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American Express / Unauthorized billing

1 United States Review updated:
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I own a small cosmetic company that sells all natural skincare and cosmetics via the Internet. Recently my company was ripped off by a customer who presented herself as a new eligible business. She provided me with her tax ID, her address and her website address and she placed 2 big wholesale orders in June 2008.

She had paid by American Express card. Both her orders were processed and shipped to her billing address within 48 hours by USPS priority mail with delivery confirmation. Almost 6 months later, in November, she contacted American Express and claimed that she had never authorized the purchase with my company, without ever having notified my company at all.

American Express had never informed me of her claim and charged back my bank account. I faxed them all the necessary evidence of the order having been sent and delivered to the customer's address. I spent 2 days on the phone trying to convince them that I had 2 legitimate orders from this customer, that were approved by American Express and the charge was authorized by them. Nothing helped!

American Express never notified me of any of this. After having spent 2 days on the phone they admitted that they sent the notification to some incorrect address. This, their error, did not affect their policy. 25 days after they supposedly mailed me a notice they instituted the chargeback. All I know is I never received anything from them and was not aware of any of this until I saw a chargeback on my bank statement 6 months after the original transaction. Despite their error they automatically instituted a chargeback and informed me that any further dispute is between me and the 'customer'.

Needless to say that I canceled my merchant account with American Express but I still lost my hard earned money.

American Express' merchant policies only encourage online robberies, product theft and online fraud. My complaint is that by the nature of their chargeback policies American Express fairly encourages fraudulent chargebacks and practically encourages unscrupulous thieves in a commission of their fraudulent crimes.
Not only was I ripped off by my 'customer' but more over I am convinced that American Express behaved is nothing less than an accomplice in this crime. American Express behaved callously and offered me as one of their participating merchants no protection whatsoever, despite their own errors in this matter.

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  • Ca
      5th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes
    American Express Card - Unauthorized billing!
    United States

    On Friday, October 05, 2007 at approximately 700 pm, pst, I contacted American Express Card Company and spoke to a card account representative who stated that she would remove the charge from my account. I then inquired as to how this charge was authorized in the first place.

    She then stated “We mail out non-requested magazine subscriptions to our card members and if they don’t respond we automatically charge their account with the annual subscription amount. Again I asked who authorized this charge and she replied we just automatically charge it to your account. I asked for a way to make a formal complaint as to how they are automatically deciding on my behalf and without my consent to apply charges to my account. She then gave me an address (American Express, PO Box 981542, El Paso, TX 79998) to send a dispute/complaint letter to and stated that this is just the way they do things at American Express at which time we ended our conversation. I will be pursuing fraudulent credit card charges against American Express because they charged something to my account without my consent. Just because I hadn't responded to the magazine offer thru American Express doesn't mean they have the right to automatically charge my account. Based upon the fact that my LACK OF RESPONSE to their magazine subscription does not give them the right to charge anything without my consent. The question is how many other American Express card holders are being charged for magazine subscriptions who hadn't responded to a non-solicited magazine.

  • Mi
      29th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    You are correct on this. If u did not order something and it is sent to you anyway, you are NOT obligated to pay for it and they cannot do this on your behalf.

    Contact your state attorney general.

    Contact your local media.

    Fight Back!!!

  • Ja
      6th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    American Express is a very powerful company and gets away with a lot of abuses. That are not generally known until an individual uncovers one on a bad day, as above. Most people won't spend the time to deal with this and Amex knows it.

  • Wa
      7th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    You don't own the card/account, American Express does. So you want to file a fraud claim for charges that the card issuer put on "your " account? This doesn't sound right. Your story doesn't make any sense. Additionally, the card issuer gave you credit for the charge. I'm sure Amex got consent to enroll you in the magazine. I'm sure you didn't completely read some sweepstakes form or other promotion that was sent to you.

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