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AmEx BCE - written recon declined BUT....

Established Contributor

AmEx BCE - written recon declined BUT....

Fair warning - rant ahead. It’s not about being declined, but rather the experience of it. 


Before I went to the garden, I had app’d and declined BCE. I called to recon but the lady I spoke to struggled with English. She said she would submit my app for manual review. After 2 weeks with no decline letter, no status change on the application check site, and no card in hand, I knew I needed to change my tactics. Another forum member was kind enough to PM me a sample. I formatted it to my needs and sent it in. AmEx received it at the end of September. Now it became a waiting game. I checked application status mid week last week and it changed to “in progress.” I’ve checked it daily for the past few days, including today - still in progress. 


Getting antsy, I called the 800 on my declined letter. Was transferred to applications. The rep, a gentlemen with a thick accent, told me my application was review and declined yesterday 10/10. Then he said no it was today. And that a notice was sent out yesterday no today.


There was major inconsistencies with his dates especially since I have been checking the online status. From my professional experience, this was a red flag and needed more information.  


I asked for for a supervisor 3 times and even for someone US based because there were inconsistencies with what he was telling me (and see below’s datapoints for a greater mystery!) This rep became frustrated and super defensive. I acknowledge his apology for giving the wrong dates but I still wanted to speak to a supervisor. 


Supeervisor came on, thick accent again, and was initally nice. Yes I had been declined. He read off the reasons for me. Then I asked what I could do to make credit report more attractive to favor an approval in the future. He said it was my score and the internal AmEx scoring. The supervisor begins to lose it. He begins to raise his voice borderline yelling at me I need to stop applying for credit, I need to pay off all my bills, but most importantly my inquiries need to stop now. 


At at this point I wanted to laugh because I have not been yelled at like that since I snuck the car out of my parents driveway after prom. 


So so what I learned? 

I am not so sure if I want AmEx in my wallet based on this experience. I’ve been declined before, but never had a representative yell at me. When I have been declined, I have always asked why, what would improve my chances for approval, and asked more about how my application was evaluated. Just trying to understand different evaluation systems and what I can do to improve my chances of approval. With my current cards, Cap One, Disco, and Chase have been US based and not had language issues. While the lure of BCE was the rewards and exceptional customer service American Express is known for, I think this experience with the supervisor has been disappointing. Once your approved, I hope when you call in you are not dealing with the people I have dealt with tonight. For now I’m in the garden and a direct AmEx card is no longer on my wish list.


Datapoints FWIW

App’d 9/10BCE

Pulled Experian 9/10 FICO 8 score 661

Revolving balances at time of application $472, Utilization 22%

Call to recon 9/11 - request manual review

Mailed recon letter 9/26 Received 9/29

Application status in progress 10/2 to afternoon of 10/12

Email received suggesting I check out AmEx Serve (really AmEx?) 

Reject letter received 10/12 dated 10/5

Lost cost of postage $6.65 Priority Mail

1 HP. No other HP or SP done. 





Goal- All FICO 9 scores at 675 or above
9/16/17 FICO 9 TU-661 EQ-648 EX-607
12/27/17 FICO9 TU-706 EQ-672 EX-690
3/16/18 FICO9 TU-700 EQ-669 EX-716

Simulator Test - 3/17/18 FICO8 TU-651 EQ-712 EX-778 w/ high utilization
Results - 4/11/18 FICO8 TU-653 EQ-710 EX-779 w/ 5 x 0% utilization
Message 1 of 2
Established Contributor

Re: AmEx BCE - written recon declined BUT....

Wow Somewherein505. I am sorry that you had this experience with AmEx. I have heard some great things about their customer service. 


I must say this though, this experience is not necessarily limited to English as a Seond language reps. I very surprisingly went through something similar with my Discover denial last week. And she was based in Delaware and very much an English speaking American. Though she did not yell at me, I felt she was somewhat condescending and contentious, "Just because you've had your card for one year, that doesn't mean we're going to approve you..." I told her that I didn't say that, or didn't expect that. She kept repeating this statement whenever I would ask her a question or say something. It got to the point where I said to her, I feel this is getting combative and I don't understand why. I'm just asking about the reason for the denial---i.e., was it based on the fact that I should have waited 12 statements or just waited 1 year? Was it my profile? What could I do differently in the future to be approved for a second card, etc.  This was the very first time that I had a negative experience with Discover customer service. They have always gone out of their way to be helpful and responsive. Because of this, my posts now say Discover has great customer service most of the time. 


I came close to SDing my Discover It because of the way this woman talked to me. But, after I cooled down. I realized that she is one person and I will do my best not to judge the whole company by her actions. 


if AmEx has a card that you want, don't let this experience turn you off from them forever. I don't have AmEX, But, it sounds like these two CSRs are possibly the exception to the rule where customer service is concerned.  Just give it some thought.

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