My Continued Problem with AMEX and the Unauthorized Charges

Since last December, I kept getting a $37.90 charge on my American Express TrueEarnings card. The charge was from an internet payment company in Netherlands for a monthly subscription fee. After I noticed it in February, I called AMEX immediately to report the unauthorized use of my card and was told there will be an investigation to resolve the matter, and that could take 6 to 8 weeks to complete.

While I was patiently waiting for the outcome of the investigation, the charge continued to coming in and I had to contact AMEX every month to get a refund. Though I mentioned the investigation and that I haven’t heard anything about it during the phone call, I was told the investigation could take a longer time if the case is complex. Since I got a refund very time and there’s no other suspicious charges on my account, I didn’t push it very hard until last Tuesday, 14 weeks after my first call.

I again complained about the lack of progress and asked to speak to the manager. The CSR I was talking to said the manager wasn’t available at that moment and somebody will call me either that evening or the next day, which never happened. So when I called again this morning, I just asked for the manager and finally knew what was going on in the past four months.

According to the manager, though they opened an investigation after the first phone call in February, the record was erased by the system automatically when the refund was issued!That’s right, the investigation was just written off!

Since there was no investigation at all, the four months were wasted. What made me mad about this whole process is that nobody ever mentioned this to me in my monthly phone call (they did say they can open an investigation and I told them not necessary because there’s on on-going). Now the manager told me she overwrote the rule so the case won’t be automatically removed and promised me a result within 6 to 8 weeks.

Hope they can resolve the case this time.

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7 Responses to “My Continued Problem with AMEX and the Unauthorized Charges”

  1. A Tentative Personal Finance Blog |  Jun 09, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    oh oh… I just opened an Amex account. If this is the service I can expect… I’m pretty leary of the whole experience then.

  2. Clever Dude |  Jun 09, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    I highly recommend just getting a new card issued by AMEX. I resisted getting a new card number (thus a new ping on my credit) from GM Card when I was having problems with a fraudulent charge that kept popping up, but I’m glad that I finally decided to get a new card issued.

    They won’t stop the charges from coming through on your existing card, and you don’t want to cancel the entire account until they’ve resolved the issue (or else you have to do it all through paper), so the only real option is getting them to issue a new card.

  3. Sun |  Jun 15, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    A Tentative Personal Finance Blog: Actually, their services are generally good and they did issue refund every time I call though there’s not outcome of the investigation yet. I am not sure if mine is a special case or not (maybe it is because the other party is not in US) and it takes so long without even a result. Now I will have to see what they will have for me in 8 weeks.

    Clever Dude: Actually one of the first things I asked them was to close the old card and give me a new card with a new account number. However, their theory is since it became a recurring charge (I didn’t notice the charge until it appeared the third time on my card), canceling the card won’t help because any recurring charge against the old card will be billed to any new card I may get. Now the best chance is to have them get the issue resolved. Fortunately, so far there’s no other charges so the card may not be abused.

  4. Art Dinkin |  Jun 23, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    They are not the only credit provider. Cancelling the card will stop the problem… Guaranteed.

  5. Sun |  Jun 24, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Art:I did call them and ask them to close the account and issue me a new card. However, they told me that since it became a recurring charge, canceling the card won’t help because any recurring charge against the old card they receive will be automatically billed to any new card I may get. So I guess I will have to wait to the what they will get after the investigation.