was posted on Complaints.com
Complaints.com received the following consumer message on May 31, 2002:
From: Valerie Balzano [[email protected]]
RE: American Express Membership Banking - unpleasant experiences
I wanted to take advantage of on-line bill paying. I chose American Express because I thought a large company like them would provide better customer service for virtual banking. I was greatly mistaken. Since applying with them in April, 2002 I have experienced the following:
They pull incorrect credit reports and don't notice they are doing this 1. In my initial application for their Membership Banking, I also applied for the Overdraft protection. I was sent a denial letter with the reason
for denial being 'Bankruptcy'.
Since I have never filed for Bankruptcy, I found this very disconcerting. I called their customer service and told them there must be some mistake because I have never filed bankruptcy. I was told that I would need to get a copy of my credit report and prove this fact. I knew the mistake was on their end, but their customer service person wouldn't do anything for me until I provided a copy of the credit report.
I got a copy of the credit report and guess what? No Bankruptcy listed!! I called their customer service department again and was told I would need to fax them a copy. Because I don't feel it is my job as the
customer to have to WORK at being their customer, I told them they could either research the issue themselves or tell me they don't want me as a customer. I was contacted by someone in their executive offices the next day who said they never even pulled a credit report!!
This person also mentioned this had happened on several customers and they were trying to correct this from happening again. At this time, I should have cut my losses and found another company to do busines with. However, the person at their executive offices seemed sincerely upset at the mistake made on their
end and the disrespectful customer service, that I ended up staying with them and setting up my bills to pay on-line.
They offer products that don't exist.
2. After one month of having them for a bank, I was charged a 9.00 fee. The documentation I was sent said it was a 7.50 fee. I spoke with their customer service again and was told the fee was raised in December of 2001. The documentation I was sent also said the fee would be waived if I kept a certain average balance. This would include all accounts including any unsecured credit lines. I asked the customer service person if the unsecured credit line was the overdraft protection and she said it was included, but I needed to SPEND money from the overdraft protection and the amount owed is what they use for the combined balance. This made no sense to me so I contacted the person I dealt with on the first problem I had.
After several phone calls, she told me they didn't offer an unsecured credit line and the overdraft protection wasn't considered an unsecured credit line. I'm thinking that they really don't know what they offer or how
anything works at this time! I am now considering changing to another bank. The only thing stopping me is all the time I had to spend setting up my bills to pay on-line and now I will need to do this again with another
Then, the last straw happened today..
They don't pay attention to amounts being deposited and will enter the wrong amount
3. Because this is a virtual bank and my husband's company doesn't have direct deposit, I need to write a check from the account he deposits his paycheck into for deposit to this American Express account. I mailed this check on 5/29/2002 and it was made out for 560.00. What showed as posting is 260.00!!! I called their customer service, AGAIN, and told them they made a mistake. I was told that this will take 5-7 days of research. If I want to prove it is their mistake, I would need to send over a copy of the canceled check.
I don't need to bank with American Express, therefore I don't need to go out of my way to help them find their mistakes and problems. They should value their customers and immediately resolve issues reported. However, they seem to think it is okay to ask the customer to prove that they, American Express, made a mistake and then they will take their time resolving. Well - Forget That!
Virtual banking to succeed will rely heavily on how good the customer service is. If you are thinking of using a virtual bank, in my opinion, do not use American Express. Their customer service is way below par!!