American Express Complaint - Here's A Way To File A Complaint Against American Express
Join in sharing with with the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit your experience with American Express interest rate increases with less than 45 day notice and no opt out provision.
You can lodge your complaints to: House Financial Services Committee, Democratic Staff, 2129 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (Phone 202 225–4247)... contact web page: http://financialservices.house.gov/contact.html
Since Amex has gone to the Federal government and changed their structure to a commercial bank in order to participate in the federal bailout, then they should be held accountable for their own sworn testimony just a few months ago...
Amex has done exactly what they said they don't do in their sworn testimony - they have implemented rate increases ...
( a ) not because of a specific account performance issue,
( b ) with less than 45-days notice,
( c ) without the ability to opt-out,
( d ) claimed that their cost of funds is a rationale in raising rates
Here is the sworn testimony from Larry Sharnak. Executive Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Cards, American Express Company Before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Hearing on H. R. 5244, the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2008 (4/17/2008)...
QUOTING DIRECTLY FROM THE TRANSCRIPT (http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/
"There are a number of practices we simply do not do:
- We do not increase an individual customers interest rate -- or APR -- for any reason other than the customer's performance on that particular account. If you are an American Express Cardmember, your interest rate will be increased to a penalty rate only if you violate the terms and conditions on that specific American Express account."
"Recently, many have raised concerns that credit card customers have not seen the benefits of recent rate reductions by the Federal Reserve. This is not the case for American Express Cardmembers. As the Prime Rate falls, which normally follows any drop in the federal funds rate, the interest rates applied to American Express variable rate credit card accounts are reduced by an equivalent amount. Since the Federal Reserve began reducing interest rates in September 2007:
- American Express has reduced interest rates on all variable rate credit cards;
- American Express has made these reductions automatically, and;
- American Express has passed along all reductions in the Prime Rate directly to consumers.
It is important to note that while these rate reductions have been directly passed on to consumers, American Express' own cost of funds has not come down at an equivalent rate. As you know, the capital markets are experiencing considerable uncertainty, which has had an impact on the cost of commercial borrowing. Even for well-capitalized, Arated companies, like American Express, interest rate spreads are extremely high. This means that the rate reductions American Express has passed along to consumers have exceeded the reduction in our own cost of funds.
As I mentioned earlier, American Express will not increase an individual Cardmember's interest rate based on their performance with other lenders, or based on a change in our cost of funds. Moreover, we will not raise a Cardmember's interest rate because of their performance on another American Express account. The overwhelming majority of American Express consumer lending accounts, 94 percent, end the year with the same or a lower interest rate than they had at the beginning of the year."
...and about 45-day notice and opting out...
Interest rate increases triggered by the customer's performance on the account in question should not be subject to a 45-day advance notice and an opt-out requirement. However, in circumstances where the rate increase results from reasons not related to the specific account in question, we believe it is appropriate to have advance notice and an opt-out.
As we discuss later in our testimony, advance notice and an opt-out should also apply to any terms change that an issuer may make to the account agreement, in lieu of a complete prohibition on "any time for any reason" terms changes as currently contemplated in the