American Express Customer Service Complaints - Outsourced?

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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Postby jeffysdad » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:00 pm

General, I also think Discover customer service is superior to Amex, both for website and phone. Another I like is FIA Card Services (the Fidelity and Schwab card provider, a unit of Bank of America). I just called them at 8:30 p.m. CST and my call was answered by a live person in Maine immediately after I entered my account number. I did not have to hold at all! The last time I called them for something I remember was on a weekend. I got an offshore call center, but the woman I spoke with took care of everything I needed very efficiently after promptly answering my call.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Postby George_in_NH » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:04 pm

Is it just me or do any others find it ironic that a company with the word 'American' in their name would use non American service centers?

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Postby Generallisimo » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:08 am

It's official-- Visa Signature Concierge blows Amex out of the water.

Today I was driving around and decided to go to a particular restaurant recommended to me. I knew the general area it was in, but needed to find its exact address. I decided to put Amex to the test, so I call their customer service. But wait, it's an automated voice asking me to put in my credit card number. That's a problem because I'm driving (I have bluetooth), so finally, the system became confused when I repeatedly said, "operator" and tried to put me through to someone. "We're sorry, we are experiencing unusually high call volume, but your wait will be about 10 minutes."

I hung up after a minute because I was going to be in the area in 10 minutes and I needed to talk to someone right away. So I call Chase Visa Signature, and bam, a real human being within 30 seconds. They only ask for the last 4 digits of my card and the person was able to find the place and give me directions just as I arrived.

Now it could be that I have a higher expectation of the level of service Amex can provide. These things do happen (high call volumes and having to wait), but today makes it the third time I have called Amex Customer Service, and the third time they failed to even so much as match the competition's level of service.

Visa Signature costs me 0$ per year. Amex Gold costs $175 per year. Hands down, Visa Signature wins.

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American express hung the phone up on me.

Postby Money card » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:55 pm

I don't want anybody to feel sorry for them. I called up there membership rewards department, to see how many points I have and what I needed to get, in order to get a Houlihan's gift card through my points. the account mgr mentioned they don't partner through Houlihan's. i said huh and explained to her i thought you did, I was about to ask her is it that I don't have enough points and she hung up the phone.

some members are paying $25, 95, 125, 175 and 450 for a card and this happens. you've gotta be kidding me. Is this what you call top rated service?

in 10 months an American express account manager hung up on me.

I've had a Discover card since 1998 and this has never ever happened.
does this happen to platinum card members?

I spoke to the mgr of the restaurant, he explained the corporation of Houlihan's isn't in partner with Discover or American express anymore.

I paid with my American express green card. I spoke to the account mgr once and another membership rewards account mgr. the most professional service was from Jennifer.

I had to ask another question about membership rewards.

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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:19 am

Money card - That's a surprising and disappointing complaint about American Express. Was any advance notice or sign given that she would be getting off the phone? If not, could it have accidentally been disconnected?
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby Money card » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:40 pm

there would be no reason for her to get off the phone until both parties have their questions answered. No there was no disconnection

I called the general questions account mgr, asked them about the houlihan's question, he switched me over to the other department for membership rewards. I asked that person my question, no phones were disconnected. their company thinks they are so great at times and I guess things go to there head. I'm going to say total rudeness on their part. I'm paying 95 a year this should not be happening.

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Postby ooxs » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:28 pm

Your call is routed to the next available call center. Just this week, I spoke to someone with an Indian accent as well as someone who spoke better American English than me. I guess it is all based on call volume.

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Postby JNK » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:50 pm

I am one of those people who calls up their card companies - AMEX definitely being one of them since they are my favored card issuer - every so often just to "check in" with them - anything from APR inquiries to features clarifications to notifying them of upcoming purchases or upcoming "GRAH" moments which might affect my accounts.

That said, I carry an AMEX Blue card (formerly a Student Blue converted into a regular Blue), AMEX Costco card (for my business), and an AMEX card cobranded with my Macy's department store card and I regularly "check in" with them - both the Blue and Costco one - at fairly regular intervals of a few months.

Despite the age of some of my accounts, neither of my cards are particularly "premium" and not once have I been rerouted or routed to someone overseas who speaks with an accent that impedes my ability to understand what they are saying and I am also someone who patches in calls at... oh say 2 to 3 AM in the morning.

The last time I called was two weeks ago or so and no rerouting there that I noticed. After confirming that a payment had been processed online despite my internet connection going crazy during the payment processing, I had a brief but pleasant chat with the credit rep (who took the time to reassure me that they would inform me if the payment somehow failed and that I wouldn't be responsible for the lateness) and then ended the call.

If there is a pattern here to the outsourcing, I'm neither seeing it nor understanding it and I am sorry to hear that others have not experienced the outstanding customer service that I have had the pleasure of experiencing.

New representatives who may not fully know the ropes I have encountered once or twice (including one who gave and applied to me misinformation which another representative later on corrected and made retroactive changes to my account that was affected) but not anyone who was deliberately rude - much less an accounts manager!
Personal Collection:

AMEX: Everyday (MR), Macy's (cobranded)
MASTER: Citibank Dividend Platinum Select (non-World version)
VISA: Chase Amazon Signature, Chase (bank issued)
GE: Care Credit (medical expenses), Macy's (store), JCP (store)

Business Collection:

AMEX: Costco True Earnings
VISA: Chase Ink Cash

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Postby ooxs » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:33 am

If you use the number on the back of your card (US card holders), for the most part you will get US call centers but if you call one of the generic numbers say 1800-THE CARD or general numbers online, you will be presented with the opportunity or privilege to get someone from the overseas call centers. Just recently (two days ago) I called inquiring about the Delta Reserve card, the service representative was indian, he was professional and convinced me to apply, I didn’t complete the application over the phone because I wanted to use the link advertised on this forum so they can get the application credit / bonus.

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Subcontractors in India? BRING JOBS BACK TO U.S.A.

Postby Judijon » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:53 pm

Until the recent incident we've become embroiled in we have never had occasion to utilize AMEX customer service. It has been a very bad experience. Obviously their man in India didn't have a clue as to what I was asking him to do, so despite assurances to the contrary, this mix-up now has us as the stage of having a bill we PAID using the card going to a collection agency. All he seemed capable of saying (repeatedly) is, 'American Express has your back.' and purporting to understand when he did not. I grew up in a time when obtaining an AMEX card was considered a sort of coming of age, when it was a difficult card to obtain. I know they charge a higher rate to the retailer/restaurant/etc. than other credit card companies do; you'd expect top notch service in return. Now I know better. The customer service person was so bad I suspect the firm AMEX is contracting with in India might be subcontracting to get people who will work for even less rupees than AMEX is paying. I suspect this is going on a lot - had a very similar experience recently with United Airlines and dealing with their outsource people (2) in India. BRING JOBS BACK TO THE U.S.A. CORPORATE AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!

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