American Express Merchant Services
ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
As a travel accommodation, we are no longer accepting AMEX. It is too easy for the cardholder to cancel a reservation and no show than dispute the charges with no questions asked. As a small establishment also paying higher fees for cardholder benefits and 25.00 fee for a dispute that is not valid, this is sub par. Goodbye AMEX!
Let me first start by saying that I am a CEO of a company that has been using American Express corporate cards for over 4 years and we process around 200K per month. This department is great. We also have an American Express Merchant account and this service is sub standard and the worst I have seen in the industry. American Express Merchant services thought it would be OK to hold funds from us for a customer payment. They claimed they perform audits and that it's the merchant account holder's responsibility to verify authorized use of the card. I asked why they call the card holder to verify, which they claim they did but no response. Of course we also called because it's our distribution company to find out they never received a call.
Now after providing Purchase Orders signed and a billing statement, they claim they need proof of delivery. Really, why would you need that if the customer already signed the purchase order and the bill for payment? American Express Merchant services department is terrible. We have 4 other merchant accounts with other providers and never experience this level of ridiculous process. Also they claim it's a requirement by the other carriers which is not true.
Got mail from Amex Merchant Capital. A trusted company right? DEAD Wrong!! My experience with this dumb company is that, they stating that NO WASTED TIME HERE!! That convinced me to give it a shot. Ok went online and I applied. Wow got approved right away with a reasonable rate. WOW. That's when the nightmare starts. I was thinking ok I got approved and I should see the funding right? Dead wrong again!! "The customer service will call you next day discuss." Ok I wait, and no phone call.
They did do a hard pulled on my credit though. So I decided to call and ask them what's going on. There was a customer service lady answer the phone and, "I am sorry. I am just customer service. I don't know nothing. May I direct your call?" So I said, "Yeah, I wanted to know what happened to approved account?" Then she said with a frustrated voice, and asked me, "What's your tax ID number?" and directed me to some lazy, "don't want to help you" types of lady name Laura (I think that's her name). "I don't know what's going on. When I get a answer I will call you." Never hear ever since going. Day 10 here now.. Still waiting. DON'T WASTE TIME WITH THIS COMPANY. THEY ARE ALL "SCARECROW."
Horrible and ridiculous demands, basically this is the winner of the "gold medal" in poor service to a customer. I only requested to change the bank checking account number, nothing else to be changed. That is, the name of the company and the bank remain exactly the same. First I called Amex at the end of December 2016, requesting information on how to go about to change the checking account #, and the rep told me I can do it online. I've tried to do it online at the end of the calendar fiscal year 2016 but their system was not working as intended. I had to call back Amex on Jan 3, 2017 and telling them that I was not able to do it online and I like to do it over the telephone. The Amex rep got all the info required and she told me it would take a week to ten (10) day to effect the change. That never happened. I waited impatiently for another week or so and still nothing.
Then I found on their poorly designed website another link to submit info to change the checking account # but in a different format than the first. Which I did, and resubmitted that about mid January 2017. To this date, the only thing I received a phone call and to my astonishment instead of hearing that all is good to go, they told me that they have to go another confirmation with me over the phone and then they also have to confirm (via a conference call) the info with our bank. Simply it was a torture going thru process, not to mention that the tone of voice of the Amex rep was kind of reprimanding towards me, instead of being compassionate and understanding of subjecting me to this disgustingly horrible and insulting experience. Totally, unprofessional and unorganized culture in this company.
They are only good when it comes to collecting exorbitant amounts in processing fees with their highest merchant credit card fee rate and no convenient and courteous support. And by the way, the same process to change the checking account with the other credit cards was very smooth and quick. Now I see why some merchants do not accept Amex cards.
2 weeks 2 days ago I took a payment from a client for just over £13,000 and still American Express have not cleared it although many calls have been made to the above. It's in a holding account, it needs clearing, it's back in the holding account, etc. etc. We are just a small business and £13000 is a large amount - I am disgusted that they can keep our money for so long.
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I recently over the past few months having been experiencing financial hardship. I contacted American Express and tried to lower my interest rate and payment. It is currently 17% and my payment went from 243.00 to 335.00. I have always paid my bill on time. This is the thanks I get. I have been a customer of theirs for over 10 years. I have never experienced anything like this before.
I am working hard to make a living on my own and was honest about my financial situation. They kept transferring me over to several people. No one that works there has any customer service skills or knows how to help me. I have asked to consolidate with DRS which try to propose to them I pay less. Amex said that I was denied because I did not meet their enrollment criteria, which bull crap. They rather me struggle to pay a credit card debt than eat or pay other bills.
Amex is evil and they do not care about their customers, and do not run their business ethically. I feel sorry for people who have gone through the same thing as well. You think with the economy they would help people out, but they just don't care. I am just warning people to not ever apply for credit card through them. Saving you a huge nightmare. Trust me. If I knew what I know now I would of never done business with them. They are the only lender that I have that is not willing to help me during my financial hardship. it is just pathetic and awful.
I accepted an Amex card for a $9000 payment. I got approval through my terminal machine. Two days later I got a call from Amex saying they would not send the money to my bank unless the customer first received the product. We are a build-to-order business and I told them we will not build and deliver without full payment. I told the customer to cancel his Amex order, but Amex would not let him.
Then I got a letter from Amex saying they were setting up a reserve account for the $9000 because they needed to "verify" me before they paid me (I was already a merchant). I got another letter two days later saying the $9000 was transferred into the Amex reserve account so the "balance" was now zero. Two weeks later, Amex suddenly took $9000 out of my bank account. Amex never sent me the $9000 payment. I cancelled the order and closed my Amex merchant account! Two weeks later they took $9000 out of my account. Beware!!!
Took a payment on the 17/12, 12 days on and no straight answers as to why they have not paid us. Customer happy (Big company), authorized on the card terminal, but AMEX are reviewing the payment internally, can not advise why or how long it will take, other than tough luck pal, cancel the payment if you're not happy... AMEX running out of cash? It would seem so by the way they do business. Surely telling a business payment is approved and then not making it is fraudulent misrepresentation.
Noted these people will not work with you to get thru a contract, matter of fact they are really good at dragging you along. Our pin pad went out and they made up a contract without us know to continue ripping us off. They do not protect you from fraud, they will side with the thieves of your product. Remember they lose nothing. Protection not there and contracts with third party without consent. The most ruthless people in the business. They are still finding way to charge us. They make merchant services a pain in your bank account.
I needed to update my bank account on file with American Express merchant financing. I called and was told to send a verified bank letter confirming the new account - No problem. After I emailed it to the rep (who confirmed receipt of the letter) I was called a week later saying they did not have my information. So I faxed the letter and emailed it to another rep. After three weeks and numerous phone calls I was told that a bank letter was not good enough. Mind you... this is a letter with the bank's letterhead, full account numbers and signature of the branch manager. What they wanted was a 'screenshot' of the account. So - whatever, I send them a screenshot.
A week or so after they finally get around to updating my account I received a phone call saying that my payments were past due and that they needed to collect a catch up payment - even though I had called them a half dozen times over three weeks to make sure my information was updated. They're pieces of crap that could care less about the customer. If you need financing, go with Paypal working capital or a private VC. American Express will never get my business. In fact we are in the process of moving our $350K+/mo credit card bill away from them.
Provided little explanation on setting up my new merchant account (don't think they knew anything). All about charging high fees for an almost nothing service. Customer service was rude 3 out of the 5 times we contacted them. The other 2 they didn't speak discernible english. American Express is a model example of the crappy low value modern company. They produce a sub par product and charge the most for it skimping on every customer service step along the way. For shame. Merchant One is a far better service for small businesses to accept credit cards. HEY AMEX **!!!
I started processing Amex through American Express merchant services. Everything was going fine so I don't need it - I know that will be the worst customer service attention that I have encountered. They told me they were going to hold my funds for 90 days because they were unsure of the transactions. I told him everything is fine and shouldn't be no chargebacks, and that is one of the policies that they have to follow because OK. And I told her how am I going to be paying my workers. How am I going to be paying my bills if you guys are holding up almost $65,000?
So couple days pass and I found him some new information. I try to get in contact with them and she tells me she advised me that the rep from American Express that now what was I complaining about if I owe them money out on $27,000? And I said for what, and she explained to me that the transactions were being charged back by the bank or by the customers. And I told her impossible for me, I know my customers and I know they wouldn't do this to me, and she told me that indeed that they had already returned to the bank and that I owed them money. And I told her we're going to have to see about that - going to have to check with my customer.
So I went on a trip with my customers and quite to my surprise, three of my customers had their accounts closed. So that being said, how is it that American Express is claiming that they already return the money to the bank but the cards are closed now? Are you trying to pull my leg, trying to be smart and try to charge me for the money and then damn keeping our money, making it doubled the money? No. I got customer from very long time and now I also have workers-to-be with this kind of money being on hold like that. I'm moving, thinking of my company is going to be going bankrupt. I need help. Anybody with any suggestions, please let me know ASAP.
I own a refrigeration business in the Chicago area. On 05/12/15 I've processed an amex card from one of my good customers. The charge was for the amount of $2270. I get an approval code from my processor so I think everything is good. On 05/18/15 I noticed that the funds have not been deposited into my account. Called up Amex and they tell me that they have been trying to get a hold of me, I asked "how are you trying to get a hold of me?" They said that they sent a letter in the mail, which I've never got. They said they needed to transfer me to risk management and they did. The RM rep tells me that the reason the funds have not been deposited into my account is because my account has been closed. That Intuit my previous processor had put out a bad report on me, saying that they had a bad experience with my company and therefore they decided to close my account, and that they had not charged my customer for that last transaction.
I called my customer to try to get a different form of payment and he tells me that he has been charged by amex already. I tell him what the situation is, he called amex and they tell him that everything is ok and the merchant will be receiving the funds soon. He calls me back and tell me to call amex that everything is ok and they will release the funds soon. I called amex again and this time they completely denied the transaction, they said that my processor had never submitted a batch for that amount or card #, and they assured me that the customer was not charged once again. I called my customer again and he asked me to come into his office. When I went to his office he logged on to his amex account and sure enough there was a charge from my company for the correct amount and it was not pending, it had already cleared.
He grabs the phone and calls amex in front of me, and again they tell him that everything is ok, that the transaction has already been approved and he cannot cancel unless he disputes the charge. He went ahead and disputed the charge, they said it will be at least another 10 days before we hear back. In the mean time they are holding the money...very frustrating! Don't know what else to do...
They started out to be a good company and overnight American Express Merchant services turned into a bunch of scumbags. They shut down our account because they never updated our account. Supposedly they sent us our promotional stuff to the old address and it came back returned mail. Prior to that they had 3 different faxes with the new address including utility bills etc. They even had our chargeback paperwork mailed to the new address without any problems. Then all of the sudden out of nowhere got the message "we are closing your account" goodbye. Luckily we were with another processor and really didn't care. But Amex has changed a lot. They never put a hold on the disputed amounts in a chargeback, now they do. They used to call the chargeback disputes right down the middle and now they don't. We would never go back to Amex ever again.
We are a small, successful and growing restaurant group based in Northern Arizona. Last year we processed $1.62 million through AMEX out of $6.9 million in revenue. This year we are opening a major restaurant with projected revenues equal to our existing operations combined. In the next two years we plan on opening more locations.
Because of terrible customer service we are dropping AMEX from our existing and future operations. In brief this was our experience: On 11.25.14 we responded to a First B Notice received by one of our restaurants by faxing our W9 to the number provided on the Notice. We heard nothing more until we discovered in January of this year that AMEX had initiated a 28% withholding of our funds in December 2014. When I called in for an explanation I was told by the customer service operator that nothing could be done about it except through the ballot box. (A bizarre response).On a second call I was told that I could not be connected to a customer relations manager concerning this matter, that the B Notice requirement was government mandated, and because a third party was handling these notices it was not the fault of AMEX that our W9 was never received, acknowledged or acted upon.
My point of dissatisfaction, to be absolutely clear, is not that the collection or updating of the W9 information was mandated, or that some third party was involved. My dissatisfaction is that no further communication occurred in this matter to let us know the W9 we faxed had not been received or recorded.
A call prior to the beginning of the withholding would have been the least that could have been done for a small merchant customer. The lack of appropriate communication is inexcusable. AMEX deal in billions. For us our cash flow is our life blood. The government mandate was for updated taxpayer information. THERE WAS NO MANDATE FOR LACK OF COMMUNICATION. I realize we are a small fish but we are swimming away for good.
Since 2010 the IRS has strict rules about merchants and their addresses. I received ONE Call from AMEX with a message that sounded like a sales call mentioning nothing that my files on their account Did Not Match what the IRS had = therefore everything since then was hit at 28% FINE. After faxing to a number that is no longer working, mailing in and filling it out online - AMEX is telling me 6 weeks to get their files updated so I can START CHARGING AMEX CARDS AGAIN. Yes, I spoke to 5 people, some very helpful but most the information was incorrect from each call and they could do nothing. SIX ** weeks to update my ADDRESS?! WHAT A JOKE!
Another AMEX nightmare! Rendered 2 services for 2 different people. Website design and logo design. Built a website for a very nice lady, good vibes 100%, all the way around! Charged her $1,200.00 for the website. Paid, done, and done, or so I thought. After 12 months, almost to the day, I get notification that she had requested a charge back through my PayPal account. Paypal dismissed her claim, being that it was 1 year old, and the fact that I was very clear on "NO REFUND" for services in my TOS. She calls AMERICAN EXPRESS, no problem! They withdraw the money from my account and give it right back to her almost without delay.
The second client did the same exact thing, only this time it was for a logo designed. We build, she praised how much she liked it, charged her $200.00, it cleared. And 2 months later, she calls AMEX and gets her money back. I warned her not to use the logo via email, she sends me an email back laughing at me, saying I have no copyright, and it's hers, all while crediting her card company for helping her scam me.
Needless to say, I am pissed! Now as a web designer, I am no longer taking AMEX, but I am taking on AMEX by setting up a new website called ** to raise awareness solely of this topic. Feel free to come support me in my new endeavors.
I had a customer order service on a aircraft propeller. He was in Calif. and was buying a plane in Oregon and needed some work done. He gave me all his info and we fixed it. Once he received it, he did a dispute and AMEX sided with him. Out 4900. CANCEL.
A customer hired our company to service his signage. He signed our standard contract. We drove to his site, when we got there he would not let the technicians work. They left and we billed him for our time, as spelled out in the contract. Because the terms of the contract were more than ONE HALF AN INCH above his signature the contract was deemed invalid. WE NO LONGER ACCEPT AMERICAN EXPRESS.
I got a mystery phone call from a blocked number. They asked for "sensitive" information and I told them to send it in writing. They sent a note after I told them that on the 3rd phone call. They asked me to call them and I did, but no one was there. Then I got another call from "India" asking for the information. I said that we needed it in writing. Then they cancelled our account. Again I called and asked for what "specific" information they wanted and was told they then need something from the state with the name and address on it plus a check. I faxed that in and then was told the state form had to have a logo on it. I sent that in and still no help and account still closed. American Express is a garbage company. We will no longer take their cards for payment. They charge the most and they have no customer service and they act like they are the IRS.
My company has had a well-maintained AMEX merchant account for some years, selling business software and services, with never a single dispute or charge back or complaint of any kind. Maximum single charge amount (to date) is about $9,000.00. Suddenly we have been denied the ability to accept American Express. Why?
In early February 2013 I, as the company CEO, received a phone call from a blocked number. The caller claimed to be from American Express and stated they needed certain documents faxed to them verifying our company standing, registration, address, etc. My reaction was that: 1) all such documentation had already been provided at the time of originally signing up with American Express; and 2) we categorically refused to send semi-confidential documents to anyone on the basis of a mere anonymous phone call, so would they please send their request in writing on company letterhead, or at least send an email. The caller refused and said the company does not do that and said we could verify the authenticity of the call by calling a certain phone no. and navigating through various voice menus to reach a certain department, and ask for a certain individual, etc., etc.
To think that I or anyone would waste time going through such a procedure is ridiculous. I told him I was much too busy, and in this age of spam and phishing and other frauds, so he really should know better. End of conversation. A couple of weeks later we received a letter saying our account was closed. No reason was given. We called American Express merchant services, who told us they were unable to handle the matter and we had to speak with a special department that handled these matters. It turns out that this special department is in India, and I ended up having a conversation with someone with a thick Indian accent, who quite frankly had the IQ of a small-appliance bulb, who simply repeated over and over again that our request for documentation had not been complied with. When I asked him repeatedly to simply make the request in writing, he responded repeatedly that they had asked for it by phone and had not received it so the account was terminated.
When I told him they were terminating a perfectly good account for no good reason, and with no due process, he just repeated the same thing again. I insisted on speaking to his supervisor, and was placed on hold listening to recorded messages about what wonderful customer service I could expect as an American Express merchant. After ten minutes on hold, I hung up. I called back the American number and explained what had happened. I was told again that I had to speak to India. I asked the agent, “What is the first word in the name American Express?” He thought about it for a moment and then said, “I guess that would be American.” I said, “Correct. So why must I speak with someone in India? What does this have to do with India?” Nonetheless he assured me they were the only ones that could help me.
So I called India again and this time spoke with someone with a little more intelligence, who sympathized with my feelings but told me, “Tough luck.” That’s the way Amex does things and either I comply or my account is closed. I learned from him that AMEX operates a kind of hit squad from somewhere in India (my words, not his) who randomly call merchants in the United States and demand documentation to prove their legitimacy, seemingly oblivious of the fact that this documentation is a pre-requisite for enrollment in the first place, and seemingly oblivious of the fact that in America, people do not send out confidential documents to any Tom, Dick or Harry who calls and demands them. If they don’t get what they demand, they shut you down. Do I have such documents? Of course! Will I send them? Of course, if properly requested. Do I even want to reinstate my account with a company that uses such Nazi-style, unjustified, unbusinesslike techniques, and has apparently no respect for its merchant’s rights? I’m not so sure.
This may be a matter for my congressman or the FTC. As I recall, it was my tax money that was used to give bailout money to American Express after they rushed to declare themselves a bank in order to avail themselves of the massive free handouts, which they certainly did not need. For what it is worth here is section 10.3.2.1 of the American Express Merchant Policy manual (edited for brevity). In my humble opinion they are in violation of their own policy, as well as being in violation of common decency: "If you are placed in the Consumer Protection Monitoring Program, we will send you a questionnaire regarding your business practices and conduct an investigation. We may suspend or refuse to allow Card acceptance at an Establishment or terminate the Agreement, if you do not respond to our questionnaire, by the date we designate with sufficient information about your business practices."
Also for what it is worth here is a quote from the Unites States Secret Service website, reinforcing what we all know already: "Never provide personal financial information over the phone unless you are absolutely certain the caller has a bona fide need to know. If necessary, hang up the phone." So if you were to ask me to rate my opinion of "Indian Express" Merchant Services at the moment, I'm afraid the answer might not be publishable. I would really recommend you do not do business with an organization so unethical and capricious.
My furniture store has been using AmEx for several years. All of a sudden, they changed my merchant number and declared me a "new member" which means my company is under investigation. They are holding all transactions until I provide the necessary paperwork to prove these are true sales. It's up to over $13,000 so far. They reopened disputes that have already been resolved in my favor.
I have been trying to get my mailing address changed for almost a year! They make up stupid little rules and when you don't follow them, they hold your money indefinitely! As a merchant, I run over $1 million a year, and I am a business platinum card holder and they treat me like I'm a criminal. I'm not running any more AmEx and as soon as I get my money, I'm closing the account.
My company tried to run a $50,000 AmEx charge for one of our clients. My company had a merchant services account and we went three months with no AmEx merchant activity. AmEx decides to close the account, but doesn't tell us. (They say they sent a letter but we never got one.) They say we can reapply for one in 12 months. I called local merchant services manager of business development to see if he can help. He helps us get set up with a new account. We run a test transaction. All is well. We then re-run the $50,000 transaction with the new merchant #, it is approved. The customer approves and we ship the product. It funds three days later, so the $50k is now in our account. I released AP checks based on the fact that the funds are there.
Next day, AmEx merchant services pulls the $50k back, says that they should have never issued the new merchant # and I now need to go back to my customer and get another form of payment? Excuse me? AmEx, you are the ones who ** this up. You gave us a new merchant #. You gave us approval on the credit card transaction. The client is not disputing the charge. They are happy with the product. Give me my ** money! I will never use AmEx merchant services again and will most likely cancel my company's AmEx corporate cards as well. This is complete and total **.
We replaced a septic tank for a customer that was under his home. We had it permitted and inspected. We paid extra to have the cards swiped by our techs in the field. Customer disputed (per American Express) that he never received services or merchandise. After 45 days of sending documents, signed invoice, signed CC slip, we received a charge-back for $3210.25. The reason was the address of the work did not match the address of the card. It was a rental home.
Now that we have had several checks returned due to this charge-back, we will never take AE again. The card holder finally called and changed his dispute to satisfied only after I went to his office and pretty much told him how he was a thief and I would do everything I could to press criminal charges for such. It was simply fraud by him. Being in the service business, this seems to be a lot more common. We just received another one that he feels he was over-charged (Sunday night emergency service; no plumbing at home due to a broken sewer line). We gave our price. He agreed and we repaired. Afterwards, while using his plumbing he thought, “I think I could have got that done cheaper!” I’m disputing. He even puts an amount that he feels it should be!
Who protects us? The merchants? For these reasons above, we should be allowed to charge for the risk of customers like the ones mentioned above. Once they dispute, the money is removed from your account and you have to plead your case to get paid. If you lose, they get the money back and all the material and equipment you installed for free! It’s simply not fair and we pay for this treatment! Not anymore. Every time you call about anything there, you get different answers or reasons. I was disconnected four times today when I was being transferred to different departments.
AMEX Merchant Services allowed a cardholder to contest a legitimate credit card charge twice. The debited charges were based on testing services which we provided to the cardholder. The contested amount was about $3200.00. The first time, AMEX Merchant decided in our favor; us as the merchant. The second time which was about a year later, AMEX decided in favor of the cardholder on the basis that we did not respond to the complaint in a timely manner. The facts of the case remained the same. AMEX claimed that we, as the merchant, had an obligation to visit their website so that we were up-to-date on any outstanding contested charges. We were never notified by AMEX that this website existed. We responded to the contested charge as soon as AMEX notified us by phone only.
I work for a company that sells computer systems. A customer used the system for 1 year before returning it to us, it does not have all the cables, manuals, and drivers. It is not in a usable condition at all, it has excessive wear and tear. It is not worth any money in its current condition. Basically customer has used it and returned and got all his money back. He used this system for free and our company was out all that money, pretty much just giving him the laptop for free.
American express refuses to cooperate with us, making claims that they did not receive all necessary paperwork from us. We submitted all the papers they asked us for on time, they probably lost it or misplaced it. They do not want to reopen the case, talking to any of the managers does not help. Again, the system that was returned to us was abused by a customer and has zero value. All we ask for is to reopen the case and use common sense in resolving this issue.
The computer system is useless and we cannot resell it, so it's lost money. The customer basically used the system for free. Our company policies try to protect us from customers like this, but American Express will not listen.
I was never notified, and I found out during our bank reconcilations that American express adapted a new change where the merchant does not receive a credit for the discount fee if the consumer returned the item. This became effective September 1st as I found out today.
This policy is unethical and unfair to the merchant as now the merchant has lost the discount fee for an item that was returned. This item now is less profitable than the rest of the merchandise. This is unfair to the consumer as well as they will possibly face penalties for returning items purchased with Amex. Therefore the consumer will not have a choice and be forced to pay cash or visa/mastercard. I feel that it is similar to not be refunded the sales tax for the return of merchandise.
American Express already has the highest discount rate but they want more!
Amex Merchant Complaints Company Information
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- American Express