We’re starting to think Amex doesn’t take this whole “data security” thing very seriously. First they confused a customer, and us, a few months ago with their random confirmation phone call, where they demanded a customer turn over bank account information over the phone without giving him a way to verify they were really Amex. Now a reader says the company has “for years” been sending him someone else’s account info via email, including the customer’s name and the last 5 digits of his account number. J.R. writes, “Seriously, I’ve seen better security on a video game forum.”
Wanna see the Maddoff clan’s AMEX statements? They’re online here. 2 grand Giorgio Armani in Paris, 8 grand at a hotel, 10 grand to charity, $441 at a bagel store, the garners of unlawful gains really know how to live it up. But you gotta give the guy some credit: he did pay his bills on time. [Scribd] (Thanks to Chris!)
Here’s a cautionary tale from a Consumerist reader whose credit card company
contacted his out-of-date phone number and got authorization for a $4000 spending spree. withdrew thousands of dollars from his bank account for a payment he had supposedly scheduled and then OK’d over the phone. The problem? He hadn’t scheduled it, that wasn’t him on the phone, and that wasn’t his phone number.
Jon, like many American Express customers, had his credit limit slashed without warning recently. What he did next makes us feel all warm and fuzzy about our jobs here, because he found the necessary contact info buried in a post from 2007. Here’s his story, proof that sometimes persistence pays off.
Courey Gouker’s recent experience with American Express encapsulates every trick the company has pulled in the past few months to drive away their customers, including dropping the credit limit, hiking the rate, and even offering him a cash bonus to pay off his balance in full. In addition, the company’s CSRs made promises to him that they didn’t keep, and notes on his account have gone missing. About the only thing they haven’t done is email a photo of the CEO flipping him the bird.
Apple sold reader Melody the wrong AppleCare package, but instead of switching her to the proper coverage, they issued a refund and told her to re-purchase the warranty extension. They even gave her American Express transaction reference numbers so she could track the refund, but AmEx says the numbers are invalid and that they have no record of a refund posting. Melody’s been out $195 since February, and thinks it’s time for Apple to cough up her money.
American Express has given her an “interim” refund in full, pending a review that will involve the credit card company presenting to PIC officials all of Blessman’s documentation on the services she feels she was denied.
Traditionally, AmEx will send you a replacement credit card via overnight, but an insider tells us that as a cost-saving move, they’ve been trying to cut back on this. If you have low-balance, low-usage or are not an annual fee payer, they might not offer the overnight right off the bat, or may even deny it. Our tipster says there are some key phrases you can use to make sure you get your card lickity-split:
Here are the email addresses for 13 American Express execs, in case you need to send them an eecb.
kenneth.I.Chenault@aexp.com, kenneth.Chenault@aexp.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com [More]
Here’s an internal AmEx doc with what customer service reps should say when people call up asking about the $300 to pay off and close your account program, or, as they term it, the “Balance Down Initiative.” The sheet was obtained exclusively by creditcarforum.com. My favorite part is the answer for if people who weren’t chosen to participate ask if they can join. The correct response is, “We apologize, but we can only honor this offer for selected cardmembers. However, if you’re interested in paying down your balance, I can help you with that.” Full doc inside…
American Express is so desperate to clean liabilities off its balance sheet that it’s paying some customer $300 if they will pay off their balance in full and close their credit card. The offer is only good if you get a card in the mail from them about it with a 14-digit RSVP code. Thanks for playing, don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.
Several readers have pointed out that American Express has made some changes to its contract “in response to the challenging environment” — the most offensive of which seems to be a new clause that gives them the right to call — or text message — any phone you use to contact them including cellphones, for the purposes of offering you American Express products and services.
Want a great example of the broken state of airline customer service in this country? Try a four-way conference call between yourself, Amex Travel, US Airways, and Delta. You’ll see firsthand how CSRs from the two airlines can play the “it’s not our responsibility” so well that even a devoted Amex Travel rep can’t get them to solve your problem.
Ronnie Sue’s recent trip to Germany was a financial nightmare. Though she warned her bank she would be traveling to Germany, when she arrived, she couldn’t withdraw needed cash. The bank gently suggested that Ronnie Sue draw cash from her credit card, and even offered to refund any cash advance fees. It wasn’t until Ronnie Sue whipped out her AmEx that she learned it had been silently canceled two days before she left…