Want To Opt Out Of Information Sharing? AmEx Doesn't Answer The Phone

Christopher Null over at Yahoo! Tech doesn’t want American Express to share information about him with their “Affiliates and other companies we work with.” Christopher wants to opt out. That’s where he ran into trouble:

At the bottom of page three is a coupon with four check boxes on it. Check each one and I can opt out of a multitude of different marketing opportunities. Naturally, I’d prefer to simply call in my opt-out preferences to the 800 number printed on the the slip. Otherwise I’ll have to dig up an envelope (no reply envelope was included), write the multi-line address on it, stamp it, mail it, and hope for the best. Calling the 800 number is relatively free and painless, while dealing with postal mail is by definition a pain in the rear. And for some reason, I just don’t trust this method to actually work.

I call (800-297-8378 if you want to try it for yourself). I get a recording welcoming me American Express and notifying me that the call could be recorded… then abruptly says: “The computer system needed to answer your questions is not available.” And it hangs up.

Chris says the phone number has been non-working for 5 days now and sure enough when The Consumerist called it a sing-songy computer voice cheerfully proclaimed the computer unavailable and unceremoniously hung up.

Sadly, one cannot opt-out of telephone and postal marketing through AmEx’s website, so it seems that Christopher will have to locate that stamp. What’s the deal, AmEx? 5 days is much too long to go without a way for your customers to opt out via telephone. As Christopher says, “If this is all a scam (and I hope it isn’t), shame on AmEx. If, instead, it’s the longest, most difficult computer error in the history of mankind, well, it’s time to put out a press release.” Too much to ask? —MEGHANN MARCO

American Express’ Shady Privacy Practice [Yahoo! Tech]