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Blogger
HiLine
Posts: 2,949
Registered: ‎10-19-2012
0

My first call with American Express

So after I took advice from my other thread, applied, and was approved for an Amex Delta Gold, I called American Express to ask if they could expedite the delivery of my card. The rep, who has an Indian accent, took her time and repeated the same statement over and over again despite my 'I understand' each time. That same statement is her claim that Amex have to send out a letter informing me of the interest rate before they would generate my card. Since the letter takes 7-10 days to arrive, the card will take 10-13 days. I asked why it would take them a whole 3 days to generate and mail a card, she tried to 'explain' to me again that the card doesn't get generated until they send out the letter. Then I said 'I understand the process, but why would it take 3 days?' Then she explained the whole procedure to me again. I realized she would never comprehend my question, so I switched topics and asked her a bunch of questions about my card. Why not? I've heard Amex has the best customer service out there! Let's test it out...

 

So here's a list of questions from me and answers from her:

 

Q: what's my credit limit?

A: I can't tell you. The card hasn't been generated yet. Your credit limit will depend on your FICO score.

Q: can you tell me my FICO score?

A: I don't know your FICO score. The credit agencies don't tell me. You should talk with them. I can give you the phone numbers. But your credit limit also depends on other factors.

Q: I understand my first year's annual fee is 0. Is this a calendar year or period-length year?

A: I don't know. You'd have to call the number on the back of the card.

Q: If I apply for another Amex card and get denied, will that result in a soft inquiry?

A: No, all Amex applications result in a hard inquiry.

Q: What if I request a product change?

A: A product change reqest is an application for a different product and will result in a hard inquiry.

 

 

Do you guys think I would receive different answers if I called again and spoke to a different customer representative?

 

Moderator Emeritus
webhopper
Posts: 7,230
Registered: ‎09-16-2011
0

Re: My first call with American Express


HiLine wrote:

So after I took advice from my other thread, applied, and was approved for an Amex Delta Gold, I called American Express to ask if they could expedite the delivery of my card. The rep, who has an Indian accent, took her time and repeated the same statement over and over again despite my 'I understand' each time. That same statement is her claim that Amex have to send out a letter informing me of the interest rate before they would generate my card. Since the letter takes 7-10 days to arrive, the card will take 10-13 days. I asked why it would take them a whole 3 days to generate and mail a card, she tried to 'explain' to me again that the card doesn't get generated until they send out the letter. Then I said 'I understand the process, but why would it take 3 days?' Then she explained the whole procedure to me again. I realized she would never comprehend my question, so I switched topics and asked her a bunch of questions about my card. Why not? I've heard Amex has the best customer service out there! Let's test it out...

 

So here's a list of questions from me and answers from her:

 

Q: what's my credit limit?

A: I can't tell you. The card hasn't been generated yet. Your credit limit will depend on your FICO score.

Q: can you tell me my FICO score?

A: I don't know your FICO score. The credit agencies don't tell me. You should talk with them. I can give you the phone numbers. But your credit limit also depends on other factors.

Q: I understand my first year's annual fee is 0. Is this a calendar year or period-length year?

A: I don't know. You'd have to call the number on the back of the card.

Q: If I apply for another Amex card and get denied, will that result in a soft inquiry?

A: No, all Amex applications result in a hard inquiry.

Q: What if I request a product change?

A: A product change reqest is an application for a different product and will result in a hard inquiry.

 

 

Do you guys think I would receive different answers if I called again and spoke to a different customer representative?

 


Not on the weekend.   Try M-F 8-5


Starting Score: 08/29/2011 TU 671 EQ 674
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Moderator
Revelate
Posts: 9,485
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
0

Re: My first call with American Express

I guess I have to ask, why poke the bear at all in this case?  Most of the questions you've asked are already found on the forums, and even Amex CSR's tend to be all over the map when it comes to information.

 

End of the day, I will always trust the majority of the anecdotal information found on this forum on how the lender actually behaves, rather than anything that comes out of any CSR's mouth honestly.  Having worked in a few lenders, there are very good business reasons for keeping the CSR's slightly in the dark on certain things (fraud mitigation being the most relevant) and the overwhelming majority of customers honestly don't need to know the information which you're asking for.

 

I'm strongly of the opinion that I'd simply rather not have the lenders notice me at all; I like being the proverbial needle in a haystack as in my opinion any attention from a lender is absolutely a bad thing.  I don't want to fall outside of their nice and predictable category, as anything outside of that can easily lead to AA of various types... building my credit portfolio is challenging enough in my case anyway, I don't need to make it any more difficult than it needs to be, and I know that at least some lenders absolutely look at the number of times people call, and then it's a short walk to find out what they're calling about as everything is recorded in this day and age.

 

Starting Score: EQ 561, TU 567, EX 599* (12/30/11, EX lender pull 12/29/11)
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SisterGirl
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎11-17-2012
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Re: My first call with American Express

Agreed.

 

It is best to inquire during normal bank hours, as you will only received the same answers coming from "assisting" call centers !  Pretty much unless the fraud department is calling you for questionable activity, you will only get alternate during the weekend.

 

SisterGirl

SisterGirl
Regular Contributor
dnice77
Posts: 126
Registered: ‎11-01-2011
0

Re: My first call with American Express

When were you approved ? if you were approved and called the same day your propably not set up fully yet. it took a few days for me to get my BCP info



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HiLine
Posts: 2,949
Registered: ‎10-19-2012
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Re: My first call with American Express


Revelate wrote:

I guess I have to ask, why poke the bear at all in this case?  Most of the questions you've asked are already found on the forums, and even Amex CSR's tend to be all over the map when it comes to information.

 

End of the day, I will always trust the majority of the anecdotal information found on this forum on how the lender actually behaves, rather than anything that comes out of any CSR's mouth honestly.  Having worked in a few lenders, there are very good business reasons for keeping the CSR's slightly in the dark on certain things (fraud mitigation being the most relevant) and the overwhelming majority of customers honestly don't need to know the information which you're asking for.

 

I'm strongly of the opinion that I'd simply rather not have the lenders notice me at all; I like being the proverbial needle in a haystack as in my opinion any attention from a lender is absolutely a bad thing.  I don't want to fall outside of their nice and predictable category, as anything outside of that can easily lead to AA of various types... building my credit portfolio is challenging enough in my case anyway, I don't need to make it any more difficult than it needs to be, and I know that at least some lenders absolutely look at the number of times people call, and then it's a short walk to find out what they're calling about as everything is recorded in this day and age.

 


I agree with your point of view. As a new customer, I was excited about testing out their customer service. And I have learned by now that calling the application status number over the weekend will achieve almost nothing. I think my questions were all natural and honest, though I will definitely be careful with future calls to not raise any red flag.

 

Blogger
HiLine
Posts: 2,949
Registered: ‎10-19-2012
0

Re: My first call with American Express

[ Edited ]

dnice77 wrote:

When were you approved ? if you were approved and called the same day your propably not set up fully yet. it took a few days for me to get my BCP info


I  called less than a day after getting approved. From our experience it seems that Amex likes to take their time to process new accounts... I mentioned explicitly that I wanted the card for holiday shopping but the rep reassured me that the card wouldn't arrive till the very end of November.

Established Contributor
adavis425
Posts: 522
Registered: ‎02-14-2012
0

Re: My first call with American Express


Revelate wrote:

I guess I have to ask, why poke the bear at all in this case?  Most of the questions you've asked are already found on the forums, and even Amex CSR's tend to be all over the map when it comes to information.

 

End of the day, I will always trust the majority of the anecdotal information found on this forum on how the lender actually behaves, rather than anything that comes out of any CSR's mouth honestly.  Having worked in a few lenders, there are very good business reasons for keeping the CSR's slightly in the dark on certain things (fraud mitigation being the most relevant) and the overwhelming majority of customers honestly don't need to know the information which you're asking for.

 

I'm strongly of the opinion that I'd simply rather not have the lenders notice me at all; I like being the proverbial needle in a haystack as in my opinion any attention from a lender is absolutely a bad thing.  I don't want to fall outside of their nice and predictable category, as anything outside of that can easily lead to AA of various types... building my credit portfolio is challenging enough in my case anyway, I don't need to make it any more difficult than it needs to be, and I know that at least some lenders absolutely look at the number of times people call, and then it's a short walk to find out what they're calling about as everything is recorded in this day and age.

 


+100

I couldn't agree more. I don't even ask to have cards expedited.

 

AmEx Platinum | AmEx BCP | AmEx Delta Gold | CSP | Chase Freedom | NFCU cashRewards Visa Sig | NFCU Plat MC | WM MC | Discover it | JCP


Established Contributor
Cdnewmanpac
Posts: 767
Registered: ‎01-16-2012
0

Re: My first call with American Express

First, different cards have different CS phone numbers. Since  you don't have the card yet, I'm assuming you called new accounts. New accounts knows very little about the inner working of each card. They are there to help you apply and to answer questions about the application process. The rep was correct that they do not have your FICO score. For confidentiality/privacy, that isn't supposed to be available to the front line reps. Was this your first Amex? Often times people can get subsequent cards expedited (or charge cards, which don't have to wait for a letter), but I'm less familiar with people getting their first revolver expedited. 

 

In my experience, I've always gotten my Amex cards faster than the rep said I would. You can call back on a weekday during business hours and likely get your CL, but probably not much else until you have the card in hand. 

 

Finally, I've noticed a big difference in the level of CS flexibility based on which number I call. I had no luck with backdating despite repeated calls to the Zync number, but one call to the Surpass number and I was set. Maybe that was just luck, but I've never gotten a sense of listening to a script when I call the surpass number, but pretty much always got scripts when I called Zync or new accounts.

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.
Established Contributor
Watchmann
Posts: 985
Registered: ‎05-14-2008
0

Re: My first call with American Express

[ Edited ]

HiLine wrote:

I agree with your point of view. As a new customer, I was excited about testing out their customer service. And I have learned by now that calling the application status number over the weekend will achieve almost nothing. I think my questions were all natural and honest, though I will definitely be careful with future calls to not raise any red flag.

 


One thing you have to keep in mind, AMEX is not your friend, do not bother them to 'test' their customer service.  Keep your head down, use your card, pay your bills, that's all.  Do not call them to ask questions that can be found on these boards, everytime your account is accessed through a phone call it is noted in their records and we do not know how they sift and sort those records.  I've been a cardmember for 31 years and I don't think I've called them more than a dozen times in all that time, there is no need to.  I know when people get their first AMEX card it seems like a big deal, but to them you are just another source of revenue.  It seems AMEX now want to know when you are  travelling overseas so I'll give them a call and alert them, but other than that they won't hear from me unless I have a billing question and that's never happened. 

 

And unless you have an absolute need for an expedited card, you are travelling in a couple of days for instance, just sit back and let them do their thing.  A few days wait won't hurt and you won't raise any red flags such as, "why does Mr. HiLine need an expedited card?".

 

Live long and prosper with AMEX in your wallet.

 


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