombudsman to drop my case.

Till today I did not get any compensation from bank and I was forced to pay total amount including inflated interest plus dealer discount of around 16000/- was retained by them.

Moreover even after paying fully with their current statement showing "no balance" I am not able to register that car on my name, as American Express Bank is holding back "No-Objection-certificate" (N.O.C)without any reason. They are legally holding my car without any dues even after more than one year of settling all dues.

I request every reader to be careful of such foreign banks who do open braod day light robbery and cheating without any obligation and respect to country and its citizen.
     
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Posted by microchips on 2005-04-12:
American express is worst ever bank, they are day light robbers and thieves.
Pick pocketing is the business of american express.
Posted by planktos on 2009-11-24:
I agree they are the same here in the USA.
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AMEX Rewards Points
Posted by on 01/18/2002
HANOVER, MARYLAND -- I'm writing to alert you to a problem I've had with a credit card issued by you. My problem concerns staff attitude/knowledge. I hope by bringing this to your attention, the problem will be addressed. This incident has made me extremely upset.

I am writing to you in a final attempt to get some satisfactory resolution about my account from your company.

I cancelled my membership rewards early last year, as I knew I would be leaving my last employer. I was told at that time, by several representatives of your company, that I had a year to use my rewards.
I used some of those points to convert to Southwest air miles several months later. I was again told at that time that I had a year to use the balance of my points.
I attempted to log on to your website to explore my points cash in option in early December 2001. When I could not access it, I called your company and was told by a very nice AMEX rep named Bobby, that while I could not access my old account online. I could call back at any time up to May 12, 2002 and someone would be happy to convert my points.

I felt I had left the points out there long enough, and wanted to convert them while I was still thinking about it. I called the following day to have 14,000 miles of my 14,614 points applied to my US Airways account. At this time, I was told that I had forfeited all points by not cashing them in within 60 days, or 90 days, I forget which. I was totally stunned and asked to speak to a supervisor. I was transferred to Vicki, who told me that the policy changed, that it had been six months, or a year if I reapplied for another card. She supposedly asked to have it waived and was denied.

I am upset because the story keeps changing, and none of these stipulations was ever communicated to me. Every time I spoke to someone, I was assured I had plenty of time to cash them in. Now I am being told, too bad, it is too late, you lost them. I paid money out of my own pocket to belong to membership rewards and while 14,614 points are nothing to many of your clients, it was a lot to me.

Had I been made aware of your time limits - whatever they are because I still am not sure - I most certainly would have just had the points applied to my US Airways account noted in your records. All along, I kept being assured that I had time, until I was told forget it, it's too late.



To help keep me as a potential future customer, I would like the following:

Here's what I want you to do: I would like this situation reconsidered and the points applied as miles to my US Airways account. I am writing to you now, rather than calling, because I do not get any consistent answers when I telephone. I would very much like you to adhere to what all your reps were telling me all along, and let me have the points that I earned. The only reason I did not cash them in at the time was that I was continually reassured by your company that I had plenty of time.
Please respond to me at the locations noted on the front page of this letter. I appreciate your cooperation in this matter and am sure that you will want to continue the good customer satisfaction ratings that you advertise.

Based on this experience, I will most likely avoid doing business with you and I will certainly share this experience with others, based on your response.

I appreciate your taking the time to listen to my complaint. I hope it can be addressed.

At the very least I would like a response from your company regarding this incident. Thank you for your time.
     
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Cancelled my American Express card after 24 years
Posted by Goodbyeamex on 12/29/2010
After 24 years of using my American Express card I ran into a dispute with one of their vendors, the end result of which left me completely frustrated, shocked and extremely disappointed with American Express's mishandling and complete lack of support and understanding of the horrendous incident which happened to me during a vacation. After 9 months of faxing them letters, receipts, and information about the incident (sometimes more than once because the AMEX supervisor I had to deal with kept losing them!) I hit a brick wall with them and realized sadly that they were not the same company they were when I first got my card back in 1985.

Over 24 years I have used my AMEX card all over the world on vacations and travel, and it all came to a grinding halt thanks to my dealings with a completely inept and myopic idiot of a customer service "supervisor" who goes by the mysterious alias of H. Figueroa This "person" continually misunderstood the facts, did not follow up on information they requested me to send, and ultimately they proved unable to fully grasp what the situation was and continually ruled in favor of the vendor. In some cases they got even the simplest facts wrong, such as the disputed amount, which card was used, etc (I have kept all my documentation which shows this). It was my desire to go to court with the vendor - instead, H. Figueroa decided he or she would settle it instead, and in turn let the vendor use my American Express card as a shield to make sure they got paid & wouldn't have to answer for their negligence in court. Wrong!

It did not surprise me at all when I did a Google search about H. Figueroa and found several other people who over the years have had had similar negative dealings with him or her that I did. What's most surprising to me is H. Figueroa's managers apparently don't even care enough to check the internet to find out how this particular supervisor has been mistreating their customers and continually botching situation after situation over the years and hurting even their most loyal long term customers. I guess they are all too busy counting their money. Again, this is not the same company I joined back in 1985.

In the end, since I couldn't resolve the dispute with them, I simply refused to pay them, so naturally they've cancelled my card and have now resorted to besieging and harassing me with collection calls, which I guess they think is somehow going to suddenly convince me the vendor did nothing wrong to me and that the whole ugly incident that happened on my vacation was for some reason all my fault.

Wrong again, American Express.

Suffice it to say I will never again deal with AMEX and will let everyone I know exactly what happened to me and why the AMEX card is something they should avoid.

Cheers...

     
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Posted by Kurizumaru on 2010-12-29:
Information on what happened with the Vendor would be helpful here.
Posted by madconsumer on 2010-12-29:
so what happened??
Posted by goodbyeamex on 2011-01-24:
I may still end up in court with them so I don't want to list out all the details of my case here. However, I can give you a good example of what my situation is.

Let's say you rent a car from Hertz. As part of the rental you are required to sign a huge, small-printed contract on which somewhere it states that you are responsible for ANY damages that happen to the car, regardless of the circumstances. So, the car is running great, you're driving the car down the freeway in a completely normal way, and suddenly the engine catches fire, due to a loose gas line or some other defect which wasn't fixed when they rented you the car. You pull over, find a little fire extinguiaher & put out the flames. Hertz gets the car back & bills your American Express card for $1000 in damages, even though you didn't cause the problem. In my case I felt "Hertz" was liable because they did not rent me the vehicle in good faith and in proper condition, and under those circumstances I knew the contract I signed with them wouldn't hold up in court. So I contacted American Express and asked them to reverse the charges back to the vendor. This would then force the vendor to sue me and we'd all end up in court where I could get my case heard fairly. American Express's idiot customer service supervisor said NO and decided he was going to stick me with the charges no matter what simply because I signed the contract with the vendor. I refused to pay because I believe the contract was written illegally and did not not contain basic consumer protections which are guaranteed to me by both state and federal laws, all of which would have come out in court had American Express done what should have been a simple charge reversal. There is no way in hell I'm going to pay for something I shouldn't have been socked with to begin with.

So, basically, those are similar circumstances to what I am facing.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-24:
Seems to me you were expecting AMEX to conclude Hertz' contract was unenforceable, not a court, based on a quick reading of the situation.

That may be a simplification and/or plain wrong, but I can understand AMEX not wanting to take that role unless that is one of the things your contract with AMEX says they will do. This puts you in the position of having to pursue Hertz, which seems appropriate at a glance.
Posted by goodbyeamex on 2011-01-26:
Trmn8r, if that's what you think I was saying then I either did a poor job of explaining (which is entirely possible), or you misunderstood what I meant.

I didn't expect AMEX to make such a conclusion, all I wanted was for them to temporarily suspend the charges going to the vendor until a court could then make that conclusion. Instead, AMEX was expecting me to pay the huge amount the vendor claimed I owed them immediately REGARDLESS OF FAULT. It was quite a sizable sum, not an amount I could afford, but even so, the vendor was clearly negligent. I knew the vendor was sticking me with those charges because they knew they could get away with dodging the truth of what actually happened because I used my AMEX card and signed a contract (my guess is this isn't the first time the vendor did this to somebody) In essence they were using my AMEX card as a way to shield themselves from their own negligence. To me that is not what American Express should be about. To make matters worse, the vendor is across the country from where I live (I was on vacation), so the notion that I'd be forced to pay all the false charges up front, and THEN sue the vendor and pay to fly back and forth to attend court, or pay even more money I can't afford to hire an attorney to sue the vendor afterwards, and then wait months or years (pending appeals from the vendor, etc) to get back money I never should have owed in the first place is completely absurd.

Posted by AmexCCP on 2011-03-08:
Amex cannot come between a cardmember and a merchant with a contract. A reversal of that charge would have resulted in AMEX getting sued, since it would infringe every merchant contract ever made. If you sign a contract, and the merchant wrongs you, yes try to dispute, AMEX has certain abilities to assist you, however, if you can't support you're claim showing the contract isn't applicable in the situation (ie you have the contract that says they will charge you 100.00 then you're billed 150.00, without reasoning, a simple overcharge) then legally AMEX's hands are tied. You only hurt you're credit score by closing cards because of not getting a result you didn't like. I'm on you're side here, you shouldn't be responsible, but if we can't do it, it's because we can't, not because we don't understand. If you had paid cash, you would have to sue regardless, and in this particular situation, you still have to.
Posted by goodbyeamex on 2011-03-21:
AmexCCP: Firstly I want to thank you for coming here and responding to my issue on behalf of American Express. I do appreciate your input on this matter.

One thing I hadn't mentioned earlier: After my original complaint Amex *did* reverse the charges back to the merchant, reason being the merchant hadn't provided you with the requested info for more than 2 months after you'd requested it. After that, the vendor suddenly came up with a bunch of paperwork they somehow weren't able to produce the previous 2 months and simply recharged my Amex card for the same charges again, which resulted in a whole new case. I didn't think that was fair or ethical, but that is what they did.

Regarding lawsuits, yes of course I do realize there is a possibility that Amex would have been sued by the vendor, and I'm sure I would have been sued as well, if you had reversed the charges back to them. But so what?? To simply leave it at "Our hands are tied because even though we can, we won't because we'll get sued" is not good enough in this situation. If one of your long time customers is getting plied by false charges by a negligent vendor using YOUR card as a means to get away with it you should not only welcome such lawsuits if it means making the situation right for your customer, I believe you should have a responsibility to do so.

I disagree with you when you say this would bring into question ALL your merchant contracts. It would not. This was an unusual case, the merchant was clearly negligent, and over many months I provided more than enough detailed documentation and proof to Amex to prove that, including a signed witness statement to what had happened, financial records, etc.

I'm sure, after reading this, you'll still stick with your original statement of "There's nothing we can do", since that seems to be the company line. I don't believe that. I believe it is a poor choice of policy on Amex part concerning issues such as mine (perhaps prompted by your higher-ups who don't want to bother with going to court in situations like mine). But, nonetheless, if this is the choice Amex has made, and long time customers like myself are simply left to dangle in the wind (as you indicated in your response above), that by itself is a good enough reason for me to dump Amex as a company.
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Has anyone considered a class action suit?
Posted by Fedupwithcrooks on 08/05/2009
Like everyone else who has suddenly lost their credit line without notice (while doing business with a vendor, or had their interest rate dramatically increased, or had their credit wrecked because they discontinued their card. My question is how have they gotten away with doing this to so many people who have paid on time, never had a late payment, have never been notified by AmEx that there would be a change. Does anyone agree that it is time for a class action against this company?
     
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Posted by goduke on 2009-08-05:
I think your agreement with them said that they could close the card at any time.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-05:
They can legall do it if I am correct.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-05:
A class action would be a waste of time. If it wasn't there would already have been lawyers lined up on court house steps with papers in hand. AmEx isn't the only card company to do it.
Posted by MaggieMcT on 2009-08-05:
Their "right" to do this is disclosed in your account agreement. You can't sue them for doing something you agreed they can do.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-08-05:
As stated, they have the right to offer credit or not to offer credit at any given time. You can't sue them for denying a loan, which is basically what you are suggesting.
Posted by Fufu487 on 2009-08-07:
Unfortunately thers not much you can do. The banks (including credit card companies such as AMEX) have the right to amend interest rates and discontinue service at anytime. It's not right to close accounts on good standing customers. However, alot of banks raised their interest rates in the past year...its unfortunate, but theres not much that can be done :(
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-20:
I am completely on board with feedupwithcrooks. What they are doing is so WRONG that they will eventually have a suit against them. They have single handedly ruined my credit. I'm completely ready for a law suit, public protest, anything that will bring what they are doing to consumers into the public eye.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-20:
if you pay your bills on time and pay at least the minimum... how can they "ruin" your credit?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
Credit is a privilege that can be revoked at any time.

That said, of course they notified you. Just because you threw away the statement and didn't read it doesn't mean they didn't tell you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
I worked very hard to get and keep an excellent credit score. American Express, several years ago, raised my limit to 37k (unsolicited) - I thought about lowering the limit but when a major credit card gives you a high balance limit it helps your credit score. So I left it high, kept the balance low and made my payments (always on time and over the minimum due BTW). Without any warning they lowered my limit to below what was owed. So what do you think that does to your credit score? Others that I have credit with have since looked at this and guess what - they don't like it. Even though I pay them on time and OVER the minimum payment due - my balance limits have been lowered and interest rates raised. One action - ripple effect. That is how they can "ruin" my credit.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
I'm not sure that this is even worth discussing if I'm going to get people telling me that I'm lying. That's a pretty bold statement - I'm lying and threw away the statement... Honestly, who do you think you are? If you do not have a helpful, intelligent, educated comment - don't bother posting.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
First, having a high limit does not help your score if you do not have the income to support it.

Second, if you HAD a $37000 credit limit (cough) and didn't use it, tit gets lowered since you aren't making them money.

Third, you claim they didn't tell you. I claim they did. Every statement that you get in the mail has disclosures on it. ALL of them. Any updates will be added to the credit jargon on the bottom or back of your bill, or as a separate insert. If you claim you did not know of the change, then you had to have NOT read the disclosures.

Any changes to a contract must be announced in writing. I highly doubt AE is going to risk their credit privileges for such a cheep reason.

That being said no one called you a lair. Just saying you were like millions of other people who never read what they consider junk when they get a bill. Then they are surprised when something changes.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
Yes most credit card companies disclose changes before they make them. They did not. Which is the only reason I started looking around to see if anyone else experienced this problem. When I asked them why they didn't notify me, they did not say they had sent something with my statement. They said they called me at my work number... The day they made the change. They did not contact me until after the fact. When I told them that what they were doing was wrong and that at a minimum they should lower my interest rate, they did. Two weeks later i received a letter that all interest rates were increasing effective November. Most credit card companies give you the option of locking in the old rate, closing the account and paying it at the lower rate. They didn't do that either.

And you have once again insinuated that I'm lying... Second line.

Credit limits that high are not unusual for consumers that make their payments, have a high stable income and an excellent credit score. I never came close to reaching the limit and had the card for several years at that limit, so once again your theory does not hold true for American Express.

Try this, type in American Express and see how many other successful people have posts on this site with the exact same complaint. Then go to google and do the same thing. It's ridiculous. They are a class action suit waiting to happen and I will be jumping on that because they deserve it.

Posted by Ponie on 2009-10-21:
'...see how many other successful people...' And who would judge how 'successful' they are? Since you seem to be interested in a class action lawsuit, perhaps you should contact an attorney and get one started.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-21:
Mom had her limit raised once and she called up and asked them to lower it back down because she didn't need it that high. Plus she figured, if the card was ever stolen it would give the thief a wild spending spree.

You know what? Credit card companies will lower your limit if you ask them to.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
Cis, type in ANY company, not just here, google it, and you will, find somebody complaining about every company on the planet.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
I incorrectly believed the purpose of this site was to discuss situations that people are having, providing insight and possibly banning together to do something to help each other. Instead of hearing anything helpful or useful, my honesty and intellegence are being questioned. Pointless. I will not be visiting this site any longer.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
So do you still plan to sue?
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-10-21:
Nobody questioned your honesty or intelligence. Sorry that you couldn't find anything "useful" here but the fact is, the responses here are accurate. Frankly, the only posts here that are inaccurate are yours cjs, as you continue to claim things that clearly no one is engaging in.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
You can't reason with a brick wall, Slim.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-04:
American Express is not only a financially powerful company, but its employees are very cult-like and fanatical about its products and services. They have a "will to win" which on one hand allows them to deliver superior service. On the other hand, it also leads to an attitude of "We're never wrong" and "We can do what we want". Regardless of what is in the microscopic legal text of the approximately 10 page Membership Agreement, when they Advertise in Bold that you have a Fixed Rate, and you keep your end of the Agreement, and they suddenly raise rates because of their own mistakes in making too many bad loans, I don't see how this could be justified. In fact, when I asked how they could raise a fixed rate when I paid on time and well over the minimum each month, the response was, "Oh Well you still have a fixed rate, we just changed the membership terms". Just like that. No warning, no opt out like at least Citibank offered. Then a month later they simply abolished the Fixed rate, causing yet another increase. I'm sorry but in any other industry with a less powerful lobby, this would be considered misrepresentation and fraud. Wordsmiths about and spin is the name of the game while tehy skate the edge of legality. But legal decisions vary based on precedence. So maybe a class action is in fact what is needed to put them back in line and cut down their arrogance.
Posted by 1steph on 2010-07-12:
American Express may not be able to do what they're doing "legally"
anyway. In example, if they wanted to sue any of you, they must first
be registered in the state in which they plan on suing the other party.
Go on-line, to your respective "Secretary of State's Office," to see
when they "registered to do business" in your state. (i.e.: If you
get served with a complaint/summons in Jan, 2008, and find out they hadn't "registered" in your state until August, 2008, American
Express is SOL. They have to be "registered" in your state, before
serving you with a complaint/summons.)

1steph
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Class Action Suit Here We Come
Posted by Jaybirdy on 05/04/2009
VENTURA, CALIFORNIA -- Well, here I am another victim of American Express. I have been a cardholder in one form or another for over 30 years. Yesterday my Costco American Express card was cancelled. This was the only American Express Card I had left. I only got it because Costco was touting 3% back if I got the card. I have had it for over 2 years. It has always been paid in full at the end of the month.

Their reasoning was that I had too many delinquent payments to other companies and didn't pay enough monthly on my balances. I only have 2 VISA accounts, have never been delinquent, always pay a substantial amount over the minimum and have over 800 credit rating.

Also, I did not like the paragraph in their letter that stated this may affect my credit rating and that if I had any late payments to them, they would refer the account to a collection agency. I would like to know how I would have a balance to refer anywhere when the card is cancelled.

I also called Costco to let them know they should disassociate themselves from American Express as they are sullying their reputation.

Anyone out there an attorney? I am ready for a class action suit.

I never write letters like this, but I am spitting nails as I am so mad.

Janice B
Ventura, CA
     
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Posted by *Brenda* on 2009-05-04:
What exactly do you think you can sue them for?
Posted by RestaurantGuy on 2009-05-04:
There not making any money from you when you pay it off in full each month. Hence they cancelled you due to not making any interest off you
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2009-05-04:
RG, based on canceling his card because they were not making any interest makes their threat to turn his account over to a collection agency sound absolutely ridiculous.

American Express is dying. Remove your hats and pay your last respects.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-04:
*plays Taps on a kazoo*
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-04:
:: throws dirt on AMEX's casket :: good riddance!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-04:
American Express is facing ever rising charge offs and capital requirements. I don't think they're evil or trying to screw the customer. The analysts coming up with the new credit worthiness calculations are doing so in order to save the company and not to dump on the customer. Indeed they are taking drastic actions by using new methods of evaluating risk and other progressive measures but like they say drastic times call for drastic measures. American Express may very well fail but it won't because of today's cure but rather because of yesterday's disease of easy credit.

Now if I was Costco I'd probably be dropping Amex like a bad habit.

Good review!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-04:
My beef with them Crabby is the way they handled it. Three credit inquiries on my credit report, 15 days apart from one another and then cut my credit line with no notification. I understand times change but AMEX could have dealt with the consumer in a more tasteful manner.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-04:
Excellent points as always John. How many times do they need to check really?
Posted by saj80 on 2009-05-05:
restaurantguy and tnchuck, you are incorrect in stating that AmEx is not making any money of people who pay their bill in full. Everytime a merchant, including Costco, runs an AmEx card, AmEx receives a processing fee. This was the core of their business for years, when they required full repayment every month, and it is what they want to return to. Their tactics are very questionable, and may indeed lead to their downfall, but they are making money off every transaction.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-06:
saj80 -- Absolutely correct and great comment!
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