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I'm asking for advice on behalf of my boyfriend, who was recently screwed by AMEX.

Here's the situation:

He got a call last week from a collection agency. I took the call, since he wasn't home. She was so cagey, I thought she was a tenacious telemarketer or a scam artist, but I told her to call him at work. Turns out, AMEX closed his account and submitted his balance to the agency for collection. Here's the ugly part: He was less than a month late on his payment and that was the first time he had EVER been late (it's a Blue card, incidentally). When he talked to the collection agency rep., she said she and her supervisor couldn't believe that he had been reported, because his credit was excellent. She said the people at AMEX are simply the most mercenary of the cc bunch. Then she told him he should take out a loan because he needed to pay them by the end of the month.

Now the collection agency has started calling again, wanting to know the status of the loan. He has told them, regardless of the status of the loan, they will be paid in full by the end of the month. But the collection rep. now tells him that it's not really the end of the month, it's the 25th...or else. That is, or else they'll start charging him 30% of the balance--even if it's a minute past midnight late.

Since then, he's tried to speak to an AMEX rep, but of course, he was given him robot responses like "I cannot assist you with this matter. I cannot assist you with this matter." or, when asked for a last name, "My name is Fred. My name is Fred."

So, besides paying off the collection agency ASAP, what can he do to preserve his good credit? Has anyone else had similarly horrible experiences with AMEX? Have they violated anything by doing this, then refusing to speak with him?
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