American Express / Unauthorized billing
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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