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AmEx dispute - for a service not performed as expected - what am I obligated to do / respond to?

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Regular Contributor

AmEx dispute - for a service not performed as expected - what am I obligated to do / respond to?

Received a maid service 3 - 4 weeks ago (single service, for a top-to-bottom "move in/move out" level cleaning, for $315 + $55 optional extra hour of cleaning, if necessary. This was on a 1300 SF, single level home. There were several "holidays" taken, right at eye level apparent for anyone between 4 and 6 feet tall... not good. Anything much higher or lower was untouched. Both the $315 + $55 were charged. 

 

I reached out to the merchant to express that the level of cleaning I selected did not reflect in the job that was done. I stated that in order for me to continue doing business with them, I ask that we have a re-visit with us present, in addition to refunding the $55 charge. If satisfied with their remedial service, we'd continue using them. Rep was polite but firm in that she could not refund anything for a service performed, but offered to send a maid out to "re-"clean. 

 

I did not feel that this would be sufficient for me to continue using the maid service, even if the re-clean was satisfactory. (Stay with me!) I asked for a breakdown of the billing and she provided that three maids were sent and my bill should actually have been more than was charged. I had lost all faith in the merchant at this point. I reminded her that this wasn't doing the company any favors implying that not one but three maids all looked past the same, obvious spots in the house. 

 

I offered once again to oblige to a re-do if she'd refund the $55. She said that would not be possible. I stated I would have no other option but to dispute the charge with my card issuer and she said "I understand", I said thank you and disconnected the call. 

 

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I disputed the charge in my online account, providing 5 pictures of areas missed. AmEx refunded the charge to my account a few days later. 

 

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Today, the merchant reached out to me via 2 call attempts and a text message. They state the charge was disputed as not having been performed (I selected service not performed as expected, not that it was not performed) but they may have thought so due to the full amount having been refunded. 

 

So far, I have not replied. Am I under any obligation to communicate with the merchant AT ALL at this point, or can I sit back and let AmEx do their thing? 

5 REPLIES 5
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: AmEx dispute - for a service not performed as expected - what am I obligated to do / respond to?

At this point it's on the merchant to dispute the chargeback and provide evidence on the contrary that the charge is legitimate to AMEX; if it gets that far there is possibility of arbitration to see which side "wins". Until AMEX contacts you to let you know that the merchant has filed a dispute and reverses their decision then you have no obligation to speak with merchant about it

Message 2 of 6
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Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: AmEx dispute - for a service not performed as expected - what am I obligated to do / respond to?

Amex is known to back the customer. The one thing not helping you, they offered to do another clean. Amex might consider that good faith from company.

While I feel the credit would've made customer happy. They are under no obligation to do so. I would have had someone inspect before they left.

Message 3 of 6
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Established Contributor

Re: AmEx dispute - for a service not performed as expected - what am I obligated to do / respond to?

I'd be sure you're on solid ground with your expectations of service level. Many terms of maid service don't include high area work - it's more of anything that can be reached without a ladder type thing. 

Even if you win the dispute, and it results in a chargeback to the maid company, the company can opt to attempt other legal collection options. 

Personal Credit -
AMEX: Platinum, Gold, Blue Cash Preferred, Schwab Investor
PNC: Cash Rewards, Points
NFCU: Flaghship Rewards, Cash Rewards, More Rewards, CLOC
PSECU: Founders
BB&T: Spectrum Cash Rewards
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Synchrony: PayPal 2%, PayPal Credit
Barclays: Uber
PenFed: Power Cash Rewards
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Store Cards: Target, Macy’s
AU Cards: Citi Rewards+

Business Credit-
AMEX: Delta Gold, Amazon Prime, Simply Cash Plus
PNC: Visa Business
Message 4 of 6
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Regular Contributor

Re: AmEx dispute - for a service not performed as expected - what am I obligated to do / respond to?


@blindambition wrote:

Amex is known to back the customer. The one thing not helping you, they offered to do another clean. Amex might consider that good faith from company.

While I feel the credit would've made customer happy. They are under no obligation to do so. I would have had someone inspect before they left.



I'll keep you all updated with any developments. Not sure how long this thread will hold open, as the dispute truly finalizes nearly 2 months out: "if you do not hear from us by September 22, 2020, you may consider this matter closed". 

 

Regarding the offer to re-do, I'll bear in mind the possibility of that hurting my case. Given the stubbornness and shrewdness of the merchant in the attempted resolution ("we cannot refund the extra hour" / "we should have charged you more") I did not expect even the re-do to be that fantastic, safe to assume they would not send all three maids back out for a do-over. It would likely be only one. If the performance of three were each all that terrible, I'm afraid to see what a single maid would try to pass as acceptable. 

 

I feel I have an apples-to-apples comparison, holding this up against the absolutely stunning work of a single individual who (similarly, through a different maid franchise) cleans another one of our properties and we have never felt the need to be present during her work. From the first, on through the most recent cleaning of the past 3 years, we always look forward to coming home on "maid day". We definitely did not get that feeling after even a higher, more thorough service was selected with this other franchise, despite being tackled by a team of three. 

Message 5 of 6
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Super Contributor

Re: AmEx dispute - for a service not performed as expected - what am I obligated to do / respond to?

I’m not 100% positive, but I think you do have to at least contact the merchant to give them an opportunity to make it right. you’ve already done so, so I don’t think you have to do anything further unless requested by American Express. Just my opinion.
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