American Express Complaint - Another disgruntled AMEX customer
I had three accounts with AMEX. Platinum business, blue for business and capital line.
Currently, I use/process the cards to the tune of nearly $800,000 per year. No, never, ever been late on a payment. AMEX actually sends me yearly letters thanking me for my "significant" amount of spending. For my business platinum card, it made complete sense. Not only was is easy to categorize purchases for accounting purposes, but the rewards program was second to none.
Of course, all this changed in November 2008 when AMEX decided to become a bank holding company. (think Bear Stearns) This is when the capital line program was eliminated. Of course, I was one of the foolish ones that actually believed that this credit line would be available during my slower business months. While I'm able to weather this poor decision by AMEX, there are tens of thousands of small businesses who have been severely crippled by this.
Fast forward to the past month. AMEX has lowered my limit on the blue card twice. (I've paid it off since and awaiting them to cancel the thing) For my platinum card, the limit has been lowered to the average amount that I spend monthly (approx. 54k per month on the business card on a yearly average) For the record, last year at this time, my combined balances with this company were around 100k. (and nobody blinked an eye) The irony here that I called last year and the representative who greeted me stated "wow, this is a nice account you have with us".
In the past, the customer service was nothing short of phenomenal. Now? It seems that the 11000+ people that have lost their jobs with this company are the ones who were responsible for this being a formerly great company.
I'm through fighting with American Express. They've made it clear that they do not wish to continue with their business with me. My business (fortunately) has seen decent growth over the past several years. After analyzing my merchant account, it appears that usage of AMEX cards has decreased a full 20%. Not only that, but the average transaction per card is now much closer to the Visa/MC average than it ever has been. While the higher discount rate (3.5%) for my merchant account used to be worth it, those days are becoming numbered.
Quite frankly, I'm not sure what this means by the actions of this company. I do know, however, that my business has been cutting back it's use on the card and I am sincerely considering to stop accepting the card entirely.
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