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Old 11-13-2001, 12:44 AM   #1
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Glitch 1: Friday

While renting a car, I presented my Baker Ventures Gold American Express Corporate card. The agent told me that my card had been declined and asked if I have another card. I presented my personal American Express and I was told that the card is also declined. It was pretty humiliating.

I stepped away from the counter and called American Express Platinum customer server on my cell phone. I was told that there’s nothing wrong with my card and that they didn’t even see a charge declined. Fine. I gave my corporate card number and am told that it’s has a “slight activation glitch” and to try again.

I present my BV gold AmEx to the rental car agent again and it works flawlessly. I shrug and head off in my car.

Glitch 2: Sunday

After enjoying a lovely Sunday morning brunch, I received the bill and pulled out my wallet. Since AmEx had no explanation for my Platinum card being declined, I was afraid to use it again for fear of embarrassment. Even though it was a personal expense, I used my corporate card since AmEx resolved the earlier issue.

The waitress came back and explained that they were, “having some computer glitches and had to call it in.” I said, “okay, so we’re all set?” as I was handed the leather “folder” with the check and my card in it. She explained that the card was declined and I’d need to use another card.

I was completely and totally humiliated. I had a date with me, too.

I handed her my personal AmEx platinum card and the meal was charged without incident.

After leaving the hotel, I called American Express and was pretty upset. I gave them my card numbers and explained that they had humiliated me and I wanted to know why.

The customer service rep explained that they had been having some problem authorizing charges from points of sale that morning. She asked for some specific information about the particular charge that was declined. I gave her the specifics and she said, “Sir, we have that exact amount charged to both of your cards.”

“How could that be,” I responded, “I was told that my corporate card was declined.”

“It was never declined; we just required the merchant to call for verification. They called in and we authorized the entire charge, of course. Your accounts are all in good standing with us,” she replied.

“So, I paid twice for the same meal and was humiliated at the same time?”

“It looks like it,” she responded, “so be sure to call and dispute the charge if they haven’t corrected it for you by the time you receive your bill.”

I thanked her for her help and hung up.


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Old 11-13-2001, 01:23 AM   #2
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I've never had such problems with my Visa. Perhaps you should consider upgrading? [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 11-13-2001, 08:49 AM   #3
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Visa is nice, but have they ever made you dinner and theater reservations? AmEx has certain things that they excel in that other credit card companies cannot do.[img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]
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Old 11-13-2001, 09:41 AM   #4
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Well, to be fair, Diners Club seems to do a decent job at offering an alternative to Amex when it comes to the customer service and special services available.

It's hard to fault Amex for your experience at the restaurant, though. Sounds more like a case of poorly trained wait staff.
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Old 11-13-2001, 11:05 AM   #5
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I am not a big fan of AMEX. I use my DC card when I travel,and it's great.

Also the ill-trained waiter/waitress didn't help matter either.

Edited for typo.
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Old 11-13-2001, 01:09 PM   #6
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Do you think it would be worthwhile to create a Diner's Club board?
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Old 11-13-2001, 01:38 PM   #7
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To be fair, Diners Club is no AmEx.
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Old 11-13-2001, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
On 2001-11-13 09:41, Nugget wrote:

It's hard to fault Amex for your experience at the restaurant, though. Sounds more like a case of poorly trained wait staff.
AmEx admitted that because of computer problems, they were requiring merchants to call in to authorize charges. Certainly the hotel (the merchant) was finally at fault, but it was AmEx's fault for getting me into that situation to begin with.
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