American Express / unfair business practices
I thought when I first wrote the title to this post that it might be a bit harsh - but no, I think it’s right on target. Up until recently I was a very devoted American Express Customer. I had my personal Platinum card, and through their “Open” small business program I had a Blue card (revolving credit) and a Standard Gold card for travel/expenses.
I used them extensively for about 9 months. Running between $4k and $8k a month through them. (Of course AmEx making 3-5% on each purchase, right?) I bragged about them, I told many people how glad I was to have signed up for the program. And then the hammer dropped. As (what I’m assuming) a part of the consumer credit crunch, AmEx has been tightening the reigns of who is and isn’t WORTHY of their patronage.
A few times they told me I had gone “out of my usual spending pattern” and they suspended my card. (I charge airfare, hotels, auto rental, and the occasional peice of equipment to that card - always when it’s billable to my customers). I was concerned, but tried to chalk it up to “they’re protecting me.”
Then the worst case happens. A customer slow-pays me (you know who you are, don’t make me publish your name) and a pre-arranged payment to AmEx (through their website) bounces. First time I’m even so much as being late on the card, I call them immediately and explain the situation to someone who was nice albeit in hindsight quite clueless. They tell me that it’s no problem, that as soon as the payment is made my account will be in good standing and that I can continue to use it. I log into the website and it tells me that my charging ability is suspended.
Two days later the payment comes in - I *IMMEDIATELY* go to www.americanexpress.com and schedule the payment. Within seconds of making the payment (probably immediately afterwards) the website updates that my accounts are CANCELED. I call in - speak to a Mrs. Dodi who explains that it’s automatic after a payment is returned and that in 24 hours (after the payment has debited from my account I’m assuming) we can go back in and re-activate the account. I guess this is designed to keep me from going to my bank and having them disallow the $6, 000 payment I had just made to them.
I call back - I’m immediately told by Mrs. Dodi that there is nothing she can do, that the account is irrevocably closed and that there is no appeal process. I explain the situation, I was traveling at the time and had no way to pay the hotel/car that I had out. The long and the short of it - American Express has put me out of business. Without mercy, without so much as an “I’m sorry.” they have bankrupted me. The money I spent building my business is gone for good, my investment tanked completely.
So my advice to you - if you’re considering American Express for your small business finances - DON’T. They will suck you in, get you to depend on them, and then turn on you the first time you have a spot of trouble.
More American Express Complaints & Reviews
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- American Express - debt collection 
- American Express - interest rate increase 
- Your Centurion Card - fraud 
- American Express - penalty for paying bill early 
- American Express Travel Related Services Company - my card 
- American Express Travel Related Services Company - customer service, zero help! 
- American Express - credit card/ my account was closed without my permission
- American Express Travel Related Services Company - american express - car hire mileage [ref: 180222-004261]
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