Over its long history, American Express has always positioned itself as a credit card company that offers the best in customer service. But one Consumerist reader’s story shows that AmEx can screw things up just as royally as its competitors — and that its complaint department also doesn’t actually read your complaints.
A couple weeks back, Dave needed to get a new American Express card very quickly. He called AmEx on a Friday and was told his new card would be delivered by UPS on Saturday.
But when he tracked the package that morning, he saw it wouldn’t be delivered until Monday. This wouldn’t work, as Dave was heading out of town to Las Vegas on Sunday.
“I spoke with another agent who tried to help but couldn’t since the previous replacement card request was made less than 24 hrs before,” writes Dave. “She did say that she could have a card made for me at a AMEX Travel Office in Las Vegas at noon and would call me to confirm that it was done.”
That call never came, so Dave called back around 7 p.m. An agent told him all was well and that his card could be picked up in the Vegas office after 2 p.m.
Dave decided to call the AmEx office before heading over there. Unfortunately, he was told they had no record of a replacement card request.
I then called customer service again and a supervisor said to call her when I got to the Las Vegas office. I repeated the number twice and she confirmed it. Once I got to the office, I called the number but it was an invalid extension. Then both myself and the reps at the office called customer service.
After a few tries we got someone we thought could help us, or so we thought. A confirmation was faxed to the office but the number was incorrect. We tried the supervisor who sent the fax but she did not answer or respond to the voicemail. We then called customer service again and eventually got someone on the phone that resent a new number. I spent over an hour and a half in the office.
Sure, Dave didn’t get good customer service from the few people he’d dealt with at AmEx, but the folks at American Express HQ would certainly at least pay lip service to his concerns once they heard his story, right?
Alas, all he received was this fill-in-the-blank response that didn’t address any of the issues detailed in his e-mail to American Express:
I understand that in this matter, we did not provide a level of service that was acceptable to you. We always strive to provide the best customer service, and I have also forwarded your concerns about this matter to the appropriate department.
I see that a Card replacement request was processed on 03/24/2012 for you to pick up the Card at our Travel Service Offices by 03/25/2012.
I wish to assure you that American Express always tries to provide best Customer Service to its valued Cardmembers and your experience is a rare and regrettable one for us.
We hope you will allow American Express another opportunity to regain your confidence.
All American Express had to do in this situation was craft a response that at least appears like the person writing it actually read your complaint.