I have had an account with American Express for 6 or 7 years. I switched out of other credit cards to join the Starwood Preferred card, as the benefits were advantageous to my traveling and hotel use. Just before Thanksgiving I made a large payment to Am EX, $15,000.00. I am not late with payments, and I always pay more than the minimum, but I use the card to get my Starwood points...That's why it was designed that way right?
Anyway, within days of making the $15,000.payment, my credit was reduced to just over what I still owed. They left me about $600. worth of credit to play with.
I was out of town at the time and staying in a hotel w/a rental car. The timing wasn't good and customer service at AM EX was at a abysmal. When I called to ask what was going on, I got a complete runaround, was told that my credit had had a significant change and that I had to address it and get back to them. I was on the phone with my 4th service agent by the time this info came down the pipe, and was looking at my credit report as she spoke to me.
Well there were no changes, and my rating of 750 seemed to be completely lost on all of the people I spoke with. I asked if I could email the report, and was told no, that I would have to fax it. It is a 17 page report, and even then, despite what my eyes were telling me, they acted as if there were something that they knew about me that I didn't know. As if I had some huge black mark against me, and only their computer was showing it.
So I faxed the report, but not after having lost an entire day on the phone and trying to research what the hell they were talking about. I did manage to speak with a supervisor, who suggested that I take some money and pay down my remaining balance in order to access any further credit. That's helpful, when you are out of town. Essentially, this company left me high and dry, out of state, and was extremely flippant and unconcerned about my situation.
A month after I faxed that credit report I called, as I had not heard back. I was then informed that their faxes only take 4 pages, and that they never received the info because the machine shut off after the 4th page. Nobody bothered to follow up with me, and considering I had called at least 6 times on the day of my credit reduction, I was shocked at their ambivalence.
I now only use my card if there is an emergency, and last week paid off an additional $21,000. My balance on this card is now $1,700 and I got a call last night from AM EX...guess what? My new credit line with them is $1,900.
I went from having close to a $50,000.00 limit, to 1900 and I bet if I pay another $50, my line of credit will go down another $50. This was my work card, my husband had a card on this account and I have never missed a payment. I was late once, 3 years ago, when my father died. They don't care. This company is saving its credit for the $$$ it's going to need to pay top executives when they threaten to go work at AIG. It is THAT kind of operation.
DALLAS, TX, NEW YORK -- October 8, 2008. I cannot begin to express the unbelievably poor service I have received from American Express in the past month. I have been a card holder for 14 plus years and the actions taken by American Express are reprehensible. My Platinum card has been shut off without warning, my credit lines reduced to almost nothing, not to mention rude and unhelpful representatives, etc.
In early September AMEX reduced my credit lines due to an inaccuracy on my credit report, which by the way had been on the report since September 2007 and in dispute. I have worked feverishly to have the inaccuracy removed, which it was on September 5, 2008. When I explained to one of the AMEX agents that the derogatory information had been removed, the agent I spoke with accessed my credit while I was on hold. When she returned to the phone she conveyed to me that the inaccurate credit information was no longer there and she would restore my credit lines to the original amounts, which took two (2) weeks and more phone calls.
My next problem came when I tried to use my Platinum Card for a purchase and the charge was declined. I contacted AMEX and they advise me that until my balance was reduced, no further charges would be accepted. We have had balances in excess of $90,000 or more with not one complaint from AMEX ever. In early October 2008 our outstanding balance on our Platinum Card was $66,000. I immediately made two (2) payments totalling $15,000. I then spoke with another agent at which time she reinstated my charging privileges.
On October 6th and 7th, 2008 another two payments totalling $25,000 were made, which reduced the total amount owed to approximately $20,000 which is what AMEX has requested we do. I accessed our account online on the evening of October 7th to check if the payments had posted. I was shocked to see that there was a foot note “$564 available credit” at which point I called AMEX again for the 20th time. I spoke with a very condescending woman named ** in Canada (employee # **). She informed me that there was derogatory information on my credit report and that our spending limit had been reduced to $20,900 on a card with no pre-set spending limit.
I requested several times that she either read the previous notes and/or access my credit report and that she would find no such information existed, she refused to do so. She explained that the account would be reviewed again in 90 days which I told her was unacceptable! The above employee was so unaccommodating that as the conversation went on and on and I grew increasingly upset (understatement)! I explained to her, if this is the way AMEX treats 14 plus year perfect customers I was not interested in continuing my relationship with AMEX.
Much to my surprise when I logged onto my account via the internet, I found that all my accounts have been closed. Further calls to AMEX on October 8th for an explanation yielded nothing, no managers available, etc.. I am so thoroughly disgusted in the way I have been treated. In the last month, I have spent in excess of 10 hours on the phone discussing all the above. I have never missed or even been late on a payment that I can remember in 14 years and my credit score is 773.
After spending over $2,000,000 or more since 1995, and all of the interest and card fees I have paid, I would expect much, much better treatment than I have received. What am I to think of American Express, I thought I would always be treated fair and my long tenure with AMEX would be appreciated? I was wrong!
Update, Nov. 12, 2008! On Monday November 10th I called AMEX headquarters in NY and spoke to the VP of credit, all four (4) cards have been reinstated, which I was told could not be done. Also, once my Platinum account was reinstated, I used the 1,100,000 Reward points in my account ($5,500) to pay the account down even further. Who knows if Membership Rewards will even be around in a few months, and if it is, your points may be worth even less or nothing!
I now owe AMEX less than $15k and yet my available credit on my Platinum card is still $20,900. We will have AMEX paid in full by late Nov. or mid Dec. We added up all payments from November 07 to November 08, the total was $227,200 (just AMEX Platinum). For the time being, we will not be using any of our AMEX cards for anything (we owe $900 on Optima, 0 on AMEX Blue, and $4000 on my business card). This means, no interest (14.99%) for them and no merchant fees to collect! Please tell me if AMEX is full of BS or not!
CHICAGOLAND SUBURBS, ILLINOIS -- Just for your information our credit rating 785. Almost perfect. We load this card with everything, including quarterly taxes. We have 25 years of paying every month the total amount due. We have always paid our account on the same day for 25 years. The final day of the 5 day grace period after the due date. We have paid our accounts the same way for 25 years. It's when we get paid and American Express has always said, "No problem. We love your business."
For some reason something has changed in the last month. We did have a high balance which is the same balance we have every quarter. But this year we started getting calls from them. Every day right after the bill was sent. The first calls were cordial and as the due date on the account arrived they became increasingly increasingly aggressive and nasty.
We were not late but they were treating us like we had been late for 6 months or so. Apparently, the grace period will not be allowed anymore and we need to call to get our account billing cycle changed. But we have been busy and would do this after we paid this bill. This simple change has put us into a late cycle. What they should have done was call us make us aware of the situation, give us a month to adjust our payment cycle and then they would have a happy customer.
Instead twenty days before the payment was due they have called me every day. Calls were at first cordial and then turned mean and rogue closer to the payment due date. I am being called before my billing date is due. It makes you feel like you are late and yet you are not. I told them that we will pay them on time, like we have for 25 years. "Please stop harassing us."
At the same time halfway through the month my accounts were frozen. Charges were denied in embarrassing situations. The clerks told me that they expect the AX cards to not go through anymore. That all over town they were getting denied. At gas stations and grocery stores. We have all gotten used to using them for everything. So apparently we are not alone.
I googled the financials. Apparently AX has lost 25% of their net worth( WSJ-IBD). They made a flat statement that they were cracking down and lowering limits on certain card holders. I guess we are the certain customers.
Today I paid my accounts off like I always do. However, I am scared to use them again. I have other options and cash can always been used. I just got an announcement that the buy one-get companion ticket free option is canceled. So now they are the same as the Citibank Platinum American Airlines card. We will switch. If this can happen to customers like us.. it can happen to you. It's a shame-they gave us no credit for all those years for paying as agreed. A1 credit. Don't assume anything anymore. Pay in cash it is always cheaper.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- She gave me Top Class, First Rated Platinum American Express Customer Service who listened and understood all of my needs and was able to address them and take care of them in a timely and comfortable manner. I more than highly commend and recommend Shelly to any American Express cardholder seeking out Outstanding Customer Service! Thank you.
WAYCROSS, GEORGIA -- I had an American Express card for 7 years-never missed a payment, never late. I decided to take my wife's family to a fancy restaurant in Savannah. I filled up the car at the gas station and the card was accepted. On we went to our meal. In the two hours it took us to get to Savannah, get seated, enjoy our meal, and get the bill Amex put a freeze on my card. There are, of course, other means of paying for a meal and I assumed that this was just some mistake.
I spent the next two days calling the Amex "help line." After being repeatedly told that "I'm sorry but our computers are down so we can't tell you what is happening with your account" I finally got through to **. Every American knows **. He's that guy in Bombay who speaks pigeon English. ** informed me that "very sorry, but we have found bad debt on your record." ** couldn't tell me who claimed I owed them money (in fact, to this day, American Express hasn't been able to tell me who is making this claim) but helpfully suggested that he could unfreeze the card to pay this debt, whatever it was, in whatever amount, and to whomever was claiming it.
I told American Express to cancel my card immediately and paid them their balance. About a week later I received a letter from Amex saying that my credit with them had been reduced to $5,000.00. Really? My balance at the time of the cancellation was about $3,000.00, so why the immediate freeze? Their letter followed their card into the shredder.
A few more days later Amex sent me a new card which excitedly proclaimed "Activate your new card immediately! We'll put the $150.00 activation charge on your account!" Let's see first, what makes Amex think that unilaterally freezing my account with no warning might be a way to inspire me to continue doing business with them? Second, since they froze my account, how can I charge $150.00 on it? Wouldn't that somehow cause me to go over their cap? Third, when the hell did Amex come to believe it was empowered to collect debts for third parties that it couldn't even identify to their customer?
Do they really think that someone is going to pay a $150.00 activation feel for the privilege of carrying a multi-colored ice scraper? Yep, American Express-accepted by office shredders everywhere. For everything else there's Master Card.
EL PASO, TX, TEXAS -- I've been a champion of American Express cards since I'd opened my first business accounts in the 80's, recommending them to all of my business clients and associates. I'm a small business entrepreneur and have started, owned and operated 11 businesses since my first in the 70's.
I used to love the services available on my several platinum accounts for travel, concierge and other benefits and took full advantage of these... Now as I'm approaching retirement, American Express has taken on a darker and even abusive face... If they were a person, I'm sure they'd be taken to court many times each day for abusing their "children". In short, a company that I've supported in all of my retail stores, and in all of my internet businesses, has chosen to ignore my near perfect payment history, and has restricted my charging, and started to make amazingly hostile phone calls to my home when an account was one day past due.
I'd scheduled automatic payments to occur for each account on the due dates earlier in the month, and apparently something happened to their online system and it lost these instructions hence a missed payment?? Anyway, this rant has been building over the past 5 or even 10 years since something changed in the attitude and policy at American Express resulting in this mistreatment of their good long term business customers... I for one will now speak out against this terrible turn in their attitude...
I received a call from an individual who claimed to be calling from American Express and advised me that my card is suspended until such time they are able to conduct financial review, she asked me to sign an authorization so American Express can request my IRS records to verify income. I have had the Business card since 1995 and never once been late.
I asked her to cancel my card, I was not going to provide my IRS records. They reported to my TRW account closed due to consumer not cooperating, and after two months, I am still trying to have American Express remove $595.00 membership fees, even though card is cancelled, still charging me with membership fees. This calls for class action...
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- These guys are driving away any good customers that they ever had! I had an Amex Platinum for several years at $495 per year. I kept it because allowed me to charge large amounts, which I could pay off during the next month after withdrawing accounts or tuition 529 plans (this was primarily college tuition for my kids).
A few days ago I tried to charge $15,000 for my daughter's tuition, and was declined (on a card that had no limit). I was told that I had to PRE-PAY in order to make this charge. I couldn't convince the moron on the other line that I pay $495 per year for the privilege of being able to charge large amounts. I got nowhere, and cancelled the card. I have a good job, pay my bills on time, do not default on my cards, and Amex does not deserve to have someone like me as their customer!
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA -- I've been a member since 2001. Just got off the phone with an Amex representative, who told me that due to new policy my $38k credit limit on my personal Platinum Delta Skymiles Account ($135 per year annual fee) and my $4k credit limit on my business Platinum Delta Skymiles Account ($135 per year annual fee) had been lowered to $9100 and $1800. No notice was sent, nor email. They said due to new account policy and past account activity, they had been dropped. I have paid my bill in full each month ($88k last year in charges) with the exception of one month in July when my car got broken into and had to change checking accounts numbers.
I called the day it was due and the payment was taken over the phone. They called me a week later and said the representative had made a mistake and the payment did not go through. They took another payment by phone and credit me back the late fee and finance charges that had shown up on my next bill. They are using this "late" payment as a reason for lowering my credit limit. American expresses trend to treat their customers with disrespect and distrust regardless of their track history of being good clients is just bad business.
We are all in a time where the economy is tight, however, punishing persons with good credit and good payment history might be the downfall to American Express. I personally will be cancelling both cards unless something is done to correct this problem. I'm assuming nothing will because of the "NEW POLICY". Oh yeah...just realized something very funny. My Home Depot credit card limit is now higher than my American Express. Strange world we live in.
DULUTH, GEORGIA -- I just got notified this week via email that AMEX reduced my credit limits and was told a letter would be forthcoming. In the meantime, I called the Customer Service Reps and demanded to know why they did this as I have been a faithful customer of theirs for some time and have always paid at least the minimum due on time or early.
It seems that AMEX has taken the position that they no longer care about their dedicated customers and have decided that the economic conditions are such that they no longer value our business. Prior to this economic situation, AMEX has been automatically increasing my credit line at least several times a year without me even asking for it to be increased. Now, without warning, they sliced $12,000 from my credit limit. It will be very soon that I cut up this card and tell AMEX to 'hit the road'. I will be LEAVING HOME WITHOUT IT!!!