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A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

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A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

So back on December 27, 2018, I made a purchase on the Saks website using my $50 credit. Saks canceled the order on December 30 (without explanation--Saks just said it was sorry but it had to cancel it and that my card would not be charged). So I made a purchase of something else later that day. Saks apparently didn't run the card until January 2, and the transaction apparently didn't post until January 3.

 

I spoke with an Amex representative by chat on January 9, 2019, who said that he would make a note that the credit would be applied to the July - December 2018 period. 

 

Cut to my most recent purchase on June 25, 2019. The Saks credit wasn't posting. Fearing that something was amiss, I contacted Amex customer service via chat to check and see whether the credit was going to be applied. The customer service representative first noted that I'd already received a credit in January. I told her about the previous representative who said that the credit would be applied to the previous half year period, and I gave the specific date. She researched the issue and said that she was going to be reporting the customer service representative who told me that, that there was nothing she could do except maybe have a conference phone call between Saks and Amex, and that because the charge didn't post to my card the terms and conditions clearly showed that I was not eligible for the credit. And because the credit is automatic, there was nothing she could do. I explained that I was disturbed that Amex would go back on its word and that I only made the purchase because I was told that I would be eligible for the credit. She continued to stand by her answer, so I asked if I could speak with someone who was empowered to address the situation. She said she understood and then asked who I would like to speak to. Sensing that she clearly just wanted me to go away, I closed the chat.

 

I immediately called the Platinum customer service line, explained the situation to the phone representative (in one breath, I think). He clearly understood it. He took one moment to research the issue and then said he clearly understood what happened and that he'd be applying a $50 credit to my account. It took all of 15 seconds.

 

The lesson I take from this is that chat customer service is a mixed bag. You can find helpful reps and less helpful reps. It's unclear whether the first rep was actually empowered to help me or whether he was acting beyond his authority (although, for all intents and purposes he had the apparent authority to make that promise). At the end of the day, though, it's the Platinum phone reps who are most empowered. That rep didn't even have to think about what to do after confirming what I told him had happened. He just said that the statement would be applied; no ifs, ands, or buts. It was customer service at its finest. No mess, no fuss.

 

Now, I don't know if I would've gotten such great customer service if my first contact with customer service hadn't been in writing. Perhaps it's best to try initial customer service contact with Amex in writing? Or perhaps its best for when you need Amex to promise what will or will not happen in the future.

 

(And as a related point if anyone wants to chip in, I gave the second online chat representative a poor review. Does anyone know if the Amex customer service ratings actually matter (like the way Uber's ratings matter) and/or would you have given a better review?)

Amex Platinum: NPSL | Amex (Rose) Gold: NPSL | Amex Everyday: $16,500 | Amex SPG: $3,500 | Amex Luxury SPG: $10,000 | Amex Delta Platinum: $5,000 | Chase Sapphire Reserve: $15,000 | Ritz-Carlton: $10,000 | Chase Freedom: $1,500 | Chase Freedom Unlimited: $3,000 | Chase Freedom Visa Signature: $5,900 | Marriott Premier Rewards: $5,100 | Hyatt: $3,000 | 1st Financial: $8,300 | Citi Double Cash: $6,200 | Discover It: $14,200 | Quicksilver: $24,000 | Arrival+: $12,500 | Citi Best Buy: $8,000 | Costco Visa: $8,500 | Apple Card: $7,500
Message 1 of 11
10 REPLIES 10
Frequent Contributor

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve consistently found the chat CSRs to be the least empowered of the group. The Platinum customer service team always seems to be the most helpful (even with issues regarding my other AMEX cards).

Glad they got it straightened out for you.
Personal Credit -
AMEX: Platinum, Green, Cash Magnet, Schwab Investor
PNC: Cash Rewards, Points
NFCU: Flaghship Rewards, Cash Rewards, More Rewards, CLOC
PSECU: Founders
BB&T: Spectrum Cash Rewards
CapOne: Quicksilver
Discover: IT Chrome
Synchrony: PayPal 2%, PayPal Credit
Barclays: Uber
PenFed: Power Cash Rewards
Store Cards: Target
AU Cards: Citi Rewards+

Business Credit-
AMEX: Blue Business Plus, Amazon Prime, Simply Cash Plus
Message 2 of 11
Frequent Contributor

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

When I got my platinum card, I got two additional cards online (myself, not through chat) and phoned the platinum line for a third - I wanted it sent to a different address from mine.

 

The rep assured me they could do this, took down name, address, SSN, and birthdate of the person getting the card.

 

And within a few days I received two platinum cards and a gold card, with the name misspelled and sent to me, instead of the AU.

 

The next person I spoke to had no problem fixing the name and making the card platinum, but let me know a first supplementary card can't be sent to anywhere but the normal address, but that a replacement card could, but we'd have to wait ten days. They promised to make a note of it and send it out at the proper time, and they did.

 

I worked in call centres from the late 80s through the mid 00s. We always had a broad mix of skill levels and personality types.





Message 3 of 11
Super Contributor

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

Chat reps are seriously multitasking. When I worked in customer service, the chat reps were usually handling 3-5 chats at a time on a system that would only allow one account to be open at a time. Things get missed in chats which is why I usually call customer service whenever the option is there. It tends to be a much quicker experience too. 



01/2019:
12/2019:

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Message 4 of 11
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

It was the Amex of times. It was the Credit One of times.

 

I’m glad to hear it all got worked out in the end. In my personal experience, Amex CSRs have always been top-notch. 

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Message 5 of 11
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

I wont say good things about the Serve reps for Amex... Its the reason I ditched Serve and went back to my kinda crappy bank Debit card years ago......All they wanted to do was get me off the phone and didnt explain what happened... 

-J

Message 6 of 11
Moderator

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives


@joltdude wrote:

I wont say good things about the Serve reps for Amex... Its the reason I ditched Serve and went back to my kinda crappy bank Debit card years ago......All they wanted to do was get me off the phone and didnt explain what happened... 

-J


Oh yes... I had that experience with Serve as well.  It was painful.  Smiley Frustrated

 

Even though they were owned by Amex 'proper' for a time (along with Bluebird, "Redbird", etc.) someone mentioned a while back that the CSRs were totally separate, which is easy to believe.  Of course now the Serve/Bluebird portfolio is owned and run by Incomm so there's no telling how the customer service is.  Smiley Indifferent

 

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/amex-sell-prepaid-gift-card-business-incomm-bluebird-serve-redbird-ag...

 

I've read more than a few stories on here where a 'normal' Amex CSR was stumped by an issue, but the person hung up and called the number from their Platinum card and the Platinum rep was able to straighten things out in short order (even with a non-Platinum card).  Of course that only works if you have a Platinum card. Smiley Sad

Message 7 of 11
Regular Contributor

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

It's not unreasonabe that a Platinum cardholder would get a hgher level of service than no fee cardholders. 

Message 8 of 11
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives

Says alot that the service you receive is based on your status with said company. Sure wish companies would strive for good service everywhere on every level but thats like asking to get a 5/24 slot when you are lol/24Smiley Wink
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Message 9 of 11
Frequent Contributor

Re: A tale of two Amex customer service representatives


@AverageJoesCredit wrote:
Says alot that the service you receive is based on your status with said company. Sure wish companies would strive for good service everywhere on every level but thats like asking to get a 5/24 slot when you are lol/24Smiley Wink

I can’t argue the fact that good service should be the norm, but the concept of dedicated customer service for a higher tier/elite level/etc is certainly not exclusive to AMEX or the credit card industry. 

Personal Credit -
AMEX: Platinum, Green, Cash Magnet, Schwab Investor
PNC: Cash Rewards, Points
NFCU: Flaghship Rewards, Cash Rewards, More Rewards, CLOC
PSECU: Founders
BB&T: Spectrum Cash Rewards
CapOne: Quicksilver
Discover: IT Chrome
Synchrony: PayPal 2%, PayPal Credit
Barclays: Uber
PenFed: Power Cash Rewards
Store Cards: Target
AU Cards: Citi Rewards+

Business Credit-
AMEX: Blue Business Plus, Amazon Prime, Simply Cash Plus
Message 10 of 11
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