Friday, September 16, 2005

American Express is the Devil

American Express (intentionally no link attached) is the devil. They made the mistake of sending me a survey today about our corporate cards. Corporate cards fall under my umbrella and boy was this survey fun.

Among my comments:

  • "The "no" people in the Capital One commercial provide better service than American Express"
  • "Everyone around here agrees that American Express causes PMS. Everytime someone has to deal with Amex they get severe headaches and extreme moodiness for about a week"
  • "5 bucks says that despite my comments on this survey, no one from American Express will call me" (yes my name, email and phone were attached)
  • "Perhaps American Express should consider getting into the employee assistance program business. It seems like a logical step since they keep driving us nuts."

There was no profanity, no death threats and no disparaging remarks about people's mothers.

Why is American Express the devil you say? After administering corporate cards with them for several companies, here's why:

  • Their policies are complex, non-connected, poorly understood by their Customer Service and create a climate of arbitrary decisions. This makes it really hard to understand and explain when our users have problems.
  • They lie and say stupid things like: "All corporate cards must be personally guaranteed." Q: So at GE, Jack Welch personally guaranteed all the corporate Amex cards? A: "Yes" - No wonder Jack was paid so well! or Q: My card has been working fine for the last four months and suddenly I'm getting declined when I use it. A: "Oh, sir that card has never been activated. Let me activate it for you."
  • They lie and say that there is no preset spending limit. Horse Pucky. Even when we guarantee a card with no limit, they slap a retail limit on there. Then come back with, "Oh, you need to guarantee the retail limit and fill out a separate form." Or "Yes we understand you regularly spend $350k a month on your card. We declined that $79 Home Depot charge because it was out of your pattern."
  • Our executives have lost confidence that the card will work when they need it to. We've had way too many arbitrary declines that Amex can't explain. (yes we pay our bill and we pay it on time).
  • They can't figure out what they are doing. We make changes to cards via the website. The changes don't take effect. We call. They say "Oh you can't do that on the website, you have to fax in a form". We fill out the form. They call back and say "You can do this on the website" AHHHHH.
  • The website is terrible. We print statements prior cut off, the report is too wide and the amounts get cut off in printing. No problem, print in landscape, same issue.

I think it's time to find a new card provider.

Since Google Adsense will probably trigger an Amex ad on my site now, I guess that's revenue I'm never going to see. See, now that I complain about them, they take cash out of my pocket!

No comments: