It’s not the responsibility of a credit card company to take care of you in an emergency, it’s true. But amid the many reports of canceled cards and slashed credit lines we’ve been receiving was the story of Elizabeth, her dog, a veterinary emergency, and a most inauspiciously timed credit line cut.
I have been a card member with American Express for many years. I always paid my bill on time, I had never been late and never even came close to my available credit limit. On August 04, 2009 my loyal dog of 11 years needed to see a specialist because she had been sick and her regular vet could not pinpoint what was wrong with her. I placed a call to American Express to see how much credit was available on my card. They said I had $7,000 available for credit.
My dog was taken to the specialist and had to have immediate tests done. When my dog was out of surgery and was ready to be released to me, I had to pay the bill. I gave them my American Express card and it was denied on the first swipe. I knew that it had to be a mistake because I had called earlier that day. I called American Express from the vet’s office and was put on hold for 30 minutes, only to be told that my account was frozen and up for a review decrease.
I had told the rep that I had not received a notice that my account was frozen and under review for a decrease. The representative, Watson, out of the Greensboro, North Carolina call center, was so very cold and callous and did not care at all about my situation. She refused to approve the charge in the amount of $1,100. I explained to her that I only had my American Express Card with me and that I had no other form of payment.
I asked to speak to a Team Leader only to be pushed off to a floor supervisor who would not budge on the approval. I was left stranded and abandoned by American Express. My dog was diagnosed with cancer that day. Trying to deal with American Express on one of the darkest days of my life was a total nightmare. American Express is not there for you when you need them, they turn their backs on you when you need them.
Elizabeth didn’t say how she managed to pay the bill, but our best wishes to her and her doggie.
Sudden limit decreases with no notice make carrying a credit card for emergencies a pointless proposition. The real question here is: what triggered the account review? Was it her call to check the balance, or was that just a coincidence?