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Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

Established Member

Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

I sent the Amex EO a letter explaining the circumstances that led to my delinquncies a few years ago. I requested that they make a courtesy adjustment for the delinquncies and reopen my account. I got a callback saying after reviewing my request unfortunately they won't be able to honor it. The thing is, the excuse they gave sounded like complete BS to me. They said because Amex is also a bank now, they have to abide by regulations and cant remove accurate reporting. They even quoted my letter in saying that a "courtesy GW adjustment" is not something they do. But they encouraged me to apply for a new card!

 

Here's the thing. I've gone through health issues the last few years. That's what led to me being late on the card and the subsequent closure. I called them repeated around this time asking for help because I was having a hard time financially. I even warned that I will not be able to make payments soon. They didn't offer any help whatsoever. After a few months, they abruptly closed the account and sent it to internal collections.

 

I really felt like they threw me under the bus, especially since I was in constant contact with them. And now they have the audacity to encourage me to apply for a new card instead of at least helping to right a wrong. I will never get another Amex unless they at least drop the delinquncies. My question is what should I do next? Can I send another letter to EO in a month? 3 months? Call?

 

Thanks.

Message 1 of 14
13 REPLIES
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Established Contributor

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.


tennisproha wrote:

I sent the Amex EO a letter explaining the circumstances that led to my delinquncies a few years ago. I requested that they make a courtesy adjustment for the delinquncies and reopen my account. I got a callback saying after reviewing my request unfortunately they won't be able to honor it. The thing is, the excuse they gave sounded like complete BS to me. They said because Amex is also a bank now, they have to abide by regulations and cant remove accurate reporting. They even quoted my letter in saying that a "courtesy GW adjustment" is not something they do. But they encouraged me to apply for a new card!

 

Here's the thing. I've gone through health issues the last few years. That's what led to me being late on the card and the subsequent closure. I called them repeated around this time asking for help because I was having a hard time financially. I even warned that I will not be able to make payments soon. They didn't offer any help whatsoever. After a few months, they abruptly closed the account and sent it to internal collections.

 

I really felt like they threw me under the bus, especially since I was in constant contact with them. And now they have the audacity to encourage me to apply for a new card instead of at least helping to right a wrong. I will never get another Amex unless they at least drop the delinquncies. My question is what should I do next? Can I send another letter to EO in a month? 3 months? Call?

 

Thanks.


I'm sorry to hear about your bad health and the fact that Amex wasn't interested in extending you a good will adjustment. Try to look at it from Amex's view - sure, they're a huge bank with a ton of money and it wouldn't hurt their bottom line to at least show some kindness; however, if they do it for you, where do they stop? To be blunt, Amex isn't at fault for your inability to pay them the money you owed them - so, again being blunt, the only wrong to be righted was for you to not have allowed the account to become delinquent. Amex is not in the charity business - they are firmly in the money making business and they will cut their losses in a heartbeat.  As frustrating as this may be for you, they did not throw you under the bus nor were they being audacious - they were simply telling you that if you want to be their customer again you have to start from the beginning. I know it hurts, I know its frustrating, but its only business so don't take it personally.

 

And if its any comfort to you, Amex is hardly the end all and be all of credit card banks. There are plenty of other lenders out there with great products who will probably be more than willing to help you - they want your business.

Over $182,000 in credit across 12 cards.

FICO ranges from 786 -818 as of 6/17/2017
Message 2 of 14
Established Member

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

I understand their point of view. I should've mentioned in my original post that in no way am I blaming them for anything. The debt is wholeheartedly my responsibility so I understand that.

What I take issue with is the fact that they abruptly closed my account despite me being in constant contact with them. They could've at least given me a heads up. I understand that they're in no obligation to help me since greed comes before customer service for them. But if they'd at least given me a heads up about the closure, I could've transferred my balance to a different lender more willing to help.

In the end this just demonstrates that Amex has no actual regard for their customers no matter how much they tout their superior service.

P.S.: Amex wasn't the only lender I was indebted to when I got sick. I sent a similarly worded letter to another lender and they got back to me this morning saying they'll be happy to remove the delinquency and that they hoped I was in better health now. That's caring for your customers. It's not just the bottom line that builds a relationship. It's empathy.
Message 3 of 14
Senior Contributor

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

I suggest sending out more GW letters.  A lot more.  Read through my thread on the Saturation Technique when you have a chance:

 

http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Rebuilding-Your-Credit/The-Saturation-Technique-Best-GW-adjustment-o...

 

I think the first place you went wrong with the original letter was that you were asking for two things.  One, a GW adjustment and two, to have your account reopened.  First, it's extremely rare that a creditor will reopen a closed account unless there was some strange error made on their part.  There are very few success stories of this happening.  When you send a GW letter, you never want to ask for anything more than the GW adjustment.  You're already asking for a favor, so definitely don't try to get two.  

 

One of the most important pieces of the puzzle in finding GW success IMO is giving them a reason to do it.  You are asking for a GW adjustment, but what do they get in return?  Interestingly, I think they already gave you the answer.  In their denial response letter, they encouraged you to apply for a new product.  Here is your "in" as far as the GW adjustment.  Clearly they want your business.  Using my Saturation Technique method above, if I were you I'd construct a GW letter that states how much you'd like to apply for [insert name of Amex product here] as you think Amex is a great company and you've been extremely happy with them in the past.  Your concern however is that due to circumstances out of your control back whenever that your credit scores are just out of range of being able to apply for [insert the name of the same product] as you fear you'll be denied.  If they were to make a GW adjustment on your old account it would immensely help your credit profile, thus allowing you to apply for and be approved for [product name again].  Once approved, you'll continue to be a profitable Amex customer for years to come. 

 

 

Message 4 of 14
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

Totally agree with BBS on this one.

 

You need to give them incentive that benefits them in doing the GW adjustment. While reopening your account may indicate you want to do business with them again, it looks more like you want to retain the original history you built with them, despite burning them on it. That benefits you more than it benefits them.

 

If what you're looking for is a second chance to show them that you can keep your responsibilities at a reasonable level, including the consideration that things can go wrong, then tell them just that.

 

You can't go into asking for goodwill without actually asking for "good will" and essentially begging for foregiveness and a second chance. You need to tug at someone's heartstrings. Think about how many letters they get for this. Do you really think everyone deserves it? Plenty of people get multiple chances and screw banks over again and again. They don't know you won't do the same, so they best keep a record of it. You have to give them a reason to believe that you are different and truly deserve that second chance.


EX08 659 EQ08 660 TU08 695 Starting: mid 300'sGoal: 700
Message 5 of 14
Established Member

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

Thanks for your Saturation Technique suggestion. That's a good idea. Initially, I just emailed one person at the exec office but I think I'll try again next month using this technique to email others as well.

 

The reason I asked for two things was because I figured if they don't give me one, at least they'll give me the other. They can't deny me two things! The reopening was a long shot but I figured they'd at least delete the baddies if nothing else...

 

Also, thanks for your suggestion on the different angle. That's quite great actually. I think maybe a little emotional blackmail-y but I'll definitely give it a shot. The other thing is, they specifically mentioned that 'courtesy GW adjustments' is not something they do. To me it seemed like they were saying that officially its not something they're allow to do. So I was thinking about rewording that to make it sound less formal. Like maybe asking to 'remove late payments' instead.

Message 6 of 14
Established Member

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

You make some really valid points lowkeyorca. Although I don't believe I burned them the first time, (I ended up paying the balance in-full, plus interest) I think I see your point. I did basically flatter them for the first paragraph, explained the circumstances in the second, and asked for forgiveness in the third. But I figured just straight asking for kindness would be good enough (at least it was with the other creditor, although I also mentioned that I have a bank account with them).

 

Regardless, lots of good points to think about. Love your username btw lol. Thanks!

Message 7 of 14
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

Well, even though life happens, and trust me, I empathize with that, it's difficult for a business to do so. 

 

You did breach a contract with them, even though it probably didn't cost them anything in the grand scheme of things.

 

Fingers crossed for you in the next round.


EX08 659 EQ08 660 TU08 695 Starting: mid 300'sGoal: 700
Message 8 of 14
Established Contributor

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.


tennisproha wrote:

You make some really valid points lowkeyorca. Although I don't believe I burned them the first time, (I ended up paying the balance in-full, plus interest) I think I see your point. I did basically flatter them for the first paragraph, explained the circumstances in the second, and asked for forgiveness in the third. But I figured just straight asking for kindness would be good enough (at least it was with the other creditor, although I also mentioned that I have a bank account with them).

 

Regardless, lots of good points to think about. Love your username btw lol. Thanks!


You are hardly alone. Back in 08 and 09 Amex was cancelling peoples cards right and left with no warning because they assumed that since the economy was bad, these people, who had good relationships with Amex prior, were going to default. Some got left stranded out of town or even overseas because they only used their Amex card for business and/or travel. It was a real mess. These people tried to get their accounts reinstated but nothing doing. Amex was done with them. I did read one story though where a customer had a situation similar to yours. They tried to get a closed account reinstated but Amex told them that since the account was closed they could not reinstate. The customer was told to reapply for another card instead. Bottom line, Amex seems to only care about Amex. As long as you are making them money they are more than happy to keep you as a customer. Any whiff of a potential problem for them and they cut you off at the knees. 

Over $182,000 in credit across 12 cards.

FICO ranges from 786 -818 as of 6/17/2017
Message 9 of 14
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex declined Goodwill Removal on a closed acct. Please advise.

I think the important lesson there is this: "It's just business, baby."

 

They are a business, and none of us should ever lose sight of that. 


EX08 659 EQ08 660 TU08 695 Starting: mid 300'sGoal: 700
Message 10 of 14