American Express Complaint - Sub-Standard Service and Conduct
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I have been an American Express cardmember since 1976. For much of that time my experiences were positive. It was around the late 80's that suddenly more than a few merchants that excepted the card began to perform in a less than agreeable manner, and it didn't take long to figure why they were so sure they could get away with it. The Amex dispute program during this time period that Amex was falling behind in competition with MasterCard & Visa, seeing they're larger share of revenue coming from their merchant accounts began screwing cardmembers on these disputes. I actually once lost a dispute to a man who was in jail for fraud. Excepting the situation I became more careful where and how I used the card.
My true disgust with American Express came in 2005. At that point during my entire 29 years of membership, I have never defaulted on any agreement or payment to this company, and as a result I had always been treated with acceptable level of respect with exception of the bogus dispute department. My home was trashed by Hurricane Katrina, for a few weeks after the storm I was moving around between friends & hotels figuring out where I was going to live being that New Orleans was wiped out at the time. Because of these over-whelming issues I was experiencing I received compassion from the most unlikely places, my Citibank Mastercard, Chase Visa, and Discover card excused me from making monthly payments on any outstanding balances for 3 months. American Express despite the fact that my account was perfectly "Current" as it had been since the account was opened, placed a hold on any charges until I paid a balance of a statement that had not yet printed, or mailed.
When I contacted them and asked why they did this, they said it was because my spending habits had changed that month. Since then every 2 or three months they continued to placing holds on my charging without notice, I would find out by my card being declined.The amount they deemed acceptable for me to charge would also vary and did not seem to be based on anything tangible. I didn't want to close the account because that can adversely affect your credit, I changed from a Platinum to a standard Green card, at least that way I only have to pay them $35-50 annually, they certainly weren't worth $500 per year, they never were. I have stopped using the card. The TV advertisement American Express has stating that there card is superior to Visa because it has a pre-set limit, yes it does, and as long as you pay your bills a Mastercard & Visa will work every time, not so with Amex.