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American Express / unauthorized charges

1 United States Review updated:
Contact information:

12/22/08 I received a $50 American Express gift card as a Christmas gift from a friend in Plano, TX. I tried to use the card that very evening at a nearby Walmart to purchase some last minute gift for my child. The self-check out would not accept the card so I asked an employee to finish my transaction at her terminal. The card kept spitting out receipts with zero balances. I paid for my items with cash and called AMEX when I got home 30 minutes later. I was told that my friend who purchased the card needed to call them with her receipt information before they would investigate.

12/30/08 I sent an email to my friend letting her know what happened and she called AMEX herself. They told her I'd spent the money already and that she could see the transaction online. I went online myself and checked and the website said the information was unavailable. I called AMEX again; just as one other gift card victim experienced the agent explained that although the receipt claimed the card was activated it was not and contained a balance of $0 not $50. I too was told to fax over copies of the receipt, front and back of gift card plus the packaging, a photo id, my name, address, phone number.

01/05/09 faxed over all items; no response from AMEX that information was received

01/08/09 still no response from AMEX so I called yet again. My first call was directed to the resolution department's extension which rang three times and hung up. I called customer service again and the agent Michelle says they did receive my faxed information.

01/14/09 still no response from AMEX. Agent Gail says they are sending me a letter to my home with an update to my case but would not tell me what the letter would say.

01/23/08 still no response from AMEX. Agent Kat says the letter was sent on 1/14 but would take 10 business days (talk about snail mail) to arrive at my home. I found the letter waiting for me when I got home and was sent into total shock when I read it. AMEX claims that I sent them the wrong receipt (total lie!!!) and that it did not match their information. Not only that but if I did not sent them the correct receipt immediately that the case would be closed. This is crazy!!! They show in their system the exact store that I was at when this fiasco occurred, I send them a receipt from that store showing the same timeframe, but my receipt is unacceptable????

Are they really that starved for money? If they treat non-customers this way I can't imagine how actual customers are treated. This has been a month of hell and many times I just said forget it, it was the thought that counts, but I can't back down from a scandal like this. This is total nonsense and I want them to credit my card or my friend for her original funds. It's one thing to read about these nightmares, it's quite another to live through.

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  • Va
      10th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I just received a letter from American Express stating that they were revising our corporate credit limit down to $8, 000. Our current balance is around $7800. We've had credit as high as $25, 000 on this account. We've had the account since 1996 and have never made a late payment. As a result of this decision, two of our 3 employees will not be payed today and will have to wait until next week.

    My concern is not that they lowered the limit. My problem is that they did it without calling or warning or even offering a one week or so grace period. We could have made other arrangements. But obviously, They are not concerned with helping the small businesses they claim to care so much about. Shame on you American Express. We will be closing our account with you and will tell as many associates as we can about your treatment of our company.

  • Ro
      31st of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    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. Dispite 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.

  • Su
      28th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I received a letter from AE saying that my card was canceled due to a bankruptcy that I filed for. I have never filed bankruptcy and I am not in the process of doing so. After hours of fighting with the completely surly and incompetent AE front line staff and supervisors, I found out that they had recorded another account holder's bankruptcy in error to my account. The error was due to a data entry error on their end.

    AE refuses to send a letter of error and to confirm or deny whether or not they reported the erroneous closure of my account due to bankruptcy to the credit reporting agencies. I am waiting to receive my credit report. Can't view it on line due to 'freeze' on credit, which indicates to me that AE's incompetency has had a negative effect on my good credit.

    AE has refused to take accountability for their error. They did send a new card, which I promptly shredded (never will use that card again). And the real kicker of this, is they sent a card with conditions of use indicating a higher interest rate than the card I previously held with an excellent rate which I earned over years of low balance and steady payment history.

    Warning to all AE card holders, if AE makes an egregious error to your account be prepared for days of fighting with them, zero customer assistance, being treated poorly and a refusal to document the error and provide you with a statement of error and correction.

    It seems ridiculous that I may actually end up having to hire an attorney to get AE to clean up their damage.

    Check to make sure your payments are getting posted correctly and you may want to check to make sure no one else is getting your account information through the process of filing a bankruptcy! If they can record another account holder's bankruptcy to your account, do they also disclose your account number to the person whom filed bankruptcy? Makes you wonder who across the world may get your account information handed to them by AE.

    AE doesn't give a RIP about customers in good standing. Actions speak louder. than words.

  • To
      2nd of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I too had a $25, 000. limit never going above 12k. I recived the phone call of the lower limit. And after paying $4, 000. on my card thinking that would stop them from ever lowering my limit again...not the case . today three months after the time ..they did it again know $9, 900.limit when I have a $8, 800. balance.

    I would love to join a lawsuit, this cannot be legal to play games with peoples FICO score.

    T Warlick
    long Beach, CA

  • De
      11th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I feel American Express treats their customers badly and will do whatever they can to make as much money off of you. I had been a customer for over 10 years and had been paying faithfully and on time for years. Then, last year we received a notice--after we made some rather large charges -- that we no longer had a credit limit and that any new charges we incur would be due at the end of the month. I have no idea why this was done other than American Express wanted to get their money back and hurt us financially. I had paid off the card last month finally and tried to close the account before the membership amount was due, but because of delays by American Express, they charged me another $85 for membership renewal even though the amount owed was paid in full and we requested the account closed. I truly feel ripped off by American Express and will never use any of their products ever again.

  • Ex
      22nd of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    What ever happened with this? They are such thieves. They just stole $833 dollars from me. It's disgusting that businesses can run however they want with no recourse.

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