American Express / scam billing
I recently reserved a vehicle while on a business trip. The rental company placed a reservation for the total vehicle rental amount on my American Express card. During this time American Express lowered the limit on my credit card with absolutely no reason and no prior notice. They completely disregarded the amount of the reservation that the rental car company had placed on my account.
I tried for over 24 hours to reach American Express regarding this. When I was finally able to contact someone I was told to just pay off the card and then I could use the card to pay for the rental car. After explaining just how ridiculous this statement was and 'talking' to this representative a little longer she agreed to give me a temporary credit line increase. However, this increase would have put me over my limit and I would have been charged with over limit fees. I am quite sure that my 0% interest rate would have disappeared also. Not to mention the impact that would have had on my credit score.
I have NEVER been late on a payment on ANY of my credit cards nor have I ever been over any of my credit limits. Not that it is anyone's business but the balances on my credit cards come from financing a business start up and not frivolous purchases. If it were not for that I would not be carrying balances. Additionally I always make more than the minimum payment on all of my credit cards.
In short American Express was of absolutely no help to me with this problem that they had caused through unethical business practices. I know that American Express is experiencing financial difficulty and that is the reason that they did this, however, I am an accountant that specializes in helping small businesses get through rough times. I can tell you that one thing that you do not do is turn your good clients away. After researching this on the internet I found that American Express is doing this to a multitude of their account holders with credit scores over 700. These are good clients.
When I first started noticing the problems with the economy I did some financial planning for my own business. Not knowing how bad things were going to get, I made of list of the creditors that I would stay current and in good standing with if the economical situation became so bad that I could not pay everyone. American Express was at the top of this list. Needless to say, they are not there anymore. Additionally, I have consistently paid $100.00 to $250.00 per month more than my minimum payment and I still have a few months left with a 0% interest rate. I really hope that my $15.00 monthly minimum payment helps their cash flow situation. It makes a lot more sense to give this amount to a creditor that is still treating their good customers with respect. I will also reduce the balances on other cards faster, which is necessary, as now my credit report will show that I am using over 50% of my allowable credit with American Express which will cause my credit score to decrease.
This letter was addressed and submitted to American Express but is in a third party format as I intend to post it on every web site that will allow me to do so. American Express may not feel that it is important to notify their customers prior to taking an action that could place them in a horrible and embarrassing situation and have a negative effect on their interest rates, credit scores, etc. but my business is taking care of small businesses and individuals with financial problems and I do think that it is important.
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