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.
VANCOUVER -- If you're in Canada and call AMEX customer service, you'll either get their call center in Manila or their head office in Toronto. It's total luck of the draw. If you happen to get Toronto, you have about a 50% chance your problem will be solved. If you get Manila, gently put the phone down, draw a circle on the closest wall to you at approximately face height, and bang your head directly into that spot. It will be a far more pleasurable experience than dealing with the AMEX Manila team. I'm pretty sure someone stands on the street outside their Manila office and offers free hotdogs to anyone willing to come into the office, strap on a headset and take some calls from customers.
Honestly if you happen to get Manila, just hang up and call back until you get Toronto. At least then you have a small chance. I get that there is a cost benefit to outsourcing phone support to the Philippines, but regardless of where they choose to do business, it's sad that a once prominent company that was known for exemplary customer service has completely lost touch and lowered its standards to what they are today.
TORONTO, OHIO -- A one star review is too generous for American Express customer service for disputed charges. Been a very good client to American Express for a number of years and recently there was a charge from a merchant that should not be there and contacted American Express for the first time for a disputed charge. There was basically no investigation into the charge as the merchant just produce a slip that shows they charge my card but no indication of what the charge is for and who authorize this card.
Unbelievably American Express was satisfied with this, so I had to call American Express customer service. The supervisor basically told me that as long as you give the merchant your credit card number, they can charge whenever and whatever they want and it is between you and the merchant. This really scares me and make me very hesitant to use American Express again in any business because the business could put any charge on my card whenever without notifying me and I will be on the hook for it. This is unacceptable service to their customer.
ELK GROVE, CALIFORNIA -- Don't ever file a dispute with this credit card company. They have no service, they lie, they make it seem it's your fault. That's what Costco dropped them. I have been with AX for 4 years I spent about 13k a year with them. Recently I submitted a dispute for $102. They made me jump through hoops for $100 and after all said and done their website would not allow a document to be uploaded so I asked for an email address to email it. They are like, "We don't have one." I was amazed because it's a huge company. They told me to go to a library and scan it then email it. I told them, "Go and ** yourself and cancel my card."
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.
EL PASO, TEXAS -- Have been an Amex customer for many years. Use the card daily. Just went to purchase airline tickets online and the airline I always fly with, and always purchase tickets with always with my Amex declined the transaction. Reason was that the address on file with my card company didn't match what was on file with the airline. I re-keyed and validated it 5 times. Finally went out to Amex website to see what address on file was listed as (I have a street address with the word "West" in it; but some address verification services just use "W"). I was SHOCKED to see my address listed at the house I lived in 4 years ago. And, worse, it is my ex-husband's address.
I have had 2 residences since that address on file, all updated timely with Amex. Three representatives at Amex could not give me an answer to why this occurred. They called it a "computer glitch." One representative said it was "above my pay grade." They surmised that my ex-husband recently made a change to his account profile and somehow because I was AT ONE TIME linked to him, it changed my address on my PRIMARY account.
The representative said they had been researching this - had a "few calls" - for over a month. I asked when I could expect an answer - told them (on the recorded line) that I considered this a MAJOR privacy issue. And, the last representative just told me she would have her supervisor call me - within 48 hours. So, I am waiting.
In the meantime, I cannot believe some Amex cardholder that this has happened to has not contacted the media. I work in the financial services industry - actually in technology, so the explanation of a "computer glitch" was particularly irritating to me - and we are obsessive about client data and related privacy. I would have expected Amex was REQUIRED BY LAW to disclose this "glitch," which represents nothing less than a customer data breach on the part of Amex. This situation is unbelievable to me.
I have been a long time Amex cardholder - as noted, I use the card every day, and about 3 times a week even online (so the address would have had to be accurate). I'm not sure what to do from here. In my case, my ex-husband was investigated by the police for an email breach that occurred during my divorce proceedings. I didn't know what to expect when I called Amex - was thinkng the worst, that my ex had been able to authenticate as me with Amex.
I had no inkling that Amex would tell me client data records had been somehow changed without customer consent or initiation. But that's basically what they said. And, worst of all - I am set up to receive alerts from Amex if my address, email, statement preferences, etc. change. Well, my address DID change. To my ex husband's address. And NOTHING from Amex. Nothing proactively, like the alerts. And, nothing but an exchange with 3 reps when I called that made me scared to continue to be an Amex customer...
Boycott American Express. I was a 13 year member/customer of American Express. With a credit score of 800 and decided to open a Import furniture company. American Express did a great job offering me 5 accounts with credit of 150k with low aprs and continued to market me and offer more account. I pay all my debts on time and importing counted on American Express for my container purchases. This is what American Express can do for you. They will offer you loads of great deals, but watch out - here is what they did to me.
2 years ago they told me my Gold account had earned 40k+ earned expenditures, then when economy took a turn they quickly lowered it to 22k and said, "Your FICO score changed." It hadn't changed until they did this to all 5 account I had with them maxing out my cards making it appear as I was debited out.
November 2010 they called me before my cut off date asking for a payment, I stated my cut off date was next week and that no payment was due. They continued to beg to set up a payment, I said "Why are you calling? I always paid my debts on time. I paid 65k off in debts this year." She replied "Oh yes and 25k off on your account is with us, you are a excellent customer for 13 years," then said "Can we set up your next payment." I said "No, I will pay it as I always do."
The day before my statement date they emailed me a letter saying, "So there are no surprises when using your account. We lowered your limit on your gold card to 1500.00. Stay in your limit or you will be embarrassed at checkout."
I called a supervisor again - was told my FICO score changed (I ran a credit report and no changes EXCELLENT CREDIT). Then said, "If you give us 3 years business taxes maybe we will give you a little bit back." I closed all account - told her she was damaging my cash flow for my company and importing and it was all or none, meaning work this out or it would cause me into default. She replied "Your FICO score created this." I have my credit report printed and it's excellent.
I had a container departure leaving Indonesia and needed it, I had to use the money I would have paid them to get my goods to save my business. I in turn incorporated my business, homesteaded my home to protect me from them. I sent them the cease & desist letter as I was advised to do so. I sent them a letter to do debt consolidation and immediately they sent me to collections. I now had to do the same thing to their collections who are very rude. All this at the holidays, I have survived with my company through all the hurdles of the economy and they have made it to almost close my company due to my cash flow.
In addition, they sent me to collections for this. They sent me to an attorney who is pathetic and has no better customer service skills or solutions. I am starting my New Year off with the theory "support small Business" - never bank or invest in large companies, minimize doing any sort of business with corporations - if there is a company local you can do business with do so.
If anyone has any ideas or success stories, please email me on my next step with American Express. By the way the points they give you, they truly don't give you, MERCHANTS PAY POINTS WHEN YOU USE YOUR CARD AT THEIR BUSINESS. Let's all pay cash and let these companies know what it feels like, and how it hurts! It is time to take stands American and stop letting companies like AMERICAN EXPRESS whom NEEDS TO BE CLOSED effect us!
SHELTON, WASHINGTON -- Last July I was looking at my bill, and noticed that on my two balance transfers, they were crediting the one with zero until 2016, instead of the zero one that would expire in Sept. 2015. The agent said he did not understand why "they" were doing that, and so, said he would fix it, and have the payments applied correctly. He also suggested I close one of the AE accounts and take another balance transfer at zero to pay the prior ones amount. So, deposited a transfer into my checking, and then paid off underlying one that had interest. He said he would make the corrections for AE misapplying the credit to lessor interest account.
In December I was looking at my statement and I owed more than the month before on that initial account, and the longer zero interest rates were being credited my overages. I was furious. I called them and the lady said she was aware that that had been happening and she would look into it... When she got back to me, she admitted that I was correct, and the $80 plus interest I had been paying since September should have been around $14.00, and the $7000+ they had listed should be around $3000. I disagreed with her as I had done the math over the past year and told her it should be more like $1200, and my zero interest should be intact for amount transferred.
She said she would fix it, and since I heard that before, I told her I wanted a full accounting of the credits (not just a statement) and I wanted to speak to a manager. This is fraudulent behavior as they were aware of, didn't notify the customer of the errors, and had I not seen it happen this second time, would still be paying interest on an incorrect amount to their benefit. How is this not lawsuit worthy? Patrons of AE need to be made aware of this sleight of hand. Fraudulent in all aspects... knew of the errors, didn't research and inform patrons, once identified, continued to do the same, and say "oops" again. Check into this people!
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- This is how the story goes. I've been a AMEX member since 1996, always paying the full balance when due, always!!! But, I decided to get their Costco AMEX because it made it easy for me to shop there. Within a month and a half of having this particular Amex, they notified me that my account was being cancelled (note I had never ever been late) and gave me too many reasons to list. So trying to make sense of it all, I called them to no avail. They said they would not re-instate the account.
So I continued to make my payments on time as always, until March of this year when I decided I did not want any more debt and paid the balance in FULL, even a little more so that it would take care of any interest the account could have accrued.
To my surprise and being sure I did not owe them a penny, I checked my account online, did not see any balance, so I dismissed the following statements (April), until a week ago I get a notification from a credit bureau letting me know that an account had reported me delinquent. Somehow, I knew, that it had to be American Express, so I got online and checked my account, and sure enough, there was a balance of $3.96 past due. Called them and they took care of it, denying they were the ones who had reported me late and therefore delinquent.
I just received a copy of my credit report, and what do I find out? That American Express, not only had reported my delinquent for $3.96, but that my cancelled account had been sent to the collections department (something they still deny). I tried to have them help me fix the situation with the credit bureau, and their answer was: since my account had been closed by them, that I would have to take care of it on my own. Once you are not a "member" anymore, you've fallen out of grace with them and you are treated poorly. Sad but true story.